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National Treasure: Edge of History - A Meeting With Salazar & Treasure Protectors - Double Review

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National Treasure ends its first season in much the same way as the rest of the show has gone: at a comfortable and amiable pace. It's much like the movies in that regard. It's all here to give families a fun adventure to relax to, not thrill them. And for the most part, that's fine with me but as a climax of a show, it did unfortunately mean the season ended on a whimper instead of a bang.  

This would probably have bothered me more earlier in the season but I grew to like the core cast of characters outside of Jess over the course of the show. The central friend group have a very heartwarming dynamic which is nice to see and the real payoff for me wasn't finding the treasure, it's about getting to see them take a selfie together and enjoy their happy ending.  

And it is a pretty happy ending, tied up in a bow and everything. The heroes prevailed, the one good guy in danger of dying pulled through with a classic bit of 'doctor giving life-saving instructions to complete amateur over the phone'. The bad guys thinned themselves out with Salazar/Hendricks killing Kasey and Billie killing him in return, taking vengeance for both her brother and Kasey while declaring herself the new Salazar.  

I liked the reveal of Hendricks being Salazar mostly because I'd guessed it right before the reveal happened. I spent the entirety of the ninth episode flip-flopping between suspecting him or Dr. Zeke of working with the treasure destroying secret cabal. The reveal does feel a little cheap come the finale though when he's taken out of the game without so much as a second thought. It was a good character moment for Billie though and a real testament of her love for her deceased brother.

It was also a little cheap because it continued the show's vaguely annoying trend of characters finding a game-changing clue or solution based on very little except random chance. Agent Ross figured out he was the killer based on his orange Tic-Tacs and realising it matched the stain found on Sadusky's hand. It feels like a leap. What are the odds the first person she sees with orange Tic-Tacs is the murderer? It's not exactly the strongest evidence in the world.  

Luckily, this is a treasure hunting show and not a murder mystery though if the show gets renewed for a second season, I hope there's more effort put into the puzzles to make them more challenging and believable when it comes to the character's solutions. The main puzzle in the finale concerning the serpent tiles of the Inca, Maya and Aztec was okay but it's where the show could benefit from some foreshadowing. If the symbols had stood out or been deliberately highlighted by the show in an earlier episode or scene, the payoff here would have felt a lot more rewarding.  

Sadusky's cypher code that Liam and Oren figured out felt a lot more natural and gave me a little nostalgia for the classic Declaration of Independence puzzle Riley figured out in the first movie with the help of a schoolkid. There are definitely moments here and there that remind me of the movies' magic. If they get a second season, they'll simply have to find a more solidly crafted way of blending that familiar magic with the charm Jess brings to the show. 

Jess is definitely the show's strongest asset and Lisette Olivera has done fantastic work consistently over the show. Her growing bond with her father was a highlight of the final couple of episodes and I'm happy that the treasure hunt had such a personal, emotional connection to her and her arc. Hopefully, a potential second treasure hunt will continue that trend. 

What did you think of National Treasure's final two episodes? Hopeful for a second season? Sound off in the comments below

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