"End Game" exhibits two distinct types of detective stories in stark contrast to each other. On the one hand, there is the SIU police case. The extreme gamers try to kill each other and its violent resolution is like a hard-boiled detective story. On the other hand, there is the off-duty case. Boz Bishop has been closely identified with the Bridges and Dominguez Detective Agency, and his involvement in murder unfolds like a classical detective story.
Boz Bishop's case is solved in an Agatha Christie-like way. All the suspects are gathered at the Bishop estate, and the murderer and his motives are revealed. There are personal revelations, as when Boz finally discovers what he has always felt, that he is actually part Afro-American: "Free at last!" proclaims Boz. The murder has been done out of love, to protect family secrets. The classical detective story offers neat resolution in a genteel setting.
In stark contrast, the hard-boiled police case is chaotic and violent. At the Frontier Gaming offices, Patrick is hunted down in the arcade and killed. The shoot-out is presented in flickering stop motion, all disjointed and jarring. The final resolution ends in a shoot-out, as the two sharpshooters kill Mike and Chris, each with a single shot. Murders have been committed out of psychopathic madness, for no real reasons but entertainment. The hard-boiled detective story ends violently in an industrial setting.
The Peter Falk COLUMBO series was like an Agatha Christie mystery with its puzzle-like resolution of the mystery, and is often identified with the British and upper class. Like Boz's English accent change when he enters the Bishop estate, Boz is the embodiment of the contrast when he loses his hip hop street rap. The American take of the British mystery is more in the vein of a police series like HUNTER. There's car chases and shoot-outs, brought to ever higher heights of destruction in the contemporary action movie (for example, the LETHAL WEAPON series).
We can't leave this episode without commenting on the more romantically inclined Nash this season. Don Johnson is now safely married and stabilized, and so it seems his fictional side has more room to maneuver. Nash actually makes a pass at Abby Gordon, the Irish lass with the green eyes, even to the point of allowing her to eat in the 'Cuda. It must be love...
For more, see synopsis for Episode 107