Saturday, May 7, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Girl from Plainville (Series Finale)

The Girl from Plainville: Season 1, Episode 8 “Blank Spaces” (B+)

While other series tend to feature big, dramatic trials and verdicts in their final episodes, this one felt more muted, in part because there was no jury and it was just one judge who delivered his opinion. Given the way the trial went, a jury would almost surely have convicted her, but that didn’t change the severity of his ruling and how it hit Michelle. Going immediately from that into an imagined scene of her coming home for Christmas from a successful college experience in California and then running into Coco as a bar was a powerful if still upsetting depiction of how she perceived reality, as if she really was taking care of him by pushing him to kill himself so that he could be happier where he was. Thanking Katie in the bathroom for caring about Conrad was a particularly striking statement, one that I’m not sure actually happened in real life but still speaks to the general mindset this show has portrayed for her. It’s heartbreaking to see that Coco actually did have a nice time with his mom on the beach when he had planned to end his life, and watching everyone ignore him as he left for the last time was devastating since it surely only contributed to his sense that no one cared about him. Having Michelle disappear as they were texting to reveal him just sitting there by himself on the pier speaks to the impact of technology and, now, social media, and how they can draw people in and then leave them feeling even lonelier in their absence. Michelle going in for a haircut and getting a horrified look from the woman who saw the newspaper says it all – it’s hard to imagine how she could find such joy when she’s haunted by her role in Coco’s death. This show certainly featured compelling performances from all, and while I know where to find Elle Fanning, I look forward to seeing what Colton Ryan does next.

Series grade: B+
Series MVP: Elle Fanning as Michelle

No comments: