Saturday, June 25, 2011

ROUND-UP OF TV SEASON 2010-11 (V)


TV TALK discusses the latest season finales of GOSSIP GIRL, 90210 and GLEE, and what’s in store for the forthcoming seasons of the shows


GOSSIP GIRL
I accept that Chuck and Blair cannot be together permanently till the end of the show, but I also think that to have cliffhangers that revolve around them as a couple is now becoming tiring. The finale of GOSSIP GIRL S4 had little to offer in terms of the drama that unfolded. Chuck saves Blair from Russell Thorpe, and then they hook up, yet again, only to decide that it’s over for them. And while Prince Louis waited for Blair, Charlie wreaked havoc at the two-year high school reunion, sending Serena, Vanessa, Dan, and even Georgina on a wild goose chase. I found that this backdrop for the finale was less than exciting, simply because Charlie seemed as insignificant as Vanessa as a character, right from the time when she first came on the scene. Even the fact that the season ended with her being revealed as an impersonator, who was carrying out a mission for Lily’s sister Carol Rhodes, didn’t make up for it, simply because even Carol seems inconsequential as of now. The finale maybe building up towards more in S5, for both Charlie (actually Ivy) and Carol, but it didn’t generate excitement from what we’ve seen in this season.

Among other disappointing ends this season was the end of the Thorpe storyline. With Rayna deciding to return to Chicago, after finding out the truth about (and confronting) her father, it made it appear as though the dust from Bart Bass’ past had been raised unnecessarily. Even Serena’s storyline with Ben Donovan, which showed promise, as one of the most interesting parts of the season, ended quite flatly. Therefore, it actually wasn’t as much of a surprise that the end of the season was simply about everyone heading off for their summer plans, with a few small cliffhangers thrown in.

We found out that either Serena or Blair is pregnant, but since Serena’s not been with a man in a while, it’ll probably be Blair. It could be Chuck’s baby to add complications to Blair’s impending wedding to the prince, or it could be the prince’s baby, to devastate Chuck further. Serena’s off to find herself yet again, after making a lukewarm apology to Nate and Dan for making them to her line for so long. That she’s been offered a job to work on adapting a screenplay doesn’t say much, because that’ll only take the summer. It has been revealed that Chuck and Nate will visit her in LA in the S5 opener, as part of their stag vacation. And as Nate continues to become an even more inconsequential character, I’m more interested in finding out what will come out of Dan’s book about the Upper Eastsiders, which Vanessa submitted to a publisher without his knowledge. We found out that he’d been working on the book since before he met Serena and before he got involved with the Upper Eastside, so even though he said that he considers everyone his friends now, the book is sure to cause friction between him and the rest. Among other revelations, Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey) and Jessica Szohr (Vanessa) will be leaving the show, making only guest appearances in S5, while Kaylee DeFer (Charlie/Ivy) has been promoted as a series regular. I do hope that the hint towards her future acquaintance with Georgina will make for some interesting material next season.


90210
Does someone have to be pregnant in a season finale! What were the writers of 90210 thinking while writing in Naomi’s accidental pregnancy as a cliffhanger to end S3! Not only does it seem repetitive to have a second teenage pregnancy on a show (remember Adrianna?), it also showed us that the writers are running out of ideas. It was disappointing also because I enjoyed watching Naomi’s character grow through S3, since she was raped at the end of the previous season. To see her lose her shallow edge, letting herself fall for what she herself would’ve considered a social pariah, was refreshing. Therefore, my only hope is that they don’t mess up her evolution with this untimely pregnancy. The finale also had Ivy marrying Raj, which tells us that the next season will have her dealing with widowhood. The issues with dealing with an ailing husband could make for good material in S4, but the writers could turn it around, have Raj recover slowly and then have both of them realize that they made a hasty decision in getting married.



On the other hand, Liam is off to find himself, while Annie promised to wait for him. Although it seemed like they would stick together, going to college and meeting new people will definitely make Annie question her commitment to Liam. Navid and Silver patched things up and left Arianna miserable about becoming a total social misfit. I really thought that her attempting to commit suicide would be one of the cliffhangers, but instead, she resolved to make things right. We’ve already seen her emerging from the total darkness of drug addiction, a teenage pregnancy and more, to become a nice person, so the entire slipping into a dark place, tampering with Silver’s medication and everything seemed repetitive again. Let’s hope they make her to-the-brink-and-back story worth our while.



