Soon after Sara was shot, she gets found on the floor and wheeled out toward the ambulance. While she hallucinates seeing Jack and Drew holding her hand on the way out, the gunman bolts out the gallery’s back entrance and into the alley, though he runs right toward the police, who apprehend him. With Jack watching nearby, too late to catch a ride in the ambulance with Sara, it’s revealed that Vic was the one who shot his father’s former lover.
Sara gets out of surgery okay; while the bullet went right through her chest, it hit one of her major arteries and caused her to lose a lot of blood, making the next 24 hours critical. The doctors don’t know how much her brain was deprived of oxygen and the impact that said deprivation could have on her, so for the moment, it’s just wait and see. Elaine arrives at the hospital and learns that Vic shot someone else, causing her to nearly faint, while Drew impatiently waits for Sara to regain consciousness. He’s finally allowed to see her and recounts their first date, the first time he realized just how tough she is. He wants her to do that again, somehow, and she squeezes his hand. Drew then gets the doctors t come in and look at her, just as Jack finally finds Sara’s room. However, Jack decides not to go in and see her, leaving her to be with her husband in her time of need. Elsewhere, Karsten’s back is against the wall with an indictment looming and Mikolaj agreeing to cooperate with the feds, the latter of which potentially adding charges that could significantly lengthen Karsten’s prison sentence. However, he’s more concerned about finding a dignified way of turning himself in.
Once the indictment goes through, Karsten’s assets get frozen and he’s granted 24 hours to surrender to the FBI. With the time he’s been given, he goes over to Elaine’s where he finds TJ and explains that Elaine is going to be the head of the trust find he set up for the kids. However, Elaine soon comes downstairs kicks him out of the house, not looking to forgive her father for what he did to Vic. Before Karsten leaves, he tells TJ that people are complicated and that he should look after his sister in the event that there’s a prison sentence in the future. Karsten then pays Vic a visit at the jail and mentions how they’re going to fight the sentence, that they’ll be trying to get him transferred to a psych facility for youths. However, since Vic is 17 and legally an adult, that won’t be possible and he leaves when Karsten apologizes for letting him down and teaching him the wrong things that got him into the mess that he’s in. Karsten lay waits Jack and tries to tell him that he’s going to get Vic help, but Jack isn’t buying it and rattles off several of Karsten’s indiscretions, including the death of his own parents. Karsten claims that Jack’s parents died due to windy conditions and a foreman who cut corners on the safety standards on/construction of scaffolding and that he’s trying to repair his mistakes while he can. Jack, though, says that he should have thought about that while planning the hit and leaves.
On the morning he’s supposed to turn himself into the FBI, with the officers already in his building, Karsten goes to his office, puts on Suzanne’s cover of “You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You,” gets the gun out of his desk, and blows his brains out, pulling the trigger before the FBI can bust into the room. At the funeral, Elaine delivers the eulogy and publicly forgives her father for all that he did during her life, citing the fact that at the end of the day, children and grandchildren are all that matter in life. Drew ends up going to the funeral and sitting in the back, an experience that causes him to nearly sympathize with the Karsten family. He returns home with Oliver and Sara, who he’s given permission to stay as long as she wants while she’s recovering, and the following day, gets approached by several politicos claiming that now is the time for him to jump into politics. He’s a smart, handsome attorney who just brought down one of Chicago’s most notorious criminals and they claim he’s the leading candidate for the open seat in the 5th Congressional district, even with Sara’s affair still being fresh. He then learns that she never filed the divorce papers and his new team strongly advises him to avoid filing them, as he needs to have his wife there for campaign events.
That night, he informs Sara of being approached for a Congressional campaign and asks her about not filing the papers, the latter something she didn’t do due to both Oliver and the hope that things between them could improve to the point where they didn’t need to divorce. He warns that they might not be able to trust what they’re feeling right now and she tells him that she’s willing to be by his side through the entirety of the campaign trail, causing him to cry. He decides to go through with the campaign and at one of his press conferences, he handles a question about the affair by saying that the incident has nothing to do with his politics and his goals for Chicago, all the while praising his wife, who he refused to have on stage. He didn’t want to use her or his son as accessories to win, though they’re both watching nearby.
TJ watches Drew’s conference from the auto shop and tells the guy working there that he wants a vehicle for a long trip with good gas mileage. Turns out, the vehicle being worked on right then was a truck with flames on the side and TJ decides to trade in his Impala for it. He drives to Snyder’s gas station and meets with Elaine, where he shares the suicide note that Karsten left, which tells of his relationship with Suzanne and the daughter that the two had. Inside, TJ finds Kayla and introduces both himself and Elaine, explaining that he only learned of her the other day and offering to sign over half of his trust to her and her son; they left Michigan once her mother died. When Elaine gets ready to go, she tells TJ to come join her in the city for dinner with Val, but he says that he’s not going back – he wants to move to San Francisco by himself, even though he’s never lived on his own before. He already has a job at an auto shop and urges his sister to allow him the chance to make sense of his life and put himself out into the world. Reluctantly, she agrees and allows him to go.
