'Bored to Death' finale: X-Acto knives cut deep and other observations

bored-season-2-finale.jpgIt's the end of the season, so Jonathan ( Jason Schwartzman) must being taking the next step with a sexually aggressive sociopath.

After one date with Nina ( Zoe Kazan), the writing student with the disciplinary teacher fetish, it looks like she'll be moving in. But that's just a little set up for Season 3 brushed out of the way at the beginning, because "Bored to Death," as always, is about the boys.

Poor Jonathan's situation really isn't much better than it was at the start of Season 2. After losing the "New Yorker" contest to his nemesis, Louis Green ( John Hodgman), he also misses out on a teaching position to him and, in one of the better choreographed all-male cat fights we've ever seen, gets labeled a "stoner Philistine."

But he still has his detective work, and it gets personal when Ray ( Zach Galifianakis) reveals he has a seamstress stalker, who sticks a Super Ray voodoo doll -- complete with delicately stitched female genitalia -- with the nub of an X-Acto knife. All we know of him is that he's tall and is skilled at parkour.

The now prostate-cancer-less George ( Ted Danson) finally has to face up to that failed drug test at "Edition." After being bought out by Southern born-agains, the magazine's policy demands he go to rehab in Arizona for two months for marijuana addiction. This is almost acceptable to him until he sees the cover art for an upcoming issue, which features an image of President Obama as Chinese Communist party chairman Mao Zedong.

George quits, which ends up being a blessing, because it opens up room for a romance between him and Kathryn ( Mary Kay Place). [Editor's note: no offense, Mary Steenburgen, but this is our idea of a super couple.]

At Brooklyn Comic-Con, a non-existent event that only this show could create, Ray's stalker is revealed to be Erwin (creator Jonathan Ames), the man Ray caught in bed with Leah ( Heather Burns), wearing nothing but a kippah. He's disgruntled about being arrested for indecent exposure that night and spending two months in Rikers, so he stabs him with the X-Acto. Ray's two stitches land him in the hospital, where he's finally, officially reunited with an overly affectionate Leah.

"Bored to Death" is never particularly driven by the storylines, so much as the dialogue and the characters, and this pay-off seems kind of obligatory. But it's a nice note to end a fantastic, if criminally short, sophomore season on.   

Count your TV blessings that it's coming back.

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Photo credit: HBO