Warning: This recap contains major spoilers for season 6, episode 8 of Schitt’s Creek.
WHEW. Listen, I knew this was coming. A couple episodes back in season six of Schitt’s Creek, I predicted that Alexis and Ted were headed towards a breakup. My exact words were, "I don’t want to talk about it." Well, now I literally have to talk about it, so here we are. Even though I saw the writing on the wall for my fave straight couple of Schitt’s Creek, that did not stop me from crying all the way through their final scene. But this is what series endings are about — beloved characters die (don’t get me started on how Dawson’s Creek did Jen Lindley dirty in its finale) and the couples we’ve shipped either end up together or apart forever (I’m still not over Lisa and Will’s breakup on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.) Alexis and Ted’s demise was inevitable and devastating, but that didn’t make it any less satisfying. I hate and love this journey for them. Before we get into what went wrong for Texis (really pissed I didn’t come up with this portmanteau until AFTER the breakup), let’s break down the rest of the episode.
The spray-tan-gone-wrong storyline has been done. It’s been done so much, it’s a cliché. The thing about Schitt’s Creek though, is that even when they are leaning into a joke you know you’ve heard before, the characters deliver it in ways that make you want to keep watching. Watching David suggest to Patrick that he needs a tan (Noah Reid looks like a classic pale person in February in Canada) was hysterical. It starts with the couple looking to do an engagement photoshoot that matches David’s vision of “Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.” He says, “I want us to look like two very rich people who have just woken up after fainting on a dusty old couch.” In preparation for the big shoot, David sends Patrick to the spa for “a gentle spray” of sun aka chemicals. Of course, when Patrick returns, he looks like Ben Affleck when he was dating Jennifer Lopez.
Back at the motel, Alexis answers a knock on the door to find Hot Ted and his Hot Beard. I screamed, then immediately knew that something was wrong. But Alexis is more focused on having sex with her man (understandable) instead of finding out why he endured three flights and food poisoning by plane milk (oh, Ted) to talk to her in person. Later, while Alexis is trying to get it in again (admirable), Ted explains that he got a full-time position in the Galapagos saving tortoises. (Basically the dream job of our nerdy reptile-loving veterinarian.) That kills Alexis’ lady boner real quick. She asks Ted for some time to think. "You know that I can’t make big decisions under pressure; that’s how I ended up with a pixie cut at prom." Annie Murphy is making us laugh while simultaneously ripping our hearts out. No wonder she just landed the lead in a new dark comedy. Look at our girl shining. When Ted says they have to be able to figure out a way to stay together, Alexis replies, “I liked this a whole lot more before we started talking.” That’s what I said throughout my entire three-month relationship with my first boyfriend.
At the other motel, which looks like the exact same set as the Rosebud, Johnny, Moira, Roland, and Jocelyn are christening their new purchase. Later, when they are cleaning the rooms, Johnny introduces the gang to the presidential suite and Moira dreams of a time she was lying in a clawfoot tub in Shanghai watching orcas. Roland interrupts her thoughts of being anywhere but Schitt’s Creek with the idea that he and Jocelyn should do a staycation in the suite. Johnny says small business owners shouldn’t treat their assets as possessions or something. Whatever, I’m not paying attention anymore because Alexis and Ted are about to break up and I am INCONSOLABLE. The rest of this episode is just filler if we’re being real! Sorry, I’m in the stage of grief where I spiral.
Back to the OG Roses, Moira and Johnny. Moira convinces Johnny that they should stay in the presidential suite after some stellar physical comedy by Catherine The Great O’Hara. She acts like their old motel room is one of those shrunken rooms in Alice In Wonderland and describes going through their doorframes as “trying to force oneself through the eye of a needle.” She suggests they move into the presidential suite of the new motel permanently and Johnny wonders what they would do about abandoning Alexis and David. “They’re practically middle aged!” Moira cries and I cackled. When Johnny caves, Moira admits that she’s already packed his bag and it’s in the car. We stan a strategic Queen.
Patrick and David’s photos do not turn out well, of course, and David suggest mailing out photos from his "pageant days" to Patrick’s relatives. Then Patrick says a line that I feel like was written for me: “David, can we just agree to stop making this wedding a bigger deal than it needs to be?” As someone planning a wedding, I feel attacked. Stevie ends up taking candid shots on her phone and Patrick and David remain intact and adorable. AT LEAST ONE OF OUR FAVE COUPLES STILL ARE. Sorry, spiralling again.