Elaine makes it home and tells Jack that she can’t bare walking in Vic’s room knowing that he suffered for that long and they didn’t do anything about it. The house has already been packed up since Elaine doesn’t want any more reminders of her son and her father, with Jack heading for a high-rise in town and a new job. He promises, though, that they’ll talk soon. Jack ends up working for Protect the Refugee, a non-profit focused on immigration issues, and meets with Mr. Abdaze, a Sudanese immigrant trying to get his 6-year-old niece into the country to keep her safe. Even though his co-workers don’t want to extend the effort, he claims that he’ll make it happen for Abdaze; also wanting something to happen is Val, who tells her dad that she’s proud of him for working at Protect the Refugee before inquiring about an internship. He asks about how the college tour she went on with Elaine turned out and she mentions how she might not even want to go to college next year, that touring Europe with Jules might be what she does instead. Although he wants to be upset and do the expectedly parental thing by encouraging her to stay in school, he knows that happiness doesn’t just happen and that you have to go after what you want, so due to his own regrets of going with the flow for too long, he all but wishes her the best. The two depart and Jack finds himself on the El, where he sees Sara on the other side of the tracks.
The two get to talking and things are expectedly awkward after all they’ve been through. Sara asks why Jack didn’t come to see her in the hospital (he only says he heard she was stable) and he tries to fill her in on everything with Vic before quickly excusing himself from the situation and heading over to his new place, which has a view of the water. He leaves her with a kiss on the cheek, though. While out on assignment with Nate, he brings up what Sara’s life would look like if Drew wins the election, something she had never thought to bring up. She does bring it up that evening while doing dishes with Drew and he intimates that he wants her and Oliver to come with him, that everything they’ve been through has only made their relationship stronger and that they’re closer than they’ve ever been due to their experience together.
A month later, Mr. Abdaze gets his niece into America and Sara runs into Jack on the street, telling him that a place like Protect the Refugee would have been great for people like his parents and implying that she’s proud of the progress he’d made. She didn’t want to leave things like they were the other night and she asks him again why he didn’t see her at the hospital, finally getting him to admit what actually happened. He didn’t come because he wanted to finally do the right thing regarding their relationship, even though neither of them have any idea if the right thing is never seeing one another again. Once he leaves, she cries and goes to a nearby bridge where she’s clearly convicted about the man she wants to spend her life with.
The episode ends with Sara at dinner and a man, whose face isn’t revealed, coming up to the table. She smiles and tells him she ordered him a glass of wine.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-Before I get into what I thought about the episode, just a notice for all those who don’t follow TV ratings: Betrayal is dead. Deader than dead. It premiered weakly and never gained any type of strength in either live or DVR ratings, so this episode, which I’ve been calling a season finale, is very much a series finale.
-That being said, this was the weirdest possible finale that they could have done, season or series. It steered very heavily away from the thing that worked for me more often than not (Sara and Jack’s connection and the way that it impacted their marriages) and leaned into elements of the show that didn’t make for the best (anything with TJ, Vic’s troubles) or most compelling (Drew’s political ambition, Val) television. This show was ultimately a show about a relationship between two people; it wasn’t a show about Chicago politics or the fall of a criminal empire and it was disappointing for the show to forget that. Also, the structure made it feel something like an epilogue, a very simplified way of providing closure for characters that I didn’t mind as much as I was confused by. Especially the character names appearing on screen before their chunk of the episode kicked off, a reality TV convention I didn’t think I would see on a scripted drama that didn’t have voyeurism/television as a major element.
-In my heart of hearts, I knew it was Vic that shot Sara because heaven forbid this show pull a decent twist, but I wanted it so badly to be TJ, if only for the surprise of it all. But no, Vic’s a big mound of clay that got molded into what his grandfather needed at the time and allowed his life to be ruined over something incredibly stupid, so any chance of me feeling sympathy for him was just done.
-With her hair up/back, Elaine was giving some serious Jennifer Tilly vibes. Sidebar: I miss Jennifer Tilly. You guys, let’s work on getting Jennifer Tilly a show.
-When Thatcher shook after learning that Mikolaj was cooperating, I ached for a last second Parkinson’s plot, because why not. Speaking of, let’s talk about what a coward and non-entity of a villain Karsten turned out to be. This season, he’s been all bluster and scenery chewing and vaguely threatening monologues, but when it came down to it, he punked out by killing himself instead of doing his time. All because he realized that his family was not going to forgive him for manipulating his grandchild into committing murder. Woe is you, Thatcher Karsten. Woe is you.
-Although Thatcher’s suicide was dramatically surprising, it deprived us of getting to see him punished for everything he did himself and everything he made happen through the actions of other people. If the finale was going to turn as moralistic as it did (i.e. all the talk about kids being the only thing that mattering, about people needing to seek out their own happiness), it could have at least thrown Thatcher out to the legal wolves and given us a shot in prison, preferably right beside Vic.
-The show finally remembered that it gave Karsten a biracial life child with a blues singer. Take the money and get the heck out of dodge, Kayla.
-The only reason I’m ultimately okay with Val and Jules is because it was interesting seeing a female teenager who wasn’t going through struggles regarding her sexuality and whose parents accepted her for her. Otherwise, they ended up being wasted narrative space that wound up going absolutely nowhere.
-Raise your hand if you laughed when they showed the truck with the flames on it. Because that was some silly stuff in a show that hasn’t exactly embraced humor. Hopefully it was intentional.
-So, Sara jumps into being a political wife without thinking that maybe, just maybe, her hot, intelligent, charming husband could win and change their lives forever? Seems right.
-Another thing I didn’t like about the finale: the time jumping, particularly toward the end of the episode. In an already overstuffed episode, we didn’t need it and it made the episode feel even more rushed than it already did. It was like the show thought it was going to be on for years, realized that the writing was on the wall, and crammed everything they wanted to do into one episode.
-Who do you think Sara chose? In my mind, she wanted to be with Jack, but he rejected her again and she’s with Drew.
-Thank you guys for following my coverage of Betrayal. I didn’t end up liking the show as much as I wanted to, but I hope that some of you found enjoyment in it.