“Shock & Awe” raises more questions than it answers in a pretty lacklustre finale that makes for a typical first season non-ending.
This recap of Dare Me Season 1, Episode 10, “Shock & Awe”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
I complain very often about Netflix shows refusing to have a proper ending. It’s all part of the streaming game, of course; a show needs decent viewing figures and vocal public support to secure a renewal, so leaving the thing unresolved is a good way of drumming up the intrigue. Dare Me didn’t begin life as a Netflix show, instead debuting as a USA Network original, but with the Big-N handling international distribution, it has become one. And fittingly, it ends like one.
Dare Me Episode 10 raises more questions than answers. It doesn’t definitively answer who killed Sarge Will, instead widening the suspect pool. After a string of solid episodes with confident storytelling, this is the opposite of what I was expecting.
But “Shock & Awe” largely works on its own terms; it’s only as a season closer than it falls flat. When it opens with Addy awakening from a nightmare to news of Will’s death being treated as suspicious, which leads quickly to a conversation between Addy and Colette in which the latter convinces the former not to just go to the police and come clean, it feels like we’re in typical endgame territory.
That feeling persists as Beth wanders to the scene of Will’s murder and contaminates it, one assumes inadvertently implicating herself in the process. So far, three people have been there, and apparently none of them is the killer. This must be the most confusing crime scene in history. Testimony is equally confounding. Colette has been seen at the hotel room, but not on the night of the murder. Matt is more panicked by the police questioning his wife than she is. Colette is leading Addy’s mother in the direction of Kurtz.
Ah, Kurtz. He makes for an important figure in Dare Me Episode 10, though he also claims to be guilty of nothing. It’s Beth who confronts him, at the same time in some way also confronting him about having assaulted her, but while he reveals he heard Will and Colette making love on the night he died, he didn’t stick around long enough to know what actually happened.
Nonetheless, “Shock & Awe” sees him arrested – and during the final game of the season, no less, where the cheerleaders perform their routine to a baying crowd. But he’s far from the only suspect. Addy’s bleached shoes, discovered by her mother, implicate her; Colette’s bracelet implicates her. And Dare Me Season 1, Episode 10 ends with Matt revealing that he, too, was there the night Will died.
What now, then? I guess we’ll have to wait for a second season to find out. The likeliest outcome is that Colette and Matt both killed Will and are covering up, but can a second season be wrung out of that relatively obvious idea? Many questions remain, and might well remain for a while depending on how much success the show enjoys on Netflix. I suppose there’s always the book to fall back on.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.