I am BEGGING In the Dark to find Jess.
It's been 84 years, for heaven's sake, and we have no legitimate leads, no information, and we're going in circles.
The carousel keeps on spinning onIn The Dark Season 3 Episode 10, with Murphy evading the cops with a startling level of finesse. The police and Josh (because I REFUSE to acknowledge him as anything else) make fools of themselves, and Jess is only a figment of Murphy's imagination.
One of the biggest complaints about the series shared by even its most devoted and faithful viewers is how it comes up with these absurd predicaments that spin out of control and that they keep recycling the same formula over and over again.
And we're at the point in the season when both critiques are front and center with neon signs so bright even Murphy could guess that they're there.
It feels like we've been sitting idle for some time now, and it's hard not to get antsy. And just when we're maybe heading somewhere again, we get another hiatus to drag out this season.
And this season already has a bizarre ability to feel as if we're simultaneously zipping through big shocks while slogging through muddy plot and filler.
They're biding time until we get some conclusion on the Jess mystery, which we probably will not find out until the season finale. But it's sadly reached a point where one only cares for the sake of getting a conclusion, but the emotional weight and investment are long gone.
The disappearance of Jess has broken off into this deep-dive into whatever happened to Jennifer Walker. At this rate, we can assume that's the connection -- and whoever is behind that does have Jess.
Otherwise, it would be banshee-shrieking levels of enraging if we've gone down all of these rabbit-holes only for it to be irrelevant. Even knowing about the Jennifer Walker angle, it's hard to care.
One finds the mind wandering when Murphy goes on her next mission of interrogating a family member or friend of Jennifer, and it's hard to retain all of this information.
And yet, my level of investment in Jennifer Walker and her fate only extends to how infuriating Gene, Sarah, and that f**king a**hole Josh, who I quite literally wish would play in mother f**king traffic, treat Jennifer's family.
They bumrush their way into the homes of Jennifer Walker's close ones looking for Murphy and not giving a solitary damn or showing an OUNCE of compassion for this distraught mother -- a mom who has been pleading for help finding her daughter for MONTHS.
Why are cops showing up at my door telling me you're involved with a murder case?!Mrs. Mason
But then that also has become a pattern when you consider that Josiah's wife is DEAD, execution-style, there's evidence of more people there, Josiah, her drug-dealing husband, has FLED THE COUNTRY. Nevertheless, the Millennial Mod Squad isn't looking into any of this because of their singular focus on Murphy Mason.
Or, of course, the fact that they know Jess is missing as well and potentially in danger, and there's not a care in the world of figuring that out.
Why is Murphy the only one looking into Jess' disappearance? Why haven't the authorities taken any interest?
The irony of Jess taking over the identity of another woman the police don't give a crap about finding isn't lost here. Ghost Jess continues to be a delight, though, taunting Murphy and reminding her of her plethora of issues. And hey, she gets kudos for pointing out that it was Max's idea to kidnap her and take her across the border.
For some reason, Felix caught all the flack for that among many viewers.
But at best, every time ghost Jess appears, you can muster impatience.
But the series of idiotic decisions are too much when the payoff isn't there to make them worthwhile. After everything Murphy went through during In the Dark Season 3 Episode 3, why is Murphy carrying around an uncharged phone?
It was a perfectly contrived way to bring Joy back into the picture so she could go all Karen on her daughter after the two argued to death over how awful Murphy is to everyone, a point that they've hammered home like hell this season.
Joy calling Josh was enough to have a person throwing the remote at the television. It's unfathomable that Joy believed relinquishing her daughter to a manhunt was the best call.
Given the nature of their strained relationship, it sucks that the first instance of trust Murphy extended to Joy, her mother was calling the authorities minutes later.
It's equally unfathomable that Murphy manages to evade the cops to the degree that she does. It sucks that she ropes other people into the ordeal.
However, in this case, Jared went from MVP to despicable when he immediately put moves on Murphy and expected sex in exchange for his help.
