“Miracle Workers” Ends its First Season With a Satisfying Conclusion

107CSo, I really dug the first three episodes of Miracle Workers and I really dug the book, What in God’s Name, that the show was based on. With all that said, I was immensely curious as to whether or not the show would stick the landing with its final four episodes. Would it end in a satisfying way or would it just sort of fizzle out? Thankfully, it managed the former, with each of the four final episodes being better than the last, all culminating in a finale that brought all of the plot threads to a nice, satisfying close while also concluding many of the character arcs that had been set up. While different from how the book ended, the finale of Miracle Workers worked perfectly for what the TV series had set up.

Episode 104 – “6 Days” – Written by Heather Anne Campbell, directed by Ryan Case
Craig (Daniel Radcliffe) helps God (Steve Buscemi) recruit a prophet while Sanjay (Karan Soni) heads to the basement to help save Earth.

Episode 105 – “3 Days” – Written by Mitra Jouhari & Gary Richardson, directed by Maruice Marable
Rosie (Lolly Adefope) meets with a competitor while Craig, Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan), and Sanjay try to dupe God.

Episode 106 – “1 Day” – Written by Lucas Gardner, directed by Dan Schimpf
God meets with potential investors for his groundbreaking new restaurant.

Episode 107 – “1 Hour” – Written by Dan Mirk, directed by Maruice Marable
Craig risks it all in a desperate attempt to save Earth and all of mankind.

Miracle Workers  Ep 106  01/31/2018    ph: Curtis BakerThe main plot of these four episodes continues to be Craig and Eliza’s quest to save the Earth from destruction – by getting Sam (Jon Bass) and Laura (Sasha Compere) to kiss. Along the way, they’re able to convince both Sanjay – one of the executive arch-angels – and Rosie – God’s assistant – to join them in trying to manipulate these two humans into kissing. Actually getting them to kiss, of course, proves challenging, but in the end, they do eventually kiss. The fun of this story was not whether or not Sam and Laura would kiss – because we all knew they would. Rather, it was the story about how they end up finally kissing. It’s the story about how these clumsy angels keep trying to force these supremely awkward humans into romantic situations and how that almost always blows up in their faces. At the end of the day, it’s not Angelic intervention that saves the day – though it does help -, it’s these two humans finally figuring out that they really dig each other. It’s a sweet moment when they finally kiss and it’s one that feels 100% earned within the structure of the story. Plus, of course, it happens at literally the last second. For the drama.

Miracle Workers Ep 107  1/4/18  ph: Curtis BakerMuch of the really fun stuff comes from a bunch of the side plots that are specific to individual episodes. The fourth episode sees God trying to find a new prophet – leading to some pretty hilarious results. The fifth episode has this brilliant running gag about God potentially turning people who have angered him into a specific flavor of jelly bean. The sixth episode sees God returning to his childhood home in order to ask his parents to invest in his new venture – and ultimately realizing the Earth is something he should cherish, not be embarrassed by. Like everyone else in the show, God gets his fair share of character growth and it’s a lot of fun to see Steve Buscemi play that. Sure, he’s still a total idiot who literally can’t read, but God has a lot of heart in this show and he frequently wears it on his sleeve. They totally did miss an opportunity to reference Buscemi’s infamous line from Spy Kids 2: “Do you think God stays in heaven because he too lives in fear of what he’s created, here on Earth?” But, alas, you can’t always have everything.

Miracle Workers Ep 105  1/4/18  ph: Curtis BakerIf God is the goofball of the show, then Craig and Eliza are the heart of it. Much of the emotional drama of the show is not found in the whole “can they get Sam and Laura to kiss thing” but is found in the relationship between Craig and Eliza. Their two differing methods often leave them at odds with one another, and they frequently, inadvertently, hurt each other in the process of trying to accomplish their mission. Between all of that, audiences get to see the blossoming of a beautiful friendship – or, perhaps, something even more. In the novel, the two are a bit more explicitly romantically interested in one another, but the TV series only hints at this. It seems fairly clear that Craig has some kind of interest in Eliza, but Eliza’s feelings toward Craig are a bit more up in the air. Regardless, their friendship is the emotional core of this show and we find ourselves rooting for them to succeed not solely because we don’t want the earth to explode but also because we want to see these two friends happy. And, luckily, that’s exactly what happens in the ending. Their relationship is the one left most open at the end of the finale. Craig and Eliza dance together as the episode ends and we’re left in the air as to where the two of them might go together next. Were there to be a second season, their story is the one I’d be most interested in following.

miracle workers key artAll in all, Miracle Workers was an absolutely delightful show. Featuring a stellar cast, an even better premise, some very strong and very funny writing, quick pacing, and a whole lot of jokes, it’s one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a while. Sure, there were often times where I wished the episodes were longer – or that there were more of them – but, in the end, I love Miracle Workers just the way it is. I really appreciate that the season told a whole, complete story. I’d love for a second season to still take place in Heaven Inc (instead of the rumored anthology format the show is apparently gonna take if it gets renewed), but I’d be okay if we never got anything more from this setting. I loved these characters and I loved this story, but it also got an ending – one that was deeply satisfying. At only seven 22 minute episodes, Miracle Workers is not a particularly long show, so watching it shouldn’t be very hard for new viewers. And I deeply, deeply recommend that new viewers watch this show. It’s so enjoyable, irreverent, but still somehow respectful to the religion its premise is based on. If you have an open mind – or can take a joke – then you’ll enjoy this show. It’s just a whole lot of fun.

4.5 out of 5 wands.

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