The Secret Life of the American Teenager Thank You and Goodbye
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
June 3, 2013
So, Readers, this is it. The series finale. Our previous episode ended with Ricky giving Amy one last out. One last chance to say that she doesn’t want to get married and get out of the whole thing. This episode begins with Amy packing some things in her parents’ old house. Her expression is thoughtful, and we shift into a flashback. She’s about to go to her first marching band halftime, during freshman year, when she decides to tell her parents something important. Before she can say anything, she gets a phone call…from Ben.
Back in the present, George sees her sitting at the dining room table and sits down with her. They reminisce about all the family dinners they had around their dining room table before everything went crazy and they moved their discussions into the kitchen. She remarks that graduation is going to be a lot of everyone having an opinion about whether or not she wants to marry Ricky, but George assures her that the only opinions she needs to worry about are her own and her family’s. He reminds her that she does have a family, regardless of whether she marries Ricky or not. The next five minutes are spent on another series of flashbacks, which spans the whole series and accounts the evolution of Amy’s relationship with and feelings for Ricky Underwood.
George goes home to Kathleen, to find her setting the table. She explains that she wanted to give him a nice surprise, and that she wants to get used to having family dinners since their family will soon be growing, with Grace’s impending marriage to Jack. Grace asks why Kathleen let her date Jack, and Kathleen reminds her that she did her best to keep Grace from doing that very thing. This launches another series of flashbacks.
Ben arrives at school late, missing their graduation rehearsal, because of a dental emergency. Amy fills him in on what they’ll need to do, and he asks her if she’s really getting married the next day. She just smiles at him and there are more flashbacks, this time of Amy and Ben. When we return to the present, they share a look, and neither of them look happy, this time.
Following the graduation ceremony, Lauren and Madison come up to Amy in the hall. They talk about how they wish they were going to the same school, and invite her to a party the next day. Amy reminds them that she’s doing a little thing like getting married the next day, so she doesn’t really want to go to a graduation party. She and Adrian and Grace all make up from when Adrian had her breakdown and told the guys all their secrets a few weeks ago. Since Adrian came with Ben, when she, Grace and Jack leave that leaves Ben alone with Amy and Ricky. He makes it clear that he still doubts their commitment to each other, but Ricky just congratulates him on graduating from high school.
Amy admits that she wishes that they could go back and redo high school, doing everything better this time, but it’s too late for that. It’s time to go. It’s time to move on. So they leave the school, the door closing behind them with a click.
More flashbacks, this time about Grace and her revolving door with abstinence.
Jack takes Grace home and leaves her to dance by herself. Adrian arrives home to an empty apartment and tries to convince herself that she’s happy alone, and that she doesn’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. She remembers all the mistakes she’s made for the sake of having a man, over the years. The only one who she was happy with was Omar. A knock on the door brings her back to the present and she quickly tidies up before answering. Omar comes inside to give her luggage…and ask her to go to New York with him right then. By this point, she regrets having let him go before and kisses him with a grin, accepting his offer.
We cut to Amy and Ricky. He shouts at her and they’re both crying. She’s calling off the wedding. She can’t go through with it. He tells her that he gave her every opportunity to get out of the wedding, but she insisted on their getting married. He hates her. She hates him. She tells him that he might love her, but he’s never been in love with her. He only wants to marry her because of John. What difference does that make, he asks? It makes all the difference in the world. They will call their family and friends and tell them that they’re not getting married. She’ll leave, John will stay with him. Ricky tells her that they have to be real friends to raise John separately, and she tells him that they are friends. That’s the problem. She wants them both to be madly in love when they get married. He asks her if she’s madly in love with Ben, and she can’t answer.
After her parents go back and forth a few times about whether she’s doing the right thing or not, she’s ready to go to the airport. She second guesses herself a few times and tries to justify her decision. Ultimately, she decides to go. Upstairs, we see Ricky reading his son a story. He finishes the book, saying “and she lived happily ever after…and so will we.”
So there we have it. This was probably the most sensibly handled episode of the whole series (though I do wish they’d spend less time on flashbacks and more on the actual story). We don’t get a clean ending, because life is not clean. We don’t find out if Amy will be with Ben because she doesn’t know herself. She’s confused and doesn’t know what she wants, but in the end…they’ll move forward with their lives. And they’ll be okay.