Max is free, but not without a price!
By the end of In The Dark Season 2 Episode 9, not only was Max released from prison after Dean dropped the charges, but we caught up to four hours before Ben's death, and it's safe to say everything is infinitely more complicated than ever.
Is it too complicated, though? In some ways, probably.
The convoluted path leading up to Ben's death has been a ride, but looking back, some of it is off. For example, what happened to that dark turn Felix was taking?
For a while, it felt as though he was submitting to his baser instincts. Some of the flashforwards had a Felix who felt sullener and jaded. He was partly responsible for digging themselves deeper into the mess that they're in.
He was gung-ho about it back when Murphy was reluctant. He seemed to get a bit of a thrill from the journey they were on, and we needn't get into the surge of power he felt with the gun.
The Felix who was standing over Ben's lifeless body -- the Felix who potentially shot Ben, which is something alluded by the flash-forwards now doesn't match up with the Felix we saw four hours before Ben's death.
He's one of the characters they've gone back and forth with all season, so was the cold version of Felix we saw glimpses of a misdirect? Looking back now, it seems like that's the case.
At least Ben is consistent here. They waited too long to resolve their Ben issue, and it's evident it bit them in the ass.
The problem with paying off a blackmailing drug addict is it NEVER ends, so they can't get from beneath it.
Stay warm. Stay naked. Stay British.Murphy
Felix thought he was handling it, but at some point, it would've been easier to either rat Ben out to his sister and risk her knowing some of what they were doing or allowing Sam by way of Nia to deal with it.
Of course, it would've probably resulted in Ben's death, but we see how that works out for him. He's off the rails, and he's fallen into his addiction.
He probably wouldn't have fared well going to the police himself, so maybe Felix should've called Ben's bluff and been done with it. Now, Ben is there high out of his mind on heroin, and all of Nia's drugs are in the basement.
He'll either try to get to them or whoever raids the place will take him out in some way.
I hate Nia. I hate her, Felix, for forcing us to work with her, and I hate her for taking Jess away from us.Murphy
And then we have to talk about Murphy's plan. Wouldn't it have made more sense if she allowed the raid to happen? She wasn't behind it or responsible, so why not let the cops have their shot at taking down this queen pin at her warehouse full of drugs?
It's not as though Nia could turn on any of them. She's who they would want, and Murphy and everyone else working are incidental. Nia wasn't a rat last time, right?
Murphy attempting to strike a deal with Josiah only puts them at the mercy of a madman. No matter what Josiah says, do you really think he'll let them go about their merry way as though nothing happened?
He'll always have power over them. Josiah is just a new devil, and arguably a worse one, since the guy is ruthless, doesn't value his people the same way, and he's a creep.
As if it wasn't chilling and tense when we first saw him with Darnell and Trey, Murphy and Felix's encounter with him was disturbing in a whole other way.
Josiah made Murphy strip in front of him, a roomful of his men, and Felix, and it was sickening, degrading, and humiliating beyond words. He was so unfazed by sexually violating her in that manner, and even some of his men were rattled by it, especially Trey.
It was another one of those moments where the full-on darkness of this series catches you off guard. And I was never more endeared by Felix and Murphy's relationship than when he helped cover her, apologized profusely, and embraced her tightly when she got home.
Josiah: I want you to take off your clothes.
Murphy: See, no wire.
Josiah: All of your clothes.
Jess and Murphy's relationship has indeed undergone some trials, and it has taken a blow. But Felix and Murphy have gotten much closer since they've taken on much of the illicit activities together.
The circumstances are unpropitious, but their relationship/friendship has evolved and those glimmers of moments where the genuine love or care that the characters have for each other, are part of what keeps this series spinning.
Their mutual confession that this is something they feel as though they're good at (although, that's debatable), spoke volumes about both of them.
Murphy never felt as though she was good at anything, so while Felix was right in calling her out for liking all of this, her feelings made sense for what we know of her.
Felix: You did this because you like it. Ever since we started this whole thing, all you wanted was to get us out but look how far you dug us in!
Murphy: You're right. Maybe I do like it because I'm good at it, and I'm not good at a lot of things so. That's how I know I can get us out, and I am getting us out, but you don't have to be here, and you can ditch me like Jess did --
Felix: I'm not going to do that.
Murphy: Why not?
Felix: Because I'm pretty good at this too
And Felix isn't that far off either. He has often expressed how he has failed in aspects of his life or feels inadequate. It's so very them.
Without Jess, they've lost all rationale, and even now, part of them digging themselves into a bigger mess is a desperate attempt to get their friend back. But this plan, whatever it's supposed to be, is reckless and foolish.
It's also nonsensical from Nia's end. Is Guiding Hope the only place she can stash all of her drugs until she can relocate them elsewhere?
Sam has pointed out before that it's not secure. They think Darnell stole from them before as it is. It's a facility that often holds DOGS with their heightened senses.
The cops have been there often, and so has the IRS. Dean has been there multiple times. They don't have anyone sitting on the place or looking out for her, and Sterling did a terrible job of that when she was there.
It doesn't make much sense at all. Nia likes Murphy well enough, but she knows that they're still green. A couple of cameras placed in the basement won't do, and the door isn't something that's fortified.
