It was an obvious development.
That didn't make Eli Voss's shooting of Abel any less impactful on Pure Season 1 Episode 5.
I wrote shooting rather than killing because Abel's status wasn't totally clear at episode's end. Granted, he got shot in the chest in the wilds of Mexico, so I'm not holding my breath. But maybe he gets found in time to survive.
Probably not though. If anyone was going to be removed from the Funk family, it was recovering addict Abel.
Pure is about redemption, whether for an individual or a community.
Abel has probably gone the furthest down the road toward redemption. Noah nearly sent Abel away on Pure Season 1 Episode 1 when he caught him rifling through a truck looking for drugs.
By his likely end, Abel was an integral part of Noah's effort to bring down Eli, despite slipping back into drugs a time or two. He had Noah's back even though he was put into dangerous situations multiple times after following a brother who was waiting for God to give him direction.
He had even formed a close bond with Ezekiel, the orphaned boy who was pretending to be Abel's son, and with whom he was planning a future.
But when Phoebe told the Funks that Ezekiel had to be returned to an uncle in Mexico, Abel's fantasy went away.
That was a sign that Abel didn't have much of a future.
Still, he had developed a spine. In this episode alone, he snorted double the cocaine which Eli forced upon him. Striding up to Eli's gun was likely one bit of bravado too much, but we'll see.
I was amazed that Noah and Abel actually made work Doc's process for distributing cocaine suspended in milk. Neither one of them struck me as chemical masterminds. But I guess you do what you have to to stay alive.
Noah was already feeling guilty about dragging Abel along on his crusade, so how much is this latest development going to set him back?
This episode showed the futility of Noah and Bronco's plan to entrap Eli. With a mole inside the DEA, the professionals in this operation, what chance do the Mennonite preacher and the disgraced cop from a small town in Canada have?
Poor Noah thought he was getting exactly what he needed to get rid of Eli. But, thanks to his DEA mole, Eli already knew about the bug inside the Bible, so it was all for naught.
Noah was only fooling himself when he thought he could negotiate his release from Eli's service. Eli continually drove that point home. A prime example was when he forced Noah to give communion to the excommunicated Mennonites in Eli's service.
So with Eli a step ahead of the forces of law enforcement, how can Noah hope to bring him down? And will that happen in next week's season finale?
And what will Bronco's role be? Phoebe pretty much sidelined him, despite the fact he brought her the best chance the DEA had had of capturing Eli.
Bronco is another character seeking to redeem himself. He couldn't have gone much lower than he was when this case fell in his lap. And he's done fairly good investigative work, despite many obstacles, not the least of which is his bad reputation.
As compromised as the DEA is, Bronco will have to be let back into the case. Besides, he promised Anna he would keep Noah safe, although it's likely too late for Abel.
Things weren't any better on the homefront. Gerry Epps is out of jail and back in charge, and he was making Noah's family pay for it.
What was Tina thinking running away from home like that? Yeah, there was a lot going on that she was at least partially aware of, unlike her lunkhead brother Isaac, who was mainly just concerned about his baptism.
Anna frantically searching for Tina led her to the wrong place, Gerry's home, and his finding Tina with Kingsley's help gave him leverage over Anna. That led to her humiliating preparation of a garden for Gerry's wife.
Fortunately, Jay and Ben found Tina at the motel, which took away Gerry's leverage, for the time being anyway.
The wild card here is likely to be Joey, another figure seeking redemption. He tried to help Anna until Gerry interceded. He's another likable character I don't think will survive the season.
What to expect in the finale: a cliffhanger. The narrative was left hanging for a year until WGN picked up the former CBC production. So don't look for many answers, but maybe something of a body count.
To catch up before the finale, watch Pure online.
Can Noah and Bronco pull out some kind of victory?
What was Tina thinking?
Who else dies?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.