I just watched the first episode of a new series called Endgame. Based on the trailers, my first thought was that it would be some sort of knock off of Nero Wolfe. The similarities were obvious. Both Nero Wolfe and Arkady Balagan are shut-ins though the reasons behind it are different. Both have a young protégé who does the majority of the legwork. And both charge insane fees to allow them to maintain their lifestyles.

However, instead of being a straight up rehash of Nero Wolfe told from the perspective of the sidekick legwork man, Endgame actually concentrates substantially on the thought processes of Balagan and his problems. The remainder of the characters serve supporting roles and they only take up screen time when it is relevant. Of course, this whole process could be tediously dull if played straight since, in most cases, the genius detective has everything solved long before the supporting characters have even the slightest clue.

Instead, the rather amusing sketches to illuminate Balagan’s internal thought process break up the story nicely and avoid tedium. His antics while dealing with his personal problems serve to further distract from the tedious moments. Yet none of this is extraneous because it gives us insight into Balagan’s character. Unlike the case of Nero Wolfe, Balagan’s past is clearly not to remain largely mysterious. Indeed, he has his own mystery to solve and that looks to be an ongoing plot point for at least a few episodes.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the opening episode. If the quality continues, I look forward to watching more of the eccentric antics of Balagan and his scooby gang.

One thought on “Endgame”

  1. I just watched the final episode of the season. The quality persisted throughout and the story lines did not disappoint either. The kicker is the reveal about the ongoing mystery leaves as much in question as it resolves. Also, the final scene is brilliant.

    Alas, as things stand currently, Endgame has not been picked up for a new season which means everyone who stuck with it so far will also be left hanging.

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