The next season will have everyone going off to college and there will be so many opportunities for newer storylines. It’s like the writers have an opportunity for a fresh start, one that they should make the most of. A few characters will be leaving, including Teddy (played by Trevor Donovan). While I thought his coming out storyline was handled really well, I also thought his character had serious potential from here on, so it’ll be sad to not to have him in S4. Ryan Eggold (Ryan Matthews) and Lori Loughlin (Debbie Wilson) will also not be joining us next season. I don’t much care for the former, because Ryan had turned out to be quite a spineless and uninteresting character, but I do feel bad about Loughlin. I’m definitely going to miss seeing her.




GLEE
The S2 finale of GLEE was visually stunning and downright entertaining, if nothing else. I absolutely enjoyed the change of scenery, as the New Directions went off to New York City for the show-choir nationals. Moreover, the fact that the Glee Clubbers performed original songs at the competition was really impressive, adding serious value to the show. It was a wrap-up of an interesting season that touched upon so much. Right from Kurt being bullied, and then changing schools, to Sue Sylvester losing her sister, to Emma Pillsbury’s growth, there was plenty to take away from it all. I particularly liked the self-acceptance episode, the one with Sue’s sister’s funeral, and the one in which Kurt returns. As much as I find Kurt Hummel to be the most annoying character on the show, I did think that the whole bullying chapter was handled well. He obviously fit in perfectly with the Warblers, and I secretly hoped he wouldn’t return. Having gotten adjusted to Rachel Berry’s ways, I got used to seeing her this season as well. I also enjoyed the development of the other characters like Sam, Artie, Puck, Quinn, Brittany, Santana and Mercedes.

Coming back to the finale… I liked seeing Will Schuester get a glimpse of what he could have on Broadway, and it was heartwarming, albeit unreal, to see him choose his students over his lifelong dream. That the New Directions didn’t win at nationals was no big surprise. They have to save that for just before all of them graduate next season! Speaking of which, there weren’t any major cliffhangers as such, besides the fact that Sam and Mercedes are secretly dating. I don’t see a new relationship as a cliffhanger on this show, given how frequently the kids break up and get back together. However, there are other things that we can look forward to in S3. It has been revealed that Blaine will follow Kurt to McKinley and audition for a position in the New Directions. While that seems like an obvious turn of events, the inclusion of The Glee Project (a competition conducted to offer contestants a chance to win a guest starring role on the show) winner in S3 for at least seven episodes, might make for interesting material. That this new character will have a big role to play in Sue Sylvester’s (reportedly) 20-episode strong story makes this information even more interesting, especially since we don’t have a clue as to what Sue’s role will be, given that she called Will her true friend, after the entire Glee Club came through for her when her sister died. Sue’s strong storyline for S3 also explains the revelation made by the creators of the show, that S3 will focus entirely on the cast, and that there will be much fewer guest stars on the show. That also gives the writers room to let the characters grow towards the end of S3, when a few of them will graduate and leave school. It’s never been indicated that the entire Glee Club is from the same class, so while a few seniors will graduate, there will be others, and juniors who won’t. What they’ll do with that at the end of S3, we can only wait to find out!


What did you think of the season finales of GOSSIP GIRL, 90210 and GLEE? Do share your views here. (And please hit +1, if you liked this post.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THE WALKERS BID FAREWELL

It was the end of an era, as a beloved series was cancelled this spring. TV TALK breaks down the swan song of BROTHERS AND SISTERS


It was the day of Sarah’s wedding to Luc, and the Walkers came together for a family event for one last time, as BROTHERS AND SISTERS drew to a conclusion. The finale itself was not much more than a goodbye—something to close the chapters that had more-or-less come to an end, an epilogue of sorts. Every character got what suited them best and said goodbye in their own way. Let’s take a look at how each one bid farewell...


SARAH WALKER
I have to say that Sarah’s was one of only two stories that ended well, with events that had been fleshed out well, and brought to a gradual conclusion. I don’t think anyone had imagined that what started as a summer fling in France would eventually shape her future. I think that Luc was the best possible person she could have ended up with, out of all the men she had been with on the show, including ex-husband Joe. Sarah’s paternity was a point of focus towards the end, and I thought that she handled the news of Brody being her father really well, with natural feelings of a loss of identity creeping in later. The friction between her and her mother over Brody was handled nicely, as the writers maintained a good balance between her feeling betrayed and completely understanding the situation, neither or which it could have been. And even as I thought that it was unnecessary for Brody’s other daughter to show up at the wedding, the end was handled well for Sarah.



