Monday, June 03, 2013

‘BODY OF PROOF’ END FALLS FLAT

The Dana Delany-starring crime procedural ended recently, with a case that became crucial to Dr Megan Hunt having her happily-ever-after, but didn’t quite grab my attention—a disappointing end to the series…


For the first time in the series, the writers of BODY OF PROOF dealt with a central story arc that offered high stakes for the protagonist, personally and professionally. It was good on paper, as a story that forced Megan Hunt to deal with baggage that she’d been carrying since she was a child, especially since it involved something that had been established right in the beginning of the series—her father’s death. During the initial developments of the season, her father’s death became a mystery that she was convinced wasn’t explained by what she and her mother had believed—that he had committed suicide. And it became her mission to uncover the truth. While it was an apt mystery that we would see unraveling through the season, the complexity in the case was far from impressive. When ABC announced that the show would end, I expected the mystery to offer us a memorable end to the series. It had begun well, with the initial analysis of Megan’s father’s suicide note, and the other clues that she was following up on. However, towards the end, things didn’t quite turn out like that.

The outcome of the mystery did make sense, with the revelation of Chief Martin as the murderer, but the revelation itself seemed a little too convenient. Firstly, it was too much of a coincidence that the homicide investigation at hand in the series finale was directly related to the mystery of Megan’s father’s death. Her absence from that investigation was justified, as we also got to see another side of Dr Murphy, who was constructing an image of the victim’s face from the remains found. However, in the end, things just fell together for Megan when she went to the police station with the final clues that she had found. It wasn’t a big surprise that Chief Martin was involved, because for some unknown (to the audience) character to have turned out to be the killer wouldn’t have been exciting at all. But I feel that Megan and Tommy should have made the final discovery of the truth on their own, instead of the chief confessing to the crimes herself, holding Megan at gunpoint. It was probably kind of poetic that the final confrontation culminated in the same room where Megan’s father had been found dead, but even then, the way Martin was shot by that psychiatrist who’d been stalking Megan left me completely unsatisfied. It was Megan’s fight. She should’ve been the one to uncover the truth, and she should’ve been the one to finally take Martin down. Instead, the end of the big mystery kind of just fell flat, for me.

It was nice to see Megan finally making peace with her mother, and then going to Tommy in the end, which was something that everyone expected would eventually happen. However, the episode didn’t seem like a series finale at all. Maybe the writers weren’t prepared to end the series with this season. There might have been plans to explore Megan and Tommy’s relationship as they’d continue to solve crimes together. Maybe developments in other characters were on the cards (like Murphy becoming a congresswoman and Ethan taking on the role of medico-legal investigator). But that seems like the only explanation as to why the series didn’t end with a bang. Having said that, the closure that the writers gave at least Megan, with her mother and with Tommy, was probably the best way to have ended it, given the limited time they had to wrap it all up. The final season, in general, didn’t offer all that much in terms of gripping cases, like the ones we’d seen in season two. The only case that really stood out for me in season three was the plane crash mystery, with which the writers worked within the confines of time and space, making for high drama and mystery. The revamping of the series, after season two, with the new cops, love interest et al, didn’t quite do very much for the show in terms of quality and storytelling. And with that, it was probably the best time to end the show, even if they ended it as unsatisfactorily as they did.


What did you think of the BODY OF PROOF series finale and the final season in general? Would you have wanted to see more of the revamped version, or was it the right time to end?

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