It’s the season finale! The word for the day appears to be “holy shit!”
So. Owen’s on his date with Adrienne. It’s going well, but they’re both aware they’re just playing at dating. Funsies.
Kelinswriter: Adrienne is actually kind of head over heels over Owen. It’s very cute.
Van arrives with Sami. Surprise! Owen’s there! How coincidental. He taunts Sami. (Jaina: I have this mental image of Sami trying to be the mature one and Van as the little devil on her shoulder.)
Jaina: Van is such an evil, evil ass. I mean, he’s setting up Sami to get spooked by Owen and then consoling her with a “fuck him”. If we needed confirmation that he doesn’t have a heart, this emotional toying would be it. Because the truth is he doesn’t really give a crap about Sami here. It’s all about how much this makes Owen squirm. Nice move, dude. Niiiiiiiice move.
Kelinswriter: Van’s story about how he called out his ex in public confirms that he is the douchiest douchebag that ever did douche.
Jaina: But he is funny as hell while being evil. Awesome.
Since Sami wants to talk to Owen anyway, she strides over.
Kelinswriter: Sami is so all over the place when Van goads her into going up to Owen. Her energy is so off for actually being wound up enough to scream at Owen. Nice of her to try and be the bigger person and act like an adult, and…oh who am I kidding. This is not going to end well and we all know it.
Owen’s unfailingly gentlemanly and disarms Sami. She didn’t really have the heart for it anyway.
Jaina: The slide of expression from “I’m so happy” to “Oh shit” on Van’s face is also hilarious and awesome.
Sami does at one moment call Adrienne a tramp. Adrienne sees it, and is afraid. There’s con artist, and then there’s rage.
Jaina: I completely get Sami’s letting it go by the time she gets over to Owen. It’s really Van that’s getting her riled up. But her sudden jerk back to that tramp, seems a little sudden. Or is it just me? I mean, I get that she’s pissed and deservedly so. I dunno. It just seemed weird.
Kelinswriter: I find myself really feeling for Adrienne here. Maybe it’s just that I feel like there’s a lot of early Olivia Spencer in her character – the woman who is at the crossroads of deciding if she’s good or bad, but will always be a little of both – but I just want things to turn out all right for her and for her to find a way out of the corner everyone has backed her into. Which means, of course, that I ultimately feel like she’s too good for Owen, because inevitably he’s going to cheat on her.
Jaina: Owen seems puzzled by the whole Sami thing too. He doesn’t get her angle and…he’s supposed to be the broken confused one here, not her. That would be a false assumption it seems.
Kelinswriter: Oh, Sami, you are such a mess.*pats crazy girl*
Jaina: Water or…not water? Yup, that would be not!water.
Lara still has the letter.
Jaina: Hmm, I’m a little curious what in particular has Lara tripping about the letter right at that particular point. Is it Sami’s flirting that’s made her doubt Ani? Lara’s doubts about herself? Or was it just such an awesome letter that it’s gotten under her skin? I mean I can see that.
She knows it’s wrong not to give it to Ani. “It’s just a letter.” She knows it will be wrong to burn it. The war rages across her countenance. She struggles to both burn and be at peace.
Jaina: But Dear Lara…it’s only just a letter if you THROW IT AWAY. Dude. Don’t keep keeping that shit…Oh holy shit! I mean, you didn’t have to go and take my advice. I was just saying! Geez!
Kelinswriter: What set you off, Lara? Last we saw you were happily buzzed and flirting with Sami. Which may be all it took if you kept drinking when you came home. (God I hate myopic drunken passive-aggressive bullshit.) That being said, this scene is stunning, and may be Nadia’s best performance all season. Lara is so desperate and so empty – she’s not even close to being properly in recovery. She’s still externalizing her own issues, putting them on other people. The letter’s not the problem in your relationship, Lara. You are.
Jaina: All I gotta say is if Ani gets something off that letter now that’s gonna be some walk-on-water, miracle shit right there.
Michele and Ani are still besties. They are on the rooftop bar. It’s wonderful to see Ani, isn’t it? A ray of light. She’s trying to calm Michele down, but Michele isn’t having it. What’s worse than Gina losing her company? Apparently having a daughter? Ani doesn’t want to spill the secret. She splits a Snickers bar with Michele. They eat, and breathe, and contemplate the vista around them.
Jaina: Hee. I love Ani calming down Michele. That is equally hilarious. And sounds like Ani has had that particular panic attack a couple of times herself. I can’t remember but I think we had this talk last season about how Ani was growing into her own professional role with the gallery in a way that Lara and Gina kind of already had. It’s nice to see the continuity here with her returning that favor now for Michele. Of course if it was Gina doing the shepherding I’m pretty sure it would have involved tequila and not chocolate.
