We finally got something meaty to sink our teeth into, but sadly, there's no tiramisu-sweet ending here.
Kyle's death definitely ended Finding Carter Season 2 Episode 11 on a sour note, but it wasn't the only "surprise" of the evening. Crash was (predictably) back, and we had to wrap up other story arcs before the mid-season finale.
The burning question is, of course, was Kyle's death really necessary? Elizabeth had already dumped him, and although he was being a bit of a jerk about it, he had accepted her decision. He had even put in for a transfer – despite the fact his son was about to start his senior year.
Kyle was moving on. Seems a bit excessive to kill the poor sod.
The only way his death can effectively contribute to moving a story forward is through Gabe. I can't see any attempt to have this overly affect Elizabeth (or her relationship with David) as ending well. Their marriage has just been happily resolved, and to up end it again would be a disservice to the fans and to storytelling.
Kyle's death will provide Gabe with some interesting room for growth in the back half of this season. Here's hoping he's not left alone in that Ikea-tastic house, or worse, the guidance counselor moves in! While I don't like stories resolved in just one episode, that was ridiculous, so please, leave it be.
If nothing else, I did appreciate how the storylines came together for Kyle's demise. While Crash's sudden reformation and acceptance by the senior Wilsons was about as crazy as his enlistment, his story was a dangling participle of the season. The plots converged naturally, and allowed Crash to continue to reveal how much boot camp has changed him.
Of course, Crash's return also meant we spent even more time rehashing Max and Carter's indiscretion. That was going to happen anyway, since Taylor needed a chance to work through her feelings. For once, her anger didn't feel petulant. This was something worth being pissed off about.
Watching Taylor process this devastating information felt so true. I was right there with her, in her shock, in her obsessing, in her vindictiveness, and in her remorse. And the way she arrived at her understanding and forgiveness was gratifying. It didn't just happen, she had to work through it, with intentional and unintentional guidance.
Max went beyond denying Taylor details of the hookup, and finally got to say what I've been shouting at the television for weeks now. He was right to not give her more to obsess over, and his explanation was a good example that loving somebody sometimes means telling hard truths and not just telling them what they want to hear.
Taylor, my best friend was really hurting and she and I did something that we used to do whenever life got messed up, okay? It's a leftover from a long time ago when everything was different for the both of us. But you gotta believe me, hurting you was the last thing I ever wanted to do.Max
Honestly, with so much happening, I'm even more frustrated that Finding Carter Season 2 Episode 10 accomplished so little. A lot of Taylor's progress could have started then, and more time tonight could have been spent on David and Elizabeth.
It's such a relief to finally have their relationship back on steady ground. In addition to their adorable lovey-dovey scenes, we witnessed the end of their extra-marital relationships. Although Kyle (as discussed above) eventually accepted the lay of the land, he was a jerk about it initially.
For all Kyle's whining that Elizabeth used him, he was fully aware of what was going on. You don't get to play chicken with a train and then be surprised when you get run over. And even if he had thought it was really true love on her part, asking her to move in before she's divorced was just tacky.
David's "breakup" on the other hand, was nothing short of hilarious. The fact that Hillary was angry and surprised was outrageous. Of the four adults, she always seemed the most aware that David and Elizabeth were going to get back together. And a phone call was a legit way to end what was really more of a flirtation than an actual relationship.
David: I texted back "Call me" and she texted back "O-M-G G-T-H."
Elizabeth: *confused look*
David: "Go to hell." I know. I wouldn't say it's so much of an age difference is the big problem, it's more like an entire cultural revolution.
Elizabeth: How did you even know what it was?
David: Looked it up.
What was lacking tonight (again) was Grant. There's never enough Grant. The fact that Grant still didn't know about his parents had me worried Kyle would leave and that Elizabeth would go back to him. And now I'm worried that she'll mourn him excessively and ruin her marriage again. Until Grant finds out, it won't seem real. Of course, he'll have to show up for more than five minutes for that to happen.
There's still quite a few plot lines to be resolved in next week's (now) mid-season finale. With last month's announcement of an additional twelve episodes ordered for the season, there will be some wiggle room to wrapping everything up. That's a good thing, because with the focus being on Lori's trial, I doubt we'll find out WTH is up with Damon or Bird's situation.
Watch Finding Carter online and get back to us in the comments with your thoughts. What storylines are left outstanding? Did you find the shaky camera work during the restaurant scenes as annoying as I did? What are your opinions on Crash 2.0?
Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.