In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Hanging By a Thread

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The gang has one functioning brain cell, and only Pretzel is ever in possession of it.

Murphy and the gang are back, and as evident by In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1, if there is a hole they can dig deeper, metaphorical or literal, dealer's choice, they're going to do it with aplomb.

I have never held such contempt for a single button in my life. And I've spent many moments dancing around a loo because of a stubborn one.

The Squad is Back -tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

The hour didn't waste any time immersing us right back into the action and chaos that seems to follow Murphy around.

If you weren't rubbing your temples and swearing profusely, on the brink of a panic attack, or contemplating some form of "what the entire f*ck" were you even watching?

Thankfully, picking up where In the Dark Season 2 Episode 13 left off meant we were transported right back into the action and the adrenaline rush of Josh finding out some of the truth about Murphy.

He spent the better part of hours fumbling around Murphy's apartment in the dark, searching for his phone that she snatched on her way out the door, and then Murphy, Jess, and Felix decided they could go back to Guiding Hope and their lives as if nothing happened.

Josh on a Mission - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

It's so on-brand for this trio to choose some method of avoidance that it was laughable. And the trio is right in the sense that Josh didn't have anything to go on or prove anything, so he couldn't haul them in or turn them over to the authorities.

The issue is that Josh is a man scorned and like a dog with a bone, so there was no way he would let any of this go. One thing they should've predicted was Josh storming Guiding Hope with the IRS in toe, confiscating all of their records and books to make sense of the money laundering that Murphy more or less confessed to him.

We can hope that Felix was on top of his game as he implied and that there is nothing in those books to trip them up, as they're going to need all the help they can get, and the less evidence, the better their chances of getting through this on the other side.

Of course, we don't even know what that could possibly look like anymore since everything they're doing keeps getting them sucked deeper into trouble.

Hanging in the Woods - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

Maybe they could've ridden out a few moments of living their lives while looking over their shoulder if Murphy hadn't realized that her button was missing and knew the exact place it landed -- by the sex tree near Nia's gravesite.

In hindsight, Murphy was probably right. The Millennial Hardy Boys were going to find the button anyway, perhaps not as quickly as they did but eventually.

Of course, to the rest of the gang, Murphy's paranoia opened up Pandora's Box. It led to a series of events that landed them in that mysterious woman's office, forgoing the lives they knew and disappearing off the grid.

Her impulsivity is one of their assets and downfalls, and in this instance, it was a bit of both. Felix and Jess know Murphy well enough to have seen her going after the button alone coming.

Winter Woods Posing - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

It probably would've benefited them better if they left it alone and hoped for the best. If it was risky enough for Murphy to traverse out to the gravesite, then it sure as hell tripled the danger level with them following her out there and not covering their tracks in the least.

God love 'em; when this group fails, they do it spectacularly.

Since I can't arrest you for the murder of Nia Bailey yet, I'll get you on money laundering until I find enough evidence for the murder.


Murphy's initial rogue decision to contact Josh's boss and inform them of his failing eyesight set things in motion, too. It was a desperate attempt on her side to get Josh off of their trail and a special kind of low, but it only made things worse.

Every move Murphy made only convinced Josh of her guilt. It fueled and motivated him rather than served as any form of deterrent. While he's unemployed now, thanks to Murph, he has an ax to grind and the cover of working with Gene.

The Hardy Boys - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

And this pairing is an absolute delight. After two seasons of corrupt law enforcement at the forefront of the series and a complicated climate for depicting police these days, it's refreshing that two wholesome characters like Gene and Josh are taking the lead here.

Naturally, we want Murphy and the others to get away, but the stakes are more interesting when we have two decent men in pursuit of justice on their trail.

Gene and Josh aren't bad guys, and as much as you root for Murphy and the others, you don't necessarily root against Gene and Josh either. It brings up those complicated feelings about the entire situation, where the only thing they're guilty of right now is doing their jobs as they're meant to, and as a result, you can't fault them for any of that.

They have their work cut out for them, too, since Gene, in particular, is in the hornet's nest with dirty cops, including the Chief. Gene knows it, too.

Gene Investigates - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

Gene assessed that the Chief is dirty, and he's working overtime to dismiss, cover, or shut down anything related to Dean, Jules, and Tyson. Any solid piece of evidence or lead that Gene found, the Chief did his damndest to put a pin in it, and now that includes throwing Gene off of the case.

