Feud: Bette and Joan Finale Review

Well, friends. This is the end. Tonight's episode was the finale of Feud: Bette and Joan, something that upsets me greatly as this truly has been a lovely ride. I have a lot of thoughts on the episode and the season in general, so instead of my usual recap with some commentary, I'm just going to touch on some major portions of the episode, and provide my analysis of it.

Wow, that was brilliant. I didn't think any episode could top the Oscars episode, which was my favorite, but this one did. It was beautifully crafted and acted. It was touching. It was sad. I can't think of anything bad to say about it. It was just perfect from start to finish. The final scene, showing Bette and Joan on the first day on the set of Baby Jane, was the perfect way to bring the show full circle. If only they could have been friends...

For all of the horrible things Bette and Joan have done throughout the series, you couldn't help but feel bad for them, especially Joan. This episode did a wonderful job of depicting the final years of Joan's life, showing her work in Trog (which looks like a real masterpiece). Lange does a terrific job showing Crawford's struggles with her health near the end, and I truly think this is some of her finest work in the series to date. That's not to say that Sarandon wasn't fantastic as always, because she was. Near the end of the episode, when Bette and Olivia and other Joan are all at the Oscars, there was something that really got me. And that was the In Memoriam section, where Joan received just a few seconds devoted to her. Bette's line here was perfect. It showed that she really did care about Joan, and that, unlike her earlier line of "Joan Crawford's dead. Good" would indicate, she wasn't happy she was dead (or at least this version of Bette wasn't).

Thank God we got Judy Davis to make one last appearance as Hedda Hopper, a role for which she truly deserves an Emmy (Please Academy, give this woman the Emmy!). Hedda Hopper was incredibly dead in the late 1970s, but that doesn't stop her from making an appearance to Joan, along with Stanley Tucci's Jack Warner and Sarandon's Bette. This might have been my favorite scene of the finale, because for just one last time, everything got to be perfect again. Hedda was alive, Bette and Joan got along, and they were all having a fun time. It was truly spectacular. It broke my heart when Joan called Mamacita in, and she revealed to Joan that Hedda, Jack, and Bette were never there.   I wish they were though. I wish Joan would have been able to have a happy ending, because her true fate was really upsetting.

The secret MVP of this whole season has been Jackie Hoffman as Mamacita, a character that is so easy to fall in love with. Even though Joan frequently treats her like crap, Mamacita is still there for her in her final moments, a time in which, as Mamacita said, nobody else was there for her. Everyone in Hollywood may have showed up for her funeral, but nobody was really there for her. They didn't really care. But Mamacita did, and that's amazing.

While I had high expectations for Feud, I never expected it to be this great. It was truly a masterpiece from start to finish. While I adore previous Murphy series like The People v. OJ, the first season of Scream Queens, and the majority of American Horror Story, Feud is truly my favorite work of his. The incredible cast and the wonderful writing made this a true gem, my favorite show of the entire 2016-17 season. The fact that my least favorite episode is still a solid "A" just shows how much I loved this show. In fact, I'd even say that this show is one of my favorites ever, at least in its first season. I truly hope that the cast of this season will return, since it was filled with fantastic actors who truly did spectacular jobs of portraying these characters. At the very least, I'm hoping Lange, Sarandon, Davis, and Hoffman can all return in some capacity, since they all impressed me so much with their performances this season. Farewell Bette and Joan, I'm going to miss the hell out of you.
Episode Score: 11/10
Episode Grade: A+

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