The Wonder Years Recap: Big Decisions and a Stormy Kiss — Grade the Finale

The Wonder Years Season 1 Finale

The Wonder Years‘ Dean Williams might not be perfect, but he’s a really good kid.

That rang especially true in Wednesday’s season finale, which found him genuinely happy for Keisa, the love of his life, and her new boyfriend Broderick. Going a step further, Dean befriended Broderick and didn’t mind being a third wheel.

With summer just around the corner, it was time for everyone’s favorite end-of-the-school-year tradition: signing yearbooks. Dean, bless his heart, wrote a lengthy note in Keisa’s but didn’t realize he’d accidentally confessed his feelings for her by signing it with, “Love, Dean.” To ensure she wouldn’t get the wrong idea, Dean began signing everyone’s yearbooks with that, including Broderick’s. Dean thought he’d avoided a crisis, but then Broderick and Keisa began acting strangely. Did they catch on to his true feelings?

Meanwhile, Lillian was bursting with excitement because of her promotion, which required her to travel to Birmingham for a few weeks. More good news filled the air when Bill received a call from Marvin Gaye’s manager inviting him to help write the singer’s next single. Unfortunately, that required him to stay in New York for the duration of the summer to make some important connections.

Bill might be a progressive husband, but he’s still a man of the times, which explains why he immediately decided that he would pursue this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while Lillian stayed home to care for the kids. She could get this promotion at another time, right?

Right on cue, Lillian illustrated her frustration with Bill deciding things for her by trading in her old car and purchasing a powder blue Mustang using their shared funds, and without discussing it with him beforehand. Nicely done, Lillian.

At school, things were still weird between Dean, Keisa and Broderick. Before the trio could address it, however, a teacher asked Dean to grab a table from the utility closet in preparation for the impending storm. Keisa volunteered to help, and it wasn’t long before the pair were stuck in that closet due to a tornado warning.

While hiding under a table, Keisa revealed that she was headed to Oklahoma for a few months, making this their first summer apart. The storm raged outside, and hormones raced indoors, with Dean shyly revealing his feelings. And after years of pining in secret, he and Keisa finally kissed. Dean didn’t have the heart to tell Broderick, who added “love” to his signature in Dean’s yearbook. Bring on the guilt parade.

After some thinking, Bill came up with a solution to their summer dilemma that worked for everyone. Lillian would go to Birmingham as planned, and he would take Dean to New York with him for the summer.

As Dean said goodbye to Keisa, she returned his yearbook, which she signed, “Love, Keisa.” The finale ended with Dean and his father driving off to New York while Lillian and Kim waved them off.

What did you think of The Wonder Years‘ season finale? Grade the episode (and the season) below, and then share your thoughts in the comments.

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