There was a lot to unpack in this episode — a breakup, a death, a wedding, an engagement, two job changes, two pregnancies, and a (grounded) happy ending. The episode really could have been an hour: storylines are hinted at and then not fully developed. There’s so many questions: what does Molly’s grieving process look like? How does she cope? What does Kelli’s baby look like? Does she marry Desmond? Is Tiffany still miserable in Denver? What happened to the postpartum depression that was alluded to in last season’s finale? Did it resolve? And, perhaps more importantly, what year are we even in?
The episode skips through time, hovering around characters’ birthdays, and then skips ahead an entire year (like it did in the season premiere). In total, the finale alone covers some three years. By the end, it’s not clear what’s happening when; there are no time stamps for the episodic vignettes, and we aren’t told when the characters’ birthdays are. Adding to the confusion is the show’s Twitter page, which has offered conflicting accounts of the characters’ zodiac signs. (I used these signs to determine when the characters’ birthdays were and to construct a timeline.)
Thankfully, the most important question is resolved. The entire season has been about choices, and the last five episodes have been pointing to Issa having to choose: Crenshawn or NBW? Nathan or Lawrence? In the end, she makes a choice that makes her happy — and owns it.
In the final frames, Mirror Bitch is nowhere to be found, since Issa Dee has finally silenced her inner critic. The self-doubt and overthinking that have dominated her life for so long are now gone, as she is at peace with her life choices; she’s no longer “insecure”. It’s a deeply satisfying conclusion.
UPDATE (Feb. 24, 2022): The NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series goes to Issa Rae, for “Everything’s Gonna Be, OK?”