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23 June 2003 @ 09:23 pm
QAF Finale  

So finally I'm taking five minutes--for thebratqueen!--to gush about the season finale.

Loved. It. All.

First, I've said recently that Ben and Michael were your average boring happy couple right now, but last night they just won my hearts big time, and I decided I was *glad* that their arc this season hasn't been all about their issues, but about someone else's--about Hunter and how they relate to him. Could I *love* those two any more right now? No, I could not. When Hunter finally broke down and told them about his mom, it broke my heart--I am finally won over by him too, poor kid (the hair washing and better attitude haven't hurt either, I have to admit). It was so, so sad, and I wanted to kill that bitch mother of his, and the way Ben said "We believe you," and the way Michael just went right up to Hunter and said no fucking way are we letting her take you--god, I love him! That's Michael at his best. And ditto when he ran off with Hunter, to fuck knows where, because he knew, he *knew* that trying to keep Hunter in that situation was hopeless. What he did was completely fucking insane, and I love him for it.

And Brian. Oh, man. Was I right? I was so very right. He *is* a superhero, and if the show never got renewed after this, his arc above all others would be the most complete and the most perfect after this finale. He's pushed himself to the point of selflessness, *real* selflessness, for people he doesn't know. Stripped himself of his comforts and security, trashed five gold cards and put himself a hundred thousand dollars in debt, put it all on the line for a big, crazy heroic gesture that may have had no success--and did it because it was the right thing to do, and because he wanted to be someone Justin could respect. He didn't do it *for* Justin, as a way of showing off, but he didn't try hard to keep it a secret either. It was the perfect blend of character and love. I'm not sure I'd say he did it out of principles--I think that cirumstances pushed him to a place he probably wouldn't have pursued on his own, if things had been different. But that doesn't make his gesture any less cool.

Brian and Michael standing in the voting line--so cute!

Emmett found strength to keep dancing and not let himself be dragged down; Ted came full circle, in a dramatic sense, back to where he left Blake, but from the opposite side of things. I really did *not* expect they'd go where they went with his character. His arc is just wild:

* Starts off as a sedate type, not into drugs.
* Breaks out of character to try the drugs that Blake offers, goes into coma, is abandoned by Blake, the addict.
* Comes out of coma, goes back to sedate lifestyle.
* Ends up saving Blake when *he* collapses from an overdose, supports Blake, confronts Blake's addiction, eventually is left by Blake.
* Becomes an addict himself, acts out all the worst behavior of same with Emmett.
* Turns himself into rehab, meets up with Blake again--and the guy he helped get back on a sober path is now the counselor helping him.

It's soap opera! I love it.

The black-and-white bookends, teaser and tag, were fucking gorgeous, and the way they bled in color bit by bit at the end just took my breath away.

The whole episode just stunned me. I can't think of another show that is so willing to make fans happy, to go for satisfying levels of closure and *rightness*, even while carrying us through the ups and downs and twists of good storytelling and maintaining complex characterizations. I thought that we might find out Stockwell was the killer *and* that he might end up mayor. But I was dumb to think that they'd do something that cynical, and I'm glad to be wrong, because what had I just been saying an hour before about the show? It's a comic book universe--of course the good guys win. And it delights me! I squee! I can't even express how happy it makes me that Ben and Michael proved themselves to be these perfect, sweethearted gay dads to Hunter, and that they're in the right. I love that the show chose to say that they *are* the better parents for Hunter, not his birth mother, and was willing to take that idea and run with it--literally, saying to hell with giving in.

And I love that Brian came through--his gesture not just a small drop in a wave of votes that defeated Stockwell, but possibly being *the* key event that swung voting in their district and tipped the percentages for a win--and I love that he is so obviously smitten with Justin that he'll make goofy, dorky faces when anyone else would be posturing heroically.

I love that the show is so very much a *story* and that it's willing to make those few victories that Debbie spoke of happen. I love that it's all about heroism, even when disguised in assholiness and fun gay sex.

Happy, happy, happy me. Happy girl. Dork!

Destina: hehdestina on June 23rd, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC)
You're so cute when you gush. *g* I liked it, and I was thrilled to see Brian come to a point in his life where he was able to be selfless for the right reasons. Love. Him. As for the black/white color thing - they've done a lot of artsy camera work and stylistic stuff this year, and I think it's become a bit pretentious. Almost as though they do the peripheral edgy artistic stuff to compensate for lack of other interesting things. Like plot. *g*
mayomayoihumbert on June 24th, 2003 12:12 am (UTC)
I have to agree that I don't usually like the artsy direction, but I really liked the b&w/color because to me it had this great parodic tumbleweed-deserted western town feel to it, reminiscent of the "Hush" episode of Buffy when no one could speak and the town was so cartoonishly distraught. Mmm, yeah, especially when they zoomed in on the gay couple's hands breaking apart in slo-mo while the cops trot in unison down the street, also in slo-mo. Er, basically, what I'm trying to say is that I thought it was cute. :)
JameyDeejameydee on June 24th, 2003 05:27 am (UTC)
From out of the peanut gallery
::timidly raises hand::

I loved the black & white as an homage to Oz, how this wonderful, vibrant world had been turned into Kansas until the Wicked Witch was conquered.
carta on June 24th, 2003 06:22 am (UTC)
This whole post made me smile.
Herself_nycherself_nyc on June 24th, 2003 06:23 am (UTC)
I love reading you squee. Everything you said of course it right on and I agree. Notice you didn't mention the lesbians at all, who at this point are practically a waste of screen time, not that I want them to have more because they're generally SO BORING. Why must they be boring? Because then I dislike them and I feel disloyal to my gender. Although Melanie with Emmett had some good moments. Emmett is my favorite character, other than Brian (who is just THE DEFAULT), because he's so colorful and valiant and sweet and hot and full of intense feeling. Sigh. And tall.
(Anonymous) on June 24th, 2003 09:16 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the finale recap! I've been cable-less all season and Shotime's 'recaps' are sad, sad, sad. Thanks for summing it all up, and giving me the details that I really needed!

I love this show. It's a total soap opera, but with prettier boys and more substance. Thanks again!

~~margeaux may