The Smell Of Tar
As we fast-approach the business end of the season, Briarpatch wastes no time getting right to the heart of the drama. With the curtain finally lifted and the truth surrounding who’s real and who’s deceitful and fake materializes, the ending leaves things wide open for the final episodes to come.
With Lucretia Holder arrested, episode 8 of Briarpatch begins with a news reporter spinning the story to assume Holder’s the one behind the bombings. As the voice chatters away, Allegra meets A.D. in the diner and contemplates whether Lucretia really is the one responsible for this. However, Brattle’s lackey happens to be waiting outside and as she heads out, Allegra begrudgingly agrees to his terms of a meeting, feeding this back to Cyrus.
While Cyrus contemplates over how to approach this, Jake meets the Senator over a game of croquet. In exchange for immunity, he promises the Senator to help him up to the White House. Jake and the Senator talk about Brattle but unfortunately Jake slips up and mentions the massacre involving Brattle’s men. Things go sour from here and it leaves Allegra stewing over what to do next. She and Jake talk and finally decide to make their move – and that means Eve coming into the scene.
It’s here Allegra learns the truth about what’s been going on. Eve always planned on running for Mayor with Jake helping her along the way. The article with Felicity was a tidy way to end a messy story and she apologises profusely to Allegra. Begrudgingly, our protagonist accepts her apology as they get to work on the next stage of their plan.
Jake and Allegra head to the school reunion together and scout out the place. As they wait, dancing together on the dance floor, A.D. helps Cindy clean up the blood but in doing so tries probing her for information about whether Harold facilitated the bombing. She vehemently declines but does go on to mention that the first bomb smelt of tar.
As Allegra catches wind of this, she questions with Jake why someone would use two different types of bomb – given the second that almost killed her was a different explosion. Could it be that there were two bombers? Before we can ponder this fact, Brattle turns up at the dance as Allegra watches from afar. Brattle realizes that Jake is being bugged and tells Allegra that if she enters, everyone at the dance will die. It turns out Brattle has someone undercover, acting as an inside man.
Eve hurries to the scene but finds herself caught at gunpoint by Gene outside. Thankfully she manages to get away but as Gene looks at his phone, he sees the time and scurries away. As he does so, his background picture on his phone shows a photo of Felicity.
Another explosion rocks the building as Allegra comes out of hiding but the smell of tar and the chaos finds her confronting Gene – who also smells of tar. He was the one behind the bombings and killed Felicity because she was investigating him – not working with him. He’s also the inside man of course and upon learning this, Allegra punches him in the face. Unfortunately, Brattle’s security returns and chokes her out.
As the episode closes, Jake and Allegra are tied up and taken captive by Brattle while A.D. arrives at the dance and sees the devastation first-hand.
With a cliffhanger ending and the veil finally lifted over the murder, Briarpatch has done well to drag the mystery out this long. While some of the earlier episodes have meandered on a little and the large ensemble of characters has been a difficult one to decipher at times, the later episodes in this season have really injected some urgency into proceedings which has helped this one gather momentum.
With Brattle and Gene finally revealed as the ones behind the bombings, the mystery is solved but there’s plenty more gas left in the tank as Jake and Allegra are held up and captured.
Out of all the episodes in this series, this is the one where home truths are revealed and with a couple more episodes to go, the finale is promising to be quite the explosive affair.