Hulu’s ‘Shut Eye’ — Thoughts

Let me start by stating, I (for the most part) actually enjoyed watching this series as the acting was superb. Also, this rant will most certainly contain spoilers (duh).

If you haven’t already, checkout Hulu’s Original Series Shut Eye starring Jeffrey Donovan. Admittingly, as a Burn Notice fan, this was the only reason I was even remotely interested in this series.

SHUT EYE takes a darkly comedic look at the world of Los Angeles storefront psychics and the organized crime syndicate that runs them.
— Hulu Press

Personally, I would have never been drawn to the plot alone but, unlike seemingly most criticism will admit, this show does have its moments.

The story starts with Charlie Haverford (Jeffrey Donovan) — a failed magician turned (for-profit) fortune teller, working for a Romani kingpin boss. Throughout the series though, we discover that Charlie has a wife that is less than faithful (which he seems to begrudgingly accept), a daughter from a previous relationship (whom is just somewhat of a plot device), and a son who is desperately seeking affection from some rando school girl.

The series follows Charlie after a vicious beat down and blow to the head from a client’s (angry) boyfriend. After which, he begins to (wait for the irony…) have visions of the future.

My gripe here aren’t the visions themselves. In fact, they’re handled quite well and can occasionally have you guessing whether what we’ve witnessed is real or only exists in Charlie’s mind.

Anyway, there’s plenty of topics to dive into but all in all, this series was an enjoyable watch and I’d recommend it if you can get past some lack of closure and poor setup for another season.

Which brings me to the issues with this series finale:

More Shut Eye after Season 1?

After 10 episodes, it’s difficult to find reason to tune in again. While the final episode does it’s part to throw in additional plot devices, they seemed like afterthoughts rather than major game changing reveals.

Eduardo and Fonso are BFFs

The ending thought of Eduardo (David Zayas) and Fonso (Angus Sampson) working together (since we’re lead to believe they’re conspiring against Charlie), simply doesn’t make sense. I’m sure someone would argue, “well, that’s why you need to watch season 2” — but unfortunately, it’s just not a big enough hook for this viewer’s attention.

“What now?” — Eduardo

I mean, let’s agree that this can only be a new found partnership between the two (anything else would require far too much disbelief). Outside of both being scandalous crime bosses, their only common thread (thusfar) is having been duped by Charlie. And despite a few inconveniences, Charlie seemed to genuinely want to help Eduardo (as a mutual benefit of course).

In fact, one could argue that, outside of the obvious love interest with Dr. Nora White (Susan Misner), Eduardo may have been Charlie’s only friend.

Inversely, Eduardo wants (needs?) Charlie’s spidey-sense. So even though Charlie “cost” him 1 million dollars, the skill itself has been proven. And given what we’ve seen of Eduardo’s character, I doubt he will quickly forget Charlie saving his son or correctly predicting the fire death.

The only direction, I think the story can go from here: Eduardo is only working with Fonso in furtherance of his scheme with Charlie.

This brings me to my next concern — Charlie’s scam and the nail found in Charlie’s bedroom.

Not the happy ending Charlie was expecting

Now it’s easy to draw the parallels that bring Fonzo’s Jesus story full circle but, let’s dissect the final con a bit.

It’s made clear that Charlie is less than successful on most deceitful endeavors. Failed magician, caught trying to scam a gypsy as a fortune teller (which leads to his working for Fonzo?), and even after getting exceptionally close, unable to (initially) complete the con on Nadine Davies (Mel Harris).

So it’s difficult to imagine that Charlie would be able to pull off the perfect heist regardless of help. And this particular scheme saw the death of Fonzo’s biggest rival White Tony (Zak Santiago), arrest of Fonzo’s mother Rita (Isabella Rossellini), the break up of a wedding between Fonzo’s daughter Drina Marks (Havana Guppy) and Little Tony (Patrick Lubczyk), and Charlie regaining control of the money stolen from Nadine Davies.

Given the Fonso/Eduardo ending and the nail found in Charlie’s room, it’s safe to assume Fonso is well aware of Charlie’s original plan (to rift the Romani family). And of course, all of Fonso’s benefits are of his own opportunity seizing but, without Charlie’s scheme none would have happened! So Fonso and Charlie should be best pals at this point!

Other than the money, it’s difficult to see a scenario where Fonso isn’t the happiest guy out of the whole series at this point — which neutralizes Charlie’s biggest Season 2 adversaries.


Originally published at seanwragg.com on December 27, 2016.

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