They’re so fucked.
Kelinswriter: What a fantastic, funny, wonderful scene. The next time I’m having a panic attack, I really want Ani to come over and ply me with Snickers. Ani’s little “Cheers” may be the most adorable thing ever.
Gina calls Richard and leaves him a voice mail. I cry.
Kelinswriter: “Have you been kind to your Mother Earth today?” Richard, you are the most adorable dork. Love it.
Jaina: Oh, Richard’s voicemail message! Fucking awesome. “Have you been kind to your mother earth today?” It’s probably so wrong that I laughed.
Kelinswriter: Someone needs to feed Gina Snickers too. She’s so sad, and just flat done in. Boy, this season has been so hard on her. Here she thought she was getting a fresh start and she ended up taking fire from all sides.
Jaina: Gina has got problems with a capitol P though. I don’t think the woman’s caught a break all season. Except for maybe with the work stuff. She’s screwed with Richard, screwed with Ani (not in the good way) and odds are very good she’s screwed with the Colonel too when she tells him. Woman cannot catch a break.
Meanwhile, even Stella has had a bad day. It was hard to watch this scene because I’d just read One Town’s War on Gay Teens and Stella’s grief over her son just reminds me of how much is left to do.
She’s ashamed. The Colonel, bless his soul, has no idea why she should be.
Jaina: I…have no words for the Colonel. Look how far he’s come from Season 1. It’s um…I’m a little shocked. But I mean, that’s the Colonel right? At the same time, nothing’s really changed has it? I can still see the roots of that same stubborn old guy.
Kelinswriter: Stella’s such a good mom. She loves her kid so much. And the Colonel has become a wonderful friend to her. Can you imagine, 12 episodes ago, a scene like this taking place? I think that’s what I love the most about soaps – that like real life, they are about baby steps and small moments building into a distinct change in relationships or situations. They trace the journey.
Van didn’t get the lols he wanted, so he confronts Adrienne as she’s presumably doing the walk of shame from Owen’s after a great night. He always knows where to find her, doesn’t he?
Jaina: “Are we not a morning person either?” This. This is why I love Van. Because he’s such a shit stirring little asshole. But he has a sense of humor. I can’t help it. I love to hate him. Go be evil some more and cause senseless crap, Van!
Adrienne’s not terribly interested. He’s cool. He put things in motion. He’s so sinister about it. How do you fight Van? In two seasons, no one’s had a defense against this conniving.
He reminds Adrienne that Owen wants Sami, and Sami wants Owen. But she has no idea what Van has put into motion.
Kelinswriter: Van, this anarchist thing is kinda sexy when you’re playing a video game. Not so much when you’re playing games with people’s lives. So…Adrienne is picking up on the Sami!Crazy? I like this girl more and more. And that last look she gives Van is chilling…I get the feeling this is someone you simply do not mess with.
Jaina: It’s interesting that Adrienne is catching what Van didn’t hear. That Sami’s got a screw loose or something. She would be the one to know though, right? Reading people would be a very important skill in her former line of work.
Stella is torturing the Colonel. And suggesting he be nice to his children.
Jaina: “She seems a lot like you.” “I’m not sure how to take that.” Heeeeee. Oh, Colonel. I love how even with that he’s practically echoing Gina’s comments to Guya. Except Gina totally knew how to take that.
Colonel: “Absolutely! Does now work?”
Kelinswriter: Stella’s ability to blackmail the Colonel by inflicting pain in the name of physical therapy is just the shock collar the old SOB needs. I find it interesting that she’s quietly doing some emotional therapy along with the physical rehab. That is a very holistic approach to his recovery. Makes me like her even more.
Jaina: Awesome! Stella is totally reeducating him with this therapy. Rock on, Stella!
Ani, trash searcher extraordinaire, is distracted by a love note from Lara telling her to dress fancy. She tosses the ashes of Gina’s letter into the trash. She brushes off her hands. Poor Ani. Argh.
Kelinswriter: Okay, first…I gotta say it. Ani, you need some new kitchen curtains. I mean, seriously. Now that that’s out of the way, the amount of flaily anticipation I felt when I saw Ani walking past those windows was ridiculous. So for her to find the remnants of the letter, glance at them casually, and throw them away….the viewer in me says “Shit fuck shit shit shit fuck shit.” The writer in me is flailing over what a clever undercutting that is of my expectations for a payoff. Kudos Crystal, Leslie, Erika, and Jill. I bow down to your fearlessness.
(Rysler: Totally agree about the curtains.)
