I'm seeing this as something like finale week. Heroes aired its final episode of "Volume Three" last night, My Own Worst Enemy put out its last episode, and Pushing Daisies is doing its finale on Wednesday night. While I imagine that Pushing Daisies will make me sad, I definitely didn't feel that way about My Own Worst Enemy.
I really liked My Own Worst Enemy when it began, but after the cancellation was announced, a couple of things have become more apparent to me — while the overarching story was interesting, the single-episode ones weren't, not at all. They were all pretty much the same, and, worse than that, all too often they resorted to dropping the viewer into the middle of an action scene at the start of the piece only to flashback to how we got there later. That's a perfectly good device to use every once in a while, but can get old really fast.
Beyond that, I could forgive the basic single episode stories being the same if they were vaguely interesting, but they weren't. By last night's episode the show only had two things going for it: the Henry/Edward story and the Tom/Raymond one. The Henry/Edward one wasn't really advancing though – they both just wanted things to go back to how they were before. It was still interesting, and it was the only reason I kept watching the show once the cancellation was announced, but until last night the dynamic had remained unchanged for several episodes.
In the end, it was the Tom/Raymond dynamic, the struggles in Tom's personal life (created entirely by Raymond's superspy ways), which made for the most compelling storyline. Even last night, in the show's final episode, an episode which had Edward and company work out a way to solve the personality switches among Henry/Edward, where the Tom/Raymond story proved more compelling. Learning about Raymond's past, his reasons for joining Janus, his trying to mop up past problems and settle down Tom's life was great. We may have learned about where Edward came from over the course of the series, we definitely found out bits and pieces of his family history, but he never really felt as three-dimensional as the Tom/Raymond character, and that's even without us having known anything about Tom/Raymond's background until last night.
I really enjoyed My Own Worst Enemy when it began, I thought it was new and different and fun. Frankly, I stand by that sentiment. The basic problem that I ended up having with the show is that what was new and different in the first few episodes quickly became dated.
I'm very curious about how many episodes the show had filmed prior to finding out about the cancellation. It definitely appeared as though last night's episode was filmed knowing it would be the show's last (at least the final scene of the episode was), but I'm not quite sure about previous episode. I wonder if the writers had other ideas for where to take the story but ended up not using them knowing that things were winding down, or if they didn't have that many big ideas once the initial problem was set forth.
That's one of those things I'll probably never get an answer to. That's okay, though. I'm probably better off not knowing. The answer would probably be far too disappointing.