No season 2 for FX’s ‘Lights Out’
Published: Monday, April 11, 2011
Updated: Monday, April 11, 2011 01:04
Despite both "Archer" and "Justified" recently being renewed for a next season, FX's newest drama series, "Lights Out," was cancelled. The season finale is also the series conclusion, with expectations all the higher for its fans. Although the episode tries to fill in too many plot developments, the final rematch between Patrick "Lights Out" Leary and "Death Row" Reynolds finally takes place, with a strong ending for the series.
The first half, unsurprisingly, is devoted to the tension expressed by the two boxers about to engage in the fight of their lives, and the reactions of those around them. Sadly, a lot of these moments fel tailor-made to be season two material. Thus, they end up feeling like introduced plot holes. It's a shame because the beginning Anti-Barry alliance meeting between the deluge of former boxers and the revelation that Leary's fight against Morales was fixed could have made things more interesting.
But not everything is implicitly unfulfilled. The verbal attack between the champions' wives is greatly executed. It begins with a friendly conversation between acquaintances, then seamlessly turns vicious once the husbands are brought up. And the notion of this match being a full-on "war" is promoted by Barry. The pep-talk between Patrick and his coaching father sets the mood nicely for the upcoming fight.
Considering what an uninteresting piece of melodrama the previous episode was, it would've benefitted to have the final fight take up the whole episode. But it was instead crammed into the second half. As far as thematic boxing fights go, it is admittedly tame and unevenly paced because of it. The suspense of the fight going from a sure win, from Reynolds to Lights, ends up just randomly happening for the sake of letting the titular character get the victory. It also doesn't help that there are implied (and some flat-out obvious) signs that this all-important match was plotted out just as the greedy big wigs wanted it to. So not only is the fight unsatisfying, but it also feels unfinished.
Overall, the series finale ends up being brought down by the sudden set-ups for new story arcs (that won't be delved into further) and the highly anticipated fight that turns out to be an uneven whimper. But what ultimately saves the final moments of "Lights Out" are the last few minutes, with Leary getting the first clear steps of pugilistic dementia thanks to damage from Reynolds. It is a dour yet powerful way to finish, with Lights ending up not remembering his victory, in an act of poetic justice for all the shady things he did to reach that point. Hardly the "knock-out" finish the show deserved, but certainly packed a memorable punch for this superb sports drama.