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'Black Monday' Season 2 Finale ends on a dark note with Blair montage and sours all the laughs we had

‘Black Monday’ has always been dark but this Darren Aronofsky ‘Requiem for a Dream’-like montage was overkill. The season (or maybe even the show) did not need to end on a note as low as this
Regina Hall and Don Cheadle (Showtime)
Regina Hall and Don Cheadle (Showtime)

Spoilers for ‘Black Monday’ Season 2 Episode 10 ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’

For a show that has time and again been incisive, hilarious, and extraordinarily well-written, the season 2 finale of ‘Black Monday’ was, in many ways, not great. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. Let’s look at why. 

To sum up the story of the finale, Mo (Don Cheadle) had a big plan that was revealed to have been in the works since the moment he got caught on the plane by Connie (Xosha Roquemore) and other FBI agents. And everything that has happened since then was revealed to have been connected. 

Of course, it took Mo a s*** tonne of cocaine to bring the many many moving parts of it together, but he did. The final four parts of the plan were: one, get Connie honey-trapped by a man and then frame her to look like she received money ($3 million) from the African-American Scholarship Fund. That was done with Dawn’s (Regina Hall) help, of course. 

Two, find a patsy to blame the Yen trade on. Keith (Paul Scheer) helped there. He convinced Larry Lehman (Ken Marino) to find someone to blame. But what Larry did was something horrendous that Keith did not foresee. He put it on his now-crippled twin Lenny and left him to die. 

Three was to get Pastor Newell’s (Michael Hitchcock) help to curry favor with the governor, who would then forgive the real mastermind behind the notorious Black Monday. This is where Blair (Andrew Rannells) came in. He already had leverage over the pastor since the death of Congressman Roger Harris (Tuc Watkins), Blair’s former lover. And four is where Mo came in and took the blame for Black Monday, and used Blair to get public forgiveness. 

But one thing did not go according to plan. And it was their inability to see what Blair was capable of. Blair used his leverage to get something for himself instead of the pardon for Mo. He got himself into politics, in the post of the late Congressman. His actions left Mo vulnerable.

But Mo was willing to take the fall and he went ahead with his confession, only to find out that Dawn had beaten him to it. Ultimately, she landed in jail.

Sounds fine, right? But no. The final minutes of the episode -- the montage -- left things in a heartbreaking place. Mo was back to his old scam. Sitting alone, doing cocaine. Dawn was in jail, happy only to know that she got her due credit for being the plan’s mastermind. Keith became Larry’s new Lenny. And Blair is where the true heartbreak emerges.

The scenes depicting Blair getting electro-shock conversion therapy -- in an effort to keep Newell satisfied -- were downright painful. It was mixed images of his torture and his harsh upbringing. Of how his father abused him and how he got his revenge by killing him. The grin on Blair’s face at Washington DC in the next scene did not soften it. It only made it seem more painful if that’s possible. 

‘Black Monday’ has always been dark. But this Darren Aronofsky ‘Requiem for a Dream’-like montage was overkill. The season (or maybe even the show) did not need to end on a note as low as this. Sure, real-life has no happy endings but ‘Black Monday’ was oftentimes not real life. And this reminder tarnishes the whole show in retrospect. It sucks the joy out of many jokes we have all laughed at. 

A finale is supposed to tie things together (sometimes with a loose end left so that strings could be tugged at should it ever arise). But all that ‘Black Monday’ Season 2’s finale gave us was a knot. And that knot now sits heavy, unwilling to budge.