I was fairly critical of the roundtable discussion episode at the end of the third season ("Revelations"), because I thought it was little more than cheerleading and whitewashing. This episode was perhaps worse. Not only was the promise of "all access" completely unfulfilled, but the focus was entirely on the wrong thing.
Most of the responses were the usual canned answers and vague commentary that fans and skeptics alike have come to expect. No one is expecting anything more (or less), but it never fails to be disappointing. Some skeptics are angry because Jason and Grant are never directly challenged on the "evidence", but I take a completely different perspective on that.
I never expect them to back down from their positions. That's not realistic. But I think it would have been a lot more interesting if Josh Gates had been able to sit with the team, pull out some of the more popular "evidence" from the past season or so, and let TAPS get into more detail about the context, the rationale, and the caveats behind each conclusion. If they have experts that they consulted, bring them too!
In the end, that would silence a lot more people than, say, Grant's half-baked explanation about the uniqueness of the K-II Meter, which amounted to saying that it's unique and so it's a great tool. How about demonstrating the sum total of those years of experience and research by giving a more thorough explanation? It might be boring to some, but a lot more in tune with the "all access" theme.
Instead, loyal viewers were given a montage of clips from the past four seasons, including many items still up for debate, never-ending discussion on how Steve likes to touch things and Dave Tango falls for practical jokes, and Ami Bruni is coming onto the show (no mention of Kris Williams being released from her contract).
In other words, it had nothing to do with TAPS as investigators. It was all about TAPS as celebrities. And if there's anything that will incite the skeptics more than questionable live footage on YouTube, it's anything that suggests that Jason and Grant are more about style than substance. After all, that's what a lot of critics have been saying for years.
The episode wasn't a complete waste of time. The final segment, showing the pilot presentation originally filmed for the series, was a short but enjoyable look back at a more innocent time. In a lot of ways, I wish the show (and TAPS) were still operating as they were in those first several investigations.