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The ending written for Danny Masterson’s character on “The Ranch” is disgraceful. Offscreen, two women who accused the actor of rape are calling out Netflix for airing his remaining episodes at all, while onscreen, his character, Rooster Bennett, has been given an open-ended goodbye allowing for his return should the powers that be allow it. If one of these weren’t true — if the accusers were satisfied with the streaming giant’s response to their accusations, or if the series itself definitively ended Rooster’s storyline — then, perhaps, it would feel like viewers could move on from this controversy and go back to enjoying the unusually dark and sporadically funny multi-cam sitcom sans its problematic star.
But as things stand immediately following Part 5’s release, there’s really no other word for it: The ending of Part 5 is disappointing. Last December, Masterson’s front-facing termination implied belief in the accusers, but the onscreen results — including his character’s “last” scene, but also the unnerving inevitability that Masterson is most likely profiting from every episode as both an actor and executive producer — are, at least, an implicit backing of the accused.
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This may please some of “The Ranch” faithful; those who defend Masterson and, more importantly, want their favorite TV show to proceed unaltered. But it’s a slap in the face to anyone trying to appreciate the hard work of the cast and crew without worrying that they, too, are supporting an accused rapist, as well as a snub of the #MeToo movement’s efforts overall.
Rooster does two things of note in Season 2: He steals a generator in order to save the farm from a wildfire, and he sleeps with his ex-girlfriend, Mary (Megyn Price), even though she’s dating someone else. The former point, a felony, ends up biting his brother in the ****...
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