“What’s there to miss?”
Since the beginning of the series, these characters have been in a bit of a standstill, caught in the shadow of the past and uncertain about what the future holds. At the same time, though, the rest of the world hasn’t slowed down along with them, and as stated in this episode, “time gets away from you as you get older.” There’s a palpable sense of frustration throughout the show, frustration that years and years have been spent to try to resolve a case, disappointment that certain things haven’t been experienced and accomplished and tried. And yet, even amidst the dark times, this show can also be one of the most optimistic on television (as I’ve said many times before).
Aside from Trey, we can find moments of progress with all of the characters in this hour. Even though Ted and Tawney are still emotionally–and now, physically–distant from one another, the former comes to terms with his fears about losing her and about fading into death. “I didn’t realize how much I was carrying around,” he tells Rebecca. “Fear, obsession, insecurity…” Then, the idea of empathy comes up in the conversation, and it’s clearly a huge moment for a character who has been compelling, but frustrating, to watch. He has enough self awareness to pinpoint his flaws and to beat himself up over them, but there have been moments where he’s been unable to put himself in Tawney’s shoes. And over on her end of things, we see her and Rose talking about the future in the kitchen of Miss Kathy’s house. “I used to…dream about how things would be better when I grew up,” Tawney says, and the response she gets is telling: “And you’d live happily ever after? Even I know that’s bullshit.” Once again, these are hopes not meshing with reality.
My favorite storyline of this episode, however, is Janet’s. J. Smith Cameron is absolutely phenomenal throughout the hour, and we begin to see her character moving forward in her life by revisiting her past. Every scene of hers here is beautiful: her conversations with Marcy about Lester, her talk to the Teds in her kitchen, her final moment with Daniel by the pool. This show has oftentimes focused on pairings, but seeing the whole family sitting around the pool at the end is really a nice moment to witness. They’re laughing and joking and enjoying the night, and at the end of it all, Daniel makes plans with Janet to move on. They’re moving from a pool to the ocean, from a painful past to a hopeful future. They might all be damaged in some way, but there are ways of fixing some of that damage. And even if you can’t, that’s okay.
-This review is admittedly a little rushed. A lot of other stuff going on in the television world tonight.
-Here’s some of Janet’s wonderfully written speech: “He’s a sick person. He’s a damaged person. But he’s not bad. He’s had such a raw deal, his life. So I’m gonna help him as much as I can–as much as he lets me–so that he has a chance…just like the rest of us if we’re lucky.”
-Daggett’s development this season has really been fantastic. He’s certainly more of a supporting character, but as his role has increased, so has the high quality writing for his story.
-Melvin-Daniel scenes continue to be terrific.
-Finale next week! Any hopes/predictions? Share below.
Photo credit: Rectify, SundanceTV