Life Unexpected: All's well that ends weird
A lot went down on last night's two-hour finale of "Life Unexpected" -- maybe a little too much. Granted, you can't have a two-hour finale that only lasts one hour, but it still seemed a bit squeezed. Plus, we were asked to believe some pretty unbelievable plot twists at the end. But more on that later.
Cate is in full-on nesting mode, driving Ryan and Lux crazy with an excess of terrible cooking and smothering. And we don't mean in butter. After the last episode's jarring incidents, Cate is demanding to know exactly where Lux is at all times and is even having Baze chauffeur her to and from school. Enjoy it, kid. It's way better than the bus.
It's time for a reality check
Cate isn't the only one playing Susie Homemaker -- Baze has his sights set on a brand new house of his own, complete with room for Emma to move in. Emma's clearly touched, but becomes hesitant once Lux warns her that the truth will out regarding her affair with Bazile Sr. But when Baze questions her reticence, she fends the blame off on Sam, saying she doesn't want to move too fast for him. This leads to a lot of teenager pandering on Baze's part and finally reassuring Sam that he'll always have a place at the Baze residence.
Read on for all the truly unexpected drama in the series finale after the jump!
You've got some growing-up to do
Despite Daniels' promise that nothing would change after the trial, he stops responding to Lux's texts. When she confronts him about the absence she invites him over for a "date" at Tasha's, and the reluctant Daniels accepts. The leads to some more lies to the parents about her goings-on for the evening, telling Baze that she's spending the night with Cate and reality television.
Meanwhile, Daniels runs into a very stressed-out Cate at the bookstore, who unloads all of her insecurities and feelings of inadequacy on him, because that's what you do with your daughter's teacher. This leads the guilt-tripping Daniels to call off his statutory date and Lux to show up at his door, furious. Unable to see that this a clearly unhealthy situation, Lux delivers a bigger guilt trip and Daniels agrees to meet at Tasha's. Too bad that's a lie and he ends up going to Math's instead. Looks like the honeymoon is over.
Sometimes that overprotective thing is for the best
When Cate tries to track down Lux and finds that Baze doesn't know where she is either, they wheedle the whole sordid truth out of Sam, who mostly wants to show Baze that he appreciates the offer to live with him. So when Lux goes to let Daniels into the little love den she's whipped up at Tasha's, she finds her furious parents instead. After some really terrible lying, the whole motley crew heads back to Baze's bar, where Math and Daniels arrive and presently get introduced to Hurricane Nate. In order to pull her dad off her teacher/boyfriend, Lux unleashes the only weapon she has left: The truth about Gramps Bazile and Emma.
We'd like to take a little moment here to mention the great acting happening on the part of Shaun Sipos and Kristoffer Polaha. Daniels' look of absolute helplessness and self-loathing during his tear-down from Baze was enough to make even the stoniest CW Source heart ache, and we were almost sure Baze was going to spontaneously combust from the concentrated pain he was feeling after his daughter verbally stabbed him in the chest. So, kudos.
After everyone leaves and Lux has her predictable hissy fit, Cate finally has her singular moment of clarity in the entire series, saying that her behavior "proves what a child" she is. THANK YOU, CATE.
All's well that ends well...except when it doesn't
Meanwhile, Emma shows up downstairs to find her boyfriend and her son drinking some brews. Why? Because they both know the truth about Papa Bazile, and one drinks beers when one is upset. Needless to say, Emma gets the heave-ho from a stricken Baze.
Finally, Cate and Baze show up at Daniels' apartment telling him to resign and leave town ASAP, and to never contact their daughter again. He gives them a belated Christmas gift for Lux: A compass so she'll never "lose her way." Like she did by dating a teacher. Awww.
Getting back to normal just isn't in the cards
Back at work after the holiday break, Ryan and Cate learn that Kelly was fired and corporate wants a solo show with Ryan on-air and Cate producing. This means coming up with an entirely new angle and a lot more work. Looks like reading Dr. Spock will have be put on hold.
Say it ain't so, Jack
After kicking Emma to the curb, Baze decides it's high time to have daddy dearest over for a chat. Not only is Jack Bazile unrepentant about his affair with Emma, he tells his son that they loved each other. Naturally, Baze gives his dad his notice at the office.
Poor Baze gets even more fired-up when he gets a call from his mother, who is throwing a birthday party for his unfaithful father. Not only is he unfaithful, he's also a liar: He told Mrs. Basile that he fired Baze. Oops!
