Season 2 Episode 12

New Canaan, CA

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 27, 2005 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
169 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

As the world grows smaller, Samson devises a grand plan; Justin forces Iris to face her fear of heights; Stroud wants to protect Justin; Sofie finds herself in the dark; Rita Sue is touched by Samson's generosity; Ben performs his most important healings.

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  • One of the best episodes of any series I've ever watched.

    This was, simply put, one of the best episodes of ANY series I've ever watched. The payoff, with the showdown between Justin and Ben, was perfectly executed. But what happens to Sophie - and Jonesy - is absolutely frightening, moreso than a thousand Friday the 13ths ("This is your house!") It was a travesty when HBO cancelled "Carnivalé."
  • An Open Letter to HBO: Dear Jerks, I just wanted to let you know that I will never watch an HBO show ever again.

    I will not invest my time, my emotions, or my interest in anything you put out. You have showed us time and time again that you are absolutely incapable of writing an ending for the show. Do you even try?

    With Carnivale, you took something fantastic & unique and played it out to intricately fine ends. It was an expensive undertaking --something not indefinitely sustainable-- so it's understandable that you decided two seasons was enough. Canceling a show before it has jumped the shark is a sign of quality output. I respect that. Deciding to entirely forgo an ending? Are you freaking kidding me?

    From the very first moment on the show, a story was building; the characters were moving towards the pivotal moment of season two's finale... which you absolutely killed. You took all the purpose and meaning from that damned show and wiped it from the board. You made it all a complete and utter waste of time!

    I have never watched a more upsetting 15 minutes of a show. Let's take every vision, every character trait, every hint that the show has thus far offered, and pretend it doesn't exist. Yes, I am rambling! I finished the season 5 days ago and I'm still angry about it.

    To summarize: Screw you, HBO.moreless
  • Two worlds collide, and it is a bloody battle till the end. Lives change, people die, and the end is bitter, bitter as hell.

    "Go to hell? I plan to bring it here!"

    So says Brother Justin in rage at Sophie. There are so many amazing points in this entire episode.

    To start, we see everyone in a new light so to speak. Samson, Jonesy, and Ben working together to bring the beast, Brother Justin down is refreshing. The rest of the Carnivale backing Ben for who he is and what he stands for gives hope for his cause. For ages we have seen Justin's following, it’s amazing to see people rally to Ben for once.

    The instances where the Carnies and Devil Dodgers come together are amazing. These two worlds building up for so long finally coming together, it was beautiful and horrible at the same time (the scene with the carnies and Norman in particular), because you know it was all going to hit the fan.

    Rita is very emotional in this final episode and I think it works great. Her interaction with Samson was very heartfelt and wonderful to watch. She finally got to show her love to her daughter and be reassuring.

    As for Libby and Jonsey, they are wonderful. You saw their love for each other come full circle. It was great to see he still cared for Sophie and went to help her out, though leading to his doom.

    Iris was great, as always. Her talking to Norman about how she was going to go to hell was by far one of her greatest lines in the series. I really feel that she brought understanding to the aspect of evil. Though she did it for her brother, she knows it was wrong and she knows she has to stop Justin.

    Brother Justin shined like no other here. He embodied evil so greatly it enhanced the power shift to the now evil Sophie. I had thought it would be hard thinking her as evil, Justin's actions alone made it for her. Her shift in itself was amazing, her seeing the one making her life a living hell was she. It can hardly find words for half of this. His anger was beautiful; he taking Norman's life right after Ben heals him completely solidifies everything.

    Ben Hawkins, our once timid antihero has now become a full fledged savior from Milfay. His mission is now right in front of him, and he has his own small army to back him up. Seeing him live the dream of his father running through the cornfield was amazing, as was everything that came out of his mouth. My favorite quote of his is "God Damnit". His fight with Justin will go down with the classic fights in TV shows. Edges of the seat nail biting action happening here folks. To watch him succeed is even more satisfying.

    Overall, as all the other episodes, it was amazing and riveting. The fact it was the last I would like to take the chance to go over what I think would have been the future.

    I think Ben fully recovers from his stab, as does Justin. Sophie finds out Iris is plotting against Justin, and to "prove the faith" kills her aunt. I would think Sophie is still somehow conflicted, but after Ben actually takes Justin’s life or finds a way to kill him for good, she fully turns. I do believe that Lodz would have come back, maybe after Ruthie dies a natural death, or something. I just can't think of a way to get all of him out of her and back into his own body (hey at least they don't put him in a chucky doll).

    If for some reason someone from HBO reads this, please, help. We would like our third season. We are the true fans. I have been in love with Six Feet Under and Deadwood from the start and have faith in you guys.

    For everyone else, fight the good fight, enjoy the shows we have, hope for more, and keep on truckin'!

  • A Carnival in a special, magical time not too long ago.

    Amazing, simply amazing show. Brutal, wicked, magical authentic and honest. I cannot believe the cancelled this work of art so soon. I admire the writers and everyone involved so much.

    I initially crossed over from BSG, because I knew they had the same writers, and what a pleasant surprise.

    I understand now why a show about a travelling carnival in the dust bowl of the thirties could work so well. You become enraptured in a really special way from watching it, it truly is it's own universe. And a universe where anything is possible, where good and evil combat in the eternal struggle.

    Cannot recommend it enough, especially if you liked Twin Peaks and the X-files.moreless
  • I've been following carnivale since the 1st ep and every episode just had me hooked. This one was by far the best one and once again, carnivale succeeded in it's trademark plot twists and high tension.moreless

    Best episode of carnivale so far. The final episode in series 2 fills in all the gaps that were once left empty, but leaves plenty (especially the final scene) more to keep you wanting series 3.

    It was good to see Ben doing more of his healing stuff in this episode and the good old, "black eye/evil" effect was used alot in this epic finale.

    There was a bit where Brother Justin scared the **** out of me which is a good sign that the directors are doing their work. There is a great scene with good music and nice camera work (the one where Justin is on the wheel and they pass on the signal to Ben) that I enjoyed and together these gave you that good feeling(i cant think of the word, but you know, that victory and adrenaline feeling). By the end of the episode you'll be left wanting to know what's gonna happen to Jonesy (great guy), what's going on with Sophi, if Brother Justin will return, and if Ben escaped unscathed.

    Good old Sampson, I must say he is a great character and well casted, all the characters are, and it is the whole concept and twists of the show that make it the epic it is.

    Great finale!

    Can't really say much more except I WANT MORE CARNIVALE! (series 3 anyone?)moreless
Bree Walker

Bree Walker


Guest Star

Paul Hipp

Paul Hipp


Guest Star

Lilli Babb

Lilli Babb

Little Girl

Guest Star

Patrick Bauchau

Patrick Bauchau

Professor Lodz

Recurring Role

Blake Shields

Blake Shields


Recurring Role

John Carroll Lynch

John Carroll Lynch

Varlyn Stroud

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions