Average Joe doesn’t care much about my well-being now, does it?
I kid, but also not really because the closing minutes of Average Joe Season 1 Episode 10 were jaw-dropping and would have had me clutching my pearls if I owned any.
In a day and age where so many are afraid to take risks when closing out a season, that was far from the case here, as we were left on many a cliffhanger and a deep sorrow when those end credits came rolling around.
Average Joe Season 1 has been building up to the showdown between Nicolai and Joe, as Nicolai finally came face to face with the man who killed his son.
Naturally, Joe was tied up, and Nicolai could get his shots in, but outside of that, the scene did not play out the way I thought it would.
There was much conversation between the two men, each lamenting their own fathers, and Nicolai even delving into his traumatic childhood. And the two were able to understand each other on some fundamental level before they reoriented themselves to the circumstances at play.
Considering this whole show hinged on Teddy ripping Nicolai off, there’s still so much we don’t know about him, but what we do know has never been great.
He wasn’t a seemingly supportive parent who championed his son or made him feel appreciated and valued. Teddy took a more distant approach to mold Joe into the man he thought he needed to be to contend with the big evil world.
It’s a rather cruel form of parenting because it leaves the child constantly feeling as if they did something wrong and were why their parent decided to keep them at arm’s length.
In adulthood, Joe can recognize what Teddy did, but in no way should he understand it. Joe may have been prepared and better equipped for what’s happening to him, but at what cost?
Nicolai was indeed a psychopath through and through, without a lick of remorse for anything he’d done in his life. I’m not even sure his quest to find Dimitri’s killer wasn’t more than him feeling unmoored because his death was out of his control.
Nicolai never mourned his son and even went so far as to kill someone who did.
If there’s one thing Nicolai won’t stand for, it’s ineptitude, and he probably felt a little of that on himself when his decision to send Dimitri into grown-up business ended up with his death.
Another shock in how this all ended up was Joe being the one to kill Nicolai outright before any of the others came inside to help him out.
Just what were they doing outside? Peeking through the window while Joe was fighting for his life?
Arina FINALLY came around to the winning team after Jennifer said what we’ve all been thinking; why in the hell was she letting that diabolical man run her life? Arina was too dangerous and smart to allow that man to manipulate her any longer.
You have to choose. Are you gonna keep being a killer, working for that monster? Or. Or are you the mother who doesn’t bow down to the man who took your daughter away from you? When you look at your little girl, what do you want her to see in you?
There were some classic Average Joe moments during this hour, namely involving Leon and Arina, that made me wish we’d seen more of them throughout the season.
Leon: So, um, thanks for your help back there. I do hope you see your daughter soon.
Arina: Thank you.
Leon: And if you ever need anything from me, seriously, please don’t ask. Really hope we never see each other again. You’re just really bad news.
But alas, the big team-up was shortlived but necessary, and it was poetic that all the people Nicolai had wronged recently and in the past got to be there when he was dumped unceremoniously into the lake with nary a word spoken.
Once Nicolai died so early into the episode, I wondered what that could mean because that really was the resolution to the season-long story. With Nicolai dead, what else is there?
Wrapping up Arina and Talford’s stories was nice, and I fully expected them to give everyone a happy ending because it’s been a rough season, and they all deserved that win.
But Average Joe has prided itself on being a twist-filled adventure from the jump that doesn’t hold back any punches, and wrapping everything up neatly would have gone against everything it stands for. So, instead of heartfelt conversations, happy tears, and the crew sharing a laugh around the Washington living room, we got absolute DISASTER.
Let’s start with Cathy and Leon, who finally reunited after Cathy went off to find the buried treasure during Average Joe Season 1 Episode 7.
Cathy’s presence has been significantly missed, and the only reason to take her away from the main action would be to set up another storyline, which ended up being this drug story.
I assumed Cathy must have found a lot of heroin, and that theory was pretty much proven, although just how much heroin is apparently the secret of the century.
