I knew Leon Montgomery would come through when it mattered the most!
Leon and Joe were severely outnumbered when they approached Nicolai’s cabin on Average Joe Season 1 Episode 9, and yet they found themselves with a significant leg up before it all went downhill.
One second, it looked like maybe they would pull off the impossible, but when it rains, it pours, and just like that, they got stuck in Nicolai’s orbit, and the sociopathic mobster had the upper hand.
Not a single part of me was prepared for Leon to show up and show out the way he did, but he’s always had it in him.
Leon gets put down a lot, to the point where it can feel like a running joke more than anything else, but it felt like he started to buy into it. And sure, he’s had some bumbling moments, and maybe he wasn’t as stone-cold as his friends, but Leon is no coward.
A cowardly man wouldn’t do half the things Leon has done, including help his best friend when he could easily run for the hills. Leon is a brave soul and a good shot, which he repeatedly proved while in the wilderness.
Joe and Leon splitting up had disaster written all over it, but it worked in their favor because they probably would have been caught a lot earlier if they had both gone into the cabin together.
Leon never seemed like a great marksman, but it’s not as if we’ve seen him shooting a lot, either. Not until the flashback, that is, which saw a very confident Leon when he had a nail gun in his hand.
And that’s the thing with Leon. He can lack confidence, which can be mistaken for spinelessness. But he’s an intelligent and capable man, especially when he taps into his confidence.
I’ve always thought Leon was an essential piece of the friend group and would come through in a big way, and he sure did here, killing many men and being the first person to make Arina look like a regular person and not the Terminator.
He did everything right, and it was a long time coming for someone to give him his flowers!
And I’m happy that person was Touch because, at that moment, in the darkness of the woods, which would no longer protect them from their biggest fears, they had to get honest with each other.
The friendships on Average Joe are so special, and it’s a massive part of what makes the story work. You must feel the love in these relationships, or things wouldn’t make sense.
But because of the incredible chemistry between the leads, it makes sense for Touch and Leon to put their lives on the line for Joe and Jennifer. The relationship dynamics feel earned. They’re all family at the end of the day, and that’s been clear since Average Joe Season 1 Episode 1.
Touch has spent the last few episodes off with Talford and trying to come to terms with the guilt and shame from his past, all while detoxing in real time and trying to be there for the most important people in his life.
It’s been a lot, and yet, it appears as though he’s come out the other side.
There’s something really poignant about seeing adult friendships’ complexities and beauty. And when Leon just asked Touch if he was through being a junkie, it wasn’t malicious or cruel. It was simply a question born from a place of love between two men who consider each other brothers.
Touch has been so secretive about his struggles, but he clearly wasn’t fooling those around him as much as he thought he was. Now whether or not Leon and the others, assuming they know, should have done more to help Touch is certainly something that can be up for debate.
But now that it’s out in the open, and Touch can’t hide from it, what comes next it’s what’s important. Assuming they all make it out of this alive, Touch will need that support system to get him through because addiction is a lifelong battle.
For their part, while everyone was running through the woods, Joe was bunkered down in the cabin, and Angela was still in the hospital, contemplating how exactly she wound up in the predicament she found herself in.
Knowing that life was once different for Angela, and the path she had been walking suddenly veered into something else brings a lot of things about her into perspective.
She loves Joe, and she loves her family. That’s not a question. But out of everyone throughout this situation, she’s been the one most against things, preferring to stay within the confines of the life she’s built for herself.
While Joe was ready to hurl himself into danger for the potential of a windfall and a new life, Angela was content with how things were and would have much rather run off to hide than stay back and subject her family to more pain and suffering.
I don’t know who Tony is or where he came from, but his job was to voice all Angela’s deep-seated thoughts out loud. Because as much as she loves her husband, he is undoubtedly the reason she was sitting in that hospital bed.
Maybe that’s a little harsh because Joe didn’t ask for any of this. He didn’t ask for Teddy to get involved with Nicolai, nor did he ask for Dimitri and his lackey to ambush him and break his fingers.
But Joe has had clear opportunities to get out. To run as far as possible, alert the police, or do any number of things that wouldn’t involve further trauma.
If you want to dive deep into Joe’s decisions and whether they were right or wrong, that would probably be quite the dissertation.
And hindsight is always 20/20 because I’ve found myself thinking Joe has done the best he can with a crap situation while also recognizing if Angela chose to walk away from him at the end of all this, she would be well within her rights.
Do I believe that will happen? No. But the conversation with Tony wasn’t done by accident, and with nothing but time while you’re laid up in the hospital, how do you not think about every second that’s led you to your current situation?
Again, assuming everyone makes it out alive, what comes next will be rather interesting because while they’ve only lied and killed to protect themselves, they are no longer the same people they were before all this started.
Those people in the flashbacks are long gone, and they can never bring them back. So how do they reconcile the people they were with the people they’ve become?
Extra, Average Facts
I assume they’re launching this Cathy storyline with the drugs to set up for a potential season 2, but it’s a bit frustrating how disconnected she is from the main storyline.
I’m a huge fan of Nicolai and Joe not meeting until the very end of the season. It ramps up the anticipation to insane levels.
Angela has some supreme power to have a random man with a sore butt cheek willing to help her hide a dead body, no questions asked! Also, Angela is too smart to put things together about the man with the service dog so quickly.
I can’t watch Joe and Jennifer tearfully say goodbye to one another anymore! It’s enough, Average Joe!
Arina is in a tough spot, obviously, but from one mother to another, help Jennifer!
The assignment was to run over the mobster in the road, and Talford took it to another level.
I got a little teary-eyed during Touch and Leon’s moment in the woods. I am such a sucker for the friendship between the three men on this show.
Somehow, we’ve reached the end of Average Joe Season 1, and while it’s sad the ride is almost over, I’m excited to see how it ends!
Jump into the comments to let me know what you thought about this hour and where the season will end!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.