Harper's Island, #13, Sigh/The Finale
*whimpers and drags self back to blog* But I don't want to think about the end of this show! I just want to read all my old posts about it and be glad of all the times I took screenshots and occasionally weep at how things turned out! Good news is that it'll be out on DVD in early September.
Which is not precisely relevant since I won't get it until Christmas if I'm lucky and my birthday if I'm not, but as long as it exists on DVD, it's okay. I need this show in my life permanently, even in the context of 13 limited episodes which I will eventually probably memorize or something, so often will I watch them. Was there ever a time when I faintly liked "Southland" more, or even just as much? HAHA. SUCH QUAINT TIMES.
God, I really don't want to talk about how things turned out. OKAY. MUST FOCUS.
Part I: Final Chills
1. People are positing that maybe Henry did love Trish a little, hence the mumbling of "it's not fair" as she died. This makes me feel slightly better.
2. I feel like I maybe didn't make enough mention of how fond of Danny I was by the end. He's every bit the Big Damn Hero Sully was, just gentler and much more understated. Poor guy. His last moments involved playing cards while debating the merits of "Hansel and Gretel" with a precocious little 9-year-old. You don't get much sweeter than that.
3. Sully's reaction to finding out about Danny - there we go. That's what I wanted before. Perfect.
4. I almost want Sully to die now, just because it's unspeakably depressing to imagine having to live with the memory that one of your best friends killed your other three best friends.
I knew that was a lie while I wrote it, but honestly, it was only a half-lie. For as much as it broke my heart - and it did, it really did, to a degree only slightly less than Cal & Chloe - I needed it to end there. Full circle of a story.
That's the theory, anyway. In practice I wound up crying my eyes out as soon as the shock wore off. IT'S SULLY. COME ON. One of the last things he did was manage to thwart the crazy guys' plans and send Shea and Madison off to safety in a little rowboat, even making sure to let the Coast Guard know to keep an eye out for them, and refuse to go with because he was hellbent on stopping Wakefield. Mind, this is the same guy who about five episodes ago was leading the charge to slip away in the first available boat, Madison be damned (in retrospect: I would have greatly preferred that outcome).
On the producer's blog he calls it the most emotional death - "Watching the scene unfold, moments before Sully's demise, Matt delivered fear, panic, sorrow, sadness, and love... in just a few short seconds" - and I'm sort of inclined to agree. If only because his stammering "You've been my best friend since junior high..." positively killed me; he wanted so badly to believe this wasn't happening. And don't tell me you didn't love him when Henry laughed mockingly at Malcolm, and that was all the impetus for a newly incensed Sully to seethe "You son of a bitch," and pull the trigger...in vain.
Part II: Fauxnouement
Had pretty much given up on anything good coming out of this finale by the time Henry fired at Jimmy. Understood that merely hearing a gunshot might be a good sign, but...no. Did not have hope. And when they told Shea that it appeared everyone else had died, I was pretty much like "...fuck." Depressing! God, what a depressing ending! I wasn't even questioning how all the bodies wound up in the church if Wakefield & Abby died in the woods. I was just wondering how many they hadn't been able to find. They said they found over 20 - outside sources tally 29 - but Booth's body is buried somewhere deep in the woods where nobody knows, right? And are they going to find Malcolm's bones in the incinerator, or Beth's chopped-up corpse deep in the tunnels?
Then I looked at the clock and was like, "Wait, how the hell is there half an hour left?!" Was flabbergasted as to what in hell's name they were planning to do for another thirty minutes. Which is where the story suddenly morphs into all the promised "twists and turns" and just goes completely haywire.
Part III: Crazy-Ass Twist!
Seriously, I'm pretty sure I spent the first fifteen minutes of this segment just sitting there with my mouth hanging open in disbelief that what made it "All About Abby" (which by the way, JD, still pissed at you for being cryptic with your last breath instead of just saying Henry killed you): the entire cockamamie scheme is Henry's way of clearing the island so he and Abby can live happily ever after in
And when Henry was all "It's okay, I'll explain everything," I switched to a new branch of the "dream" theory, that maybe she and Henry had gotten married somewhere along the way but she was prone to these intense nightmares/periods of amnesia that left her temporarily bedridden, after which he regularly had to explain who she was and what she was doing here. I very badly wanted to undo episode 12, okay??
Speaking of which...
"He chose death. I choose life with you. I love you." It says some sick, sick things about my mentality that I was verily tempted, right after he said that, to swoon and fall in love with him again, right? DAMN IT, HENRY. STOP LOOKING SO ENDEARING WHEN YOU GAZE AT WOMEN LIKE THAT.
