Schitt’s Creek may have left our televisions, but it has burrowed its way into our hearts forever. Saying goodbye to the Rose family after six seasons was harder than expected.
There is a single line in pilot of Schitt’s Creek that, upon first watch, is a throwaway joke for Johnny Rose. After Roland Schitt, the mayor of Schitt’s Creek, removes the doors from the motel as punishment for the Rose’s rude behavior, Johnny says to him, “It’s almost dark and my son is afraid of moths.”
In the grand scheme of the events of this episode, this is not an important moment. The Roses have just lost their fortune, they have been dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and they have now realized they are indefinitely going to live in very close quarters. But Johnny throwing in this very specific parental concern, a tidbit about his son that has stuck with him despite the unspoken distance between the members of this family, has stayed with me since I saw the premiere.
Schitt’s Creek has a masterful hold on family dynamics. It walks the fine line between being gut-wrenchingly full of joy and love and downright hilarious without resorting to being unkind. There are no Full House lessons of the week and no Family Guy punchlines at the expense of others.
Instead, there is this almost utopia of acceptance where people can carry on as their truest, most authentic selves. And it kept that spirit from season 1, episode 1 straight through season 6, episode 13.
There is something else about Schitt’s Creek that is unique. Even as the series found itself swept up in a wave of popularity at the tail end of season 5, it never lost that sense of being uniquely personal.
It wasn’t a show that had a backlog of interviews that felt worn and dated and repetitive. It was a show spoken about with unprecedented authenticity, something that may be due to the fact that it is Canadian at heart, but also that the fans and cast and creatives are all coming at this series from a deeply personal place.
I can see myself in Schitt’s Creek. I can see my family in Schitt’s Creek. My friends, my job, and my story can play out as a minor character there. And that is what makes this show different. It’s a family hitting a unique situation that is entirely foreign to anything I will ever encounter. But it is a family coming together with those considered extensions of that unit and finding ways to uplift and embrace each other.
As a standalone episode, the finale was a beautiful testament to David and Patrick, and in the grander scheme, the Rose family and the town. It did not harp too much on the finality of the events, instead choosing to shift its focus on what the future holds — something that most finales fail to achieve. But then again, this is a series that builds its characters to a certain point, lets them turn the corner, and takes a moment to allow those moments to breathe.
In the documentary following the episode, “Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell,” famed director, and noted superfan of the series, Cameron Crowe said, “They take the time to give you the moments between the lines.” Of all the praise and commentary offered during the hour-long special, that was the line that, to me, spoke the deepest truth of the series.
The finale, “Happy Ending,” was no different. In squeezes of arms, hugs and forced smiles, and stolen glances and silent reactions, we saw where this snow globe of a town and the growth of its people was reflected most.
Those moments of quiet are what I will miss the most.
Schitt’s Creek season 6 finale review
Three members of the Rose family are leaving Schitt’s Creek. Johnny and Moira are off to Los Angeles where the Rosebud Motel chain will be headquartered and the Sunrise Bay revival will be filmed. Alexis is off to New York City, to venture, once again, on her own. David and Patrick, meanwhile, will begin their lives together in a humble little cottage on the edge of Schitt’s Creek.
But the episode does not harp on the fact that things are coming to an end; choosing instead to turn all the attention on David and the near derailment of his wedding. There are tentpole moments in the episode that serve as a reminder that a departure is imminent — Moira’s wigs are off the wall, boxes are scattered across the two motel rooms, Alexis takes hold of an opportunity to share a moment alone with her mother.
Though, not everyone is able to face the inevitable. Luckily for us, David is the star of the day, and even Patrick is willing to give him a gift that is… extraordinary. For 24 final hours in Schitt’s Creek, the power of that community comes out to support the happiness and dreams of one man who could have in any other show been treated for six seasons as an unwelcome interloper.
Instead, David is celebrated as something he still has a hard time accepting while he takes in the collective of people looking at him and cheering him on as he walks out of the town hall with Patrick on his arm and his immediate family right behind him.
That’s what makes saying farewell to this town so bittersweet. David’s story has reached this place of pure clarity, Alexis reaches the apex of her determination, Johnny and Moira see roads that go beyond the city limits of Elmdale. There is no reason to dwell on city ordinances trying to be passed, the Jazzagirls will recruit a new member, the café will still serve smoothies. This family now has a touchstone they never had in that mansion. Home sits just beyond the town sign.
As the family wakes up, or rather simply gathers together on the morning following the ceremony, everyone is a bit disheveled and emotional. The happiness of the night before has not faded, but the dread of waving off the patriarchs of the family has arrived. David and Alexis individually say farewell to their mom and dad with tight hugs that linger just a little too long, whispering those words that only each other need to hear.
As they pile into the car, there is a moment where David looks down, wrecked by the goodbye, before looking up to greet them with a brave smile and wave goodbye, a faint “love you” whispered as they pull onto the main road.
The ‘I love yous’
The phrase “I love you” was said more in this episode than in what I believe was the entire season combined. Most notably, a majority of them were said by David Rose.
In the season 2 finale of Schitt’s Creek, Moira and Johnny, having not just stood up for Jocelyn and Roland, but the town as a whole, bring their children in close and Moira says, “We love you both very much.” Both children relay the sentiment, and the family smiles as they dance together in the middle of their extended family.
It’s a moment that will never fail to make me tear up and one that resonates heavily in this episode.
