Day 10 actually opens in the middle of Day 9, but who cares because this is it, the last episode, for sure, ever, in which all (or most, or, like, some) dangling plot threads will be resolved. Let’s get to it.
Bilson takes Jane for a long drive, ostensibly to calm her down before being taken in for child abduction. Jane starts rambling, as if in a disassociated state, narrating her life story, sort of, complete with flashbacks to her fling with Tom, her meeting with Pete, to Lake as an infant, and to her own childhood. She admits she was a lying liar who lies, and says Lake is the only thing that matters.
Bilson is acting pretty weird herself – she recites a psalm about the Valley of Death, she has her own flashbacks. One implies she killed Quinn shortly after Jane visited him that time at his bar, or maybe she made him kill himself? Another shows Bilson, spattered in blood after killing Casey and her bro-in-law, hand off an unconscious, chloroformed Lake to some white guy we haven’t seen before, the guy who drove Lake to the cabin. After the hand-off, Bilson goes home to wash away the blood, and is addressed as ‘Red” by her unsuspecting, nice-seeming, MS-stricken wife. Confirming what we would not have guessed, because it’s stupid: that the big bad guy in this story is so-named because of the brand of cigarettes she occasionally smokes. And we learn that when she did these bad things she was working for Police Gomez.
At Casa Jane, Pete, Tom, Ali, and Lake are being cheerily domestic, playing board games, grilling burgers and corn. Pete is still hella angry at Jane, and wants to take Lake home after dinner. Ali sees Tom being playful and affectionate with Lake, and feels a pang of I have no idea what – jealousy, regret, anger, love, annoyance? She calls Bird and asks what’s happening since Bilson took Jane, why is it taking so long to sort things out? Bird suddenly remembers that Bilson transferred over from narcotics when she came to his department, asks Buddy to track Bilson’s car, and goes off in pursuit of it.
Tom apologizes to Ali about trying to use the story of Lake’s kidnapping to further his career, then picks up from the mail a package addressed to Jane, and opens it. It’s a cassette tape wrapped in a note that reads, “Jane. You wanted the truth. Gus.” Tom still wants a scoop, so he listens to the tape in Jane’s writing shed.
Still on that long drive, Jane mentions to Bilson that Lake recognized someone at the police station. Bilson stops at a gas station and tries to call Gomez, but can’t reach him. Jane spots a pack of Red brand cigarettes in the car, puts two and nothing together, and snaps out of her fugue state. She pretends to Bilson that Lake was probably lying, and didn’t see anybody, but it’s too late. Bilson drives out to a remote cliff-top spot that overlooks the ocean, and they get out of the car. Bilson confesses that she’s Red, and she took Lake. She pushes and shoves Jane until Jane punches her and draws blood. Bilson is about to shoot and kill Jane, and say it was self-defence, but Jane throws a handful of sand at her, takes a crazy dive down the hillside, hits her head hard on a rock, and passes out. Only to flash back while unconscious to when one of her mother’s boyfriends tried to drown her, another molested and possibly raped her, and her hateful mother refused to believe that these things happened. God, I hate the child-abuse-explains-all trope. Especially when it’s supposed to explain that because Jane was falsely accused of lying as a child, she became a liar/storyteller/seeker of truth as an adult. And therefore, it’s her fault Lake was taken?
Bird drives up and sees Bilson alone on the clifftop. He emerges from the car with his gun out, and roughs up Bilson until she confesses that she killed Casita Victim #1 (real name Rosa Garcia) on Gomez’s instruction. She and Quinn had been raiding and robbing drug dealers and gangs – nicely, without killing anyone – just trying to make a little mad money on the side, as one does. When Gomez found out about this lick crew, he blackmailed her into being his hit man. Rosa Garcia was killed because after she was paid to falsely testify against Medina, she wanted more money. And Casey and her bro-in-law were killed because … I’m not sure, actually. Maybe because Gomez wanted to pin the kidnapping on Gus as a way to avoid the truth coming out about Garcia.
