Where does the gang go from here?
Considering how much the season ratcheted up the drama and danger, In The Dark Season 2 Episode 13 was surprisingly understated save for a few surprising moments.
But it's still enough to leave us wondering what will happen to Murphy, Jess, Felix, and Max when the series returns. The moment they thought they were free of everything and could return to their lives, Josh, the wildcard, snuck up on them.
Wouldn't it have been a brilliant twist if sweet, lovable Josh worked for Josiah? Ohh, what if we found out that he played Murphy the whole time?
Instead, the series played Josh pretty straight. Assuming we keep Josh and Gene, we have two likable crime fighters pitted against the Guiding Hope gang.
But mostly, the hour served as Dean's swan song, and we spent most of the time focused on this complicated character, who we've come to loathe over the show's tenure.
I respect that the series wanted to give Dean a proper sendoff and continue to give him nuance until his last breath.
And Rich Sommer, let us take a moment to appreciate how fantastic he's been. Admittedly, I've spent so much time loathing Dean's guts, that I haven't commended Sommer for his excellent work on this series.
You're not any different from me. Why can't you understand that?Dean
He's so good, isn't he? He's so good at playing baddish.
Dean has maintained to his dying day that his love for Chloe is what led him down this slippery road of which he was never able to turn back.
And on some level, he's probably right or at least believes it, but it so often felt like two sides of himself were warring. He was a desperate father who wanted a better life for his daughter. But he also was this man with a deep-seated vendetta against Murphy that was rooted in misogynistic, abusive violence.
The way his focus shifted to Murphy even when she wanted nothing to do with him (or because of it) has sent him down a dark path that strayed from what he professed.
How could it be solely about Chloe when he spent most of his time gaslighting her, abandoning her, and not being anything like the father we knew him to be before?
His warped sense of vengeance toward Murphy, more than even Nia, superseded his devotion to Chloe. So for him to cling to that notion that everything that he was doing was for Chloe stopped ringing true a long time ago.
After his termination, he could have found another job and focused on his daughter, but he was insistent on breaking the rules and laws to continue on this path of taking down Nia, or was it Murphy?
Dean: Where is my daughter?
Murphy: I sent her to the Lindsmore because I knew you were setting us up.
Dean: I didn't want to do that. I didn't plan that until you told me you weren't letting go.
Murphy: What does that have to do with anything?
Dean: Because you were always coming after me. Murphy, I can't get caught!
He thought the drugs would give him an "in" with the police force again, but wasn't it too little too late by then?
And did you believe him when he said that he did plan on taking Josiah down instead and only changed his mind because of Murphy?
He has NEVER given Murphy a reason to trust him. Their entire relationship was built on a lie, and yet he spent more time affronted that she didn't want anything to do with him. He was upset that she didn't trust him.
After Murphy's first attempt to get Dean in trouble failed, she never bothered again. She knew he had more power than her, and she opted to avoid him at all costs.
She didn't have anything to use against him, so she never posed a real threat to Dean.
Dean decided that Murphy not wanting anything to do with him after he forced her to sit through a dinner with him and Chloe and lie, and that's not enough to justify wanting to pin everything on Murphy instead of taking down an actual kingpin like Josiah.
He was living his best life when it seemed as though dinner was going well, and he was thrilled about turning on music and having a drink. It was always about Murphy and the idealistic happy family that he has wanted.
Gene's arrival burst his bubble again, and it went downhill from there with Dean. He lost all common sense, though. Who has all of that heroin sitting in the back of their car in plain sight? It's ridiculous.
Murphy: Dean, if we don't get what's in your trunk to Josiah before midnight he's going to kill me. He's going to kill Jess. He's going to kill Felix, and he's going to kill Max. He's going to kill all of us.
Dean: Well, convince her quickly.
As screwed up as Dean was, your heart goes out to Chloe. She loved her father, and the man she knew in the last few months was not the same man she loved all those years of her life.
She got dragged into things she never should've been brought into. And in the end, she followed her gut and helped Murphy. She braved the bus again after her scare to reach Felix and the others, but even though it was the right thing to do, can you imagine the guilt she's going to feel now?
She'll feel somewhat responsible for Dean's death. It would've been worse if she was in the house when he killed himself. Maybe she would've been able to stop him, or maybe not, but that's still a traumatic experience she wouldn't have deserved.
With everything closing in on him, Dean chose to kill himself, and it's tragic.
Everything that I did I did for her. All of it. So that she would have a better life. And she's never going to speak to me again.Dean
It was selfish; he didn't want to face any of the consequences for his actions. He didn't want to live a life where his daughter would be angry at him. And he was fine leaving Murphy with a mess and one last effed up thing to remember him.
Nevertheless, you felt for the man when he wondered if Chloe knew that he loved her. His actions are debatable as are his motivations for them, but he loved his daughter, and he could only hope that she knew how much and that Murphy could relay that message.
I don't know if it's better or worse that we never got to see Murphy break the news to Chloe. With so many factors at play, she more than earned a moment onscreen to process what happened, but we didn't get to see that.
Will she feel guilty? Will she have regrets? Will she hate Murphy? Will she hate her father?
And what happens to her now?
But then, Ben is dead, Chelsea thinks he's missing, and nothing more came from that either.
And after the most awkward time spent with Felix, Jess, and Max, Darnell found out the truth about his sister. It's messed up that Sam told him, and what does all of this mean for Sam and Sterling?
