We have some Max closure.
Max's abrupt disappearance was one of the most talked-about moments of In the Dark Season 1, and fans wondered if he'd return.
Moments into In The Dark Season 2 Episode 2, he was right there like an avenging angel, and the rest of the hour had all sides coming for him and set Max and Murphy up for a more permanent goodbye.
Amidst all the madness, shadiness, and crime, the hour had some hard-hitting moments. But one of the things it did best was solidifying the real love story of the series.
For as much as folks loved Max and Murphy (and it was painful to see them part ways again), and as much as we love Felix's quirks and antics, the real love story of this series is between Murphy and Jess.
Their friendship is at the heart of this series, and it suited the hour having Murphy deal with both Max's sudden return and her falling out a bit with Jess. They are both relationships that she holds dear, but only one of them is sustainable and her constant during this difficult time.
After being roped into doing something of which she's not comfortable, it's no surprise that Murphy wanted to seek refuge in a Max bubble. She was upset with him for the lies and drama he left in his wake, for him abandoning her, but she loves him.
As long as they stayed in that hotel room together, the rest of the world fell away, and they could ignore that the police and Nia were after him.
Max: Hey, Murph.
Max was a dead man walking, so love or no, it was foolish of him to return because of his love for Murphy. He didn't have any real plan for how they could live their lives together. His plan went as far as being with her.
But life and reality were getting in the way of all of that. On the one side, Nia tasked Darnell with killing Max to work himself out of their arrangement.
On the other side, Dean and Gene (LOL) were hot on Max's trail. They hoped to utilize him to take Nia down.
Everything was closing in on Max, so he had no other choice but to leave town if he wanted to make it out alive and without being brought in by the cops. He foolishly didn't want to bail on Murphy again, though.
Murphy: I can't do this.
Max: Do what?
Murphy: This, whatever this is. After everything I've been through, I realize that I deserve to be happy.
Max: I can make you happy, Murph.
Murphy: No, Max, you can't. I deserve to not sleep in a different hotel bed every night. I deserve to be out in public with my boyfriend. I deserve to have a full life, and you're never going to be able to give that to me.
Max: I know. I know.
Murphy: I can't move on if you stay here, so you need to go now. I'm going to miss you, Max.
Jess was right about what Murphy needed to do. No other options existed for them. There was no other destiny for their love story than this. The tragedy was that they never got the chance to reach their full potential as a couple, but then, wasn't it always going to be that way?
Murphy fell into Dean's arms weeks after Max's departure. Up until now, it didn't seem as though Max was a thought for Murphy.
It felt as though Max showed up again, sat on his hands, and waited for the moment when Murphy could tell him goodbye. Their final goodbye was sweet and sorrowful. He knew she was right, and he vanished as randomly and abruptly as he appeared.
Nia assigned Darnell the task of killing Max, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. As much as Max's actions were a betrayal, he also understood Max's motivations and reasoning.
Max thought Darnell was behind Tyson's death. Murphy needed justice, and Max was willing to do whatever to give that to the woman he loves.
After finding the woman he loved dead, Darnell could relate more than Max knew. Their camaraderie was appealing, and it reminded you of how they did feel like actual friends despite everything that was happening around them.
But is anyone worried about what will come of Darnell? He wanted out of working with Nia, and killing Max was the only way to do it.
Darnell: Can I ask a favor? It's about Tyson. I heard it was a cop who killed him, and I think that same cop worked for you.
Nia: Yeah, I know. Dean Riley. He was working for me, but nobody offs one of my own without my permission.
Darnell: So you're going to take care of him?
Nia: I can't. He's back on the force now. Plus, I just had to handle his partner. And if he shows up dead too, I don't think they're going to buy another suicide.
He told her he took care of things, and she didn't double-check or confirm that he did unless it's something she'll do later.
What happens if she finds out Max isn't dead? She let Darnell go without much fanfare. It felt too easy.
It also feels like he'll be against Nia now. He had no idea that she was the one who killed Jules, and he could barely hide his reaction to the news.
Darnell is going to want some revenge. Now, would he be willing to work with the police to punish Nia?
He knows that Nia considers Dean a rat, and he's no longer working for her. He also knows that Dean killed Tyson. But will Darnell be the type to push that aside, work with Dean and the cops, and go after Nia?
