In the season finale, Xander shows up to dinner, and it leads to a deep breath and complete exhale for many.
|Directed By||Pamela Adlon|
|Written By||Pamela Adlon|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Live and Let Live – Sam, Xander, Phil, Rich, Frankie, Max, Duke
One of the things Sam has always modeled and taught her girls was to be open. Primarily, she has shown them to be open to strangers, experiences, just open to life. Hence Max’s period of a multitude of friends and the trouble that came with that. We saw it in Frankie leaving the house for a while and experiencing the lives of her friends and Duke? Well, through the spirits that visit her, she finds herself experiencing the unexpected.
But, no matter what, there is a reminder of who made their ability to be open possible: Sam. So with her documentary piece on aging, menopause, and womanhood premiering on television, it seems she opens herself up and begins to release the pain, anxiety, and anger that she has held onto. One can even say this extends to Xander as the girls ditch him, perhaps to give him a taste of his own medicine, and leave him with Rich and Sam. Two people who are surprisingly cordial with but, in the end, it seems his goal was just a check.
So, Sam gives him the check, one which is supposed to be the last, since she took out a bank loan to be through with him, and with one of the crux in their relationship gone, she wipes her hands of him. Not for good, since they still have two juvenile daughters, but there is a hope that now he’ll come around not for money, but for them.
And to really finalize the cleansing, just as the girls head to the beach and embrace the sand and water, Phil guides Sam and Rich to the pool she likes to swim in, naked, and they all dive in. Thus the end of not just the season, but perhaps a long chapter of Sam’s life.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
One compliment from a woman is worth a thousand compliments from a man.
Vicariously, You Can Feel The Release
Whether it is the girls seemingly releasing themselves from needing and wanting their dad’s attention, or Sam freeing herself from expectation or hate, it’s easy to get a taste of that release. After all, Sam’s anger has been simmering for seasons, and she’s kept her mouth shut around her kids, maybe friends to a point, but used every opportunity she could to jump into someone’s relationship and tap into their anger to release her own. Even if it was just the smallest frustration.
Then, with her kids, their anger towards Sam seemingly was their anger towards their dad that Sam was willing to bet the punching bag for. Frankie lashing out about what the truth was, abandoning Sam, refusing to allow her to show her love, she used Sam to find her own power. She needed to be able to reject someone as she felt rejected.
In terms of Max, her search for friends, validation, even challenging her mom’s love for her, it stemmed from Xander. I’d even add her worries of becoming like her mom, expressed earlier this season, those words fit hear fear of becoming like her dad, who seemingly never found his calling, in comparison to Sam.
And as for Duke? As much as she is going through her own thing, it seems the road paved may have allowed her to find the liberation it took her older sisters and mother much longer to achieve. For she realizes what she has now. That, whether it is Rich, Sam, Max, or Frankie, she has her people, people who choose her, and who will welcome her with open arms.
All of this, it releases a sort of tension in your shoulders and shows you how easy it is to let go – especially when the other person has long stopped gripping onto your arms and splayed out their fingers.
Rich and Sam’s Relationship
While a good part of the season focused on Sam and her girlfriends, it seemed fitting that the person next to Sam when she let go of her anger was Rich. After all, while Lenny, Lala, Sunny, and the rest are Sam’s friends, her bond with Rich is different. He is the kid’s father figure, her pseudo-husband, and their bond is on a whole different level. Probably because he gives Sam peace. She can’t tap into his anger, he doesn’t find ways to agitate her, he is a platonic soul mate. I’d even say, he renewed her faith not in men, but people.
Vicariously, You Can Feel The Release - 96%
Rich and Sam’s Relationship - 89%
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