It's a show that borders between high concept and the most basic type of story out there, but despite its flaws, it's caught my attention enough for me to watch the first and second episodes. I like it, for better or worse, and I'll continue to watch the rest of this season. As such, I figured I would put up some predictions on what I think is going to happen over the course of episodes 3 and onward. The wager is just my ego, which is a much better deal than Alex has in his own missions, at the very least.
Prediction #1 - Saving Ginny Is the Primary Bet
This isn't the craziest prediction, I'll admit, but it's perhaps the most central storyline of the show, so it needs to be addressed. Obviously, Ginny did not die in the first episode, as evidenced by the lack of the tattoo on her finger. Sure, the DNA test confirmed that it was her, but Alex even says that he thinks the results were tampered with, and we as the audience have to agree with him. So what actually happened, then?
I'm assuming Ginny was replaced by a duplicate of sorts just to bring Alex into the fold for the game. As far as what that duplicate is, I'm leaning more toward a Jane Doe with a close physical resemblance who had skin grafts to make her look just like Ginny, rather than some kind of a clone or something a little more fantastical. Ginny, meanwhile, was kidnapped and is being held captive as part of a bigger bet going on. At the beginning of the story, the primary overarching wager was whether or not Alex could figure out the ruse and save Ginny while he was up against the odds of all the other challenges presented to him, which lesser members of this consortium are betting on. The final mission for this season will be the act of Alex actually retrieving Ginny and making her safe.
Prediction #2 - Cassandra's Boyfriend = Villain
At the end of episode 2, we were introduced to Cassandra's boyfriend, Nick, who is described as "a good guy with morals caught in the web of century-old conspiracy" by Deadline. I don't buy it. He acts like he doesn't know what Cassandra is wrapped up in, but that's exactly why I'm suspicious.
There's probably a good portion of the viewers who think Ginny is involved in a conspiracy and will turn out to be evil, but I think that's too easy. Granted, Nick being evil is an easy go-to twist as well, but I think he's expendable in that way. There's no chance that both Ginny and Nick will be the sacrificial lambs and ever-so-good love interests to two of our protagonists and used as bait or anything of the sort. If that does indeed happen, the writers should be ashamed for not being able to think of anything more.
Nick turning on Cassandra is something that will give her a chance to show her vulnerable side. She's been shown so far as the one with the eyes on everything, but what will it do to her self-esteem to find out that the one thing she should have been paying attention to the most was right in front of her the whole time? The woman who spies on people 24/7 with cameras everywhere was utterly blind when it came to her boyfriend.
This will also be an opportunity for Cassandra and Alex to have a heart-to-heart about not really knowing their significant others—a theme that our hero has been beating into our heads quite a bit. Ginny knew the bad man he was and changed him. Cassandra will have thought Nick was a good man, but was proven wrong.
Oh, and then Nick totally bites the bullet, cause he has to.
Prediction #3 - Mr. Johnson is in the Game
Right now, we are supposed to look at Mr. Johnson as a real asshole and a somewhat vile human being. He seems like a violent jerk who has terrible morals and probably doesn't pay his taxes (or am I just mixing up the character and Wesley Snipes?) We've all heard stories about how intense things can get when you're dealing with the people who run a casino, unless you're gambling from the safety of your home like at RagingBullCasino or another online service. Maybe you win just a little too much and you're told to leave. Maybe they think you're cheating and your fingers just happen to wind up broken. You know, things happen.
One way or another, the goal right now is to make the audience not trust him, and similar to the situation with Nick, I feel that's a misdirect of sorts. Mr. Johnson is the pit boss and has beaten people up, called for an assassination with an overseas hit on the man who "killed" Ginny, and seems to be the man in charge with everyone under his control. So what happens when he realizes that he's not been the man at the top of the totem pole, but a player himself?
This could either be a revelation at the end of the season or it could just be used for one episode, perhaps the fourth, titled "The Big Blind," but I do think it will happen in some fashion.
Prediction #4 - The House Will Fall
The common phrase for casinos is that the house always wins, but things will come crashing down for the season finale. Unless you know it's the final season, the best way to end the show for a finale is to set up some kind of a cliffhanger where everything we know it has changed. It's too easy to just toy with the idea of a main character being killed off, because we know as soon as the announcement is made that that cast member is returning, any threat is gone. Changing the show's dynamic, though, is something that can definitely happen, and there's nothing that would be a bigger shift for the series than if Mr. Johnson, Cassandra King, and those responsible for controlling this game have their world spun upside down.
Prediction #5 - Cancellation
The house isn't the only thing that will find itself in a bad spot. Honestly, despite how I'm enjoying the show and will continue to watch it, I'm not absolutely loving it like some of the other shows I'm watching. I don't think I'm alone in saying that it's somewhat average, and if it were to be cancelled I wouldn't be devastated. Right now, it's sitting at a 37% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is obviously not that good. TV By the Numbers tracks its ratings as a 1.2 in the 18–49 demographic and considers its chances for a renewal to be rather slim. I haven't seen all that much marketing for it, and the only star in the cast is Wesley Snipes, who doesn't have the drawing power necessary to give it the boost that it needs. Neither does it seem the quality of the shows is hitting it out of the park enough with the audience to create positive buzz. Worse shows have gone on to have multiple seasons, but better shows have been cancelled, and I think this is going to end on some kind of a cliffhanger that never gets wrapped up as the series will be cut short without a second season to continue on.
Those are my predictions for the first and possibly only season of The Player, but I'm curious to know what you think. Are you enjoying the show, or does it not do it for you? For that matter, did you even know that it existed? What's going on with Ginny? Will we ever learn Mr. Johnson's first name?