The TNT show Proof started out dancing around the issue of whether there is life (or anything) after death with a main character who is a skeptic despite her own near death experience (NDE). So how did the season end with regard to its central issue? Spoilers ahead.
I should have picked up on it sooner but this season was Carolyn Tyler’s journey from complete skepticism to belief, or at least an open-minded viewpoint. The final revelation about Patricia the Green Scarf Woman (that was dragged out far too long for such an obvious twist) was the personal proof Carolyn needed even if it’s not proof for the world at large.
Carolyn’s initial explanation that what she experienced on the Flatline Machine was simple a hallucination mixing memories with what she wanted to see is still a valid interpretation even if it’s not the one she chooses to believe. In most of the episodes there was a rational explanation offered up for what was happening as an alternative to the supernatural one. The audience was supposed to be inclined to believe the supernatural one but you could go either way.
So maybe Proof isn’t so much about finding some kind of absolute proof that can satisfy everyone but instead is about each of us finding our own proof of what we want to believe. (The show isn’t called Faith because that isn’t enough for many of us.)
As I understand these things Proof’s ratings are such that TNT could go either way on renewing it. If the show comes back I don’t think they can hit a big reset button. The show would have to be different.
Carolyn Tyler is done at Seattle Generic Hospital. Her reputation is irreparably damaged and I doubt she would be able to get surgical privileges anywhere else in the city. (As a cardiothoracic surgeon she should have known she would almost certainly need medical care after a trip on the Flatline Machine. Why didn’t she plan for that better than just having Zed revive her?) Zed’s best option at the moment is to return to Kenya and work off his medical school debt but if Carolyn asked him to stay he would. Janel will stay with Turing of course. Ivan Turing lost control of his corporation. I’m sure he is still personally wealthy (and would probably have to support everyone else on the team in the short term) but he won’t have the full resources he had before.
But if the first season was about Carolyn’s journey from skeptic to believer what would the second one be about?