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Characters reach a point of no return in dark, shocking season finale of 'The Divide'

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “To Whom Evil Is Done” | Aired Aug 27, 2014

The Divide‘s first season comes to an end in a typically fast-paced episode with a final 15 minutes that shockingly seals the fates of at least a couple of characters, while providing no such solace for those left behind.

Having realized that Kucik swiped the shot glass with his DNA, Eric Zale races back to the job site and, after failing to unearth a fix through drug packets he has hidden all around the office, is met up with the senior Zale, who demands that Eric reiterate everything that went down with Kucik at the house, (This leads to a quite funny Al Pacino joke). Things get rather heated before the father lands a slap to his son.

At the hospital, Adam plays nurse to his friend Rylance, who is obviously doped up on medication. Rosa arrives and tells the pair that Kucik has been arrested before handing Adam the shot glass. Adam immediately states that the evidence will be inadmissible in court, but Rosa insists that Adam take it as proof of Eric’s guilt anyway (“…when you go to judge, you can tell him you know for sure,” is Rosa’s logic). When Rosa asks Adam to post Kucik’s bail, Adam reveals that Kucik’s dad has petitioned the judge to have his son barred from home. Rosa volunteers her place, using the Initiative as legal excuse.

Adam recruits Bobby for another job. They need to get hard evidence that Eric is using again, and Adam, trusting no one, can’t rely on his own people. Bobby agrees to “ask around” and find any meth dealers in the area that Eric may have frequented.

Rosa and Danny argue over Kucik staying at her place. While Rosa reassures Danny that it is all purely (ahem) work-related, Danny begins to question their relationship. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Kucik, who gets a nice “welcome home” from Danny before he hands Kucik his toiletries and walks out.

Adam stands before a judge (Peter MacNeill) in his quarters and asks for a warrant. The judge is a hard sell and expects probable cause; Adam mentions the DNA sample that is currently being verified and states that he knows that Eric is guilty. Adam continues rambling but the judge is not buying, finally throwing Adam’s plea to his face and ridiculing him for trying to reopen a case “you have already won.”

Danny looks into Eric’s priors and later meets his confidential informant Luther (Paulino Nunes), handing him a wad of bills and Eric’s picture. The CI immediately identifies Eric as “the kid nobody sells to.” It seems that whoever ends up dealing to the younger Zale either “winds up in the hospital with broken bones or comes home with their house on fire.” Danny fills in the blanks by stating that Stanley Zale is, in fact, behind the dealing embargo.

Speaking of, the senior Zale ends up paying a visit to Isaiah and the two have a tête-à-tête with each threatening the other. “You have a black man in the White House, and it’s still not enough for you. What the hell else do you people want?” spews Zale before, in a bit of karmic justice, Isaiah impulsively sends him a slap. It’s hard to say who comes out on top in the “threat” department, but Isaiah definitely makes sure to get the last word.

Danny and his CI end up at a bar run by Ambrose (Merwin Mondesir), a dealer high on the food chain and protected by cops. The two walk in and order drinks before being interrupted by a familiar voice—it’s Bobby. Luther and Bobby seem to know each other and as Ambrose walks in, Bobby introduces himself to Danny before offering him a proposition.

Eric lays low in his father’s penthouse suite. He gets a call and it’s from Ambrose, who wonders where he’s been and invites him over to the bar. Adam is in a different call altogether—he gets word that state police ended up confiscating Eric’s shot glass. It’s gone. Billie, meanwhile, is logged into her work site at home and transfers all the client files into an external drive. 3740521320001-210x140She immediately turns off her computer as Adam, complaining of Zale’s cunning nature, walks in. The two are interrupted by Bobby and Danny, who meet Adam outside.

Back at Zale’s penthouse suite, the elder Zale and Rosa have a conversation, in which he continues prodding her about the Kucik case, and she treads carefully when answering him. Zale brings the conversation to a halt with a bombshell question: “If you had the choice of freeing Terry Kucik or freeing your father, which would you choose?” As Rosa ponders the question, Zale reveals that he has evidence that could exonerate her father and gives her a day to think about it.

At Maxine’s, Rosa is surprisingly up front with Kucik regarding her conversation with Zale. The two have a back-and-forth over Zale’s proposition before kissing once again.

Eric arrives at Ambrose’s bar and is met with the proprietor, Danny, and Bobby. Ambrose lays on the charm as Danny sits in the background, and Bobby highlights a particular drug brand called “Edelweiss” (best drug name ever?). The game, as they say, is afoot.

In bed, Rosa and Kucik engage in a bit of pillow talk before segueing into her father’s situation and her ongoing guilt about not saving him when she testified at his trial. Kucik tells her that she should never quit fighting for her father before the two embrace once again.

With Ambrose gone, Eric is left in the hands of Bobby and Danny, who fake getting high and drunk with hopes of leading the Zale kid long enough for him to be able to incriminate himself. After Bobby and Eric continue their conversation at the bar, where Eric plays bartender and cuts up limes, Danny ends up joining them and is handed a live pipe with actual meth. Cornered, Danny ends up taking a hit, putting him in an dangerous spot. Eric begins spewing information about his father and alludes to his situation with Rosa. And then, looking straight at Danny, Eric says it: “That was the first time all night that you hit the real stuff, isn’t it?”

Before Danny (or Bobby) can do anything, Eric lunges toward them, cutting knife in hand. He stabs both men and, as they go down, Eric follows Bobby and stabs him repeatedly. As Bobby lies in a pool of his own blood, Eric walks over to Danny and asks him for his wallet before stabbing him a few more times. He then moves to Danny’s jacket and finds the wallet, along with Danny’s badge. He takes one last shot and snorts a line of coke before walking out.

Rosa preps a bath at her place when there is a knock at the door. Thinking it’s Kucik, she makes her way over and finds, to her horror, that it’s a gun-toting Eric. The two tussle on the floor as Eric tells her that he brought a knife the day he killed the Butlers. Rosa holds him off pretty well, but Eric seems to have the upper hand before Kucik runs in and pulls him off. Kucik then promptly grabs the gun, puts it in Eric’s mouth, and pulls the trigger.3740521319001-210x140

The final moments of the finale show Billie in her car, waiting in the woods with her briefcase in the passenger seat; Rosa and Kucik conspiring to stage Eric’s death, leading Rosa to dump the body at the Zale work site; Adam struggling to get into Billie’s password-protected work website and telling Trey to give his mother a call, leading to the images of Billie’s phone in her car, surrounded by paperwork presumably thrown out her briefcase, but no Billie; and Rosa coming back home to find Kucik’s ankle monitor on her bed as Kucik hitches a ride out of town.

The first thing you notice in the final episode of The Divide‘s first season is just how worn down these characters are. In Adam and Rylance’s case, this is literal as both men have gone through physical trials in the last few episodes. But watching just the faces of these characters, we see exactly how weighed down these people are since reopening the Bankowski/Kucik case.

While I was taken aback by the cruel, dark turn the final moments of this episode took, it was absolutely warranted and even given considering the paths our characters have chosen to take—the ending was not meant for cheap shock value on the part of the creators. With Rosa and Kucik, this was never going to be a romance that was meant to be, it was only meant to fill a void (for both characters). Specifically for Rosa, Kucik was a cause that would give her some reprieve from the guilt she holds in regards to her father’s case—Kucik was always merely a surrogate for Victor.

The biggest highlight of this episode, written by co-creator Richard LaGravenese and directed by Larysa Kondracki, is finally turning the Zales into full-fledged villains. The elder Zale, in particular, finally gets to shed his sheep’s clothing and show the world the wolf that he is. Expertly performed by Kenneth Welsh, who has done a remarkable job of not making this character one-note, his scenes with Isaiah and Rosa are excellent examples of just how far he would go to save his name. Eric also gets to show us his sociopathic side in what is sure to be referred to by viewers as the “infamous bar scene” and gives us a good idea of what might have transpired at the Butler household.

With a shocker cliffhanger ending and many loose ends still left untied, The Divide begs to be renewed for a second season. Co-creator Tony Goldwyn had said there is more story tell for season 2 and this finale definitely hints at that. If anything, The Divide could follow the same road as Goldwyn’s other show, you know that little one called Scandal, which also started with a slow-burn, seven-episode first season, only to become a full-fledged, Twitter-fueled phenomenon by the time season 2 rolled around. The Divide definitely has the makings of a “water cooler” program, and it would be wise for WE tv to bring it back for another go-round.

What did you all think of the finale?

The Divide airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on WE tv.