'Swingtown' recap: Labor pains
Last night was the season finale of Swingtown, with everyone’s fate left up in the air, and CBS hasn’t said whether or not the show will continue. How am I supposed to cope?
— Mopey in Manhattan
You could start a Jericho-style write-in campaign. Then again, what would you send into CBS HQ instead of peanuts? Cans of Tab? Pet rocks? Quaaludes? When I want to smooth things over with someone, I usually bring over a bowl of Rosy Perfection Salad, but that seems impractical in this instance. In any case, taking action will feel better than being a doormat. It’s not 1954 anymore, you know. Good luck.
Kudos to Janet, by the way, for landing the advice column gig despite every effort to turn it down. (Thanks in no small part to the insistent Henry. Speaking of Henry, those of you who guessed he was gay, good call. Janet seemed surprisingly supportive and unflustered when she found out.) Janet’s first impulse was to play the dutiful wife and support her husband’s decision to move the family to Cincinnati, where his new job awaited. But after a little feminist pep talk from Trina, she did a 180 and decided that, if Roger were really going to take a job 400 miles away, she might not go with him. Wha?!?!?! Roger didn’t help matters much by being a macho jerk and putting his foot down. Again, wha?!?!?! Who are you people, and what have you done with the real Thompsons?
Not that Roger really wants to go to Cincinnati if it means leaving Susan behind. In the episode’s final moments, we learned that Roger couldn’t bring himself to get on the plane to Ohio, that he was holing up in a hotel by the airport, and that Susan (frustrated by her increasing disconnection from Bruce) had gone to meet him there.
But wait, hadn’t Susan just taken the keys of some guy named Tim at Tom’s Labor Day clambake? What happened there? Bruce was sitting on the beach, dumbfounded. The whole thing drove him back into the arms of Melinda, where all the trouble started in the first place. Best scene of the episode was Susan’s earlier confrontation with Melinda, where the two had a frank talk about Bruce (who, at that point, hadn’t actually slept with her yet, despite his obvious lie about the briefcase. All they had done that night he snuck out to see her was talk. Way to wuss out, Swingtown scripters.) Bottom line, as Melinda explained: Bruce felt like Susan didn’t “get him” anymore. As Susan later told Trina, Melinda was probably right about that. Still, it’s been clear all season that Bruce doesn’t really get Susan anymore, either. Alas, I’m not sure we viewers got enough time to get either of them.
addCredit(“Grant Show; Monty Brinton”)
At least Trina and Tom seem to get each other, but maybe they don’t get themselves. Trina seemed pretty sure, at the start of the episode, that she wanted to have an abortion, but by the end, she was boning up on her Dr. Spock child-rearing tips. Similarly, at first, Tom (Grant Show, pictured) seemed like he’d be happy to keep partying forever, continuing his end-of-summer clambake/key party tradition into infinity, but when Trina finally told him she was pregnant, he seemed supportive and loving and willing to abide by whatever her decision was, even if he didn’t know himself whether he was ready for fatherhood.
Laurie and Doug were still something of a mystery, too. (Show of hands: When Doug announced he was going to Guatemala for several months to help with earthquake relief efforts, how many of you hoped Laurie would go with him, so that there’d be an excuse to write her off the show?) It looked like Laurie was about to run away from her senior year, without even telling her parents, to join Doug, but he left early, and she seemed content to stay behind. At least he left her a nice love letter and the keys to his apartment.
Also not sure what was going on with B.J., Samantha, and Rick. The two boys had reconciled after last week’s spat, but while B.J. spent a lot of time mooning over Sam’s departure for a few weeks to a town 40 miles away, he spent none over his best friend’s impending permanent move to another state. (No one seemed to have asked, Rick, either, how he felt about having to move to Cincinnati.) Rick, at least seemed excited about Lisa’s offer to “French you goodbye,” but Sam was as miserable as B.J., No wonder — despite Sam’s aunt packing Lisa’s mom off to Serenity Shores, Gail apparently checked herself out of rehab as soon as she got there, and she was soon back home and doing coke with a couple of guys, in view of B.J. and Rick. Guess Sam’s stint living with cousin Lisa in Naperville could last a lot longer than the promised six weeks.
So: Are Susan and Roger finally going to sleep together? Will Bruce and Melinda make it past the make-out stage? Will the Deckers become parents? Will Janet really stay behind if Roger takes the Cincinnati job? (And will he really take it?) And will we ever find out the answers to these questions? If not, will you be upset?