When someone calls his or her season one finale episode “Pandora’s Box,” one might picture a feverous explosion in every sense of the term. King & Maxwell’s explosion was more of an hour-long slow release of information that all wrapped up until the very last confusing minute. Every finale has a cliffhanger, and this one was rather confusing.
As expected, Sean went a little crazy trying to wrap up his case behind the Ritter assassination that happened eight years ago. (This morsel of information lets us know that Sean was also out of the Secret Service for eight years and has been doing private investigation ever since). The main reason that Sean was investigating this assassination was because he was blinded while he was standing guard, which allowed the man to fatally shoot Clyde Ritter. Believed to be a random assassination, the case was dismissed. Although it seemed believable, Edgar, Michelle and Sean’s technical right hand man, went on to find that Sean was set up. He was purposely blinded that day and Bob Scott, another member of the Secret Service, was purposely distracted in his earpiece. Skip about 45 minutes and we’re at the point where Bob Scott was behind all of this. Throw in some brainwashing drug that almost everyone involved had in them and you get this planned assassination that has kept Sean up at night and gets him shot in the shoulder by the end of the episode.
All ends, and Brady Ritter, Clyde Ritter’s son who is now running for Senate, reveals to Sean that he was the one that gave the killer the E-pin that allowed him to enter his father’s speech. Just a kid, Brady thought that Bob Scott was going to just run some plan to rob his father, not kill him. That’s all the information that we get. Brady is trying to make up for what he did by running for Senate and making his father’s mission come true. Sean’s case reaches a dead end and it will most likely carry us through much of the series. It will be slow developing. Think Beckett’s Mom’s case in Castle or Brennan’s Mom’s case in Bones. Or her brother’s case. Or Rizzoli’s kidnapping case in Rizzoli & Isles. Are you catching my predictable drift here?
Michelle, on the other hand, is interviewing to rejoin the Secret Service. After having a talk with Sean, Michelle explains that she was on a one-line path. She had worked all her life to be part of the Secret Service and that’s what she wanted. Sean had his career with the service. She had a shorter time and was pushed away too soon. However, while she is waiting for her interview, she gets news that Sean is probably in trouble. While on the phone with Edgar trying to find connections, Michelle leaves her interview to find out if Joan, the head of the Brady Ritter Secret Service protection gang, is behind this all. Turns out she’s not, but she looked very suspicious up until the end of the episode. By the end of “Pandora’s Box,” Michelle gets a voicemail at Sean’s boathouse that she is excused for skipping her interview and she can rejoin the Secret Service because of her efforts in the Brady Ritter event. However, even though Sean says he’s going to miss her, Michelle decides that she can’t leave him. Earlier in the episode Sean said to Michelle that she’s the only one he can trust. Apparently that left a mark on her. Michelle is staying.
These two cases wrapped up and leaving an uneventful, and not very memorable, season finale. But, in the last minute of the episode, Sean gets a phone call from a random man wearing a very symbolic ring saying that sometimes politicians need to be brought to heel and that Sean’s partner should know better than anyone about that. This one sentence brings Michelle directly into this mess with the Ritter assassination. Instead of Sean just being one of the targets, Michelle is too and Sean is not happy with that.
With this all happening, the relationship between Michelle and Sean is also a subplot that needs to be going a little faster than it is. If anyone else was watching the episode, they know that the ending, where the two of them are talking about their partnership, was frustrating. As a fan, I was happy to see something involving these two and an almost kiss. However, this is going slow. Even though it is just season one, this show needs to speed this relationship up a bit. It’s 2013. We’re done with the push and pull that procedural dramas are having. This type relationship is all over television. It’s been done before. This show needs to step up its game and make itself memorable for this relationship. The cop aspect of the show has been stretched to no end. Every network has a cop drama. However, not every network has a King and a Maxwell. Their chemistry is what connects the show together. Ending on a simple flirtatious moment should have been done on an episode in the middle of the season. We needed a cliffhanger that would make us falling off the edge of our seats. We needed something to make us scream at the TV and yearn for more. This little tidbit of information about Michelle being involved with the assassination was not enough. And the “almost kiss” between King and Maxwell was certainty not enough development between these too. Michelle should have gotten that close to Sean in an earlier episode. She should have been having a serious discussion with him earlier in the season where she brings the tension that she did tonight. Then, the finale should have had something drastic happen. This finale did not.
With this said, season one of King & Maxwell was fun. We slowly learned about these characters with enough time learn to love them. The chemistry between these two leads was clear from the beginning, which allowed us to dive right into the story with them. There was no warming up period where they needed to learn about each other. It’s the strongest aspect of the series, but it is also what needed to be highlighted more in tonight’s season finale episode.