KITTY WALKER
Kitty’s character had so much potential with Robert’s death at the beginning of the season. They could have written so much for her, and her evolution post Robert, and even though she left town to go find herself several times, she was relatively absent from the season. That Calista Flockhart opted to be seen less during S5 was just sad, and left us wanting more from her. Her fling with Seth was entertaining in the beginning, but them getting serious in the end happened all too quickly, and it seemed a little repetitive to have both the Walker sisters end up with younger men. Too bad Rob Lowe decided to leave the show. If only they’d known this would be the last season, and maybe he would have stayed and maybe Kitty could have ended up with the perfect man for her. Her pregnancy in the end was also abrupt, leaving scope for more, yet concluding her story for now.


TOMMY WALKER
We’ve seen very little of Tommy over the last two seasons, and as disappointing as that was, I liked that he was still around for all the big family occasions. His engagement and the back and forth with his career were side storylines that just did enough for his character. There could have been more for him, and if they were to go on for a S6, I would have liked to see him move back to Pasadena with his new wife, and have her blend in more with the rest of the Walkers.


KEVIN WALKER
I have to say that Matthew Rhys delivered some of his best work in the final season, especially with his outbursts while dealing with Scotty cheating on him, and with trying to get back their biological child that their surrogate had stolen from them. Kevin’s story ended almost as well as Sarah’s, with him and Scotty finally becoming parents and putting past issue behind them. The situation with the surrogate stealing their biological son made for some intense and interesting drama, but I only wish the writers had got a chance to play out that angle better. There was a lot of potential there, and I think when they initially thought of the storyline, they probably intended for it to be Kevin’s story in S6.


JUSTIN WALKER
With the end of his marriage to Rebecca, Justin grew so much. His return from Afghanistan and bringing the family together at the beginning of the season was only the beginning of it. It was heartwarming to see him get closure from his failed marriage, reach out to Holly and David, to help them, become a support system for his own family, and finally finding his calling as a paramedic. It saddened me to see him alone through it all, and I wanted more than anything to see him happy with someone. That’s why it was nice to see him rekindle a spark with Tyler, his ex. Considering how things had ended so badly between them in S1, when he was still a junkie, it was like he had come a full circle, after battling addiction, post-traumatic stress, family issues, and a failed marriage, back to be with a woman who was a symbol of how far he had come. The revival of their relationship, and him finally getting his happy ending would have been so much better if the writers had one more season to play it all out adequately.


NORA WALKER
Good ol’ Nora—a protagonist extraordinaire, a matriarch, the quintessential mother, and the backbone of the show, Nora was all that and more. Two-time Academy Award-winner Sally Field brought such a high level of sophistication and excellence to the role and to the show for five years. As for her story, I liked that they made her end up with someone who was the love of her life before William Walker. Of the men she’d been with throughout the show, for a strong character like Nora it only seemed fitting for her to end up with someone whom she’d shared a history with. I enjoyed the flashbacks that threw light on that history, especially because the actress they chose to play younger Nora was eerily similar to Sally Field. Given all of the above, I have to say that the writers did complete justice to her story and ended it the best of all. After dealing with the legacy of lies and deceit that William had left her with, Nora had grown from strength to strength throughout the show, being the rock for her family and seeing them through everything. Nora’s voiceover in the end, as she calls Sarah’s wedding (and metaphorically, the last six years for her family) ‘the best times’, became a fitting conclusion to the series. It was a highlight to see Nora in the last few frames, as she looked at her family, happy and satisfied. She will remain as one of my all-time favorite characters ever written for television, and she will be deeply missed.


As I bid farewell to the Walkers, I only wish the writers had gotten just one more season, even a shorter one, to flesh out the abrupt endings and give the characters a better ending. It would have been great to see Sarah settling into married life; Kitty’s relationship with Seth grow, as she’d start a family with him; Tommy reconnect with the family; Kevin and Scotty’s struggle to get custody of their son, instead of him just being given to them; and Justin’s relationship with Tyler play out more before they’d settle down. Unfortunately, ABC was unwilling to give the show even a few more episodes. And while that leaves me wanting more, I’m still satisfied with what we had. I end with the quote that Nora concludes the show with…



“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
~George Elliot


How was the BROTHERS AND SISTERS series finale for you? Bid farewell to the Walkers here…

Saturday, June 18, 2011

ROUND-UP OF TV SEASON 2010-11 (IV)

Here’s TV TALK, on the end of season 6 of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, a season that gave the show a renewed sense of direction, as it showed us evolution in every character



Did HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER just become ‘how Uncle Barney met the mother of his kids’? Because the finale that ended S6 of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER surely takes the focus away from ‘the mother’ (who has always been) in question. 

And in true spirit of the show…more on that later!



CHANGES FOR THE BETTER
It was the season where one character lost his best friend and another got a chance to meet whom he’d hoped would have been his best friend. With the death of Marshall’s dad, and Barney meeting his father, who had abandoned him when he was a child, S6 of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER really brought out some strong emotions from these two characters. Even though the show is a comedy, the stories of the people in it became more real this season, with an element of seriousness in their lives. I had written here that Barney Stinson’s character was becoming a little tiresome, and the novelty factor of his iconic ways was wearing off, with the absence of an evolution of the character. The caricaturesque nature of Barney was taking away from his growth, and the growth of the show, but this season, all that has changed. In addition to that, we got to see some of Neil Patrick Harris’ finest work on the show, especially with Barney’s outburst to his dad while trying to rip off a basketball ring from the wall. It brought out emotions from him that had been festering over several seasons of the show, and to see it all come out was definitely refreshing.

And then there was Marshall. With the death of his father, his relationship with Lily evolved, as unimaginable as that might have seemed earlier. The funeral episode was touching, to say the least, and with this development, we saw Marshall getting a chance to grow into what he’s always wanted—a role in environmental activities. On the other hand, even Ted seemed to be going somewhere. Finally heading towards his career dreams of designing a building that would be a part of Ney York City’s skyline, and being in what seemed like only his third serious relationship on the show, this season gave us a well-balanced story for Ted. His relationship with Zoey, which started off with rivalry turning into friendship and then love, was more exciting than his previous relationships (except for the one with Robin). I really thought Zoey would become a permanent or long-term fixture among the gang, and I even thought that she might be ‘the mother’. However, with them breaking up and Jennifer Morrison (Zoey) getting her own show on ABC (ONCE UPON A TIME), I knew that wouldn’t happen.

The ladies also evolved in their own way. For Lily, a direction towards starting a family brought out certain angles in her storylines that were fun to watch. As for Robin, the evolution took place earlier in the season, when she showed unprecedented emotions over a bad break up.


THE END OF A GOOD SEASON
Besides the growth in the show, the season as a whole was entertaining and reminded me of all the reasons why I loved the show to begin with. The writing was fresh, which made the subplots (a very important factor in a comedy series) interesting and relevant. Impressive guest stars like the very talented John Lithgow (Arthur Mitchell/Trinity, DEXTER) as Barney’s Dad, Jennifer Morrison (Dr Allison Cameron, HOUSE MD), and Kyle MacLachlan (Orson Hodge, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) as Zoey’s husband, added great value to the show. One major highlight was the reprise of the opening theme by the gang in episode 21. It reminded me of their Broadway-musical like performance of ‘girls v/s suits’, and of the Robin Sparkles music videos. The cast’s occasional musical stints made me think of how much fun it would be if they were to have a musical episode on the show. I hope they consider that sometime!



THE FINALE
The end of Ted’s relationship with Zoey was sad, and I really hoped they would get back together. When he decided not to go ahead and see Zoey again, on being convinced by Barney and Robin, his voice-over from the future, telling his kids (referring to a random woman in a coffeehouse), “And that’s how I met your mother!” really freaked me out. I don’t watch the show to know who the mother is, but obviously to find out would be a big deal, and for the writers to mess with our heads for even the second that they did was just cruel, I thought! On the other hand, I was happy for Lily and Marshall, as they found out they were going to be parents, taking forward their plans to start a family.


