The League series finale react
Years (or months, or weeks, or days) from now, when people describe The League, they will never mention the word “cute.” Raunchy, rude, inappropriate, offensive, funny? Yes. Cute? No, not at all. But that’s exactly what the last moment of the entire series is — the beauty of it is that it’s also all those other, more series-encompassing adjectives at the same time.
The series finale kicks off with Andre and Meegan — you know, Pete’s ex-wife, a fact Andre grossly reminds us of by referencing how the two have “spelunked in the same cave” — announcing their marriage via an overenthusiastic video message. This news might be jarring if an episode just two weeks ago hadn’t started by announcing that, surprise, Sofia died while going under the knife for plastic surgery (on her vagina, no less). Partly because of that, though, Andre and Meegan’s news is relatively mundane. Eloping in Mexico? Meh, no big.
With any other episode, this would be fine, but in this context, it felt like a bit of a let-down. No bang? No crazy — like, actually crazy — high jinks right off the bat? What gives, League? The show’s characteristic absurdity saves it, with Taco soon into the episode giving a ridiculous-as-ever speech where he tries to figure out what the middle ground between “like” and “dislike” is (it’s “neutral,” he decides) and Andre joining his plaid-clad college a cappella group for an impromptu, unwanted performance.
Then the drama really begins. Ruxin does some detective work and realizes that Meegan’s not pregnant with Andre’s baby. She’s pregnant with Pete’s. That, in and of itself, isn’t so shocking in the context of everything else that happens on The League, but it’s how they choose to deal with it that makes the episode: Ruxin and Jenny, who also knows, agree not to tell Andre until the kid is 18.
Before Ruxin makes this decision, though, he’s so conflicted about what to do that he dreams up having a conversation with his future self, played by the always amusing Larry David. Future Ruxin tells Current Ruxin that he lost all his hair because he told Andre about Pete being the real dad, leading to a domino affect that ended in Ruxin losing his job, his friends, and, most importantly, the league. Nick Kroll and David play so naturally off each other that it’s a wonder they don’t have their own show just yet — perhaps David should sub in for John Mulaney in Off-Broadway’s Oh, Hello?
After some scary-but-possible looks at the future, Ruxin goes with keeping the news from Andre for a bit longer, something that perfectly encapsulates who he — and everyone else on the show, if we’re being honest — is: He’s happy to make his friend’s life a living hell so long as it benefits him. This time, it doesn’t. So keeping a secret it is. In the universe of The League, there’s no such thing as doing the right thing — and that’s for the best (for us audience members, at least).
This doesn’t end with as much joy as Ruxin would like, though, as he ends up losing the Shiva to…a coin. Then Jenny loses The Snip to Kevin, and then Kevin loses his testicles to The Snip when Jenny accidentally throws the scissor-shaped trophy his crotch’s way. Everything turns to s—, a fitting climax to a show built on things going to s—.
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Then that aforementioned cute moment happens. Andre sits down with his son, Deuce (Deuce!), on his 18th birthday, and together they watch a video the rest of the league members made 18 years ago. All is well until the four, minus Pete, burst into a song about Deuce not being Andre’s biological song to the tune of the Shiva song. Pete eventually pops up, making it all the worse: That means that Pete’s been knowingly ignoring his fatherly duties for 18 years. So awful and so perfect.
Andre’s in shock, Deuce is overjoyed, and Jenny ends the message with a surprisingly sweet, “Welcome to the league, buddy.” Welcome, indeed, buddy. This is (probably) the only time these people are ever going to be nice to you from now on. Enjoy it, learn how to pronounce Shivakamini Somakandarkram, and immediately abandon all hope of being an honorable human being.
And that’s The League. It admirably kept up its commitment to portraying terrible people doing terrible things for seven seasons straight, and its finale made sure to remind its audience just how atrocious — and, lucky for us, how hilarious in their atrocity — these people are. Sure, the finale didn’t always feel quite as exciting as a series finale usually does and should, but that light disappointment disappeared as soon as Andre received the news that he was the victim of his league’s latest, cruelest, and most impressive joke. These league members are nothing if not consistently vile, and that, amazingly, is what made this show worth sticking with for all these years.
So goodbye, Kevin and Jenny and Pete and Andre and Taco and “Ruspin.” In Taco’s wise, wise words: I neutral you guys.