I don't know what it is with TNT and season finales, but they really need to step it up. This was a good episode, don't get me wrong. But it wasn't AMAZING, and I was kind of expecting that. Oh well.
What worked was the way the truth was concealed until the very end of the episode but nobody made a huge roaring deal out of it. Without calling attention to the fact that no-one knows anything, it's easy to be lulled into the impression that Carter might actually have done the unspeakable. The script for this episode was pretty exceptional - doubletalk, careful balancing of conceal and reveal, touching on multiple storylines without forcing it or detracting from the main plot. But when you get right down to it, I honestly thought the whole thing was a little dull. There was intrigue, there was mystery, but at no point did I get a rush of adrenaline. Even the Surprise! gunshots at the very beginning weren' a shock, because I already knew they were going to happen. The upside to a somewhat less than riveting storyline? I actually noticed the instrumental soundtrack for the first time. It's surprisingly good.
The real strengths of this season finale were an excellent guest performance by [Sasha Alexander], formerly of [NCIS], who plays a wonderful scary Fed-type (and who is much more attractive as a redhead), and the sans-Carter team dynamic. Putting Jaimie, Ty, and Dean in a room and forcing them to think and act without the final word of Carter being barked in their ear was actually the most effective thing I've seen so far on this show to really provide insight into their personalities - especially Dean, since he hasn't been the central focus of an episode yet and we actually don't know a damn thing about him other than a few tidbits from Ty or Carter here and there.
I don't know if Dark Blue is going to be back for more episodes or not yet, but I'm hoping so. The finale was a bit of a let down, but it is an intriguing and well-structured show, and I'd be disappointed if it was already over.
(This review also posted on my blog at http://meltedbrain.wordpress.com)