Or will he by someone who does things on his own? Doesn't it seem as though Darnell may be on borrowed time? He's in an odd place. Whatever move he makes -- it could cost him his life.
Of course, this could be the best way to ingratiate him into the Guiding Hope Laundering scheme with Murphy, Felix, and Jess.
They don't know what the heck they're doing, and Darnell has some knowledge that would make him an asset. They proposed the idea of asking him before, but Nia specified that they weren't to speak of anyone outside of Sam.
Most of them can't hold water if you gave them a cup, though, so if it's going to get out, Darnell is the person.
They're not making any headway in figuring out how to hide the money that they're bringing in without raising any flags. They cannot keep going to the bank, and Joy already noticed the $100 grand discrepancy.
It was utterly heartbreaking when Felix fired Joy and Hank. Guiding Hope is their life, and they probably don't know what to do with themselves now. It destroyed them, and it made you want to reach through the screen and comfort Joy, who took it the hardest.
Felix's reasoning made sense, but his timing was suspect. He made many valid points that it was in all of their, Murphy's, and her parents' best interest that they no longer work at Guiding Hope, but he did it directly after Joy came to him inquiring about the discrepancy.
It's enough to make her radar go up. Joy's going to want to know what's going on and why they made these cuts. She's also going to be curious about the choice to hire newbies and this grooming business they're trying to kick off.
They tried to resolve a problem, but they're probably getting deeper into one without realizing it, but isn't that how it often plays out for this trio?
The introduction of Ben has me wondering how he ended up dead. We saw more of him, but there's not enough to figure out how he got involved. But based on that flashforward, maybe Felix killed him! He seemed much darker than the Felix we're used to, didn't he?
Ben is working at Guiding Hope, but he's not doing much. He doesn't say anything or has much to offer to the organization or the group. He's behaving as though he doesn't want to be there, but he also isn't showing much interest in the shenanigans the trio is trying to keep under wraps either.
I don't know how to not be with you.Max
We don't know anything about him outside of his sister scoring a job for him there. But could he also be a key to the group figuring out how to launder the money?
At the least, he could maybe stumble upon something. He's working there now, and he's bound to see things he shouldn't. His sister and Felix are probably going to end up dating based on all the book stuff.
Felix would be the person to accidentally but a book on the six-hour female orgasm, then read the whole thing, thinking that she was talking about that book.
Then, he found out she was talking about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants instead, only to have read that series already on his own. Felix is so predictable, isn't he? Right down to being a Lena fan.
Ben was there to see how rattled Jess was when Dean showed up, and she told him not to let him back on the premises.
Dean is shameless, and it's disgusting. He wasted no time jumping into this investigation and searching for Murphy. It's gross how he doesn't mind harassing Murphy the second he gets a chance instead of leaving her alone and giving her space.
Dean isn't even the best detective, that honor goes to the newbie Gene. We've only had Gene for an episode and a quarter, and he's already lovable.
Matt Murray has a way of delivering lines that makes you chuckle. He reminds me a bit of Aldis Hodge's Alec Hardison on Leverage. And if you're a fan of that show, there is some exciting Leverage news!
Gene: It looks like whoever used that locker last must have really pissed Nia off.
Gene: I didn't even know they still sent messages like that. I thought that was only in movies. That's nasty.
Dean: It was a dead end.
Gene: More like a dead rat.
How did Gene go from being a beat cop to a detective put on the case as Dean's new partner?
Dean was livid about getting a new partner, but he's an idiot for thinking after everything he did, he would be allowed to take point and work on this case alone.
Gene is the right person for the job, too. He's diligent and quick on his feet. He doesn't mind putting in the work, and he came prepared.
He's inclined to figure out more than Dean can piece together and quicker too. But he's also likely to piece together Dean's role in all of this.
At some point, he has to cross paths with Murphy, and he'll know that they probably had a connection to Nia and planned on doing something when they brought in the bag of "litter."
I know I don't have the beard or the stupid abs, but you got me.Jess
Gene is good police, and he'll figure Dean out. I like him a lot. But people Dean works with end up dead, so hopefully, Gene will escape that same fate.
Over to you, In the Dark Fanatics. Did you like Max's return? Did Felix kill Ben? Will Darnell go after Nia?
Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts and theories.
You can watch In The Dark online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.