In the penultimate episode of The Idol (HBO) titled “Stars Belong to the World”, we see Tedros (Abel Tesfaye) rule Chez Joss with a terra cotta fist. From posting up armed guards around the premises to safeguarding assets i.e. Joss (Lily-Rose Depp), the stakes are supposed to be raised, but I’m not living in any sort of fear.
Even when Tedros cancels a meeting between Leia (Rachel Sennott) and her best friend Joss for Mike Dean, redefines ‘gag order’ for Xander (Troye Sivan), or does a line with Destiny (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), I really don’t feel like anybody’s truly in harm’s way. Even when Nikki (Jane Adams) signs the dynamo Dyanne (Jennie Kim), or when Chaim (Hank Azaria) arrives at wit’s end, I’m still not feeling any threat. Even with Joss’s Stalwart-Stanley, Rob (Karl Glusman) set up, Izaak (Moses Sumney) courting Xander, Talia (Hari Nef) checking up on her subject, and Jocelyn/Tedros pissing all over the legacy of a Donna Summer classic, I don’t feel any urgency. I should, shouldn’t I?
On the eve of the finale, the redeeming elements in this episode were few and far in between. From the entertaining ‘Greek Chorus’ Housekeepers played by Lupe Carranza and Shiela Korsi to Suzanna Son and her amazing ‘Crocodile’ song, flashes of brilliance had been achieved. A few more characters came out of the woodwork, and a few more stories were shared, but it’s too little, too fucking late. At this point in the journey, I’ll be too disillusioned to notice or feel any remaining moments of potential. There is a story buried in the muck and mire. If I didn’t care by the Pilot, why start now?
I still feel, however, as the Home Box Office hasn’t sucked all my Soul yet. I do feel one threat looming as we approach the terminus. I predict Tedros’ death (as he’ll be the setup of Joss’s Phoenix Rising journey) and the rise of a new ‘family’ of musicians. I believe the death of Tedros will launch Joss 2.0, which can only make that one fear, that singular, solitary fear… they’d be setting up for a second season.
Join Norton and I eviscerate our highest rating to date on this series. Listen to it. It’s vastly more entertaining than the episode itself.