In the last episode of the season, things finally took a turn for the positive (if you hate Merc).
Carol confesses to Beverly about the job offer to take over Merc’s position with the network, but says she simply can’t betray him like that. She doesn’t think their relationship would survive. Carol struggles with the realization that Merc will never leave Jamie because she’s a saint, and Beverly makes a funny noise that catches Carol’s attention. Beverly tries very hard not to admit what she knows about Matt and Jamie’s affair, but after Carol chases her down, she spills the beans. It was great to see the ladies have a physical comedy moment as Beverly tries to evade Carol.
With Carol in possession of the truth, she ends up telling Merc about the affair just before the Man of the Year award. He is devastated in a hilariously hypocritical way, not understanding how Jamie could treat him that way. Carol is elated when Merc promises to finally leave his wife so they can be together.
The Man of the Year Award: As the party begins, the Lincolns arrive with their respective dates, Morning and Rob. Sean seems to be increasingly uncomfortable with Beverly seeing someone else, and Matt Leblanc finally takes him aside and lays it on the line, telling Sean to get over himself and just be with Beverly if he still loves her. Matt then decides to take his own advice and finds Jamie, patching things up with her.
Matt delivers the Man of the Year award to Merc, who manages to accept it graciously without giving away just how angry he is at Matt. As he delivers his acceptance speech, a montage shows Merc’s office being cleaned out by network staff. As guests mingle after the award, Elliot Salad approaches Carol again to try and convince her that she is right for the job, but Carol believes that she and Merc are finally going to have a public life together and just cannot accept.
Merc finally approaches Matt in the bathroom and a fight breaks out over the affair. It spills out into public view, with both parties throwing punches and as well as accusations back and forth. Merc accidentally hits Beverly, causing Sean to fly into a rage. It’s probably the most realistic fight in the history of television, because none of the men involved are particularly good at it. Matt ends up with a dislocated shoulder and Merc exits stage left, but not after declaring that Pucks! is canceled.
Little does he know that he’s been fired, so he won’t be canceling any shows any time soon. Carol finally tells him the bad news about the board kicking him out of the network and wanting her to replace him. Merc is pissed, but not as pissed as Carol when Merc tells her that he can’t divorce Jamie if he’s without a job, because he doesn’t want his wife to get any of his money. Carol is devastated and kicks Merc out of car, seemingly done with him for real this time.
But, not all hearts are broken in this episode. Sean helps Beverly ice her face where Merc punched her, expressing to her how angry he felt when he saw her hurt. The two kiss and reconcile just in time for the season to end on a much happier note than it did before.
This episode was nice and quirky, and I actually enjoyed all the focus on Carol. It would have been nice to see the Lincolns get a bigger reconciliation scene, but it might have felt redundant, as most of this season was showing why they should be back together. It was nice to end of a positive note, with the “bad guy” (Merc) getting his due and the lovers reunited, so I’ll take what I can get and hope that next season the show will feel stronger for it all.
What did you think of the finale?