Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What I’m Watching: National Treasure (Season Finale)

National Treasure: Season 1, Episode 4 (B+)

I’m certain that this is actually the series finale since I don’t see how this could continue, and what an effective four-episode series it’s been. After all the run-up to the trial, we got to see everything play out very bluntly and bleakly, with both of the women accusing Paul of assault and abuse brutally torn apart by the defense and then Paul subject to the same vicious approach from the prosecution when he was on the stand. It was particularly moving and effective to watch Paul’s face and Marie’s face while listening to the testimonies, and hearing how monetary compensation and an affectionate letter written a year after the fact could undo such powerful and horrifying accounts of treatment. Marie telling Paul in the middle of the trial that she thinks he did it was intense, and he didn’t seem the least bit apologetic when he took the stand, against the advice of his legal counsel, admitting to sex with prostitutes and insisting that he wasn’t perfect but he didn’t do this. Seeing what actually happened as remembered by one of the victims right before the not-guilty verdict was announced, much to her horror, was deeply affecting, and Paul harshly telling his daughter that they shouldn’t do family therapy on his big day served as a reminder that, much as he might be endearing in his later years, he isn’t a good guy. Ending with him calling out for Marie and realizing, somewhat angrily, that he’s all alone, was a haunting way to close this show that I’d recommend highly to sophisticated viewers not too averse to its subject matter.

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