Now in it’s third (and what appears to be final) season, the Essendon saga seems to be spluttering towards an unsatisfying conclusion.
As any fan of The Wire, Breaking Bad or The Sopranos knows, getting the ending right is hard and it appears this series is struggling.
The first series introduced us to the zany bunch of characters who would come to consume much of the AFL world for the next two-and-a-half years.
There was the Sun King James Hird and his legal eagle wife Tania, ‘sports scientist’ Stephen Dank, ‘Forgetful’ Aurora Andruska, ‘Crazed’ Mark Thompson, ‘Too honest’ Jobe Watson and Andy D.
Who can forget the exile to France, the departure of major characters like David Evans and the fake suntans?
The second season would introduce new characters like ‘Angry’ Ben McDevitt, ‘Make this all go away’ Gillon McLachlan, ‘Paul ‘The Chair’ Little and my personal favourite Justice John ‘The Hammer’ Middleton.
A detailed study of Melbourne’s legal system and the media that covers it, season two offered big set pieces like the Federal Court hearing and the Sun King’s return.
This final season however seems to be lacking the dramatic edge and focus of earlier seasons.
From here, it’s hard to see how the writers can pull all the various threads together before it ends.
The WADA angle seems like a last ditch attempt to keep flagging ratings up and the whole ‘Essendon are actually good at football’ thing is the weirdest storyline since Friday Night Lights introduced that whole murder angle.
In the end though, maybe this is the finish we all deserve.
After all, at its heart the Essendon Saga has been more a farce than anything else, with few characters able to hold their heads up high.
Perhaps the whole point of it is that there is no point, life isn’t fair and there is no such thing as ‘closure’.
The fact it all seems to be ending with almost nothing happening is probably what we should have seen occurring from the very beginning.
A mess this big was never going to end all cleaned up.
Instead, it will just sit there forever, a sad monument to human folly.