After finishing the second season of Sneaky Pete, I had a number of immediate thoughts. One of which was how could they improve on this season? Where do the characters and where does the show go from there?
With the third season of the show now behind me, I have little doubt this season now ranks as maybe the best season of the show, neck and neck with the first season of the show when show creator Bryan Cranston was the involved in the story. This season encapsulates what the show was designed to be about and led by Giovanni Ribisi, nails every aspect it hoped to bring.
The biggest story line going into the third season was that confidence man Marius Josipovic (Ribisi) has now finally been discovered to not be Pete Murphy by Julia Bowman (played by Marin Ireland). However, instead of making that the main story of the season the writers made it more of an underlying issue. The payout for that is huge as we sit there not knowing when that truth could come to a head in front of the whole family.
Instead, Cranston and showrunner Blake Masters made the season about the possibility that Carly, Taylor and Julia’s mother Lila (daughter of Audrey Bernhardt who is played by Margot Martindale). A completely unknown aspect before, it injects new life into the characters. In particular, this show jump starts Carly Bowman and Audrey Bernhardt. Audrey specifically is outstanding throughout.
Additionally the best thing about this season is the ability to tie up all the different things and have them merge for a fantastic finale. The last episode if suspenseful, action-packed and sad. It gives you an absolute whirlwind of emotions. Also impressive is that in the 10 episodes produced, there are no bad episodes that take you away from the story. Every episode has an impact. Every episode has a voice. Each episode leads pulls another thread and leaves you leaning a little more.
Moreover there are a lot of incredible performances by the cast led by the aforementioned Martindale and Ribisi. Both characters are superbly believable and ultimately the leaders as both paths of the story come into view.
One performance that definitely needs mentioning is that of Efrat Dor, who plays Lizzie, Ribisi’s love affection and con partner. Dor is positively stunning, giving raw emotion when needed, but also being cold-blooded and calculated. A stud performance that shows unreal chemistry with Ribisi.
Despite its greatness, there is one problem with the season. Guest star Patrick J. Adams who is the mark of Ribisi’s long con, gives a less than stellar performance. Adams isn’t entirely believable in his role of rich and vengeful art collector and is featured far too much. Normally a solid actor, this is not a good fit for Adams and his fit in this role is questionable at best.
Another problem I had was the eventual culmination of the investigation into Lila’s death. The idea was a good one, but the execution could’ve been better. It was not terrible, but I would’ve liked it to end with a stronger twist.
Criteria - 91%
Other than those two things this was a masterful season of television, adding to Amazon's growing original television production brilliance. The show has continued to go to new heights and has shown no signs of slowing down. Ribisi's character continues to mature from con man to family man, which has been a surprising yet refreshing element. Cranston and Shore have shown serious adaptability in their script and it is a virtual lock to be renewed for a season four at Amazon.