The showrunner said in a recent interview that 4 words to sum up the finale would be "all you’ve hoped for," to which I was like pshhh. It's never true when they say things like that!
But that? Was a spot-on description.
I mean, I didn't have any expectations myself, but as far as providing closure and happy endings, that was beautiful. This is the kind of finale that every show should aspire to create. (seriously, sometimes I flip through my "series finale" tag and I'm just saddened by how frustrating or upsetting or generally awful the endings to so many shows are)
I raged about the time jump last year on principle, and I also rolled my eyes and scoffed at the idea of his relationship with Lisbon (what non-platonic chemistry was I supposed to see?), but I was real attached to his grief over his wife and daughter even after I knew he'd gotten closure. I think that is probably the amount of time I needed to feel like he had shed his emotional baggage enough to actually fall in love again.
Did I mention that I fell in love with them on the spot tonight? I am such a sucker for guys with heart eyes. One scene of lovestruck gazing at her and I was sold hook, line and sinker. I have spent literally 7 years wanting to punch him, but apparently being in love with her has wiped the smug look away. The first scene I paid attention to was him talking about the ring and what it symbolized, and I just got all fluttery and felt like butterflies might shoot out of my fingertips. I didn't even realize they weren't engaged at that point until he proposed. (by the way, A+ proposing)
Also, seeing them bring back Ven Pelt and Rigsby was so great! I mean, I have no emotional attachment to them. But I understand they were very popular, and I'm still not quite sure why they left, but I imagine it was a treat to see them return. I'm especially impressed by the length of her hair.
Watching Lisbon try on dresses (with the wise counsel of...Cho?) was sweet. And while I still don't understand what makes a person run away from a gorgeous wedding/reception setting with a theme that someone else literally planned AND paid for; all you had to do was show up!, I thought it was adorable how eagerly he encouraged her to get back on board with the elopement plan ("you go girl" killed me). If you're going to skip out on the fancy wedding, then a rural cabin setting by a lake is a pretty good second choice.
Even though I had no idea what was going on with the bloody-faced stalker, it was like having a preview for Stalker-the-Show -- and actually, not too far off given how little I know this show's characters; the only difference was the lack of TAU. Very exciting, lots of fun to watch. Especially the part where Lisbon turned out as part of the police pack, gun in hand, in her wedding dress. I honestly don't know what I liked better, that visual or Jane very carefully taking the gun out of her hands afterward and replacing it a proper flower bouquet. Hah!
And then the wedding happened without delay, and the kissing was very pretty (also, he looked so happy lifting up her veil), and the One Big Happy Dance Family Evening was beautifully lit and so much fun to watch...and then they had that moment by the lake.
Sure, when she said, "There's something I have to tell you," my first instinct was to yell "ARGH!!", because I was just explaining to Mom how nice it was to see a show where the main couple got married before getting accidentally pregnant. But then I reconsidered the circumstances and relented, "I'll allow it." She's not showing, so it's close enough; the wedding needed to be in the last episode, we want to know they have at least one child and there was no organic way to flash forward or tack on an epilogue that would have matched the emotional power of her telling him in that moment.
Because seriously, his expression was wonderful. It's everything my heart wanted to feel and just didn't in a ceratin recent comedy series that shall not be named. Look at me, I'm all smiling like a dope and curling my fingers back and forth. You know what, you two, you are totally winning a spot on the Top Shippy Moments list of 2015 this year. Just...what words to close a series. "You are?" / "I am." Kiss. Hug. Credits. GOLD MEDAL RELATIONSHIP WRITING.
Oh! And in unrelated commentary, watching him smugly blackmail a crooked jeweler into providing him with a ridiculously huge diamond* ring was wonderful. Why has he never before used his powers of smugging for GOOD?!
*I'm just gonna throw it out there, into the universe, that I would prefer an elegant and tiny diamond in a pretty band over that costume-jewelry-looking honker.
P.S. Has this show always been set in Austin, Texas? That seems real unique for a TV show. Why didn't I know this?
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to obsess over the Jane/Lisbon scenes in this episode ten more times. I would go on a YouTube tour, but the truth is I'm pretty sure they don't have anything else nearly this good or emotionally earned. I did find the "come to bed" clip from a recent episode, and that was pretty good, but...
*6 minutes later*
I have gone on a partial season 7 tour. It was mostly lukewarm, but I did take a stop by the airplane scene in the season 6 finale after it dawned on me that this was likely to give me more of those heart eyes, and oh my god so much delicious raw emotion. This is perfect. Amazing, really. Is he crying?? What a night. I'm taking that to bed.
