Now that was a doozy. Except it wasn’t. Contrary to my expectations, Maniac ended its season finale on a rather simplistic note leaving open the possibility of a follow-up season while still providing sufficient closure to the Neberdine Pharmaceutical arc as a whole. The end result sees our protagonists healed and headed out for new adventures as Mantleray and Azumi are left to face the wrath of the Pharma CEO.
Let’s look at where the characters end up. Having finally confronted the guilt of losing her sister by speaking to some form of her inside the dream-induced reality, Annie comes out a sorted person and really looks forward to reconnecting with Owen, her only partner-in-crime with who she’s shared countless experiences. She’s upset on finding Owen holed up in a state facility and wows to break him out of there to head for a normal life. Owen on his part finally comes to terms that he’s a schizophrenic when he messes up his brother’s trial by delivering a truthful confession, albeit with the result that it incriminates his brother into the crime. He’s perhaps both elated and afraid on seeing Annie come out of him because of reasons he explains in his therapy session.
More than Annie, Owen is broken by this point, to the extent that he can only fathom negative outcomes in case Annie turns out for them. His belief that Annie either does not exist, or will walk away from him at some point in the future, confident that he’ll lash out, reeks of his under-confident self that he was at the beginning of the session. The change that he perhaps went through during the treatment, was acceptance of who he is as a person although that doesn’t bode well for him since it lands him in the state facility. That isn’t to last long though as the episode ends on a happy note in that regard.
After being berated by the Pharma firm’s CEO for their mishandling of the situation, Mantleray and Azumi end up rekindling their romance although Mantleray is still disoriented and almost ends up in the wrong car. I almost briefly thought the realities had somehow gotten mixed up when Azumi’s car turned out quite similar to Owen’s from his gangster reality; doesn’t look like that’s the case though. The four characters head in pairs in opposite directions as their paths cross for a brief moment, before the sun sets on the show.
With all the splendid build-up promised after the first two episodes, it was kind of a bummer for the show to end without some mind altering twist. Then again, the important thing perhaps was how Owen and Annie turned out after the treatment, having undergone a life’s worth of expeirences in places that never really existed. And yet, it’s these fictional experiences that occurred in the confines of a lab with the duo strapped to chairs that seemed to have bonded them for life. It’s an interesting ramification of the drug-treatment but by the time it comes, Maniac has lost its chance at making an impact.
Of course that’s not to say it’s a bad show by any accounts. It features some of the finest cinematography I’ve seen on a Netflix (or any original) for that matter and the music alone is worth a listen to, even in isolation. And Jonah Hill and Emma Stone both turn in sincerest performances, with Justin Thereux and Sonoya Mizuno turning out to be the show’s wildcards. For all it’s worth, this is a movie masquerading as a TV Show and deserves a one-time watch, at the very least.
That’s it from us at Appocalypse on Maniac. Use the tags below to read our previous episode reviews / recaps. Thanks for reading.
Overall Score: 7.0 out of 10.0 (not the season score)
We’re doing individual episode reviews of Maniac. Even though all episodes are out on Netflix, viewers may want to savor the show one episode at a time. These episode reviews may contain spoilers so discretion is advised while reading them.