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black-ish Series Finale Recap: The Johnsons Say Goodbye With Style

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“OK, so I’m just your standard, regular, incredibly handsome, unbelievably charismatic Black dude who’s found a way to actually go from broke to the Oaks without a jump shot, Number 1 hit or being Tyler Perry,” Anthony Anderson’s Dre tells us at the top of black-ish‘s last episode ever. “I may have grown up just a kid from Compton, but now I’m living the American dream.”

But that dream doesn’t look the same to Dre as it did eight seasons ago, and as the series finale gets underway, he has to correct nosy neighbor Janine’s assumption that the moving boxes in his driveway mean that he, Bow and the kids are moving to Atlanta. He pointedly tells her that Ruby and Pops are taking off, then tries to ignore her comments about the “dirty South” etc. “Well, maybe I was living the Black American dream,” he voiceovers, “because stuff like this still happens every day.”

And that gets Dre to thinking that maybe Sherman Oaks isn’t the place for him and his family anymore. “Ever since we moved in, there’s always been the sense that we were oddities,” he says, getting steamed as he mulls the matter during a Stevens & Lido pitch meeting. His solution? Paint his house black to tell his neighbors what’s what. But Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who happens to be at the meeting for an ice cream company she’s representing, wonders why he doesn’t do something that will make him happy rather than his neighbors mad.

So he brings the idea of making a major change to Bow, and she agrees: She wants to sell the house and move to a Black neighborhood. “Mama was wrong!” he cries in glee. “After 20 years, you finally figured out what to say to turn me on!” she responds, laughing, as they embrace.

So they buy a house, Dre moves to freelance at the ad firm (“You’ve become one of the truest voices in my life” his boss tells him, in a rare moment of earnestness), and all that’s left is to say goodbye to their empty house. And they do so via a vibrant homegoing ceremony in which all of the Johnsons (except Devante) place a rose in a coffin that’s carried out into the street while the family — and, eventually, everyone they know — dances along behind it.

Dre’s last voiceover notes that he and his family are living his version of the American dream. And then we cut to the Latino couple that moves into the home the Johnsons have just vacated. The couple note that they, too, are living the American dream… then Janine rings the doorbell, makes some casually racist remarks, and the new homeowners pretend not to speak English as they push her out.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think about the series finale and about black-ish Season 8 as a whole? Grade them via the polls below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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