I swear, no matter how many times I watch this scene - and I have watched it a lot - I consistently fall under the spell of his voice and start thinking that, despite all the killings which were very tragic and all, he's so very reasonable that he's at least worth listening to. I mean, he keeps insisting that he won't hurt Abby; I'm inclined to believe him. (even when I get proof later that his temper is totally uncontrollable, and he will hurt her without thinking, and then the best he'll be able to do is look aghast and try to make it up to her)
Relatedly: I AM SORRY. IT IS VERY SHIPPILY APPEALING, THE WAY HE SITS ON THE EDGE OF THE BED AND STROKES HER HAIR.
Nobody else knows they're related! It's only by half! He loves her! Look how cautious and gentle he is! This could totally work if she'd just give in and make the best of a bad situation! [I AM SO TERRIBLE.]
Also! It sort of breaks my heart that the last words on his lips are "I love you" and there's not even really anger or blame or anything. He just fades away and it's profoundly tragic and pitiful in spite of everything. I'm not crying! Shut up! There's dust in my eye again!
I may have been sort of UNDULY GRUMPY by the last shot and the resultant fact that the most boring love story of all was the ultimate one. Stupid fanfiction.net fanbrats having their boring mass of Jimmy/Abby stories vindicated. Call me later when I will be willing to "awww" a bit over them. Or when I'm spinning up my shippy post-series daydreams and at least I know that one couple's left safe together to rebuild. Her dad didn't totally die in vain! "Jimmy loves you. You two can have a life together."
It was, after all, very heroic the way he tackled Henry off a cliff. And their "goodbye" kiss may have melted part of an organ or two. And the exploded bits of my shippy radar weakly tried to go "ping!" when he was all "GET AWAY FROM HER" despite being hilariously hogtied to a pole and completely helpless to back up that aggression. And lying there all half-dead on the rocky beach...is anyone even surprised that I talked myself back into loving them over the course of this paragraph?
However, I am still bitter that Shea and Madison survived. Stupid, useless creatures...not as useless as Wellington & Catherine, for example; it could have been worse, but still.
P.S. Way to rip out my shredded pulp of a heart some more by playing clips from the wedding video at the very end, show! If I hadn't already been crying, that would have done me in. Everybody was so innocent and naive and silly
What Does All This Mean?
For starters, I'm actually pretty impressed that they managed not to have the reveal of the killer be the high point, like you expected. I mean, I've almost forgotten when that was the ultimate mystery. Neither that nor the last scene with Shea, describing the aftermath of the gore, is the part of the finale that stays with me. It seems like such a long time ago that a serial killer was the ultimate anchor of the plot...
Number two, it strikes me that alllll those times I was pretend-shipping Henry and Abby, IT WAS FOR REAL. All those times I chuckled and pointed out how Henry was ditching his fiancee again to run all over the island with Abby? Totally intentional, because he wanted to be with her! Pretty sure that even beating up Shane was fueled by legitimate rage, not necessarily for her safety but just because. You don't treat Abby like that. So I feel sort of...half-vindicated, now. After episode 12 I was merely in a rage because I don't like being tricked into the wrong ship, but now I can blame the writers for making an intentional romance out of it. In a way.
Seriously, you'd think I'd be more upset by this twist, and yet Gorham's acting seems to have singlehandedly erased all my negative feelings from the end of episode 12.
*gasp* Oh, man. I know what I can do with my Wrong Bad shippy daydreams! I can bust out my very apt "crazy fic ideas" tag (I never have sane ones anymore), and propose a story in which I play out an alternate ending -- one in which Abby never escapes and eventually accepts this life -- and I can pack it full of all the sweet and adorable details I want, because at the end it will turn out to be a thorough description of how Henry imagines it turning out, right before he picks up his chloroform supplies and goes off to nab Cousin Ben.
Am pretty sure I cannot pull this off without my pathetic personal agenda shining through, but I still want to try.
Best new fandom of the year? Yes. I will listen to none of these claims that even the people who liked it think it was "fun despite being cheesy." No! No cheese! Only pure and simple flat-out delight. (mixed with soul-punching and emotional devastation) One need only reread my plans to buy the DVDs and watch episodes until I have them memorized to get a taste of my feelings on this issue. I think I'm almost relieved that there won't be a second season, because I don't know that I could go through it all again. Or that I'd want to.
In the end, it was like raising a 4-H calf. You know you'll only have it for a limited time and you have to give it up eventually anyway, but you still get attached to it, throw your heart and effort into it, and it sucks when your time together is over.
I miss it already. :'(