The New Normal Season Finale Review “Finding Name-O; The Big Day”

The New Normal ended its first season with a pair of strong episodes focused on David and Bryan’s wedding and the long-awaited birth of their son, Sawyer Collins. Though not every loose story thread was tied up, “Finding Name-O” and “The Big Day” were filled with enough returning characters and solid bits of character development to serve as a solid ending if the show isn’t renewed for a second season.

Though still funny, the first half-hour was the weaker of the two. The show has steered away from dealing with issues in heavy-handed ways, but it still feels like David is frequently at the center of every blow up on the show. Here, though, it felt like the show was a bit too quick to punish him for his behavior. His mother’s behavior was every bit as controlling and judgmental as he felt it was, so having him get so frustrated made sense. As a result, the way he finally made up with his mother felt like it was avoiding some of the deeper issues between the two. Still, the moment David and Bryan finally came up with the idea of using their last names to name the baby was a great one.

The other characters were put on the back burner in the first half, with the only big moment coming when Clay asked Goldie to remarry him. This thread carried through to the finale, where Goldie ultimately decided to remain single and living in California. Of course, the two could’ve made a go of it without leaving, but I was glad to see the two remain separated. Even if Goldie hasn’t made huge strides in character development over the course of the season, it’s still clear she’s better off trying to make a go of it as a business owner.

The major focus of the last half hour was split between two big events, the wedding and the birth. Unfortunately, the episode suffered a bit from a rather rushed pace, with predictable plot beats like Goldie going into labor at the wedding. The wedding itself probably could’ve done with a whole episode to itself, as there just wasn’t enough time to properly celebrate David and Bryan’s union.

The birth montage, though, was an absolute success. So many sitcoms feel the need to have a drawn-out, over-the-top episode in the hospital, so the decision to go a minimalist route, focusing instead on the characters and their reactions, was a far more effective choice. Even Clay got a great moment, where it was clear he knew things weren’t going to happen between Goldie and him before she even said a word.

That’s the mark of a sitcom that’s managed to find its voice and its characters. After a bumpy start, The New Normal managed to develop the friendships and love between its characters in a natural way. The moment where Jane thanked Goldie for changing her life was a great reminder of how far they’ve all come in the past year.

What did you think of the two-part finale? Was the ending a satisfying one or are you hoping for a second season? Let me know in the comments!