Gina shows up at the Colonel’s to tell him about her daughter. The only task more monumental than saving her company. She faces it head on. But he’s not there. Stella’s there to give her a gift–The Colonel has gone to see Owen.
Kelinswriter: “He figured it was time for a father/son visit.” Yeah, right, Stella.
Jaina: Oh! I love how Gina’s immediately scared shitless that the Colonel went to see Owen. Who died? Did he have a car accident? And it’s awesome how Gina is onto Stella’s influence right away. I wish we’d got to see even more of them this semester. These two are awesome. I love Gina’s vulnerability when she tells Stella she needs some girl talk. I think this is the most vulnerable that we’ve ever seen her be with anyone besides Ani. She’s relaxed with Guya and Owen, but she still deflects everything. She doesn’t let them quite all the way in. Even if it’s just because she wants to shelter them.
Gina offers Stella a drink. Who would have the power to refuse?
Kelinswriter: Stella is still so in love, it just breaks your heart. And you can see Gina responding to it, feeling that grief as if it were her own, because in a way, it is. Are they…?
Sami’s in her apartment, in pain over Owen. Conflicted. Suffering. Trying to choose the path of her. We’ve seen this before. We know–er. Holy heck.
Kelinswriter: Why the hell is Sami talking about high school? Sami is not in high school, she’s a grown ass woman, who the hell talks about…oh. Oh oh oh oh oh. OMG. Everything about how all over the place she’s been all season just snapped into place. She’s not crazy. She CRAZY. Please tell me her alter is named Tami. Or Cami. Mami?
Jaina: Sami…of the multiple personalities? Someone hold me, because I’m a little scared right now. Holy shit, Sami. No one give that girl any rat poison. Or a blunt instrument.
So Gina is drinking with Stella, and because Stella is a mother, tells her secret. The secret she’s only told Ani. That only Ani and Richard know. Stella accepts it with the same grace she accepted the Colonel. And with doe eyes.
“Thanks for not judging me,” Gina says. Even Ani couldn’t give her that. In return, she offers a kiss.
Jaina: I…um…I…I did not see that coming. Holy shit. I loved that little progression though and the way that Gina got that look in her eye as realization began to dawn. And they’re both not quite sure how to deal with what did happen.
Kelinswriter: Gina has spent a lot of this season talking out the sins of her past with the people she trusts – Richard, Guya, Ani, and now Stella. This whole season, the balls to the wall Gina we’ve gotten used to has been taking a backseat to this vulnerable, almost childlike person (there’s that child word again) who is just trying to figure things out. Is it possible she’s actually starting to grow….oh…okay she just made a pass at someone who is recently widowed. So yeah, they are. Uh…Gina? Don’t you dare fuck this up.
A young woman asks if Richard is Richard. He stands. He takes off his hat. He sees. The girl looks just like Gina. It’s devastatingly uncanny. Richard can see it. It’s all over his face, how much and how instantly he knows this is his daughter. There’s no cathartic embrace, there’s no sign of where this storyline might lead. There’s only Richard’s radiant smile.
Kelinswriter: There are very specific, very not about THIS show reasons why I love this scene. Putting that aside, Molly Burnett’s introduction to the show blew me away. The simplicity and fragility with which she said “I think you’re my dad” – absolutely brilliant. And the way they grin at each other? You could see a giant burden lift off of Richard’s shoulders. I can’t wait to see these two get to know each other.
Jaina: Er, unnamed daughter of Richard and Gina, I loved her vulnerability as she comes up to him and it makes me wonder what she’s been through too. Why she’s looking for him. I can’t even imagine going up to have that conversation with someone but it still seems like more than just that to me.
Guya, having saved the world, is luxuriously sunbathing. She’s happy again and I’m happy for her.
Katie though, gots problems. She confesses that Owen might be “Tubby”‘s son.
Kelinswriter: For the record, I called the Owen thing last week. I have witnesses and everything.
Guya flips out all over her. Her idol (dead, martyred, revered for 20 years, remember) has sinned. She can’t quite process. But throughout, they’re sisterly and hilarious.
“Oh my fucking lord, I need to sit down.”
“You are sitting down.”
“Then I need a drink.”
Jaina: This dialogue is awesomely hilarious. This whole conversation from the very beginning where Guya’s wondering about the sun and where Katie had gotten off to yesterday is priceless. The argument just ramps up the awesome more and more with every volley. So great.
Kelinswriter: Bitchy sisters catfighting ftw!!! I think “It was just a few times” might be my favorite line of this episode. Can Liz and Hillary have their own spinoff where they do nothing but fight with each other?
Jaina: “It was just a few times!” LOL, because that makes it all better! Like four is okay, but ten, nuh-uh, waaaaaay too many.
