Just to get an idea on my thoughts about this season finale, I cried three separate times. The tears didn’t stop flowing. When this show starts a musical number with just the right velocity, I become an emotional mess. This show! This cast! These characters! Tim Federle has me by the collar and I am not ashamed.
Lots to get into this finale, so it’s best to go character-by-character to dive into the drama, the successes, and the many tears falling from my face.
- Ashlyn gets a surprise visit from Big Red as he arrives on opening night to celebrate the show and Ricky’s birthday. A mid-performance chat seems to be going well enough, the subtext being that they are both ready to go their separate ways in the relationship. Yet, Big Red reveals he knows that Ashlyn is “the one,” leaving Ashlyn a smidge confused. At the premiere of the documentary, Big Red reveals via confessional that he’s bi. Let the confusion grow!
- EJ is worried about cameraman Channing’s intent to ruin the show, but he’s ready to have a successful opening night for all. Sans one snafu, the show goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, his father isn’t there to lend his support. He eventually calls his father after a push from Val, but his father hangs up. Yikes. As the ridiculously edited trailer is revealed for the documentary, EJ is livid at Ricky for seemingly “stealing” Gina from him. Yikes x2.
- Kourtney’s anxiety is still taking hold of her ability to perform. While she may have climbed a physical (and emotional) wall last episode, the attacks are still coming in waves. Luckily, her young counterpart on stage walks her through the stages of anxiety, helping to calm her in the moment and openly discuss next steps. Therapy is cool, y’all! Obviously, Kourtney wails her face off when singing “Let It Go” and I savored every moment of it.
- Nini returns, which was unexpected, but it allows for the character to have a proper goodbye on her own terms. She comes, opening night cards in hand, to see her fellow Wildcats shine and to try and figure out how she wants to spend her senior year. Will she head back to East High or stay in Cali? After watching the production of Frozen and getting some wise advice from Miss Jenn, she decides moving on is the right thing to do. Ricky is the last to get his opening night card, revealing that she didn’t forget his birthday or the lotto ticket for his bucket list. A sweet and wholesome goodbye.
- Gina and Ricky are a thing! Gina and Ricky are a thing! After many glances all episode and a month break between opening night and the documentary premiere, Gina realizes that Ricky has been in front of her all along. He is not a maybe to her. He is a yes. There is the sweetest of kisses to end off the episode and the season. I am over-the-moon at this pay off and at the possibilities of what season four (!) will bring us.
As always, it is my honor to recap for you Wildcats. See you for the fall semester.
- We must shout out the absolutely stunning covers of “This is Me” and “Everyday” that bookended this episode. Both so beautiful, both made me think of my own friends, and both made me cry. This show, above any other on TV right now, has this way of making me consider my own path and then absolutely bawl in response.
- Ricky as Kristoff. That’s all. He is perfect. It was perfect. Ricky as Kristoff. I rest my case.
- Listen here, I really did love this season…but I can’t want to have my sweet Seb-y and Carlos back together.
- Gina bringing back “Don’t get me started” was a moment most pleasing to me.