Cathy went headfirst into the drug business without really thinking it through too much, and luckily Leon was back to be there when Cathy met back up with Bobby, who had shady written all over him.
And shady doesn’t even begin to cover it because why was that cop pulling a gun on Cathy? That does not seem like proper protocol. And where was his backup? There was a lot of shady activity going on during that whole exchange.
Once Bobby started shooting out any which way, Cathy should have been safe, but no! That shot to the back looked horrifying, as did all the blood rushing out.
They were out in the middle of nowhere, and Leon went to kill Bobby before he even considered getting Cathy into the car and getting her some help. So, how does she survive this?
I want to see a path forward here (please help me see it!), but I’m not right now, especially considering how we left Cathy and Leon. Their story has come full circle from where we met them in Average Joe Season 1 Episode 1.
They re-established their bond and reaffirmed their love. As soon as Cathy spoke those three little words to Leon, I should have known she wasn’t long for this world.
Touch has been on a rollercoaster ride for a long while, and getting clean over the past few days made him stop hiding behind his guilt and confront it head-on by stepping up to speak to Donna instead of hiding behind money he’d leave for her.
But things went spectacularly askew when he talked to Tess’s mother, who had every right to read him for filth, even if it was tough to hear.
Touch’s behavior was abhorrent, and no one knows that more than him, as he’s been punishing himself for years. He’s tried to do something to make it better, in his own way, but he would never be able to make up for what happened, and Margaret let him know that.
Both Tess and Donna were now gone, and Touch’s actions directly impacted those outcomes. No amount of money changes that.
Margaret’s anger was justified, but pointing Touch toward a gun was uncomfortable to hear, as was watching him struggle with whether or not he was going to follow through with her wishes.
Seeing the gunshot through the window was a truly devastating moment on so many levels, and the lack of resolution feels cruel, though it’s in line with the series we’ve come to admire for its brashness and refusal to play by any set of predetermined rules of what a drama should be.
Perhaps Touch followed through, or perhaps he shot the wall in frustration. We’ll need that Season 2 expeditiously so we can find out.
We also need to find out who was at Joe’s door when the episode closed!
If you’ve been paying attention, you know all signs pointed to Angela leaving Joe as soon as everything was settled because she no longer felt like her marriage was being treated as a partnership. And she reached her breaking point when Joe put Jennifer in danger.
Angela is a mother first, and leaving Joe, while surely it was difficult, felt like the only option when she’d been so thoroughly ignored throughout so much of their ordeal. She loved Joe, but she needed a damn break.
And coming off a kidnapping and seeing people die right in front of her face, Jennifer also needed a breather.
As I stated after Average Joe Season 1 Episode 9, I could understand why Angela would choose to walk away from Joe because this Joe was not the man she married, and this was not the life she wanted.
Sure, Nicolai is dead now, and life can move on, but you can’t just compartmentalize all the trauma you JUST went through and pretend things can return to normal. There’s no pizza and wine and a toast to a job well done that can undo all that damage.
There’s deep-rooted pain and sorrow, and Angela and Jennifer are well within their right to digest what happened and return on their own terms if they choose to. And on their own time.
Extra, Average Facts
- Cathy is an actress! And performer! She played those cops so well they didn’t know what to do besides send her on her merry way.
- Are Talford and Touch (assuming he’s still alive) still cops? Like, what is happening with their jobs now?
- I sincerely hope Arina took her little girl back to Atlanta and they’re living peacefully somewhere. But selfishly, I need her and Leon to team up again…for science.
- Major props to all the actors for this first season! Everyone played their part well, and the chemistry between the characters made this season what it was.
Well, that’s a wrap on Average Joe…for now! No word yet on if the series will be back for another round, but it would be such a pity if we never get the resolution for that heartbreaking cliffhanger!
Jump into the comments and let me know what you enjoyed about the finale and the season at large.
I had a lot of fun covering this series, and hopefully, with some word of mouth, more people will find this little gem because, in an oversaturated field of television, it’s a series worth checking out.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.