THE WEDDING
And now for the more intriguing matters of the finale, one of them being Robin and Barney strangely reminiscing over their past feelings for each other, feelings that have evidently not completely vanished, by the look on Robin’s face when Barney goes up to speak to Nora. Executive producer of the show, Craig Thomas has stated that S7 will have “four huge episodes for Barney that will involve Robin, and there will be some very explosive relationship stuff happening.” I see that as something that will bring to conclusion the Robin and Barney storyline, one that was even more pointless than Rachel and Joey on FRIENDS. I say ‘conclusion’ because I somehow doubt that Barney and Robin will end up together. I actually see a potential future for Barney with Nora, considering that she’s the only girl whom he’s had true feelings for, feelings that have made him do things that one could never imagine him doing. My guess is that the writers haven’t decided on whom Barney is marrying ‘a little ways down the road’. What started the season as a teaser ended it as an even bigger teaser! Well, Thomas says, “The premiere of S7 will pick right back up at that future wedding. We’ll get to see more of Ted and Barney’s conversation. You will learn more. That wedding will inform quite a bit. In fact, it is a wedding-themed episode.” He also states that the bride may not be Nora or Robin, as S7 will throw some more candidate out there. Among other hints dropped, Ted will become very popular with the ladies, Robin’s love life will be significantly focused on, and there will be new dimensions to the Lily-Marshall story, with her pregnancy. There’s a lot to look forward to, and I know that every single fan of the show cannot wait for S7.


What were your thoughts on the season gone by, and the finale that threw so many questions out there? Comment here…


Sunday, June 12, 2011

ROUND-UP OF TV SEASON 2010-11 (PART III)


Many reviews of the S7 finale of GREY’S ANATOMY say that it seemed like the ‘beginning of the end’ of the show. TV TALK explores this notion

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of back and forth about whether or not Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) will leave the show during or after the next season of GREY’S ANATOMY. He stated that while the others from the original cast might renew their contracts after S8 ends, he was done with the show. That statement was later said to have been revealed out of context, and whether he would be leaving the show or not is still a mystery. That being said, it is true that the contracts of a majority of the cast expire with the forthcoming season, and with no confirmations from any of the cast members about a renewal of their contracts, it is still very uncertain what will happen with the show. Therefore, it was understandable that certain reviews called the season finale ‘the beginning of the end!’


NO ONE DIED!
For the last two years, creator Shonda Rhimes has been killing off or almost killing off characters in the finales (even in PRIVATE PRACTICE). Moreover, the S6 finale of GREY’S ANATOMY was possibly the pinnacle of disaster that she could write on the show. So this year, it seemed pretty obvious that the finale would be relatively quiet, but not without the signature Shonda drama—leaving almost every character in the lurch after a dramatic turn of events to disrupt almost every iota of harmony! Why didn’t people see it coming? Did anyone actually think that the finale would be as shocking as George and Izzie on their deathbeds, or as nailbiting as a crazy gunman shooting everyone in sight at the hospital? Writer Debora Cahn says on the Grey’s Writers blog, “You know what you can’t do the year after your boss [Shonda] kills off a bunch of people in the finale? Kill off anyone! You can’t do anything the year after a mass murder. There’s no topping a mass murder. So we decided not to...” Just as I had expected! No one died! And so what if it wasn’t all that dramatic? It didn’t make it any less interesting for me.

TROUBLE IN PARADISE
The main cliffhangers of the finale were the disturbances in the relationships of a few main characters. Christina got pregnant and decided she didn’t want to have the baby, and Owen threw her out of the house. The general view is that she actually deserved Owen’s wrath, because she didn’t give him his share of the decision making process and hence a share of the marriage. However, I wouldn’t say that the matter hadn’t been up for discussion. She didn’t go and get the abortion without telling him; she heard his views on the topic and she expressed hers. That the matter did not reach a conclusion, leaving her with the veto power was what angered him, I’d say. Moreover, in the episode prior to the finale, Owen tells Christina why she wasn’t going to be Chief Resident, saying that she needs to focus on surgery and any other responsibilities that could take her away from surgery, would drive her crazy till she failed at handling them. I think that that very much applies to her personal life as well, and that Owen needs to see that, which will help him understand why Christina so badly does not want to be a mother. Whether she will have the baby is still a question mark. One would think that she’d eventually melt and decide to give Owen a child, but knowing Christina, you never know.