There's no good way to deliver bad news, but there's definitely a bad way to deliver bad news
Cate and Ryan head to the doctor to check on the baby's progress, only to learn that Cate had a miscarriage. We're still reeling from the blatant insincerity in the doctor's "I'm sorry." Oh, honey. No, you're not.
Later on, Cate gets a call from the doctor with further devastating news that she won't be able to have children again. Okay, really? That's not something you tell a patient over the phone. That's something you sit them down with a glass of water/tea/hot cocoa/absinthe to hear. Who the hell taught this woman bedside manner?
There's no Skyping in juvie
Lux is longing to talk to someone aside from her parents after the dramafest of Daniels, so she and Jones decide to ditch class and drive to see Tasha at the correctional facility. On the way, however, Jones inadvertently insults Lux by making fun of the still-unknown student that hooked up with Daniels, and she decides to complete the journey on foot. Unfortunately for Lux, the state doesn't bend to her teenage whims when she learns that Tasha had her visitation rights revoked. So that awkward car ride and lonely hike were were pretty much for nothing.
It doesn't help that Cate is all over Lux when she gets home, wondering why she ditched class and disappeared for a few hours. Unaware of Cate's miscarriage, Lux unloads her angsty rage and grinds Cate down into a puddle of tears. Nice.
Sometimes, the apple falls really far from the tree
At Mr. Bazile's birthday bash, Baze gets a served a steaming bowl of fatherly disdain when he continues to badger ol' dad about the affair. This is a tough subject to avoid, since Emma found it prudent to show up to the party. But just as Baze is about to out his father as a cad to a room of friends and his wife, he thinks better of it, and says that a parent has to serve as a model of what to do when they make good decisions, as well as a model of what not to do when they make mistakes. Plus, be probably didn't want to emotionally crush his mother in front of 50 random people.
Afterwards, Baze goes to sulk upstairs and Emma comes calling to apologize. Their flame is still clearly burning, but Baze tells her to scram -- whenever he looks at her all he can see is his father. Guess it's so long,
Happily ever after! Wait...
Cate finally tells Lux about the baby and the two seem to make up, which we can assume will turn out well now that Cate knows how to act like a mother. Ryan tells her that he just wants her, baby or no, which he also tells the radio brass. Ryan and Cate get their show back, during which they tell each other how much they like to have sex. (Obligatory Man In The Room: No one wants to hear that on the radio!)
Things seem to be on a slow but steady track back to happy town, until Cate sees Julia at the doctor's office -- and she's REALLY pregnant.
Let's save the flash-forwards for "Now & Then," shall we?
It's allegedly "two years later," even though we left our heroes around New Years' and most high school graduations are in the spring (BTW, New Years' typically doesn't come with autumnal foliage, CW. Just a heads-up).
Lux is making a speech to her graduating class, including soon-to-be college classmate Tasha. We're going to assume she's class president and not valedictorian, since she'd basically have had to instantaneously turn her grades around for the latter honor. Everyone is there, including Julia and her baby and some other pregnant woman that seems to be with Baze. After the speech, which is sweet in a really-round-about-because-we-need-to-squeeze-all-the-show's-values-in-in-40-seconds kind of way, everyone gets up to leave. It's here we see that Ryan has jumped ship for Julia, the mother-to-be is Math's partner, and Baze and Cate MAKE OUT.
Okay, Life Unexpected, we get that you had to wrap this thing up quickly. But you had to expect that we would not buy this. We have not had a whiff of Cate-Baze interest in months and we just got that grand-standing speech from Ryan about how he wants Cate more than he wants a family. So, really?
Seeing as this was one long, drama-packed series finale, it's hard to come up with some concrete conclusions, or to think straight, period. What did you guys think? Should the series have ended with the original ending meant for the episode without the epilogue? Did you buy what happens two (and a half) years into the future? Was it just what you hoped for? If not, how would you have ended things? For one last time, to the comments!
Notes n' Quotes
Cate: I'm making French toast.
Ryan: Perfect. The fire alarm will wake me up.
Cate: I want to know where you are all times.
Lux: You know what might be easier? If you install a LoJack system on my butt.
Lux: Go to hell.
Sam: I've missed our little talks.
Cate: Maybe you should go to the store and pick up those child-proofing clips.
Ryan: Ok, I think there's a bar around there.
Baze: It's got one of those showers with the double head situation. ...sorry for the visual.
Baze: Do a little personal web surfing. You gotta clear the browser history, that is your downfall.
Alice: Are you okay?
Cate: Not really, but I had two glasses of wine before you came over...
Rya: I'll give you Louis XIV
Cate: Right, because I want to have sex with someone from before they invented bathing.