It’s time for the final round of Panic and everyone is on edge. We all know that shit is about to get intense because how can you bring down the game and make it all end, when it seems like it’s meant to go on forever.
It’s time for the end of this years game of Panic and that’s making everyone second guess everything. Well, Natalie, Heather, and Bishop that is.
In the final game, it is called the Joust. Two contenders drive towards each other down a half mile stretch of road in a game of chicken. I mean, it’s not something I would do – not even for $50,000 – but I don’t live in Carp.
It’s amazing how all of the moments have come together in order to move forward. But forward doesn’t always make things easy. Forward doesn’t always make sense.
LET’S GET EXPOSED
Sheriff Cortez is finally exposed for the piece of shit that he is and everyone is catching on to everything that he does. His wife has had enough. His mistress has had enough. The kids have had enough.
Melanie goes to Dodges Mom, Jessica, and asks how far she would go for her child. For Melanie, she’s been quiet, but she is at her end. And like I am not shocked about that. This man drove her son away. He drove him to suicide. He made them go into deep debt. The man is lucky she hasn’t tossed his ass out on the streets.
Langley and Captain Williams are on to him too. Langley has investigated him and knows that he is deep in debt. He’s manipulating the game in order to win money to pay off his debts.
Cortez has issues. I get it. We all do. But the lengths that he’s going to in order to fix the game are insane. They are out of this world insane. He’s got to have his day of reckoning.
SHE SEE’S YOU
Anne is back and she’s pretty pissed. I mean, I would be too if my tiger escaped. When Heather heads home and Anne wants explanations, Heather is limited with what she can tell her. She knows that Anne deserves them, but all she knows is that Lily thought she was helping her.
Anne is a kind soul, a forgiving soul, and she’s looking out for Heather. She’s a lot better than I would be. I would wanna kick someones ass for the trouble that it caused.
The Sheriff is coming over the next day and walking the fence line so Anne can explain how the tiger got loose. Heather is thankful for Anne, but hates the Sheriff. When he shows up the next day Heather knows how to lie to him.
The Sheriff is intimidated by Heather for some reason and I am all for it. For all of the people that thought Heather was weak they will learn really quickly that she is not. Heather is able to defeat Dodge, we all know that. We all know that Heather is determined to keep people safe.
And that may be the brightest and best thing, but also the worst thing.
DODGE AND RAY
Ray and Dodge are unlikely allies, but they need each other in order to make it through. Dodge has a plan, but Ray does too. Ray goes to talk to Dodge and wants to clear the air. But Dodge is all like no right now.
The meet at the boatyard. I mean I have seen enough movies in my life to know never to go to a dock or near water. But Dodge agrees.
Ray’s mind is all about his brother. He knows that Luke took a beating and feels like it was because of him. He wants Dodge to understand, but he also wants to take revenge for his brother.
And if we’re being honest – I can see both sides. But these two need to work together to get rid of Cortez. However, Ray says no to Dodge’s idea. He wants to drive Ray’s truck, as Cortez will be driving Dodge’s car.
Ray isn’t about to let anyone fuck up his truck and I don’t blame him. He just got that shit fixed and they kinda live in a town where you need a car. But Ray is also smart enough to realize that Cortez is going to pull out every trick in order to win. It doesn’t matter what happens.
They hear a noise and they think it is Cortez, but I thought it was the tiger. They agree to split up and the next thing you know – someone knocks Dodge out. I was like shit, when did Cortez get this good?
Natalie meanwhile has called Heather and told her that Cortez will be driving in joust. Natalie seems shocked, but I don’t trust her, so who knows. Heather tells Natalie to call her Dad and tell him anything, because it has to end.
Panic may only be 10 episodes, but throughout these 10 episodes, no character has grown like Heather has. Olivia Welch has shown that she can play vulnerability, strength, anger, sadness… whatever it takes. It’s been amazing to watch Heather grow, but it’s also a shame that most of the characters haven’t had the development that Heather did.
WHO HIT DODGE?
