Suburgatory Season 2 Finale Review “Apocalypse Meow; Stray Dogs”

About a month ago, I wrote an article explaining why I thought Suburgatory was one of the best comedies on television. I made certain to point out the high points of the show as well as the few easily seen warts. Since that time, the show has had fits and starts as it chugged to the end of its second season. After watching the one hour season finale, I was struck by the idea that the one hour block was a microcosm of the show as it stands right now.

Without a doubt, this final hour of the season was emotionally affecting and satisfying on numerous levels. George and Dallas’s relationship has been a question mark all season long, but their breakup scene was a fantastically scripted piece of television. It was interesting to listen to George’s comments on the relationship since they mirrored what many people have thought of it the entire season. If it’s the show’s way of walking back their bet on George-Dallas, then so be it. However, if the show intentionally made their relationship into this messy situation, then Kapnek and company deserve all the credit in the world. The one thing missing would be the requisite amount of lead time. It was a moment that could feel earned (if scenario 2 was in play), but a little more lead time was probably necessary. Dallas stuck it out with a man who didn’t really love her for years, but now she’s willing to toss away her relationship with George in a cocaine heartbeat? It just doesn’t fully compute. I’m not upset the relationship ended, but I wish it didn’t feel like the show was completely punting on the relationship.

While George and Dallas breaking up may have come out of left field, a few other nice moments were very well earned. Dalia having a true connection to Daddy Altman isn’t all that surprising and makes a lot of sense. George is the one person in her life willing to show her that life can be hard. Whenever everyone around you constantly tells you how wonderful you are (including your own mother), it’s natural to gravitate to the one person you feel will always be honest with you. Since Dalia’s relationship with her birth father takes the shape of mailed birthday presents, it makes sense that Dalia would be distressed about the loss of Daddy Altman.

Another well crafted moment in the episode was Tessa’s decision to leave her father’s care to live with her mother. The flashes of their life together while George sings to Dalia in a furniture-less room was touching and heartbreaking simultaneously. George and Tessa’s relationship is the centerpiece of the show. Even though the focus was lost as George and Dallas began dating, their scenes together were always crisp and accomplished their aims. Watching Tessa turn from her father to the woman who severely hurt them both made me think of plenty of potentially compelling storylines in Season 3.

While a lot of the finale worked, there were some duds spread throughout the hour. Our return to Noah’s unrequited love for his former housekeeper is incredibly obnoxious. Plus, there is absolutely no reason for us to care. Nobody flips on Suburgatory hoping to catch what crazy hijinks Noah will be up to tonight. In addition to Noah, Sheila Shay showed herself at her worst. I had grown to appreciate Sheila Shay earlier in the season, but her increased cartoonishness has rained on that parade. Between the selling of the Altman home and the Purity Ball, Sheila Shay seemed a lot like the old version we saw early in Season 1.

Much like Suburgatory, the finale was mostly strong with some decidedly uneven parts. What did everyone else of the finale?