As Alexis and David prepare to walk down the aisle, they share an exchange about pride, happiness, and affection for one another. Though Alexis is more firmly planted in her statement of love for her brother, the pair have come a long way from screaming, “No, you get murdered first!” in the premiere.
The love between David and Alexis is not lost on either of them. You can see them relish in the moments where they can tag team against their parents. You can feel the angst in the room when they need to confront each other about something — the white dress on David’s wedding being one.
And, best of all, you can see them takes steps to make each other’s lives better. David goes to talk to Ted and tells him that Alexis loves him. Alexis sticks it out and suffers through lunch with Ted and his new girlfriend so David can make a sale for his store. They are not unwilling to make sacrifices for each other, and they are always willing to see how far they can push it. I want them to stay together, but I get why they need to be apart. It’s the uncoupling that siblings need in order to grow even closer.
And David, a man whose love for Mariah Carey cannot be beat, fully expresses his emotions throughout this episode. Mostly, the I love yous were reserved for Patrick, as expected. But as mentioned above the ones that arrive for his family are felt on an even deeper level. He is uninhibited by second guesses, he is not wound up in taking stock of who will react to what. They are not exactly empty words, but exactly what he is feeling in those moments — nothing but love, love, precious love.
Time to let the bébé crows fly
The arc of the Rose family as a unit has been one of the most enjoyable journeys on television. Witnessing Johnny Rose get to know and understand his children as complete human beings, watching as Moira let her guard down with each of her children, and seeing David and Alexis find and hold onto one another were all seeds planted in the premiere.
The individual journeys were touching as Alexis grew to appreciate that everyone in her family did care about her potential and wanted to help her achieve it. In two moments in the finale, where David says he never underestimated her ability to do anything and when Moira is saying her goodbyes, whispering that she is “so proud,” Alexis finally has that family unit to fall back on.
It is something she grew to appreciate and one thing that she will miss being able to simply walk next door to remember.
Johnny Rose never quite gets over the loss of the family fortune, having placed so much emphasis on how being a good parent equated to giving his children anything they wanted. However, he gave his children everything they wanted without his wallet. Every time he needed to ask for money or a favor, you could see Levy almost crumble under the weight.
Finally, back in a situation where money has reentered his life, he makes the comment to “spare no expense” to make his child’s dream wedding a reality. It’s a touching sentiment and one that plays off of the scene a few episodes prior where he cannot afford to pay for the food at David’s wedding.
Johnny is a proud and expressive man: something that Moira appreciates in every single moment. Watching this couple, so in tune with one another, so accepting and supportive and solid, will be one of the things I will miss above all else.
They are the epitome of a great couple. They may not be the best parents, but they are trying. Moments that were taken for granted — watching their children learn to ride bikes, graduate high school, earn their own living, succeed, find love, experience heartbreak — are all appreciated with preciousness now. Experiences are not lost on them.
Be sure to check out: How the healing power of Schitt’s Creek helped me to find my paddle
Moira Rose. Though she hides herself behind the armor of wigs and extravagant outfits, there is a loving, doting wife and mother with bottomless compassion under all the glitter and feathers. As she sits down to write her officiant’s speech for David and Patrick’s wedding, the task becomes all too alarming. Coupled with Alexis attempting to express how much she is going to miss the connection that their misfortune as granted them, Moira must face what saying goodbye to her children would be like for the first time since she accepted the offer to return to Sunrise Bay.
Moira and David’s relationship has been touted as always being better established than Alexis and Moira’s past ever was. However, both relationships have changed over the course of the series. David learned to accept that he does not need to care for his mother and family all the time, something that he may not have realized he was doing at the time. He, too, is worthy of being on the receiving end of their worry and affection.
Alexis has seen her mother’s career in a new light this season, working with her on the Crows premiere as well as taking a deep dive into her past career. I want to say that season 4, episode 4, “Girls Night Out,” was the turning point in their relationship, but it has been a six season journey that started with Johnny Rose realizing how much he missed with Alexis and by extension how no one was truly there to catch her. Instead of coddling her, Moira does her part to build up Alexis’ strengths.
While Moira will never say the name of the town, she has found a home there. And though she is celebrating her baby boy in front of all those gathered, she finds a way to say goodbye to the town that took her in. having lived and grown in that town, It’s okay to let her little crows off on their own adventures.
“Our lives are like little bébé crows, carried upon a curious wind and all we can wish for our families for those we love is that that wind will eventually place us on solid ground, and I believe it’s done just that for my family here in this little town in the middle of nowhere.”
Stray thoughts on the ‘Schitt’s Creek’ final season
- Ronnie hating Patrick will never get old. Down to the last scene of them together, she has never liked him and it is as close to conflict between town residents as we will ever get.
- Bob needs to save a spot for Gwen.
- This speaks a lot to the family unit of the central Rose unit, but Mr. Rose kissing Stevie on the forehead and saying farewell at the end of the episode was as crushing as any blood-related moment on screen.
- Bringing back “Precious Love” for the finale was an assault on my already fragile emotions. But Moira’s reveal during the sobs was a much-needed moment of levity.
- I would LOVE to know what Ronnie and Jocelyn get up to in the coming years. As their son grows and their business expands, I wish them nothing but continued happiness.
Schitt’s Creek seasons 1-5 are available to watch on Netflix. Season 6 is available to watch with a CBC or PopTV subscription.