Sorry for the delay on my Life Unexpected recappy thing — I had to watch the East Coast feed, then wait for the tears to dry, rewatch it on the West Coast and, you know, try to stop crying again before I could even attempt to form the teensiest of coherent sentences.
The LUX finale was really, truly that emotionally draining, for me at least. But I want to know what you guys think. Come inside to chat about the CW series’ (probable) swan song, plus find out some exciting scoop on showrunner Liz Tigelaar’s much-talked about deal with ABC that may (eventually) help fill the void left by the little LUX that could…
Spoiler Alert: Do not read on if you’ve yet to watch tonight’s Life Unexpected finale!
Here’s your 30-second LUX finale breakdown: Lux (Britt Robertson) and teachertutorboyfriend Eric (Shaun Sipos) split in hour one after Cate (Shiri Appleby) and Baze (Kristoffer Polaha) found out about the star-crossed lovers and flipped out. In a senseless act of viciousness, Lux spilled the beans to Baze about Emma’s (Emma Caulfield) affair with Daddy Baze, causing the end of those two, as well. Cate and Ryan (Kerr Smith) discovered they’d suffered a miscarriage, in addition to the fact that Cate is infertile. The two agreed to stick together, but Cate ran into Ryan’s very preggo (with his baby) ex-Julia (Jamie Ray Newman). Cate and Lux were finally able to see eye-to-eye, bonding like they’ve both so desperately needed to over the series’ run, thus sending us two years into the future.
Lux is graduating, giving the class commencement address, and the whole fam-bamily is looking on. Ryan, Julia and their son. Math (Austin Basis), Cate’s BFF and their baby on the way. Fern, Lux’s social worker. Baze’s screwed-up parents. Tasha (Ksensia Solo) and Jones (Austin Butler), no longer together because he’s now with Lux, who finally feels like a normal girl. And — wait for it — Cate and Baze, first side by side watching the ceremony, then hugging their daughter the graduate (she even calls them mom and dad!), then kissing. Together at last. All together now…awww!
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Bonus for Life Unexpected superfans: Lux discusses “light years” in her commencement address, a nod to the series’ original title.
Call me a sappy romantic or a fan of all things mushy-gushy — I’ll own it. I truly believe that despite the massive time constraints placed on the brains behind LUX, the series’ final hours were poignant, moving and provided lovely little send-offs for each of the characters we’ve grown to love over the past two seasons. (For those who don’t remember, The CW gave the series notice that it would not be receiving a back nine episode order, cutting the story-telling time nearly in half, and possibly for good. The result? Tonight’s finale.)
Thinking back, it’s hard to believe that our Life Unexpected adventures began just one year ago — to the day, in fact. It’s even harder to believe that in such a small amount of time, when countless shows come and go, leaving little to no impression on viewers, Tigelaar’s passion project was able to impact countless lives, mine included, and maintain the spirit of yesteryear’s WB greats (I’m talking Everwood, Gilmore Girls — both shows centered on modern family values with brilliant writing).
To me, Liz honored everything we’ve grown to love about Life Unexpected in tonight’s goodbye. Was it the ending she’d have done had she had two more seasons to tell the LUX story? No. But was it a satisfying sendoff for those of us who’ve spent the past year loving LUX? Absolutely.
And if you love Liz, you’ll love this: In June, Tigelaar’s development deal with ABC Studios begins and she’s already got some amazing new stuff in mind.
“Right now I have ideas and have been talking with [Everwood and No Ordinary Family showrunner] Greg Berlanti about doing something,” she tells TVLine. “We’re just kicking everything around. But yes, there’s some stuff I’m starting to think about.”
Rest assured though, Tigelaar will not enter into her next venture lightly.
“Mostly, it’s how can I do something that I care about as much as Life Unexpected and how can I do it for ABC?” Liz explains. “What are the shows people are going to respond to that feels like it’s something that can be from my heart? How do you go from writing about a foster kid who feels abandoned and loves her mom but hates her mom and is ashamed of her past to…will the cupcake store open in time?! I dunno, we’re out of batter. We can’t. And we’re trying to figure out what the thing is, what ABC wants.”
Now it’s your turn: Did you love the finale as much as I did? Are you sad to see Life Unexpected go? Are you excited about Liz Tigelaar’s next hit series? Hit the comments section and fill me in!