The following contains spoilers about the “Mom” series finale.
Those expecting Faris’ Christy to drop in to say goodbye, however, settled for a reference to the character, while Janney’s Bonnie offered a final sendoff at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, saying that while she was once a mess, “Now, I kinda like me.”
Thanks to her, “Mom” has remained kinda likable too, and the episode did include a pair of significant developments: The marriage of Jill (Jaime Pressly), one of Bonnie’s partners in sobriety; and a cancer diagnosis for Bonnie’s husband, Adam (William Fichtner), with the promise it was treatable, but clearly a long road ahead.
Still, the main thrust was “Life goes on” as opposed to a grand conclusion, with Bonnie helping a newcomer (Melanie Lynskey, a veteran of “Mom” producer Chuck Lorre’s “Two and a Half Men”) listening as the women shared their can-you-top-this stories about how bad things had once been for them.
“Mom” has never shied away from the idea that the battle rages on, filtering financial struggles and serious issues of substance abuse through the spectrum of a broad network comedy. There was even a big group hug — with Janney, Pressly, Mimi Kennedy, Beth Hall and Kristen Johnson — in what felt like a nod to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Eight seasons is a long time for any TV show, but perhaps especially one such as this, with the added burden of the lead departing. Although the cancellation announcement came later, the show was clearly living on borrowed time.
The final season didn’t much resemble the first one, but it did illustrate a resiliency, appropriately, that has been one of the show’s trademarks. And even for those who stuck around — either liking the show a lot, or just kind of — having this last meeting now certainly doesn’t feel premature.
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