Over the course of the final season of Schitt's Creek, co-creator and star Dan Levy has talked about wanting to end the show in a way that balances what the fans want with what the characters need, and trying to make one last, really good episode of television, instead of getting caught up in dramatic plot twists the way many shows do.
In the series finale of this beloved comedy, the story of David and Patrick's wedding and the fate of the Rose family wraps up in ways we weren't expecting — but in the end, it's everything we could have asked for.
As ridiculous as he can be, you really do have to feel for David sometimes. He started the season wanting to get married in a mansion and went through this whole personal journey to realize a smaller wedding by the motel was all he needed — and now he doesn't even get that, because (isn't it ironic) it rains on his wedding day and ruins the outdoor venue. And the officiant cancels, though considering he's a haikuist named Fabian, that's probably for the best.
Following a meltdown where it feels like the producers calculated exactly how many "fucks" David could get away with and used all of them, the family rallies to calm him down and save his wedding. Moira steps in to officiate, Johnny and Patrick gather the townspeople to find a new venue, and Alexis and Stevie are ready with moral support and champagne. It's not like things could get worse, right?
Y'know, when I saw the title for the final episode, I assumed we were just going to share an "I see what you did there" smirk at some point and then leave it alone — but apparently I forgot which show I'm dealing with.
Anticipating that his husband-to-be would be a nervous wreck, Patrick arranges for David to get a massage while everyone else is figuring out the venue. Unfortunately, he neglected to read the section of his Gay Culture 101 handbook explaining that hiring a masseur for your fiancé and leaving an envelope full of cash with instructions to "take very good care of him" has certain implications — especially when you and your fiancé seriously considered a threesome that one time.
He comes home to find David way too relaxed and has a meltdown of his own, while Stevie nearly combusts with glee in the background. It would be easier to get mad at David if Patrick's outrage wasn't so funny — Stevie asking "Was it good, at least?" and Patrick going "Do not answer that! Was it? Don't," makes me laugh just thinking about it. Well done once again, Noah Reid.
The point is, it will take more than a little misunderstanding with a professional sex worker to derail David and Patrick's marriage. If they can get through this on their wedding day, they can get through anything.
In spite of the weather, everyone in town is more than happy to pitch in. It's heartwarming, even if their initial ideas are a bit sketchy, and it's full of little throwbacks to previous seasons. Roland and Jocelyn suggest the wedding happen in their living room, Twyla offers to fit them in at the cafe, Bob will provide parking at his garage for the ceremony even though he's still pining over Gwen, and Ray is there filming every messy detail.
Things get a bit more promising when they land on Town Hall for the venue, and Ronnie pulls some strings for extra flowers to spruce the place up. "I'm doing this for David," she bluntly tells Patrick, shooting down any chance they'll be friends by the end of the series. Poor Patrick, you can't win 'em all — but honestly, that rivalry is too fun to let go.
Oh, Alexis. After David chose her to walk him down the aisle, she tried so hard to rise to the occasion and honor his black-and-white themed dress code that she ends up accidentally wearing a wedding dress to her brother's wedding. You'd think the "white tulle headdress" that came with the gown would tip her off, but she's worn so many startling headpieces and tiaras over the years, a veil seems tame in comparison.
Now in true Schitt's Creek fashion, when she stands next to David in his tuxedo (a Thom Browne suit with a skirt that I wish I had time to write essays about), it's going to look like they're marrying each other. When she says she was trying to impress him and worries she's ruined the day, he tells her not to give herself so much credit — "But for what it's worth, I am continuously impressed by you."
In a season that's given Alexis so much growth, she's especially wonderful in this episode. If the town of Schitt's Creek has turned David into someone who can finally say "I love you" out loud to his family on special occasions, it's turned Alexis into someone who says "I love you" all the time. She's learned from Ted and Twyla and all the other kind people in this town to be the sincere, generous woman she was always meant to be.
Love that for her.
We all knew that Moira's wig and outfit for the wedding were going to be great — we wouldn't expect anything less of Schitt's Creek's award-winning costume department — but I don't think any of us dared to dream that we'd get Moira Rose officiating the wedding while dressed as the Pope.
Gay culture in particular is never going to be the same after this. Pope Moira will be our patron saint for years to come; there will be shirts and posters and those fun prayer candles; and that sound you hear in the distance is thousands of drag queens bursting into tears. We are truly blessed.
Few actors could be genuinely moving in a costume like that, but Catherine O'Hara never fails. "It is all but impossible to explain why things happen the way they do," she says. "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."
This is a moment that has been imagined a thousand different ways over the past year, and it's no small task to try to live up to those expectations. But I think we can safely say this scene is the heartfelt love letter to the audience that Dan Levy and his team were hoping for.
Patrick's vows are brief because he's too emotional to say very much — and then he launches into an a cappella rendition of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby," because holy shit, they got the rights to Mariah Carey. It's a gift for Schitt's Creek fans, but it's also in character for Patrick, who has never missed a chance to romantically embarrass David in public.
David gets him back by slyly referencing his "happy ending," but aside from that, his vows for Patrick show how far he's come in being open and vulnerable with the people he loves. "I've never liked a smile as much as I like yours; I've never felt as safe as I do when I'm with you; I've never known love like I have when we're together. It's not been an easy road for me, but knowing that you will always be there for me at the end of it makes everything okay."
Our last look at the Rosebud Motel is the morning after the wedding, with David, Patrick, Alexis and Stevie bleary-eyed and still in their formal clothes. They celebrated through the night and watched the sun come up, and now Johnny and Moira are leaving the motel for good. After Moira reminds David and Alexis to ship her wigs in a "temperature-controlled cargo container" for the thousandth time, they finally hug and shed tears, and wave to each other as the car drives away.
It's a sad goodbye, but it doesn't feel like the Roses are leaving forever. Even if the creators never make a movie or another Christmas special (and they really should), it's the kind of satisfying ending that makes it easy to picture these characters moving into the future; and the show has already become a classic that can be revisited many times without losing its shine. The only really unbearable moment is Johnny's final words to Stevie as he returns his key: "If you get the chance, Room 7 needs a turn-down."
The much-needed laugh at the very end is Johnny looking back and seeing that Roland had the infamous town sign repainted in honor of the Rose family. Moira's career is going to take off and people are going to come from miles around to take pictures of that thing.
Goodbye, Schitt's Creek, we'll be back again soon.