Before, Blossom: Goodbye


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It’s my final blog post of the month and I’m writing about the final episode of Blossom. I hope that isn’t too on the nose. Season 5, Episode 22, Goodbye.

The series begins and ends with Blossom’s video diaries. The conceit of Blossom’s video diary crops up regularly throughout the five seasons culminating in this last episode of Blossom, a show creator’s wet dream. Demonstrating perfect foresight, the video diary trope is so executed so well that they can cut right to the first episode and show us, in the same frame, young Blossom. Even Holden Caulfield is mentioned in her final speech. You may remember from my first review that HC was the initial inspiration for the character of Blossom, originally conceived as a young man.

The meat of this episode is centered on some drama surrounding Blossom’s dad Nick’s desire to sell the house. At this point, her brother Joey is engaged, Nick is seriously involved with a new woman (and they’re pregnant!), and her brother Anthony has started a life of his own. (Also, her best friend Six is now hot and working at a fried chicken restaurant.) It’s only Blossom who isn’t quite ready for change. She’s going to be starting college in 1-2 years, according to what they say in this episode, which makes this whole plot line feel very much in service of closure for the series. Why wouldn’t Nick just wait?

The scene where Nick tells Blossom that he is going to sell the house is highly choreographed. He delivers the news, feigns beginning to butter his toast, and then gets up to grab the salt and pepper shakers from the bar. Blossom then stands too, facing him. Why? Why must you sell the house? A bigger question is, Who? Who reveals something like that to their sentimental teen daughter and expects that they’ll be excited about it, as Nick does?

When her father suggests that selling the house will be a clean break with their old memories, Blossom retorts, “This isn’t a break, it’s an amputation.” And that isn’t the only amputation we witness in the span of this episode. The episode ends with what we presume is Blossom’s last video. In it we see another amputation, the separation of Blossom and Mayim.

As Blossom talks about the lessons she learned along the way, the timeline becomes a point of inquiry. When we first met Blossom, she’d experienced no event that would precipitate her video journal. And the move doesn’t demand an end to Blossom’s video diary. The timeline here, again, is transparently in service of the show, so much so that it borders on breaking the fourth wall. The question becomes: are these reflections about Blossom’s life, or are they more like Mayim’s reflections on her experience with the show?

The lessons learned are, without further ado:

  • First, always leave them laughing. For obvious reasons, this one feels like it comes from Mayim herself with regards to her acting style. It’s also appropriately introduced separately from the rest of the bunch.
  • One should never be where one does not belong. That’s attributed to Bob Dylan and feels very cultural supremacist to me but okay, there must be a meaning I’m not getting.
  • Always keep your area clean. Just think, suggests Blossom, how clean the world would be if we all did this. This focus on personal responsibility points towards her Mayim’s later bogus feminism.
  • Try jiggling the handle. I need to rewind many times to hear to hear this one. Following her own advice, she leaves us laughing. But it is also confusing. Muddled, but funny: the legacy of Blossom.
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