Ray has always been an underdog, but he’s smarter than we all give him credit for. His loyalty to his family, to his brother, is what is important to him. And that means that Cortez has to pay for what he did.
So Ray knocked Dodge out and took him out on his boat so that they would both miss the joust. He’s moved the bomb that Dodge had put on his truck to Dodge’s car and is making sure that Dodge doesn’t get hurt. He’s making sure that Cortez pays.
Now, I get why Dodge is pissed. I do. But I do love that Ray saved Dodge from doing something stupid.
With Ray missing and everyone waiting for him at joust, Heather decides to take matters into her own hands to stop what is happening. She heads to Ray’s and switches out Anne’s truck for his. She’s going to put a stop to what Cortez is doing.
Natalie tries to stop joust, texting Bishop. And he tries to stop joust, but everyone holds him back. Natalie tells him that it is Heather in the car and that there is a bomb on Dodge’s car.
Look, I admire Heather, but I don’t think that I could do this. And as joust starts, she’s fearless. I honestly thought that they were going to hit each other, but then all of the sudden, the tiger shows up in the middle of the road. Heather slams on the brakes but Cortez swerves and the car rolls into a ditch.
Cortez manages to get out of the car and sees the bomb underneath. But Heather, gets out of the truck and the tiger approaches her. She remains calm and I am wondering how it is that the tiger hasn’t started attacking everyone. But as he gets closer to Heather, I am freaking out just a little bit more.
But when the bomb goes off, the tiger runs and Bishop runs to Heather.
IT’S OVER NOW
Heather has been the Panic player that has come up against the most, even when she’s been out. She technically won and I am happy for her.
Everyone is making sure she’s okay, but in the same breathe, realizing that everything has changed. Dodge is looking at his car, wrecked. I wonder if it was his Dads car and he’s now got to let go of it. Ray is smiling at Heather, but keeping his distance.
The Sheriff is crawling through the woods and Melanie finds him and shoots him in the chest. The tiger finds the Sheriff, and I am thinking that Melanie has nothing to worry about – the tiger has dinner.
Panic has been a wild ride, but the way that it has changed everyone in this town will be felt for a long time. Maybe there will be justice, but maybe what there will be is another go round. We don’t know. Because the game has become so much bigger than these kids.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Fear is not courage, Heather says, it is believing. And if anything, the kids have learned to believe in a lot.
Bishop prepares to leave town, and things with Heather, Natalie, and him are as it should be. They make all of the usual promises. To stay in touch, to call, to be there for each other. And I am rooting for them all. I truly hope that their friendship doesn’t change, but grows stronger – because these three have been through a lot.
Luke is showing signs of improvement. His eyes are moving and he manages to give Ray the finger. Gotta admire that commitment to being a smart ass no matter what.
Dodge reaches out to Natalie to talk. He’s thankful to her for what she’s done for his family. He’s going to leave town for awhile. He’s never thought about what happens next, but he’s just gotta clear his mind. I think it is best for Dodge. And honestly, Natalie has to find herself.
Natalie tells Heather that she has a present for her and to check her email. That gift? Rays video from the bridge. He admits to having strong feelings for Heather, but really feeling like dead weight and as if he’s not good enough for her. It’s kinda really heartbreaking to watch.
And that’s not the only gift that she gets that night. She gets a text that the judges have decided that she won Panic. Heather has the money for her way out.
But what she does is meet Ray by the river and tells him that she saw his video. They both admit that they are scared. Ray’s never wanted to want things, in my opinion, because his whole life he’s been torn down. But what the beauty of life is – we can all move forward. Heather and him are good for each other.
And I know what you are thinking – what about Bishop? Well, I personally think that they are better off as friends. But Ray makes Heather come alive and that’s not a bad thing. Life is just beginning.
It doesn’t have to be forever right now.
And as Panic ends, we hear more narration from Heather. No one knows who started Panic, and no one knows how to end it. Looks like Amazon was setting up for a possible Season 2.