Kevin’s toast, though…When he said “Katie Girl” and spoke the truth he felt his father would speak…(Cue the sounds of copious sniffling in the Craker household!)
But that’s just me, getting ahead of myself. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times on the last episode of Season 2. (HOLD ME). It was the best of times because of the wedding, and Jack and Rebecca’s 40th, and Kevin and Randall being such good brothers to Kate I thought my heart would burst. But it was also the worst of times, because Deja is out of control, and we see a future for our Pearsons that is not entirely good (Toby crushed by depression!). Mostly, it was the worst of times because it was the last episode of the season, and we have six cruel, bitter months to endure before we see our dear TV pals again!
1. So, I was way off track in last week’s recap, when I thought older Jack would be coming back as a ghost at Kate’s wedding. Nope, these writers are better than that. We witness Jack and Rebecca renewing their vows at a 40th anniversary celebration, and it’s a beautiful thing. Jack is handsome and beaming with love for his bride of four decades. Rebecca is lovely and radiant. And their children are joyful and content, receiving the great gift of parents who love each other for the long haul.
2. Toby pours on the charm as he and Kate prepare to wed. Even though she is losing it on several different levels, Toby is calm and funny. “If my boot comes with baggage I’m paying the handling fee.” She does come with baggage, but then again, so does he! (Love Kate’s earrings!)
3. We find out that Shauna (I’ve been spelling it wrong) has gone to court to terminate her parental rights, making the way clear for Randall and Beth to adopt Deja. The only problem is, Deja is a seething cauldron of anger, grief, sadness, and angst. In a perfect world, there would be a way for the Pearsons to care for her and love her and for her mother to also care for her and love her. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Deja is so belligerent these days that Randall quips that “it’s like I’m raising Russell Crowe.” Ha! But also, ugh!
4. Things in #Katoby World are headed south fast. Kate is determined to carry a piece of Jack with her down the aisle. But Toby forgot to pack Jack’s Daytona 500 t-shirt, which she was going to pin to her dress. I can’t wrap my head around it, visually. Can you? Kate begins to unravel and goes on a quest to find her father on her wedding day. I adored the screwdriver in Katie Girl’s bouquet, though.
5. Making like a runaway bride (something she promised Toby she would never do), Kate takes off for parts unknown, unknown that is, to everyone else. She knows where she’s going–straight to the old ice cream place nearby the cabin, where Jack used to take her as a little girl. Sadly, times have changed, and the old-fashioned ice cream parlor of her memory is now a trendy, vegan optional, artisanal eatery which has replaced Jack’s favorite banana pudding ice cream with lavender balsamic (umm, what?). I get it. It kills me to go home and see my dad’s old bookstore turned into a travel agency.
6. Rebecca sings like a silvery songbird to Jack at their vow renewal, causing Jack–and also the North American continent–to tear up as well.
7. Things are not proceeding smoothly for Kevin and Randall, aka The Wedding Planners. “We lost the bride and that is like the number one rule of what not to do on the wedding day,” Kevin bemoans. He and Randall are driving around, looking for Kate, who is AWOL. Randall encourages Kevin to play he and Beth’s “game,” where they say out loud everything they are afraid of to take the power out of those scenarios. Kevin plays along: “What if me and Kate end up like those creepy old twins who grow old together”? (At which point I remembered these two old ladies, sisters and customers at my dad’s bookstore, who dressed alike and shared the same bed well into their 70’s…) “What if we went grocery shopping and people assumed we were married, and we don’t even correct them anymore?” (SO FUNNY!)
8. Not to brag (clearly, I’m bragging), but I KNEW IT! I knew from the moment Zoe waltzed onto the canvas–all beautiful and luminous and sassy–that she and Kevin would gravitate to one another. Beth’s cousin Zoe, once an angry girl abandoned by her mother, talks to Deja and seems to get through to her. Zoe gets Deja’s pain.
9. Toby’s parents (I rejoiced to see “Just Shoot Me”‘s droll Wendy Malick as Toby’s mother) hold grave reservations about Kate’s lack of stability. “She has issues you can’t fix,” they say. Which is true. Only God can fix those kinds of issues! But Toby holds firm like the knight he is: “I’m unstable-y in love with Kate Pearson.” Ironically, as we see in the peek into the future, it is Toby who will need Kate’s strength and stability someday.
10. Kate calls Rebecca (walking on eggshells–poor thing) and tells her about her recent recurring dream of her parents’ 40th anniversary. But Toby is not in the dream. I worry for a moment–will Kate take this as a sign she is not to marry Toby? But–PFEW–our girl Kate is stalwart. She visits Jack’s tree and tells him it’s time for her to make room for her husband in her heart. It’s time to let Toby take Jack’s place beside her.
11. Kate remembers her and Jack getting ice cream, and sitting by the tree. What struck me about this episode is how true and real it is to live with your memories every day. Our remembrances are with us every step, stitched into our lives like a crazy quilt of color and texture. This show gets that element of life so right.
12. The Line of the Night for me was Kate talking to her mother. Yes, they have issues and awkwardness and things to unravel. But Rebecca needn’t be so worried that she is always upsetting her daughter. “You are not in my way,” Kate tells her mama with much love. “You are my way.” Geez Louise! Pass the Kleenex!
13. Randall’s toast is a nod to the future. We don’t know what will happen beyond what we can see, but it’s a safe bet that some bad things and some good things will happen. And we glimpse the Pearson’s future:
* Kevin and Zoe, a couple, land in Vietnam, looking answers about Jack’s war experience.
* Toby lies in bed, suffering from what I assume is depression
* Older Randall and grown-up Tess, have dinner together and refer to someone neither of them is ready to see. Obviously, I think it’s Deja but these writers could mean Beth or Annie, too.
The future is already filled with trouble, even though they don’t know it yet. While the family Pearson dances and celebrates under a million twinkly lights at Kate’s reception, their newest member Deja is self-sabotaging, unleashing her rage by taking Jack’s bat to Randall’s prized vehicle.
WELL…what do you guys think about this last episode? Favorite line? Scene? Performance? Is there any way in which you would have changed Kate’s wedding? I so loved that she danced with Miguel! But I wish Kevin and Randall would have walked her down the aisle. Call me sentimental. You wouldn’t be wrong!