Bilson offers to kill herself and swears she will never testify against Gomez, for fear of what he will do to her wife. Bird says too bad, cuffs her and throws her in his car. Then he looks down the hill and sees Jane’s crumpled body lying below. He runs down and fireman-lifts her up to safety.
Back at Casa Jane, Ali & Tom fight over the tape. Tom sees it as his ticket to a career-making story about police corruption. Ali says that to write the story would be to exploit Lake, who has been through too much already. If he writes it and has it published, Ali says they’re done.
Bird and Jane are at the hospital tending to Jane’s head gash. Ali comes in and gives Jane the tape (so Tom is not going to write the story?), which was recorded by Quinn (when was it recorded, how did Gus get it, and did Quinn kill himself, or did Bilson kill him? We’ll never know.) Jane thinks they can use the tape to incriminate Police Gomez but Bird knows Bilson won’t talk, and Quinn’s taped confession won’t be credible. He has another plan.
At home, Pete tells Ali he is too taking Lake home, and he’s going to sue for full custody. Ali blurts out that he is not Lake’s father, Tom is. Pete is devastated but insists Lake is his kid because he raised her. Ali makes a deal with him: she’ll never tell Tom he is Lake’s biological father if Pete sues only for joint custody, and allows Lake to stay at Jane’s tonight.
Jane knocks on Police Gomez’s door and is taken aback when a child answers. Turns out Police Gomez has three kids, and is a widower. Nevertheless, Jane and he hiss at each other. Bird walks up playing Quinn’s tape. Bird offers Gomez a deal to turn himself in, solo, and save his brother’s political career. He refuses until AG Gomez appears and urges Police Gomez to take the fall so they both don’t. Also so all the cases that AG Gomez prosecuted won’t be invalidated and the criminals freed.
Bird summons some uniformed cops who’ve been waiting in the bushes and they cuff and arrest Gomez. He tells Bird he will come for him when he least expects it, and promises to rain hell on Jane. Were these threats in aid of a possible season 2 of the show, I wonder? So much for that idea.
Would you believe the episode isn’t over yet? Ali is at Jane’s, reading to Lake, who wants her mama. A news alert pops up on Ali’s phone that Tom’s story about police corruption has been published (so he did write it). Ali sighs and tells Lake that this is good news for Tom. But are Ali and Tom still breaking up? Don’t know. Ali asks Lake if she wants to know a secret, and why on earth would she, but sure. Ali is pregnant! And no one knows except Ali and Lake. How will this affect Tom and Ali’s relationship? We’ll never know that either.
Still more: It’s finally Day 10. Matt is on set, wearing a fetching combo of scarf, shirt, and denim (I know) jacket in a symphony of blues. He convinces a reluctant Dominic to come out of his trailer and shoot his death scene. Bird and Jane watch the scene from afar. Bird has notes to give on how realistic it was, but Jane doesn’t care. They make a date to have Bird’s Memphis ribs sometime soon. Bird says Jane is like a song.
And STILL more: Jane and Lake are at the beach. Jane says she picked the name Lake because she loves water. Lake is a little afraid of water. Jane says water is good because, “It’s big, it’s deep, it’s everything – like you are, to me.” Yeah, I don’t get it either.
That’s a wrap on this crazy show that started out strong, as a suspense thriller about a TV showrunner, and devolved into a melodramatic cop show. It was entertaining to watch and scoff at, though, and fun to recap. And I loved the gorgeous and various shots of L.A., taken from the hills above. I will be forever disappointed that the (Chekhov’s) candy so prominently displayed on Police Gomez’s desk on several occasions did not pay off, either in the show’s climax or finale, but I console myself with the thought that those Rockets/Smarties would have recurred for sure, if there had been a season 2.
Kim Moritsugu is a Toronto novelist and sometime TV show recapper. Her most recent book is a suburban comedy of manners, The Oakdale Dinner Club. Coming in June 2018: The Showrunner, a darkly humourous, suspenseful Hollywood-noir novel about female ambition inside the TV biz. Here is its book trailer: