A few hours after watching the Schitt’s Creek finale, I’m thinking about Fleabag. That little wave Fleabag gives us, the look back from a distance further than we’ve ever been from her. For two seasons we were her confidants, but then she let us go. Last year’s Fleabag season two ending was bittersweet, but only because the goodbye was for us. Fleabag was moving on with her life and leaving us behind and we had to let her.
“Happy Ending,” Schitt’s Creek’s farewell episode, has a similar feel to it — there’s a wave goodbye and a one more look before the series ends. Most importantly, however, is that it’s a look forward toward a better, more secure future, one that didn’t seem possible when the Rose family first moved to Schitt’s Creek. Everyone is in a much different place than when we began, physically, emotionally, and maturely. Even though Moira and Johnny leave, with Alexis soon making her own departure, it’s with the knowledge that this family won’t ignore each other like they once did. Think of it this way: if Alexis were to get caught up in another overseas scandal, it won’t just be David calling consulates. What’s more, the sense of growth isn’t done by a typical finale-fare of montages and voice-overs or emotionally manipulative glimpses into the future as evidence of these things, nor were there any surprise returns. It simply was and, because of that, it was the best finale we could have asked for.
It’s also a finale that geniunely feels like both an ending and just another stop on the season-long journey. Season six began with a search for a wedding venue and ended with a wedding. In between, we saw incredible moments between Ted and Alexis, as they La La Land-ed their way into a mutually respectful and loving break-up. We witnessed a truly magnificent red carpet with Moira in her element, before it was dive-bombed by crows. Stevie gave it her best Sally Bowles and got out from behind the desk. Then, Stevie gave it her best Stevie and returned with a confidence to go even further, right at home. Johnny and Roland’s friendship finally got to a place of respect and friendliness. David and Patrick grew even closer, dealt with those weird personal issues that arise in relationships, and then they kept loving each other.
Throughout the entire final season, we hit milestone after milestone, closing the book on chapters early on so that when the end came, it greeted us as gently as it could, as warmly as it’s always said hello. When David, Patrick, Stevie, and Alexis all waved goodbye, it felt more like a “see you later” – just not for us. That’s the way it should be if we want to continue believing these characters are alive and well somewhere.
So, who cares if there was no wedding reception, or Alexis moving to New York, or Ted returning, or David and Patrick moving into their home, or Mutt returning? We know those things will happen eventually, sometime, somewhere, in a place where everyone fits in. In the meantime, we’ll always have these six seasons and a finale that didn’t feel like an end; and, well, I love that journey for us.