It was a hit and miss episode this week as we wind down to the series finale of the hit CBC show.
Re-living the events of your past in order to learn something about your present and better your future has been the crux of the entire series. This week’s episode was a bit clunky overall, but ultimately stayed true to its foundation making it an enjoyable one overall.
Our heroine Erica (Erin Karpluk) was given the “gift of time travel” by Dr. Tom (Michael Riley). But wait – hasn’t she always had the gift of time travel? Apparently, this time it’s different – she’s got 24 hours to go anywhere and do anything so long as it remains in the confines of that day. Confused? Yah, so was I. Besides, didn’t we see this last season in the episode “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”?(Erica’s groundhog day session after sleeping with Sebastian Pigott’s Kai)
In this episode, it seemed like a “get out a jail free card”. Erica was able to re-live any experiences (that day) that didn’t turn out exactly as she wanted. (Again, we’ve seen the concept of a “do-over day” in Season two’s “Yes We Can”.)
Case in point – she had a fight with boyfriend, Adam (Adam Fergus) in the morning, but “redid” it (a total of THREE times*) so that it didn’t end up in a breakup at the end of the day.
*Incidentally, this gave us a glimpse into what it must be like to be a television actor. Reliving the same scene over and over – with almost exactly the same dialog while trying to keep it believable. Kudos to Karpluk and Fergus for managing to limit some of the artificiality.
I will admit, this episode had some “all too familiar” moments, where you know things just aren’t working out in a relationship and all you want to do is go back to that one fight, say ONE thing differently and all will work out. Obviously, that ain’t how life works and thankfully, this episode hammers that point home.
Without dwelling on the cumbersome side plots of Julianne’s (Reagan Pasternak) predictable, yet satisfying kiss with Brent (Morgan Kelly) and their cringe-worthy book idea of a dictionary of cyber-acronyms (GMAFB) the final scene with Erica and Adam is really the only noteworthy aspect of this episode.
Having already lived through Adam breaking up with her because she was “too controlling” (again, not something I really understood, but let’s just put that aside for now) Erica goes to Dr. Tom in a desperation freak-out, hell-bent on doing over the entire day. This time she’ll make sure she doesn’t say anything to set Adam off. She insists “I’m not undoing what I did wrong this morning – I’m just fixing me!” As outsiders, we clearly see the impending train-wreck and we aren’t disappointed as the final montage of the episode is played out perfectly.
In her last few minutes of time-travel superpowers, Erica goes back to the morning, and is all smiles and agreement when Adam tells her that he wants to take a foreman job and quit school. In previous “versions” of this conversation, she’s questioned this decision and encouraged Adam to finish school as education is oh-so-important for the future.
Adam sees this as her controlling him and “not letting him make his own decisions” and storms off in a huff. Even when she proposes a compromise of seeing if the foreman job can wait until after school, Adam interprets it as being the same. In her final version, Erica says something on the lines of “Whatever you want to do, I’ll support. I’m happy if you’re happy.” And every independent woman out there lets out a collective groan.
She takes it even further by preparing him an Irish feast at the end of the night, complete with his favourite blood pudding dish. Hold on a second, Adam has never told Erica his favorite dish. So how does she know? Something indeed is rotten in the state of Erica’s apartment.
Eventually, he gets it out of her that’s she’s already relived versions of this day, and she just wanted to prevent the breakup. She submits that she was too controlling in their previous interactions and she just wanted to make everything “perfect”. Of course, he is completely taken back, stating that whatever the reasons were before, they could have potentially worked it out. Now she’s done the most controlling thing ever, taking away his “free will”. Some powerful words which us viewers could see coming.
Anyone who’s ever been in love knows, you sometimes do and think some crazy things, punctuated by the threat of losing some one. But ultimately we are who we are, and as hurtful as it can be –sometimes we’re just not meant to be with some one. This small nugget of highly-relatable experiences represents the real strength of this show – no matter how preposterous some of other narrative elements can get.
If we can relate with Erica on an emotional level, then all those questions of “Wait, what about that…” are put aside. I will caution however, that suspension of disbelief can only be sustained for so long. With an impending series finale, some burning questions will need to be explored and shouldn’t be tacked on hastily in the show’s last few moments. Like, for example, why the heck is Erica going to be one of these crazy-time traveling doctors? And what are the true origins and motivations of these ominous doctors anyway? Some “mythology” issues really need some closure.
Here are some other observations:
- Anyone else frustrated by the underuse of Kai (Sebastian Pigott)? What happened to all of his growth in season two? Remember: don’t linger on a regret – it’s not about going to the past and hanging out with your buddies!
- I know others will disagree, but I didn’t mind the blatant Tetley Infusions product placement. If it means we get some closure to this show, then bring it on. It’s not like we haven’t seen it before (Hello Ford Fiesta!)
- Let’s clean up some the dialogue going forward shall we? “Who is Adam Fitzpatrick in 2016?” Who the hell talks like that?