Maybe Treadstone isn't going to be a colossal waste of time after all.
Treadstone Season 1 Episode 8 was a decent hour that began setting up a conclusion.
Instead of keeping the characters apart on their plot strands that could be used on any other action show, the storylines are starting to mesh.
Is it too late in the game? Probably, but if we get some semblance of a satisfying conclusion during the final two episodes, then I'll call it a win.
Titled "The McKenna Erasure," it advanced all of the plots in a way that felt worthwhile. Doug surviving was no surprise, but faking his death was a biggie.
It was one of few moments that surprised me, primarily because he's had a "woe is me" attitude going for him throughout Treadstone Season 1.
If you watch Treadstone online, he's learned his whole life has been a lie, so he can have that attitude -- but only for so long.
Tara: Tell me about Treadstone.
Man: They deal with human performance enhancement.
Now that Doug is fighting back, he's undergoing some decent character development.
His relationship with Sam is a bust. There's no saving that. Even if they survive to take down the people at the wheel of Treadstone, he's always going to remember the lies she told him.
After the way Sam acted on Treadstone Season 1 Episode 7, there's no question whether she loves Doug. Still, she's such a disposable character that it's tough to take anything she says seriously.
Her purpose appears to be to get Doug so far in his revenge mission. Killing her off would be the thing that gives him the drive to finish the mission, and probably make a lot of viewers more interested in this particular storyline.
Doug is a trained assassin who can withstand many challenges, but losing the only person he still feels a real connection to would change things.
It's impressive how the series managed to make me care for Doug in one episode, after ages of frivolous fight sequences.
SoYun even got some time to shine, so there's that.
Shin using her as his personal assassin only to earmark her husband for prison was just par for the course. We already knew SoYun's purpose was diminishing the moment a kill order was put out on her.
But she's a Cicada who will stop at nothing to save her family and take down those pesky bad guys. The fight sequence in the club was breathtaking, but it's downright bizarre how SoYun consistently manages to evade bullets.
We know Cicadas have crazy good strength, but we haven't been told they have superhuman abilities. Yet.
Chasing Shin to the border was not SoYun's best move because now she's going to get locked up or killed. How is she going to escape this one?
None of the other Cicadas are headed her way, so unless Shin puts a kill order on either Tara or Edwards for looking for Yuri, there's no logical way anyone could find and save her.
Anything happens to me, Haynes is going to turn this place into a slaughterhouse.Edwards
Then again, we could be in for a revelation that someone else from within Pyongyang is part of the Cicada uprising.
That would be swell!
Speaking of Edwards, he had to know Haynes was sacrificing himself to save him. The Cicada was painted as a villain every single step of the way, but beneath the mental torture he endured, there was a father who wanted to return home to his daughter.
I appreciated the grounded nature that plot strand, but Haynes' death lit a fire under Edwards to get all of the answers before his life comes to an end.
Allowing Edwards to leave the compound and return to civilization is one that will come back to haunt Dan. He has no clue how easily Edwards can evade capture, and his burgeoning friendship with Tara is also a cause for concern.
Both Edwards and Tara trusted each other, despite being on different sides. Surely Dan will use that to his advantage when he ultimately makes a kill order.
Edwards and Tara may be the only ones that can stop Stiletto Six from coming to fruition. Petra could help, but then again, she's proven to be a wildcard throughout Treadstone Season 1, so anything is possible where she is concerned.
Tara showing up on the farm, though, has to lead to Petra pick a side. We may also be in for answers about what became of John Randolph, so that's something to look forward to.
Petra could kill Tara, based off the way she was holding the gun while offering tea like a defenseless, elderly woman. Petra is a master manipulator, but she needs to cover all of her bases.
"The McKenna Erasure" was not perfect, but it helped nudge the series in the right direction.
Treadstone began as a surprisingly good series, but it flatlined in the middle. There's nothing more frustrating than all of the enjoyment of a seemingly fresh series getting sucked out of the room.
I'd love to know what you think about Treadstone's trajectory and what you think will happen as we slide into the end of the season.
Don't be shy!
What did you think of Doug taking on a new identity?
Is there a future for SoYun and her family?
Who will die next?
Hit the comments.
Treadstone continues Tuesdays on USA Network.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.