LIGHTS OUT “War” Review

Lights Out "War" FX

LIGHTS OUT “War” Season 1 Episode 13 – Lights finally faces Death Row in the ring in what turned out to be both the season and series finale. It was a good episode; it was not written as a series finale and there were some cliff hangers and questions left unanswered, but it was by no means half as maddening as the series finales of cancelled shows like Firefly and Deadwood. Lights Out at least went out with a bang. And that, as they say, is that. Lights Out is a goner, which is a pity. It had potential.

Lights Out is a good show that slipped through the cracks. Lead with a powerful performance from Holt McCallany, this could have been one of the best new series this year. Unfortunately while McCallany delivered episode after episode, the writing was not there to serve him or the world in which Lights inhabits.

The corruption plotline felt like it was being tugged along forcibly by the writers who were unsure what to do with it or how to execute it. This was not the worst offence. The worst offences were the flat, one note characters. McCallany made Lights a nice guy who did awful things in desperate situations. Theresa served as the cliché stand-by-your-man whinge bag, despite the dozens of reasons she had for leaving Lights and heading back to England. The daughter Ava was nothing more than a caricature of skanky teens, and as good as Daniella was (and I’m thinking specifically of that awesome smackdown scene between herself and her father) she was still handed weird, out of character cliché moments like her teen drinking escapades. Johnny was a loser but we never saw him do anything other than fuck up and apologise. Margaret served as little more than Lights’ conscious except when she was with Brennan (a plotline I’m sure would have been more developed in a second season). Pops was by far the strongest supporting character, but even he was plighted with questionable actions-such as his two episode hiatus fishing.

My rant over, I realize it seems like I’m dismissing the show, but I’m not. I really really really liked this show. I loved Holt McCallany in this show. I just wished that fleshed out secondary characters could have saved this show. You’re only as good as the people you’re surrounded by, and as good as Lights the character was, he was surrounded by some pretty flat people. I don’t know why Romeo had to leave after two episodes. I don’t know what was up with Lights’ mother’s Mae’s sudden return. I liked these characters, but they were introduced as if this were a case of the week show and not a serialized drama.

This was a fitting season finale. Exposition can be a messy thing, but the showrunner (and writer of this episode) Warren Leight handled it deftly in a touching and beautifully acted confession scene, where Lights finally breaks down over his treatment of his daughter. The end of the episode, where Lights desperately asked his wife “who won?” was perfect and tragic and promised great things for a second season.

On another note, Lights Out has also had some of the best-if not the best-fight scenes on television, and the fight between Death Row and Lights was no exception.

I will miss Lights Out.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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