It's disturbing how often she encounters this -- how often we volley from Murphy sleeping with whomever to avoiding sexual assault by whomever.
If he gets in trouble for aiding and abetting a fugitive, then so be it. I hate that we've reached a point where even formerly likable characters are the worst.
Josh SUCKS. Every time he appears onscreen at this point, it's enough to elicit a banshee-shriek of fury. Why does a consultant take the lead so much during this case?
Josh takes the lead in interrogating people, pushing into houses, bending laws to get what he wants, and not knowing his place. Josh has been more of a liability than an asset. If he ever showed more restraint and finesse, they'd have gotten much further and wouldn't hit so many walls.
Murphy: Josh doesn't want to protect me, mom. He wants me to rot in prison for the rest of my life!
Joy: It's better than being dead!
If Josh were an actual cop, it would warrant an in-depth discussion about abusing authority, not showing an ounce of restraint, impartiality, or a real sense of upholding the law and the rights of offenders, and much more.
Josh's vendetta is the most insane thing on the show to date right now. You would think Murphy murdered his mother and killed his puppy. The fact that Josh's motivations are that of a scorned lover makes his entire involvement and his behavior creepy.
Can Josh, like, die? Rarely do I wish death upon a character, but at this point, let's go for it!
But he wasn't the only one guilty of a lack of professionalism during this hour. Gene's moment with Sarah was disconcerting at best. Even if she wasn't using her handcuffs between the sheets with Darnell, Gene just got the promotion of a lifetime and is running this unit.
She is his subordinate, and he made a pass at her in a closed-door office late at night after drinks. What in bloody hell is he thinking?!
If we call HR and Internal Affairs on the Mod Squad, can we buy Murphy more time?!
And, of course, Sarah is taking the cake with her involvement with Darnell, which essentially makes her Jules-lite. The cliffhanger with Sarah mosying to Darnell's apartment for a nightcap only to stumble upon the #1 fugitive in the state probably won't go in the way it should.
Sarah is compromised, and she knows it, so somehow, Murphy will get away again.
But it was still dumb as hell for Trey to open the door when he knew the cops were looking for him and Murphy. Why not check the peephole?
Did all of the good sense in Trey's head vanish because the blood ran to the other one? It's the only explanation.
Murphy and Trey feel like they're on the brink of becoming a legitimate couple of some kind. He has genuine feelings for her, and he keeps doing things to help.
His lead on Jennifer was a big step for Murphy, and of course, he was there to pick her up, take her somewhere safe, and almost offer her the comfort sex that she always seems to need.
It's more appealing and sensible than the Max and Lesley thing they keep cramming down our throats, which makes no sense at all.
Lesley at least had the good sense of questioning her judgment for a second when she acknowledged that she's let a man she barely knew move into her house within days of meeting him.
But the disconnect with assigning the same culpability to Max as she has to Felix and Murphy remains odd. Max is taking steps to distance himself from their actions, too, as if he wasn't there or deep in it.
It feels like Max is there in the same clothes to shack up with Lesley, act as if he's above it all, and get mad about Murphy.
And Felix, bless him, couldn't even stick to his guns with leaving Murphy. He called her incessantly, but the reality of what happens if the cops catch her was hitting him, too.
Lesley was of better use during this hour with her legal expertise and plan to reach out to Sam.
Truthfully, even if Felix didn't stupidly reach out to Sam himself instead of letting Lesley handle it, Sam wouldn't have cut a deal with them.
She hates the Guiding Hope gang, and she was loyal to Nia through and through.
They killed Nia. Nothing else matters to her. So as an angle, that's a bust.
Over to you, In the Dark Fanatics.
Are you getting impatient with the season? Will Sam change her mind? What are your predictions for when the show returns?
Hit the comments below!
You can watch In The Dark online here via TV Fanatic to hold you over until it returns with all-new episodes September. 22.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.