The season finale of the second season didn’t disappoint.
The Joan and Jim subplot was packed with the right amount of tension and detail. I was surprised by the reveal that Joan does in fact love Jim, since their marriage was slightly forced although they did clearly bond, so I guess it kinda makes sense, it just seemed rushed. I found the scene between Jim and Greg interesting, I did wonder how sincere Greg was being when he was talking about Gail and Jim did humour him well under the circumstances. The twist with Joan using Bowditch’s tape recorder to try and trick Greg was great, proving that there is no such thing as a small detail when it comes to writing. I did like Patrick trying to help her, clearly showing his unresolved feelings for her and it was ultimately his decision to not revive him that has lead to Jim’s shocking arrest at the end of the episode. Clearly the first half (at least) of the next season will focus on the ramifications.
The Annie subplot was well done, however her constant mistakes are starting to get old. How could she have not anticipated needing a psych evaluation after overdosing on alcohol and barbiturates? Or that the drugs could have killed her? The fact that she was able to just walk out of the hospital amazed me. I ultimately loved the outcome between Annie and Chris, they are clearly made for each other. I also liked Annie inviting Matron for a walk and into her and the new baby’s life, I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes next season.
The best subplot of the episode for me was the Shirley and Patricia subplot. Throughout the previous two or three episodes, Shirley has encouraged Patricia to babysit and pursue it as a business. I personally love them as a pair, they’re not totally polar opposites, but opposite enough to make it interesting and work well, further expanding Shirley’s role as a big sister to the four girls. Shirley has stepped her encouragement up by offering to be a guarantor for a loan to help Patricia rent a space for her expanding business. I loved the bank scene, providing again another insight into the limitations for women in that era (my mum told me after we saw the episode that it was still like that for women in the early 1980s).
The Stanton House closing subplot kicked off in the last episode and surprised me greatly. The fact that the board gave Matron next to no time to plead her case and that she only had three weeks notice to begin with, it didn’t surprise me that it would close. I did like the interaction between Viv and Matron throughout, showing progress in their relationship, especially towards the end where Viv thanks Matron and Matron reveals why fear is important. Hopefully the Matron hasn’t been written out, I’ve loved Mandy McElhinney’s performances throughout both seasons.
On another note, I loved the Bowditch and Martha subplot. Their feelings have built up over the season and they finally get together, I loved how it was subtle and not dramatic, like with all the other subplots, I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next season.
Overall a fantastic season finale, concluding some subplots and opening up some more for next season, which I can’t wait to review.