Friday, September 15, 2017

What I’m Watching: Manhunt: Unabomber (Season Finale)

Manhunt: Unabomber: Season 1, Episode 8 “USA vs. Theodore J. Kaczynski” (B+)

I guess this is a season finale though we all know that there won’t be a second season and that this is really more of a miniseries. I actually found myself wishing that there was more time spent on the trial since it was pretty fascinating, yet I guess the idea is that we’ve seen all of the evidence presented in its original form, as in when it happened over the course of the last seven episodes. What’s most intriguing about this show aside from its subject matter is the way in which its characters play such a minor role on some occasions, with Fitz figuring in somewhat to this episode but otherwise all of the legal and investigative figures we’ve come to know over the course of the season just showing up for mostly non-speaking roles. Fitz didn’t get all the credit for bringing him down, and no one needed that, since David had to make the difficult statement that what happened was right, even though both he and his mother do still care for Ted. And then there’s Ted, who was very involved in his own legal defense and was hellbent on not claiming insanity, something his lawyers were set on doing despite his objections. It was interesting how this episode really painted Ted in a sympathetic light, the lone person confident in what he was saying yet deemed crazy by all around him. At the very least, this was an extremely involving show featuring a powerhouse performance by Paul Bettany, who I very much hope wins some awards next year. I now feel like I want to learn more about this case, particularly by visiting the exhibit at the Newseum that previously was of no interest to me. The forensic linguistics part really is very cool, and this was a solid show.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Paul Bettany as Ted

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