NOTORIOUS Season Finale Recap
By Kirsty Pearce
That’s a Wrap
After reminding us of that admittedly terrifying cliff-hanger from a few weeks ago, we pick up with Louise coming to get Julia in the morning but finding instead a trashed room and blood on the door. While talking to a police officer, Louise recognises him from the cantina she and Julia drank in the night before, pegging him as a federale. After he rather heavy-handedly, but rightfully points out that whatever happened to Julia is on Louise’s head, she calls Meghan who is in a negotiation with Jake to appear on the next LHL show, telling her the situation, that the embassy is giving her the run-around, and to reach out to a contact she has in state. They work out that the federales were tipped off that Louise and Julia were there to interview El Toro/Carlos Mora, and Julia was taken as a result; however, what is revealed when Julia arrives at one of Carlo’s safe houses is that they really wanted Louise as she is a world-recognized face, but thanks to a last-minute room switch, got Julia instead. Deciding to keep her until they can figure out what to do with her, they shove her in a small shed, where she encounters Ignacio, the journalist everyone thought had died after going to interview El Toro.
Back at the studio, corporate is holding a meeting to determine the next steps, a meeting both Jake and Max sit in on, who get into a small heated discussion about the fact that Max knew Julia was going to Mexico, and was the one who sent the federales to keep an eye on her. Wanting to abide by the directives of the kidnap and ransom team they pay an insurance policy on, whose advice it is to wait for contact, the CEO of the network decides to put a news blackout on Julia’s disappearance, a move both Jake, and Julia’s immediate boss Darren are not pleased with.
Julia asks Ignacio what happened to him, and why everyone thought he was dead, and he shares that he was given the opportunity to interview El Toro, but when he pointed out Carlos was doing more to harm the poor community in Mexico than good with his drugs and the revolution he wants to start, he was held captive in the shed until he decides to give El Toro the interview he wants. Carlos’ only aim to use the most respected newspaper, and now news show, to spread his revolutionary ideals to the world, Ignacio refused to give the madman a platform, and urges Julia to do the same.
Louise asks Darren for a film crew so she can appeal to El Toro to free Julia, and while he says he’ll do what he can to that end, Jake decides to follow another avenue involving the trade of El Toro’s nephew Emilio who is in federal custody for Julia. Having Ella procure 100 grand for him, and using Graham, an old client who knows El Toro’s mistress Maria, to get to El Toro, Jake heads off for Mexico. Darren comes through with a film crew, but just as they get Louise on screen to go live with the news of Julia’s kidnapping, a drive-by shooting occurs. Although no one is injured, the equipment to do the broadcast is destroyed. They decide to run the story anyway, but must keep it quiet so as not to be shut-down by Corporate. Dedicating the show to Julia, telling the world she was kidnapped unfortunately does result in Darren getting fired, and bringing about the first father-son moment with Ryan since the pilot, which was sweet, but did feel a little shoe-horned in.
Max gets wind of Jake’s firm’s attempts to use Emilio for a trade, and offers his help. He tells them the case against Emilio relies on a confession he made to his cell-mate, Antonio de Silva, who was really an undercover snitch for the FBI. This invalidates the confession, and calls into question three other convictions as well, something the FBI would not want to be made public. When Ella and Bradley go to talk with Emilio about the swap, they learn that Carlos Mora didn’t try to free him as was reported, but in fact tried to have him killed, and that the meeting with Carlo’s mistress Maria is most assuredly a trap, as well as the real location of the safe house.
Julia meanwhile is working on her own plan of escape, and leverages a meeting with Carlos using some information Ignacio gave her that he overheard from the guards. During this meeting, she tries to get El Toro to let her interview him in exchange for Ignacio’s and her release, and he agrees, provided she only asks the questions he approves of and airs an unedited version. Wanting the world to see Julia supports his agenda, he excuses his drug trading as a way to fund the revolution he wants, and to help the poor.
Back at LHL, when they run out of guests, Meghan goes on, and her interview is seen by Julia and Carlos, who is excited that Julia’s return will now be big news, and his interview will go over well. However, the substitute for Louise, Avery, decides to go against Meghan’s orders and talk about the kidnappers and why they haven’t made contact instead of focusing on Julia, completely ruining everything and sending Carlos into a rage. Carlos then tells Julia that she will go back to America, air the interview completely unedited, and only then will Ignacio be released, but if she does anything to disgrace him, he will kill Ignacio himself. When Jake and Louise show up operating on the information Bradley was able to pass on in time about the safe house, Carlos gives the order to kill Jake. However, Julia manages to use another overheard conversation between the guards that Carlos was going to have his brother killed to get Raul on their side. After Carlos tells Louise she is going to travel with him and report exclusively on his operations, locking her up because he does not trust her, Raul comes in and kills Carlos because he refused to help get Raul’s son Emilio out of jail, and because Carlos was the reason Emilio was in jail in the first place. Raul frees Louise, letting her, Jake, and Julia go with the promise they will get his son out of jail. It closes with another taping of LHL with Louise back in the anchor chair, interviewing Ignacio, who had gotten a job where he can continue exposing the drug trade, and Julia driving the show behind the scenes as always. She then gets a call from Jake that Maya, despite apparently being held in a psychiatric ward, had driven her car to a bridge and committed suicide.
The strength of this show has always been in the friendship between the different characters, but most especially Julia and Jake, and that loyalty was on full display in this last episode, which was a beautiful thing to see, especially since they kept it platonic. Witnessing Darren stand his ground and do what he felt was the right, ethical thing to get Julia back was also a move I liked. However, if this is to be the last episode of the entire series, it did leave a lot to be desired. The whole Maya-Johnny story was swept under the rug for most of the episode in favor of the kidnapped story-line, and did not reach any kind of resolution. Slightly more disappointing was the fact that we did not get to see the reunion between Julia and Max, and there was still so much more to be mined from Ella and Ryan’s relationship, not to mention Bradley and Jake’s, whose dynamic was one of my favurites. Feeling like a giant tribute to Julia George, both on-screen and real-life, while this last episode was filled with excitement and lots going on, the pay-off was a bit of a letdown. As a whole, this series had lots of potential, but sadly never quite reached the heights it set for itself.