For a show so entwined with grief, it seems a happy ending for Kidding‘s Jeff and Jill Piccirillo might be asking a bit too much. After all, happiness is fleeting, as the very wise Dalai Lama tells Jeff in the Season 2 finale. While the former couple may never fully feel “fixed,” even a little bit of closure goes a long way.
This off-kilter show always knows how to catch us off guard, so it almost makes sense that we start in 1706 Tibet. A monk-in-training is being chased for breaking all of his moral codes, particularly for falling in love. The lady of his affections asks what will happen to him when he’s caught. He says he will be killed and replaced with a puppet. (Naturally.)
In the present, Will admits to Jill that he gave his dad the envelope marked “Phil.” Inside are letters from seven organ recipients who all survived thanks to Phil’s donations. “He saved seven lives, but I’d trade them all for one more hour with him,” says Jill. She never told Jeff because she knew he would’ve reached out to all seven and invited them to Thanksgiving. “I’d be passing sweet potatoes to his f–king pancreas!” she blurts. Jill then begs Jeff to blame her for Phil’s death. She can’t move on until he does. She pushes him harder and harder, but we cut to a flashback before he can respond.
In the past, we learn that Jeff and Jill lived in the same apartment building. He sweetly drives a drunk Jill home from a bar and we’re able to see the early chemistry that initially brought these two together. They say goodnight, but Jill knocks on his door shortly after. She tells him she’s falling for him, but even though he loves her back, he can’t give her the romantic relationship she’s looking for. “Look around, I’m a monk. I’m married to the children of the world,” he tells her. “Either this moves forward or it doesn’t exist,” she counters. The next day, Jeff tries to talk to Jill in the hallway, but she ignores him. We see a montage of Jill’s life, all from outside her apartment door. Boyfriends and acquaintances come and go, until movers come to haul her stuff to New York City.
On his show, Jeff films a skit with the Dalai Lama and afterward, His Holiness asks Jeff what’s bugging him. Suspecting it was about a woman, he then tells Jeff the story of the intro scene, claiming that it happened to him. “Your calling is to raise the world’s children, but perhaps what’s stopping you is that you are afraid to have your own… because of your mom abandoning you,” says the Dalai Lama. Jeff says he’s afraid he’ll never be happy. The monk tells him: “Happiness is a thing that happens in the now. It is fleeting… We could only be truly happy if we could freeze time forever, but we can’t. When love has hold of your heart, you go, go like a stallion.”
Jeff races to New York to find Jill and when he does, time does freeze… literally. He tells her he lied; it wasn’t his job holding him back, it was his fear of being left again. Jill promises to never leave him, while he promises he’ll never lie again. We flash forward to their wedding day and right at the moment where Jeff is supposed to say “I do,” we jump-cut back to the present where Jeff and Jill are standing over Phil’s letters. “I do,” he says to Jill. “I do blame you.” Jill thanks him sincerely.
In a monologue to his fans through his talking online toy, Jeff tells everyone to turn their clocks back an hour and spend the extra time cherishing their families, because families are what’s most important.
Jill tells Jeff that there’s someone she wants him to meet. With Will, they go on a road trip to meet a woman running a marathon. Her racing number matches the last number in Will’s book of magic. The woman turns out to be the recipient of Phil’s heart. After the race, Jeff and Jill pull out a stethoscope and with tears in their eyes, they listen to the woman’s — Phil’s — lively, beating heart. We hear the thump-thumping as time rewinds, showing us scenes from Jeff and Jill’s life together in reverse chronological order. In the present, time once again freezes around them as the former couple longingly gaze into each other’s eyes.
Is there hope for Jeff and Jill after all? Are you jonesing for a Season 3? Grade the finale and season, then sound off in the comments below!