No way in hell after Gene (along with Josh) singlehandedly recovered Nia's dead body would he get thrown off the case. In any other scenario, he'd receive some serious 'atta boys' and a drink or two.

I understand that you're bored with our regular life, but you need to start living.


Josh is already unemployed and no longer has the backing of the IRS and whatever resources they could provide, and now that Gene got kicked off the case, then it could impede on their off-the-books investigation.

However, at least Gene still has access to all the tools and resources of working at the station. The button Josh found and identified as Murphy's (and damn the fact that he discovered it, failing vision and all while peeing in the woods is such a fluke!), had two strains of blood on it.

Josh's Eye Test - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

It probably won't be hard for Gene to retrieve something of Murphy's to run an analysis. Doubtful that all parts of her got scrubbed away, and now that she's gone missing, all it could take is something as simple as reaching out to her parents.

Gene will pull out all the stops to figure all of this out, and Josh likely will as well. It was a bit surprising that he thought to speak to Sam at the prison, and even more so that Sam ratted out Murphy.

It worked to his advantage that he could play on Sam's love and loyalty to Nia, and if street justice wouldn't get Murphy, who she holds responsible, then Sam is willing to let criminal justice do the trick.

And Gene was smart enough to reach out to Sarah and pick her brain for everything she knew about Dean, Jules, and the Chief. The two of them had fun chemistry, and you can see the romance coming a mile away, but bring it on. They're adorable.

Jess & Felix - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

Gene's assembled a suitable rag-tag team of people that he can presumably trust because of how all of this has affected them on a personal level. And his motivations are pure.

Although, it's still mind-boggling that they've created this image of Murphy as some badass criminal mastermind. In many ways, they regard her in the same vein as Nia, which is surreal since Murphy didn't hurl herself into this illicit world for fun and giggles.

Every one of the gang is a victim of circumstance, and it's spiraled out of control. No, it doesn't remove their culpability for the things they've done, but the way they regard Murph as some form of knowing queenpin when she's so utterly clueless and in over her head is insane.

For example, Murphy's reluctance to speak to Gene would make perfect sense even if she wasn't hiding things because of her experiences with corrupt cops like Dean.

New Conundrum  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 10

So Murphy gets this badass villain edit on Gene and Josh's side as if she wouldn't have been another victim of Nia's more than anything else, and she gets the brunt of the blame from her friends, too.

The tension between her and Max was next level and chilly AF. No matter what happens in their lives, the link between them is eternal.

They can't escape one another if they tried, and the events they've endured tied them in ways that'll never go away. Max is angry at her, but he didn't have a choice when she came knocking on his door.

Their constant bickering added levity to the nerve-wracking situation, and the semen dialogue was golden and laugh-out-loud funny.

Max and Murph Search - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

It's not lost on Max that, in his view, Murphy chose Josh over him, and that's what will backfire and bite them in the ass. The hurt manifesting as animosity for Murphy is warranted. He buried bodies for her, and hours later, she dumped him! Now Max's freedom hangs in the balance here too.

And now, the two of them (along with Felix and Jess) are stuck together for the foreseeable future. A lot of what Murphy was telling Max when she broke up with him was sensible regardless of if he wanted to hear it or not, but so is his perspective of giving Murphy everything he has and getting tossed to the side like nothing.

Murphy: I don't know why you're being so dismissive about the fact that your semen, Max, can be everywhere.
Max: You know exactly where my semen went. I'm good.

But given everything that has transpired and the two falling deeper into this hole together, it wouldn't be surprising if they find themselves back with one another eventually. Although, I doubt it'll be an easy road. Max is finally fed up in a way we've never seen.

Instead of the fun and unique flashforward/flashback method used during In the Dark Season 2, the premiere ended with a vintage-toned flash of who appears to be Jess running down a road and getting chased down by someone.

Getting an Update  - Tall 1  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 1

But the most shocking and disturbing part was the person bashing her head against the bumper. If it isn't a fatal blow, it's damn near close to it.

Could we be losing one of the gang by the end of the season? It's a minor miracle they've all survived this long!

Over to you, In the Dark Fanatics. What are your theories about that ending? How long can the gang stay on the run? Hit the comments below.

You can watch In The Dark online here via TV Fanatic. 

If you missed it, check out our exclusive interview with Perry Mattfeld regarding what to expect this season!

Hanging By a Thread Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Since I can't arrest you for the murder of Nia Bailey yet, I'll get you on money laundering until I find enough evidence for the murder.


I understand that you're bored with our regular life, but you need to start living.