Kate Chopin's elegant and groundbreaking novel "The Awakening" ended with its heroine, Edna, finding herself both heartbroken and freed from the constraints of society's expectations, drowning herself in the Gulf of Mexico. And this is how we bid goodbye to Creighton Burnette this week, in an hour of television that left us numb -- in a good way. With only one episode left to go before the season finale (luckily, the show was almost immediately renewed for a second season), it's all coming down to a question of who will continue to fight and who will throw in the towel.
It seemed somehow inevitable that things were eventually going to turn out this way. Creighton (John Goodman) has been more depressed, more broken each week. But considering how this show has pulled us into the lives of its characters, it was still hard to watch him go about his last day on earth knowing pretty early on what his plan would be. You could look at last week's episode ("All on a Mardi Gras Day") as the point of no return for Cray -- after all his excitement about Mardi Gras, something finally snapped during the festivities, causing him to abandon his family and drink himself into a stupor on his front porch. This week's suicide was both shocking and expected -- and I think that's a testament to how well the writers wrote and arced out Cray's character.
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