The police should have Sam pinned for Vincent's murder, so was she calling him from jail, or is she out? And how soon before she's sending people after them?
I don't think you realize what happens when someone like Nia goes down. Sam is not the only one who's going to be coming after you.Darnell
And what about Sterling? Is she in jail too? I wish we had a little more follow up with those threads. The same can be said for Darnell.
He barely had a moment to process Nia's death and that Jess was responsible for killing her before he was resolute in fixing things and making sure there was no blowback on them.
It was his original plan to go to Josiah, so he's probably feeling so guilty. But it sounds as though he'll have to do something to keep others from moving in on Nia's territory and other things.
He warned them that with Nia dead, Sam isn't the only one who will be gunning for them. But what does that mean?
Who else is coming for them? And does that mean that Darnell will step into his sister's shoes to control and protect all of them? Every time he thinks he's gone and out of this life, he's pulled back into it.
The cycle and circumstances won't let him leave.
They could let Josiah take over, but that's doubtful and also scary. He's such a wild card. But he was pleased with the group getting him the drugs, and he was surprised that it was more than he expected.
Their reward was $40k, but understandably, they didn't want any parts of it. Now, they can use that money to bolt since Josh is onto them, and Gene is probably going to keep looking into where all those drugs went.
This is a lot more than I thought it would be. Tre, let's give them a little something. Forty thousand dollars.Josiah
He knew Murphy was lying to him, and he's not one to let things go. It's cool that he recognized some of where she was screwed over, and he concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to charge her with anything.
He let Murphy off the hook, but it doesn't mean he's letting up either. In this case, it would be a decent cop doing his job.
After everything they've gone through, Murphy decided to quit things with Max. And a lot of what she was getting at was the truth.
They've brought nothing but drama and danger into each other's lives since they met. Max apologized for making her choose during such a harrowing time, and he was willing to continue things with Murphy as long as she didn't tell him if she planned to see Josh too.
I know it's been an insane 24 hours for all of us. I just want to say I'm sorry that I tried to make you choose between me and that other guy at the worst possible time. I know I was gone so obviously you could do whatever. So if you still want to see him that's fine. Just don't tell me about it.Max
But, he loves Murphy. He LOVES her, and he doesn't deserve to be in an open-relationship he doesn't want. And Murphy probably figured as much too, since she let him go.
But then Max was so upset he threatened to not come back to her again, and while he's sympathetic, he's also throwing a temper tantrum here.
It's too hard to be around her when he loves her. That's OK, but his hurt came out in anger, and they're too interlinked to ever be apart from each other, so he should learn how to deal with a platonic relationship.
And Murphy saying everything she did was perfect until she implied that she was choosing Josh over Max.
Murphy: I don't know. I don't know.
Murphy: I just think that you and I might be over. You're no good for me. I'm no good for you. We bring out the worst in each other. I think maybe it's time we move on.
Max: After everything, you just want to end things? Is this about that other guy? I'm not coming back this time Murphy.
Murphy: Max. Max, where are you going?!
Max: I'm moving on. I'll see you around.
They're both decent guys. Ideally, she would be single and process the batsh!t crazy experiences she had before falling into any romantic relationship.
But then, Josh doesn't know her, and there's way too much deception in their relationship. And she realized that when it blew up in her face.
She knew he was investigating Nia, so the odds of him also recognizing Max, who was in prison because of his connection to Nia, were high.
She also knew that he worked with Dean, so the longer she carried on with this relationship AND used it to get information, the more likely it would catch up to her.
It didn't take Josh long to piece things together. She knew how passionate he was about crimefighting and the moral and ethical code that he possesses.
How didn't she see this coming? And it was reasonable that Josh assumed the worst. How can he believe that her feelings for him are real, given everything that happened and the convenience of it?
Hell, even some of us are trying to make sense of Murphy's feelings for Josh. The intensity of them has come out of nowhere. From his end, it's not looking pretty at all, and it appears that Murphy used him. He doesn't have any reason to believe otherwise.
And his feelings for her don't compromise his ethics, so he didn't hesitate in his attempt to turn her over.
Did you kill Nia Bailey? Because if you did, I won't let you get away with it. Now, where is my phone?!Josh
The group barely had a moment to rest, and now they're in the run.
Any guesses what they're doing next? They have some funds, and Murphy and Jess left Josh in the apartment while they took off. They mentioned calling Felix and Max.
Maybe they'll all go hide out in Felix's parents' cabin. It should be interesting for Max and Murphy. He didn't want anything to do with her, is he already out of town or will he be stuck with her?
What's he going to say when he finds out the man she left him for is who poses a risk to them now? And how many other people will be after them now that Nia is dead?
Will Gene be looking into them more too, or will he leave well enough alone since his captain is also shady?
It's an understated cliffhanger. We don't know what to expect next or what creative things they'll throw at us next season.
With Nia and Dean dead, it leaves a blank for nefarious characters who serve as antagonists. Will Sam and Josiah return next season? Is there going to be another new threat?
Will any of the things from this season catch up them, like Nia's murder or Ben's death? It's not a thrilling conclusion, but there's enough there to speculate.
Jess: How did we get here?
Felix: Stupid bag of money. Murphy didn't help things, of course.
Jess: Well, we can't really blame it all on her.
Felix: Well, we both will basically do anything for her, so you kinda can.
Over to you, In the Dark Fanatics. What did you think of the finale? Are you surprised by Dean's death? What do you expect to see next season?
Hit the comments below with all of your reactions and thoughts.
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.