The Family What Took So Long – It may be true that thirteen is an unlucky number since the ABC drama “The Family” got it’s cancellation notice in this final episode. The number of viewers, never overwhelming, saw a steady decline and held into low figures before it was cancelled this month. I don’t think it was for the acting talent, which was considerable, nor for the writing which was clever where it needed to be. Possibly, viewers found the mix of pedophilia, child kidnapping, gay sex, and alcoholism a bit too unpleasant in the nine o’clock time slot, even though those topics were handled without any preachiness or opinionating.
Review and recap The Family What Took So Long Episode 12
You couldn’t argue however that “The Family” was cheerful or uplifting. Perhaps some of the plot twists were clumsy, but it was adventurous and had its moments. People may find the ending unsatisfying and, in some respects, hurriedly put together compared with the much contemplated ending of shows like The Good Wife. “The Good Wife” rode off into the sunset last week.
In last week’s episode of “The Family,” Doug missed his hormone injections worrying that he might harm a child. At the Warren household, and in spite of winning the governor’s election, Claire is depressed when she learns that Ben might have had something to do with the death of her Adam. Willa is also at a crossroads, confused about which direction her own life should take. You have to wonder if things could get worse (they always can) with Bridey about to blow the whistle in public on the Ben child mistaken for the Adam child.
In the May 15 finale, if you were looking for a little resolution regarding the Doug character, you got it in a big way. Jane has told Clements that she and Doug have plans of fleeing to Canada, but Doug is felled by a shotgun blast. We think that Jane, who was afraid of him, had pulled the trigger. We find out later that it was someone else but don’t know who it is because the camera doesn’t show his face.
As for the Warrens as a family, everyone seems happy about the outcome of the election except Claire. She’s in a daze and reacts cruelly to Ben when Willa tells her that Ben killed Adam. That was not the case exactly, as we see in a flashback that it was a sin of omission rather than one of commission. Adam had engineered a plan of escape from the underground dungeon and momentarily seized the upper hand by subduing Doug in a chokehold. He calls out for Ben to help him but Ben, terrified, is frozen in place, allowing Doug to regain the advantage.
Claire doesn’t much feel like giving an acceptance speech; the only thing she can think of is the horrible dungeon where Adam and Ben were held hostage. She goes off by herself in a kind of hallucinatory fit reminiscent of a female Hamlet. She’s crying and talking to herself as she lurks in the dungeon and has a conversation with the apparition of her son. Yet there is a sort of catharsis in this, as she returns to the household with a more content and forgiving attitude.
Then there is the strange and conflicted relationship between Willa and Bridey. Bridey tells Willa she found Ben’s mother working at a truck stop diner and that she’s going to finally get her own byline on a major story. Willa thinks it’s an attempt to blackmail her and offers her money and also unlimited access to the governor’s mansion. But Bridey’s honest affection for Willa wins out when she has a change of heart. Recognizing all the harm she’s done to the Warrens, Bridey resigns from her job without writing the big headline story that would make her career.
With Claire and the Warrens having accepted Ben into their lives, and Claire has delivered a much ballyhooed acceptance speech, it seems there might be something resembling a happy ending. We’re nearing the end when Nina tells Claire that they’ve found some bones they think might be Adam’s –buried in the woods near where Doug and Jane lived. DNA testing shows that the bones are not Adam’s and agent Clements determines they are the bones of another boy who was kidnapped and killed before Adam disappeared.
Cut to Ben, happily ensconced with the Warrens and pleased with his double deception. He gets a phone call. It’s from a young man traveling with Jane. This is Adam, the man who killed Doug, his tormentor and captor. Now he calls Ben from a pay phone. “You stole my life. I’m coming to take it back.”
That return of Adam might have been a good hook for a second season. It was not to be, however, in the cruel world of TV ratings.
Other episodes of The Family reviewed on TV Eskimo include:
1.2 All You See is Dark
1.3 Of Puppies and Monsters
1.4 Feathers or Steel
1.5 I Win
1.6 Nowhere Man
1.7 All the Livelong Day
1.8 Sweet Jane
1.9 Betta Male
1.10 Fun Ways to Tell Your Boyfriend You’re Pregnant
1.11 Election Day
Characters and cast of The Family The Family What Took So Long include:
Claire Warren – Joan Allen (Face/Off, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy, DeathRace, Room, Luck, Nixon)
Willa Warren – Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Milk, Midnight in Paris, Goon, The Newsroom, The Pillars of the Earth, In Treatment)
Det. Nina Meyer – Margot Bingham (In Between Men, Boardwalk Empire, Matador)
Danny – Zach Gilford (The Purge: Anarchy, Friday Night Lights, The Last Stand, Devil’s Due)
Adam – Liam James (2012, The Way Way Back, Psych, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, The Killing)
Bridey Cruz – Floriana Lima (Allegiance, The Mob Doctor, Poor Paul)
John Warren – Rupert Graves (V for Vendetta, The Madness of King George, Death at a Funeral, Maurice, Sherlock, Last Tango in Halifax)
Hank – Andrew McCarthy (Weekend at Bernie’s, Mannequin, The Spiderwick Chronicles, St. Elmo’s Fire)
Gov. Charlie Lang – Grant Show (Melrose Place, The Possession, Devious Maids, Big Love)
Pock-Marked Man/Doug – Michael Esper (Shades of Blue, Nurse Jackie, A Beautiful Mind, Frances Ha, The Drop)
Agent Gabe Clements – Matthew Lawler (God’s Pocket, Knight and Day, Law & Order)
Jane – Zoe Perry (Deception, Cotton, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond)
Gus Flores – Felix Solis (Colony, The Good Wife, The Following, The International, The Forgotten, Man On a Ledge)