*2 minutes later*
NOPE. That was a lie, because the sidebar says there is a kissing scene in that same finale and oh my god his face in that interrogation room when she says she feels the same way. (in case you're wondering why all my feelings are concentrated on his face, it's less to do with the fact that I'm a straight woman and more to the fact that Lisbon is pretty much window dressing in this OTP so far. She is a very nice lady and the acting's fine and I do believe that she loves him -- intellectually -- but god bless her, my heart is just not picking up on any chemistry beams emitting from her side.)
*1 minute later*
...what do you mean she had just accepted a marriage proposal from some other dude when this happened. I was under the impression she was moving to D.C. for a job. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF CASTLE SEASON 3 SHIP BLEMISHING. You know what, whatever, I am electing to ignore that wrinkle and/or use it as proof of why I made the right choice in shunning this show. I will cherry pick the bits of this show that suit me (e.g. Red John highlights and season 7) and erase all the rest.
Also, I love the kising, but I'm pretty sure what I really want to do is hear him actually say it again, so: airplane confession redux, please.
Now for real, I'm going to bed. Right after I talk about the amazing episode of Stalker that I was somehow able to process watching live.
Stalker, 1x17, "Fun and Games"
First, my thoughts on last week could be boiled down to: "you can't have the best friend be the problem two weeks in a row" and "UGH GROSS DNW Maggie Q's gross real-life relationship to bleed into this show's canon too; this is more awkward than Amaro hitting on Rollins (and similarly did not look like flirting to me, on account of the negative chemistry, so I was very confused when the the team started commenting on it).
Then the ending happened, and as Amanda lay dazed and bleeding from a head wound, we all sat bolt upright in our seats with wide eyes, which only got wider after seeing the preview for next week. And this lived up to every inch of hype, even if they stupidly spoiled the last two major surprises by doing so. The hour also moved at a wildly fast pace; I was never bored and I could not believe how much action and how many twists they packed into a single episode.
I loved watching Vicki come in and promptly destroy every stereotype of brash and over-aggressive replacement leaders by being compassionate and understanding and basically an older version of Beth, knowing when to step up and when to soften her voice. What the people who complained right off the bat about this show being misogynstic in its portrayal of female victims seem to be repeatedly missing is how much good this show does with gender balance as well as putting women in charge and highlighting female friendships. God, it's such a good show in so many ways, it kills me that most of the world refuses to recognize its value.
I love that the team is still taking turns sleeping over at Beth's house, even though I shouldn't be surprised because this show has been clear from day 1 that it is as much a serialized drama as it is a procedural. It's actually like a perfect cross between the two, and it knows how to unspool a story at a steady rate, not just picking it up for sweeps. *coughNCIS* And her dream in that opening teaser was a spooky good premonition.
I enjoyed the cat-and-mouse game Ray's playing with Beth, making cryptic phone calls and whatnot. I love the escalating and unhinged level violence we're seeing in Ray -- super terrifying -- but did not at all expect him to go rogue and kidnap Tracy. I dunno why, but I didn't. I certainly didn't expect him to beat Pouty Perry's poor pal the PI to death. And even with all that, I was stunned when he killed Perry himself. My eyeballs didn't even recognize him as dead at first, that's how much of a shock it was. (though to be fair, Ray has proven real good at causing serious head wounds without finishing people off) And that was well done, too.
Come on, you had to feel a little twinge of sympathy in response to his face at seeing Tracy, apologizing to her in the most genuine manner and pleading with Ray not to hurt her. He fought so hard to keep saving her, too. It's legit almost enough for me to forget the drawings of him strangling Beth (almost. I would need to know what actual end game he had in mind, if not her death). I would probably testify in his favor for sentencing leniency had he made it through the night. This is probably not how I should feel about the person who made so many extra deaths and injuries possible, but I'm sorry, tears are very motivating. And now no one will ever know for sure how much he was in over his head or how early he got off board with Ray's plan.
And then Ray shot the obnoxious junior agent point blank, which was AWESOME, though sadly not a permanent end to his yapping. Aaaand now I have to wait forever and a day to find out what happens next after Beth is locked in a trunk with Perry's body. Seriously, this felt so much like either a finale or part 1 of a season finale that I can't figure out how they would top it in a real finale, but 18 episodes seems like an awkward number for a season too. STUPID LACK OF PUBLIC INTEREST.
Truly, I have no idea how many episodes it's even supposed to have this season. I'm pretty sure that no show has ever had a 17-episode season, but it ended on a huge cilffhanger and sweeps isn't technically over but there was no preview for next week, so who the heck knows. For weeks now there has been ZERO INFORMATION on the internet about this show. Even its wiki isn't updated. It's the most radio silence since Medium was on NBC.
P.S. Further on the "awesome women being awesome" angle, look at Tracy sneakily working free of her tape, running like hell, and still having enough wits to find a blunt object and whack her pursuer with it in order to buy enough time to hide. It was a good plan, except that she didn't knock him out. But boy, what a good fight.