January 19, 2011
In A More Perfect World
It isn't official, but it's a foregone conclusion that Life Unexpected will not see a third season and that the two episodes that aired last night represent the end of the series. As it was with the show in general, I liked some of it, I hated some of it and I loved some of it.
The first episode, "Teacher Schooled," helps wrap up that ugly affair Lux has been having with Tiny Teacher. After 11 episodes of his "we can't do this, now kiss me" bullshit, he's finally decided put an end to the relationship. He's supposed to meet Lux at Natasha's apartment (which, I guess they're continuing to pay rent on even though she'll be in juvie for 6 months - disposable income, much?) where she's planned for the two of them to spend a romantic night together. Instead, he goes to the loft and comes clean to Math. At the same time, Sam has ratted her out (sort of) to Baze and Cate who haul ass to the apartment. Lux lies her rotten little ass off saying that she's been having a secret relationship with Jones who will be arriving soon to have sex with her so they should go so he doesn't get embarrassed. Lux is the worst liar on a show full of people who are terrible liars. They all end up at the loft where the whole ugly, teacher smooching truth comes out and Baze loses his shit. Baze is 274 feet tall, Tiny Teacher is basically a Smurf (that's three apples tall for you novices), to say it isn't a fair fight is the understatement of...all time. After Inappropriate Teacher Smurf leaves, Lux has a screaming fight with her parents that is, in a word, ugly.
I have never been a fan of Lux's and, in fact, I think her frequent, horrible outbursts are the very worst thing about this show. I get that she's had this awful life and she's got issues and that her parents have guilt over not being in her life for the first 15 years of it. But none of that is any excuse for her to be allowed to act like a raging bitch every fucking week. And even if there are reasons for it, I've always thought it was a poor writing choice if we're meant to like Lux and root for her. Of all her outbursts, this one is the most selfish and hateful as she screams at both of her parents for not understanding, for never being there for her the way that Smurfy the Teacher has been, and for sucking at relationships their own selves. Then she tells Baze that Emma had an affair with his dad...in front of everyone including Sam. Lux is the WORST.
Baze confronts Emma about it, she confirms, he dumps her. This was particularly sad because he had just had this great breakthrough moment with Sam after the little delinquent expressed his displeasure with Baze's plans to buy a house and have Emma move in with him because he felt that, once again, he'd be displaced by people not wanting him but then Baze took him to the house and gave him the tour and then told him that his room would be in the basement for optimum privacy for loud music and internet porn. When Emma shows up for the talk and Baze asks Sam to give them a minute, Sam is all "Baze? Thank you for the basement" and I might have sobbed just a little.
Baze and Cate, caring not at all how much it pisses Lux off (as all good parents wouldn't), march over to Tiny Apple Orchard to let Teach know how it's gonna be. Itty Bitty is going to quit his job and relocate immediately and never come anywhere near their daughter again and in return, they will refrain from having him arrested and put on a sex offender list. He agrees (like he had a choice) and then asks them to give Lux a gift he had for her. They do. It's a compass to "help her find her way" without him.
The finale, "Affair Remembered," picks up where the last left off. Lux hates her parents and acts like a brat because they have the nerve not to want her to have sex with her teacher. Baze confronts his dad about having an affair with his girlfriend while also regularly berating him (Baze) for being a fuck-up. Ryan and Cate visit the doctor and find out that she has miscarried the baby.
Baze's mom surprises him with a plan to throw Jack a 60th birthday party at the bar and Baze goes along with it and then, when Emma comes to the party and he's already drunk, he gives a toast that is almost an outing of his father's past sins in front of everyone but then Baze thinks better of it and decides to stop trying to be as good as his dad and start being better than his dad. He quits the firm and tells his dad that he's going to buy the building from him, reopen the bar and be his own man. Baze grow'd up good this past year, kids.
Cate has a lot on her plate at the moment. She's dealing with the miscarriage and with a new job (that awful tight-ass woman is fired and now Cate and Ryan have to come up with a solo show for Ryan - that Cate will produce). Then she finds out that, for reasons we're never told, she is unable to carry a baby to term ever again. But fortunately her BFF, Alice has returned and her life kinda sucks too. Misery loves company, and lots of wine.
Lux runs into Jones at school and he thinks that the two of them should ditch and go visit Tasha. The two of them have an adorable conversation in the car on the way until he asks if she heard the rumor that one of their classmates was boning Tiny Teacher and that's why he left. Lux, because she's both awful and stupid, insists he stop the car then gets out and storms off. Jesus Lux, you couldn't just be all "oh, I hadn't heard" and then change the fucking subject? It's like she's never been around people before!
Anyway, Tasha's been denied visitation privileges for undisclosed reasons so Lux pouts. Then she comes home and yells at her mother some more making everything about her instead of asking why Cate looks like she's about to cry until she vomits.
Cate tells Lux she lost the baby and also tells her she doesn't have to talk to her but she should talk to someone. So Lux talks to Jones which is, maybe the most awesome choice Lux has ever made. She's all whining about how she's the only person in the world with problems and he wouldn't understand because he's perfect and normal and then he tells her that she doesn't know shit about him because she never shuts up long enough to find out anything about anyone else. His mom is mentally ill and he spends a lot of his time worried that he could end up just like her some day. And because he's awesome he tells her that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD has problems and a lot of them are as bad or worse than hers and she needs to stop thinking the everything is about her. He might have said it a little nicer than I did. I can't help it, you guys, she's just the worst.
Some time later, Ryan has brought Lux to the bar fresh from receiving her driver's licence and the two of them join Jamie and Math in helping Baze fix the place up. We then get an unbelievably enjoyable scene where Lux and her two dads bond and act silly. But while they're revelling in their happiness, Cate is running into Ryan's ex girlfriend who is really pregnant with his baby.
She crashes the party at the bar and wistfully watches them all laugh and enjoy each other's company and then has to tell her husband that he's expecting a kid with someone who isn't her. Sad.
We don't see that exchange though. Instead we skip ahead 2 years to Lux's high school graduation where she is giving a commencement address. It's pretty much your standard commencement sap and she compares a light year to a measure of time rather than a measure of distance which is something that's always bugged me despite being a complete idiot when it comes to all things science or physics but whatev. The upshot, is that in the audience, sits Tasha and Jones (also graduating), Grandma and Grandpa Baze, Ryan's baby mama (who arrives late with his 2-year-old son who Cate then totally gushes over), Ryan, Cate, Baze, Jamie, some I assume is Jamie's girlfriend, and a pregnant Alice. Math is on the stage with the other teachers. After the speech, we find out that Ryan is now with BM and baby, Math and Alice are married and expecting, Jamie and the pretty girl are together, Lux and Jones are a couple (YAY!), Tasha has taken up photography and doesn't seem to mind her best friend snagging her ex, and Cate and Baze are together.
I loved the ending but less because of who ended up with whom and more because they finally turned this group of people into a family who all loved Lux and each other despite the crazy, mixed-up relationships they all have. That's what I wanted this show to be about from the very beginning. Also, I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I had my fair share of issues with this show but when it was all said and done, it was worth watching and it ended perfectly. After that finale, I'm ok that it's over and I'm looking forward to owning the whole series on DVD someday (soon, I hope. Get on it, CBS).