I admit, I smile seeing Lara’s set-up. It’s beautiful and romantic. Lara’s giving her all. I’m happy for a split-second. But Lara’s not. There’s desperation in her speech. She sees her future with Ani. Sami showed her another way, but it wasn’t Lara’s way. She’s never been a cheat. Gina’s the cheat. Gina of the letter. Lara’s different. Lara chose Ani when Gina didn’t. Lara’s better.
Jaina: I…um…holy shit. That seems to be my word of the episode. Or phrase. But wow, that was gorgeous. You gotta admit Lara went all out for the setup. I dunno. Here’s the thing. Lara’a saying all the right things, but her actions don’t match her words. Maybe she even has good intentions for all those things, but they’re not gonna work and they haven’t been. She’s trying to patch things up with a giant bandaid. Only she’s not calling it a bandaid. She’s calling it…something awesome, a step up from where they were. Not a last ditch effort to cling onto something that’s she’s been afraid of losing from day one.
Kelinswriter: Aww, this is sweet and romantic and beautiful and it makes me twitch. (Also how the hell did Lara get sober that fast? Cuz she drank half that bottle during the letter burning scene and she was already drunk off her ass.) You really think you’re going to fix things by rushing into an engagement, Lara?
Kelinswriter: What I paid attention to more than Lara’s words was the look on Ani’s face. She wants the fairy tale so much – she wants to believe that someone can love her so completely that they’d give her the grand gesture. But as overwhelmed as she is, I get the feeling there’s some trepidation over the fact that it might be too soon or too early in Lara’s “recovery.” And you might notice, we didn’t actually get Ani’s answer.
Has Ani ever lied to Lara? Will she start?
The Colonel is bringing Owen beer. But it’s Sami at Owen’s door. She demands Owen let her in. He’s confused.
Jaina: Maybe Evil!Sami is a vampire and that’s why she needs the invite over the threshold? I’m just speculating here. (This is where I start wondering if Sami’s gonna murder him and the Colonel’s gonna come in with his beer to find him bleeding out or something.)
Kelinswriter: I love the crosscutting here between the Colonel and the apartment. It creates a wonderful sense of tension. I keep expecting the Colonel to get mugged or collapse in the elevator.
Sami declares her love. Owen offers her some wine.
Kelinswriter: Owen is so thrown by Sami’s sudden arrival at his door. I think he’s genuinely torn because he doesn’t want to hurt Sami, but it seems like he thinks Adrienne is a better fit for him. “You want some wine” feels like, “Let’s sit down and have a proper conversation about why we’re breaking up.”
Sami knows it’s rejection. She looks at herself in the mirror. The courage she couldn’t find in the bar has finally come to her.
Kelinswriter: Sami’s Black Swan moment in the mirror is stunning. I really feel the fight going on within her, but it doesn’t feel over the top. And I love that Owen is rambling on the entire time, totally oblivious. I feel horrible for him, but at the same time, turning your back on the pissed off kinda crazy acting girlfriend is maybe not your smartest move, O.
Jaina: …and I was right! Evil!Sami is evil! Really, really. I’m kinda glad she went with the scissors though. I feel they’re so underused these days. Holy crap. Gina so no longer wins at crazy exes. Like, not at all.
Rysler: I totally thought she had a gun in her purse.
All season long we’ve watched this show grow into a soap opera. Child given up at birth. Love quadrangle. Infidelity. And we’ve said it echoes Season 1. The beach of sadness. Gina’s moral turpitude. And then the cliffhanger. A body. A Colonel. A panicked phone call.
It’s Owen, sprawled on the floor, because Sami has stabbed the shit out of him.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT? 😀
Jaina: And Van! Adrienne warned him, but apparently he had no idea that Sami was this straight up coo-coo. I kind of want Sami to come for him next. Or something. But I bet even he didn’t expect this to get this twisty. And poor Gina. She can so say “I told you so” about Sami though.
Kelinswriter: Oh God, poor Colonel. For the first time, I genuinely believe that he loves Owen. And Gina is going to go to war over this. Poor, fucked up Brognos are once again having a really fucked up day. (PS Raise your hand if you think this is going to get pinned on Adrienne.)
Jaina: Have I mentioned how much I love this symmetry? In the first season it was the Colonel falling out and Gina saving him. This time it’s reversed with Owen falling out and the Colonel coming in to find it. I cannot wait to see what happens. And see what Ani says to that damn proposal! (Please say no. Please say no. Please? No? 🙁 )
And that’s our season, folks. The credits roll.
Kelinswriter: Thank you, Venice, for that tribute to Molly’s mom, Katie Burnett. I’m having a hard time putting into words how important this extended family has become to so many of us. But it has, and I for one am grateful.