A Camel In The Desert
Briarpatch returns for its penultimate episode this week with a story of two halves. On the one hand, the first 20 minutes of the episode play out like an art-house piece, with lots of surrealist imagery and some slick edits while the second half sets things up for the finale to follow. In a way, this has really been the biggest problem with Briarpatch, which has struggled to harmoniously blend the arty pieces with the more gritty murder mystery running through the heart of this one.
Episode 9 of Briarpatch begins with Jake and Allegra both captured, prompting Gene and Brattle to share a celebratory drink. He hands over a case full of cash to Gene for his work but he’s not impressed given the lack of funds there. Brattle inevitably takes offence and tells him he’s a crooked cop and reminds him he was forced to clean up his mess. Brattle brands Gene and tells him this isn’t the last he’ll hear from them – working for Brattle it seems, is permanent.
Forced to dig their own grave, Jake and Allegra manage to outsmart their captor but aren’t able to break free from their cuffs. Joined together, they bundle into the van and head back to town. Only, things aren’t that simple and on the way they wind up crashing.
Stumbling through the desert, Jake and Allegra talk about Felicity. Eventually they find a camel in the distance and follow it to a nearby shanty town where they find a strange man named Candy Bar Bains talking on the radio in an empty swimming pool. He helps them break free from their restraints and offers them words of wisdom (and much needed supplies) before dropping them off back in town.
A.D. meanwhile, confronts Kim and asks her about Brattle. She plays dumb, pretending not to know him, as A.D. incredulously leaves after calling her a liar. Instead, he heads over to Cindy’s house, where he gathers evidence which certainly plays a big part going forward.
The long-awaited meeting between Brattle and the Senator gets underway. Brattle claims to have evidence against several high ranking officers in government and it’s enough for the Senator to play his hand and decide to strike a deal. As it turns out, A.D. happens to be listening while hidden in the closet.
When Allegra returns home, A.D. show her the recording which implicates Brattle, Cyrus and the Senator as they make a shady play, along with using Allegra for their own means. The final line on the recording, “I’m gunna be the President” is enough to see the true nature of what the Senator has planned and after listening to this entire scene unfold, Allegra vows to take them all down.
In the police station, Kim forges Jake’s signature for Cyrus and in return, hands over a police file. On the back of this, Eve speaks to the public, vowing to get Gene back while clearly working to bring him to justice. As the scene plays out, we cut to Allegra who smokes a cigarette and prepares for the final fight.
With the battle lines drawn and all eyes turning to next week to find out how this unfolds, Briarpatch has been a decent enough show but has sometimes lacked the finesse and style needed to really blend the artistic cinematography with the story woven through the heart of this. Some of that can be attributed to the sheer number of characters here and although it helps to flesh out the main mystery, it does take a while to warm to everyone and understand what everyone is doing.
Despite that, Briarpatch is a decent enough watch and the second half of this series has really come into its own. Quite how this one will end though remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – if you’ve made it this far then you certainly won’t want to miss the finale!