NBC’s The Player cashed out on Thursday night, wrapping its truncated nine-episode run with an hour that left the House down a man, while adding a new twist to the Ginny mystery.
The final episode of the one-half-and-done action-drama largely followed two stories: Alex’s search for Fuller, a former U.S. Marshal-turned-forger who helps criminals evade law enforcement and is believed to have had a role in Ginny’s vanishing, and Cassandra’s abduction/interrogation by Special Agent Nolan’s team.
Mr. Johnson, meanwhile, met with Miles Drentell, who apparently oversees the worldwide network of Houses, to ask that the current game — which Cassandra and Alex orchestrated to expose his seeming role in Ginny’s vanishing — be forfeited. That request was just barely obliged.
Bagged and gagged and then stripped and searched in Nolan’s bunker, Cassandra held firm in her disposition, dodging the shifty fed’s questions about other cities involved in the worldwide criminal network she allegedly is wrapped up in. Nolan then digs deeper, bringing up Cassandra’s childhood — namely, the 1990 murder of her parents and sibling, suggesting that Johnson was a person of interest in that case. Cassandra stays tough, though, scoffing at Nolan and Brown, “You’re both out of your depth,” before freeing herself and subduing the guards, then escaping.
Cassandra is back home decompressing when Alex calls, in urgent need of help in finding Brown, who was targeted for a kill after leaving the interrogation. Alex manages to find and rush his gunshot friend to the hospital, where Brown utters just before surgery, “They took the blonde, and questioned her.”
Alex shows up at the House rarin’ to, as once promised, throw Johnson out the window, but the Pit Boss repeatedly fends his Player off, never breaking a sweat nor putting his cell phone down. When Cassandra then shows up waving a gun, Johnson warns that “they” are trying to play them all against each other — “they” being “a threat that’s bigger than the gamblers, bigger than the House. And I need you to help me stop them.” But Alex just says no.
Adding to Alex’s woes, he visits Cal at the hospital only to be told that the cop wants no part of “whatever shade of charcoal” he’s gotten himself wrapped up in. That Cal crossed lines and his own moral code, and for what? His “friend”? There will be no more favors, no more phone calls, no more “looking the other way.” Says Cal, coldly: “You and me, we’re done.”
At episode’s end, Johnson delivers Fuller to Alex’s loft, where just the right amount of pummeling gets the guy to reveal that Ginny is the one who hired him to obtain a new identity, but then she got grabbed by a mysterious group of men — and now is “in the wind.” Alex accepts that truth, bids Johnson a final adieu, and then returns to the storage locker Ginny had rented. There, he reads the “just in case” letter his ex left for him… before discovering a false wall inside the unit, behind which is a significant armory. Meanwhile, we learn that Cassandra’s interrogation was part of Johnson’s plan to find out how mch Nolan knows, in the name of someday (or not) finding out who’s pulling her strings.
What did you think of The Player‘s finale? And do we agree that it was the (very) low-rated show most undeserving of dismissal?