Alexis goes to the diner to get some advice from her friend, Twyla, and to reminisce on the moment she (and we) first met Ted. First and foremost, this scene proved that Ted is in fact way hotter with his beard. Less importantly, it climbed into my chest, found my heart, and slowly tore it into tiny little pieces. “I think you are the most beautiful girl this town has ever seen” were the first words Ted said to Alexis. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Can I go back to not talking about this?
While Alexis is making the biggest decision of her life, another intact Schitt’s couple is having a grand old time in their presidential suite with martinis and Eugene Levy’s intentionally bad impersonation of JFK. Roland and Jocelyn interrupt with a sob story and Moira and Johnny give up the room. It’s all very cute but frankly, at this point, I’m just bracing myself for the pain of the next scene.
Hot Ted and his Hot Beard walk into the diner in a tailored tan suit and I swear I said out loud to no one, “OK, Dustin!” Milligan looks GOOD in this scene, which isn’t even remotely helping. Annie Murphy also looks incredible in a plunging pink dress. She recreates their date from a few episodes back when Ted surprised her on video chat and it’s just all too much. Our dorky Ted tries to break the tension with, “I feel like there’s an elephant in the room and I skipped the class that taught us how to care for large mammals.” Bless this handsome-ass man’s heart. I’m gonna miss him so hard.
This breakup scene is a stunningly tender moment between a couple who loves each other enough to let go, but it’s also a signal of how much these two characters have matured. Alexis is calm and confident when she delivers the news that she could never move to the Galapagos and Ted gives the perfect response: “I wouldn’t let you even if you tried.” They are making the absolute right decision. When you look back on it, these opposites were never really meant to be each other’s endgame. Alexis needed Ted to learn how to be in a healthy relationship with a normal dude who loves her unconditionally and Ted needed Alexis to teach him how to be spontaneous and carefree. They needed each other to grow. By the time these two exchanged mutual, “I’m so proud of you” sentiments, I was a MESS. They end it with a kiss, an “I love you” and the episode closes out on a shot so beautiful, I think it’s one of my favourites of the entire series. Alexis is draped in Ted’s arms and they cheers to “us.” If you need me, I’ll be in a puddle under my desk.
Other Things We Gave A Schitt About This Episode
Who Was The Schitt?
It’s a draw. The episode’s two MVPs are clearly Annie Murphy and Dustin Milligan. Over six seasons, they have delivered a realistic journey and epic love story for Alexis and Ted. They each played the relationship with the perfect mix of nuance and humour. Oh Schitt, I’m crying again.
Best Pre-Schitt Name Drop
Alexis has two stellar name drops this episode and they both feature members of boy bands — though not the best members of their respective boy bands. The first is Backstreet Boys’ sweet-faced soul singer, Brian Littrell. When Ted decides to have the tough talk with Alexis, she says, "you’re starting to sound like me trying to end things with B-Rok on the Backstreet Boys Millennium tour." The fact that she called him "B-Rok" had me howling. Only BSB-loving millennials of a certain age remember when BSB tried to make "B-Rok" happen.
The other is when Alexis is figuring out what to do about Ted: “What now? Do I leave everything behind and move to some random island to be with the love of my life? I did that with Harry Styles in England and it was, like, too rainy.”
A Moment for Moira’s Wigs
My biggest beef with this season is the lack of wigs on Moira Rose’s head. This episode, however, we did get a glimpse of the famous Rose wig wall, so I guess that will have to do.
— Next week, I predict we’re going to see some hilarity ensue when Alexis attempts to get over her big breakup with Ted. I’m also officially rescinding my earlier prediction that Mutt is going to make a comeback. I want Alexis to focus on herself and her work. Men? Who needs 'em!
— For the first time in a while, Moira mentions her desire to get out of Schitt’s Creek. I think this offhand comment was to set up a series finale where Moira and Johnny end up making the ultimate decision: stay or go.
— Can David and Patrick just get married already!? Also, does this mean that Hot Ted and his Hot Beard will not be at the wedding? Oh no, I’m going to spiral again.