It’s a funny thing — as I was doing the top edit on this Thursday’s What to Watch list, I found myself wondering, “Would Fox’s Outmatched attempt any sort of season finale twist/cliffhanger?'”
And dagnabbit, the freshman sitcom went and did.
The season-ending half-hour revolved in part around Leila’s imminent birthday and what her chosen theme would be. Mike, angling to connect with his youngest, lobbied for a pro wrestling theme, while Kay pushed for a princess theme. In the end, they wound up with a mash-up of the two — cue sight gag of towering rented wrestler in a frilly gown! — yet when it came time to blow out the candles, Leila was not to be found. Have no fear, she was simply in the cellar lamenting that she missed sharing her birthday with slightly older brother Marc, who this year chose his own (macabre) theme.
The B-story, meanwhile, saw Rita and Irwin grappling with the suggestion that they be the four kids’ guardians in the event of the Mike and Kay’s unfortunate demise. And no, that’s not the twist. Mike and Kay survived the finale! But at episode’s end, while everyone else raced outside to make sure birthday party supplies didn’t get stolen off the driveway, wee Leila — the lone “normal” kid out of this uber-brilliant brood, mind you — revealed to Irwin that she secretly is a genius in her own right, by showing him the post-impressionist drawing she did of Mike holding Irwin in a headlock, in the family living room.
“Mom and Dad aren’t the only ones who can keep a secret…,” Leila said. Then, holding up her drawing and menacingly tearing it down the middle, right through Irwin’s face, she asked, “Can you keep a secret, Irwin?”
And there you have the season-ending twist. Outmatched, which by definition was about a laid-back couple overwhelmed by raising three genius kids out of four, actually has a fourth prodigy in the midst.