Hell, the ease in which any of them have waltzed in and done whatever speaks volumes, and will they have multiple sitting on the location to make sure it's all safe?
You know, you're so polite. I thought you'd be very polite in the sex area too. It was a nice surprise. It was a very nice one.Murphy
We now know that four hours have passed before all hell breaks loose. But it's because Nia is infatuated with Murphy that it seems like Murphy could've let the law enforcement angle play out first and then took a second shot at Nia if it fell through later on.
And how long before Josh finds out Murphy's connection to all of this, including that she's the one who tipped Nia off? It's painful to think about since Josh clearly has real feelings for Murphy.
I'll admit, Josh going for platonic cute to demonstrably sexy in .0009 seconds was appealing, BUT it came out of nowhere. They have drawn the line in the sand that they're only friends ever since their initial misunderstanding.
Everything about them screamed platonic right up until Josh barged through the doorway and started making out with her. It was such a novel thing to have Murphy meet, befriend, and develop an entire relationship with a guy without it inevitably leading to sex.
The tonal whiplash of Josh deciding to make their relationship (and it happening after the Josiah thing) was jarring. And it's only serving as a contrivance because of Max's release.
We didn't need it. I feel awful for Josh. He's such a likable, genuinely decent guy, and Murphy used him. She likes him, of course, but it doesn't mean anything when he's a tool for her to employ and siphon information out of, and of course, Max is back.
Dean is once again exploiting Max and Murphy's love for each other for his gain. The ease with which Dean dropped the charges against Max only shows that Max didn't have to be in prison all this time in the first place.
Look, the way I treated her, Murphy, I gave some regrets in my life, but that one is up there. Believe it or not, the deal that I was trying to make with you on the elevator was for Murphy.Dean
His charges were that insignificant. But Max's love for Murphy may blind him. If Dean had to orchestrate getting Max out of jail to get through to Murphy, then it should tip Max off that Dean doesn't have a strong enough case to put Murphy away despite what he said.
If Dean doesn't have a case, and he can't leverage Murphy against Nia, then there's no real reason to work with him. Max has no reason to trust anything that Dean said while sitting in that booth. If Dean had a case against Murphy or enough to use her against Nia, he would've done it without Max.
And Max already knows that Dean has an ax to grind with Murphy. If Dean threw Max to the wolves, why wouldn't he do the same to her?
Max: Murp, it's me.
Murphy: Max? I mean, you're out.
Dean on Comms: Here we go.
Murphy: How did this happen?
But, you know, Max will do anything for Murphy. He'll especially do it since she got into this mess to save him. Dean may have finessed this situation to his advantage, and gosh, the thought of that is irksome.
The captain did kick him off the case, so he had moments where he faced some hell. He has failed to deliver Nia, and his boss is losing faith and patience in him.
Maybe if that keeps up, and Murphy and Max figure out a way to screw him over, his boss will stop covering for him and take him down once and for all.
It's absurd that he's gunning this hard for Nia, whom he chose to work for himself and Murphy. Where does his part in all of this come into play? Dean's cognitive dissonance remains astounding.
Due to the fact that your last check bounced, I have to insist that you pay today or we have to remove Chloe from the school.Principal
And things are catching up to him. Chloe is so put off by her father and all of his lying and shadiness. She doesn't know the truth, but Dean has eroded their relationship despite that.
Now, since he's no longer working for Nia, he can't afford her school, and after putting it off for months, the school kicked Chloe out. Your heart breaks for Chloe, but Dean is getting what he deserves.
It's only a matter of time before Chloe learns who her father really is. But it does feel as though it was one of those hours where the show attempted to make Dean more sympathetic than he is.
He keeps getting these moments and situations that are supposed to, I guess, add some levity and layers, but it's hard to care.
Dean, you promised me Nia. You weren't even the one who brought her in. The IRS did, and to be honest, I find it really hard to justify keeping you on.Captain
Dean sucks, and he's gotten worse this season, and it's hard to feel anything beyond contempt for this man. His plight as a single father doesn't make him sympathetic here.
So even if he's genuine in what he's proposing to Max, he's too far past the point of it mattering.
While Sterling and her and Jess's relationship isn't contemptible, it's built on lies and deception. It's past the point of mattering, too.
Jess falls too hard and fast, and it's disappointing that she can't get a grasp on this and work on it. She's hurting, and she's codependent, and she's incapable of being alone.
Jess: I haven't felt this good in, I don't know. Forever.
Sterling: Me too.
It makes her desperate, and it's harsh to say, but pathetic. It makes you sad. Jess wants to be loved. It's such a frustratingly, embarrassingly human impulse. It's like part of her knows this thing with Sterling is insane, but she's past the point of caring.
She's running away from her problems, and she can't do that forever. She can't hide behind Sterling either.
Jess proposing to Sterling when she still doesn't know the truth about her? It's shameful.
Over to you, In the Dark Fanatics. Should Murphy have let the drug bust happen without tipping off Nia? Are you surprised Murphy and Josh hooked up?
What are your thoughts on Max's release? Do you believe Dean? Hit the comments below.
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.