If I were to tell you I spent the whole weekend watching the final season of Love, it's possible you'd have no idea it was even still going. The Judd Apatow series had a short shelf life from the beginning, the premise being the love story of a couple who we all knew was never going to work. But maybe we spoke too soon, because the season 3 finale — the end of the whole show — surprised viewers with a happy ending. Instead of staying stuck in their rut, Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) have a catharsis, realizing something that I would have thought many couples knew from the get go: if they just communicate their problems, they're a lot easier to solve. After that light bulb moment, they impulsively decide to get married in Catalina, and following a little hesitation, they actually do. Maybe the same irresponsible Mickey and Gus are still there, after all.
But if it were up to me, season 3 wouldn't have been about Gus and Mickey. Even though they're married, I'm sure they'll still end up in the same unhealthy cycle. That's kind of the point. From the get-go, the character I really cared about was Bertie, and this season she finally gets the happiness she deserves. Played by the seriously underappreciated Claudia O'Doherty, Bertie has spent most of the show getting the short end of the stick. Her relentless optimism makes her disappointments that much more heartbreaking, and is probably also responsible for the fact that she's fine settling for less than she deserves. That's why she was with Randy (Mike Mitchell) for so long, and why it takes discovering what real love feels like when she hits it off with Chris (Chris Witaske) for her to realize it's time to break things off.
This transformation doesn't happen overnight. It's certainly helped by Randy's many fuck-ups, including a disappointing trip to palm strings in which he fails to deliver on every single promise, and the discovery that he actually lives in his car, like Andy in Parks and Recreation. But the true change kicks off in a rare solo episode in which Bertie faces repeated disappointment on her birthday and winds up spending her evening with Chris at a wrestling club. We see a brand new side of the character, who continues to come out of her shell when she finally hooks up with Chris in his apartment a few episodes later. By the finale, she's ended things with Randy, and she and Chris attend the spur-of-the-moment wedding hand in hand.
If you're the kind of person who needs to close a book, then you can end the story there. However, these characters were so successful because they're so relatable, so in a way there are hundreds of Mickeys and Gus's and Berties and Randys out there still living these same cycles over and over. There's no one right ending, I'm just glad the ones on screen got a happy one.
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