On the other hand, there are Derek and Meredith. While some may think it’s devastating to see ‘Mer-Der’ in trouble, I think that it’s just a matter of ego and stubbornness on Derek’s part—the stubbornness over Meredith asking him to be professional with her over work-related matters, and the ego over Meredith not agreeing with him on what’s right and wrong. We all know Derek has a temper and a big fat ego. Remember how he brutally threw Addison out of the house, or how he called Meredith a whore for sleeping with George, which she did not owe him any explanation for, or how he assaulted Mark when Mark told him he was seeing Lexie, or how he refused to come back to work after he killed a patient, or how he threw the engagement ring he was going to give to Meredith... Like all of the above, Derek ignoring Meredith and abandoning her now is just so typically Derek. I believe that this issue will not last too long, and they’ll be fine a few episodes into S8.


PROMISING BEGINNINGS?
The positives that came out of the finale were Miranda Bailey agreeing to let Eli into her life a little, agreeing to let him come and meet her son, and Teddy finally admitting to her feelings for Henry. I think Bailey deserves to be happy and I really want to see more of her. She’s been so absent from S7, and maybe a relationship getting serious will give the writers more opportunities for Bailey storylines. Then there are Teddy and Henry. We all spotted their chemistry right in the beginning, when he was just her patient, and I think Henry makes way more sense with Teddy than Owen ever did or could. I’m glad that she’s moving on and has put Owen Hunt in her past.

The other development was Mark giving Avery and Lexie his blessings. What seemed heartbreaking could also be a positive new start for the younger couple. It was getting a little annoying seeing Lexie fawning over Mark Sloan and his new family, given that she left him for leaving her out of the decision to start that family. And even though I think that in the end Mark and Lexie will end up back together, I’d like to see more of her with Avery first. Avery, on the other hand, proved to be the only friend to April Kepner, when she was announced as the new Chief Resident. My heart went out to her when she had no one to be happy for her, the instant her name was put up on the board. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m beginning to like April—something that began when Hunt was giving the residents trauma training.




WHAT NEXT?
The most heartbreaking turn in the finale was Alex’s heart being ripped out by Lucy Fields, and then being thrown out of Meredith’s house, which is now no longer the happy residents' home that it’s always been. The writers have given Alex hell right from the beginning, with Rebecca, Izzie and now Lucy. He missed out on the Chief Resident position, and his friendship with Meredith is in jeopardy. The rebuilding of their friendship will be a focal point with the opening of S8, and that makes room for Shonda to go ahead with her plan to focus on the original cast in S8. Whether or not contracts are renewed after S8, Shonda has said, “I want to spend next season doing nothing but telling stories about the originals, and I felt like in order to do that, we wanted to put everybody in a place where the focus was squarely on Meredith and Derek, Cristina, Alex." That sounds comforting, given the possibility of it being the end of the road for Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo (Meredith), who also previously hinted that she might leave the show post S8. The show can definitely go on without the title character, because it’s more of an ensemble show anyway, yet it would be terribly sad if any of the remaining six actors from the original cast don’t return for S9. So here’s to a season of seeing more of our original GREY’S people!


Do share your views on the finale. Were you disappointed, or did you enjoy it, even without catastrophic drama?



Sunday, June 05, 2011

ROUND-UP OF TV SEASON 2010-11 (PART II)

After finally having watched the end of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES S7, here are my thoughts on a completely unconventional, fresh and oddly ‘poetic’ season finale of the show

‘We all lead lives of quiet desperation’ is the theme of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and the most recent season finale epitomizes that very line. The season that just ended, closed with a montage of our leading ladies from Wisteria Lane enjoying the last leg of a progressive dinner party, along with neighbors and friends, sipping wine and relishing dessert. But we all know what was going on in their minds. They had just covered up a murder and hidden the body… In no way could their situation have been more desperate. Yet, they sat among the others, dealing with their desperation, quietly…

THE SEASON GONE BY
After having finally had a chance to watch that finale, I could only think that it was worth the wait. And not just that; it made it worth watching what one could easily call a less than impressive season. While there were certain storylines throughout S7 that met their climaxes in the end, there were others that one could easily brush away as being pointless, like Lynette’s mother’s wedding and Zach Young’s drug addiction. Moreover, Paul Young’s return to Wisteria Lane didn’t live up to expectations, in a lot of ways. Vanessa Williams’ inclusion in the cast made for some interesting and funny moments, but the fact that her character lacked a strong storyline, weakening the purpose of the actress on the show.

Storylines that did pan out interestingly were Bree’s divorce, leading to an exploration of another aspect of her character; Susan’s financial problems, leading to another level of desperation; and Gaby’s knowledge of Juanita not being her daughter, leading to issues with her mental health and having to deal with the demons from her past. Additionally, the placement of Felicia Tillman’s role in Paul’s life, and her daughter Beth being his wife, added a deeper sense of satisfaction, as that tied up several loose ends from over four seasons ago. The riot episode was a highlight in the season for sure, as was the episode when Carlos finds out Andrew had killed his mother.

THE FINALE
I wondered what they would do with a two-part season finale, until I discovered that besides closing the Paul Young story, the writers had planned something else that would serve as the cliffhanger. What made the culmination of the Young-Tillman storyline absolutely intense was the part when Paul held Felicia’s neck, bringing back memories of him strangling Martha Huber to death in S1. However, the end of that story left me unsatisfied. Paul surrendering sends him back to jail, and even though Felicia had an accident, we still can’t be sure that she’s dead. That just puts both of them back to where they were earlier. If anything, Felicia’s the one who got what she wanted—for Paul to have to pay for killing Martha!

Moving on to Part 2 of the finale… The progressive dinner, in honor of Susan and Mike returning to the street, was a fantastic way to reveal the housewives’ situations or predicaments at the end of the season. One major situation in it all was Lynette’s. Now Tom and Lynette have not been the happiest couple, but theirs is probably the most realistic story, and hence the most beautiful relationship. Considering that the relationship was strained, it was even understandable that the tension would make things snap one day and for them to be having certain unresolved issue. It also made sense for Lynette to not be completely supportive of Tom and his success, because she’s always felt the need to be the alpha member of the family. What didn’t make sense was the feeling of relief over him leaving her. That just didn’t add up. Moreover, Lynette’s evolution towards the end of the season, becoming unsupportive, negative, and then inconsistent, made me like her less this season, leaving me disappointed with the handling of the marital issues between her and Tom.

THE POETIC CLIMAX
That brings me to the murder. The last few minutes of the finale revealed to us that Carlos kills Gaby’s stepfather by accident to protect her. While that was shocking, the seconds that followed made the twist even more intense and chilling. The ladies discover the murder and have just a few moments to hide the secret. They all come together for Gaby and Carlos in a way that gave me chills. Moreso because it reminded me of the S4 climax, when Katherine kills her ex-husband Wayne Davis, and on Bree’s instructions, the other housewives fabricate a story, to save Katherine, without asking questions, while making their statements to the police. This was just like that and the strength of their friendship moved me immensely, yet again. The epilogue left my mind rushing, as I saw Carlos seemingly forgive Bree. The irony of Carlos forgiving Bree for covering up a murder, because she comes through to help him cover up a murder he commits was poetic, and then there was the chest. Not too different from the one that Mary-Alice and Paul used to dispose of Deirdre’s body, the one in this finale is now the chest that holds the secret that all four housewives have to keep!

UP AHEAD
‘A Secret and a separation’ are the key words that will define the opening of S8, this fall. The only information available on the eighth season is that the secret of murder that the housewives are carrying is going to take a toll on them, and that Tom and Lynette will be separated when the season begins. It has been revealed that the two won’t get divorced, which is a relief, because the other three housewives have been through divorces, and out of those three, two remarried the men they divorced. Now we just know that eventually Tom and Lynette will get back together, so for the writers to make even them get divorced and then remarry would be overdoing it. However, before they give each other a chance to fall in love with each other again, is has been revealed that they will try their hand at mid-life dating, and that a certain woman will make that reunion harder for Tom. Now we saw where Renée was at the end of S7. Her devastation over her ex-husband’s impending wedding showed us how lonely she is, and we also know that she’s always been in love with Tom. Will Tom and Lynette’s separation make her feel like a door has opened up for her? Will she jeopardize her friendship with Lynette and act on her feelings for Tom? I suspect that she will want to, causing her to feel conflicted, but she eventually won’t. Either way, I suspect Renée will have a meatier storyline next season, as Vanessa Williams returns to play her this fall. It has also been revealed that even Jonathan Cake, who plays Det. Chuck Vance, will be a series regular next season. Given that, I see his relationship with Bree evolving, but only to the point where it becomes a problem for Bree to be dating a cop while having covered up a murder. And while that indicates how the secret could take a toll on one housewife, we can only wait to find out about the others! September can’t possibly be close enough!


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