The Divide only lasted for eight intense episodes. It never had a chance. I never even heard of it until it had already long been cancelled, finding it in a list of “shows you should binge watch now”. The Divide came well before the much-praised American Crime – but it tackles many of the same issues of race, injustice, capital punishment, small compromises that lead to bigger corruption, a broken justice system and handles these issues with similar deft subtlety. But no one ever heard of The Divide, while American Crime (not much watched but certainly a critical darling) at least enjoyed its share of media attention. Maybe it was the timing, maybe it was the network each show debuted on (The Divide played on WE TV – have you ever heard of it or watched anything on that channel? American Crime is on a major network – ABC.)
I enjoyed the cast of The Divide (a whole bunch of actors from The Wire), and the story, had the show known it was going to be cancelled, could have been wrapped up in its eight-episode run. Instead, I guess they held out hope that the show would continue and the last episode opened a whole bunch of new threads and left most of the existing ones unresolved… meaning that there was no satisfaction at all. The final episode, in fact, felt really “off” after a relatively tight seven episodes leading up to it. The episode introduced a bunch of seemingly nonsensical and out-of-character activities, particularly a scene where two guys (one a cop and one a guy helping his brother-in-law, the DA, investigate something surreptitiously) hatch an unclear plan to entrap someone – but the plan is not at all clear and the situation goes terribly awry. Maybe it could have been explained had a second season happened. Disappointingly, we’ll never know.