To borrow from Davia, it’s the end of an era.

With a heavy heart and the taste of bittersweetness, with Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 20, we not only said goodbye to the series but also marked the end of a franchise.

As a result, this unplanned finale had double the impact, as characters we’ve experienced for an entire decade signed off, presumably for the last time.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a series that has made it this far. In an industry where we frequently see series get the boot before it can even get into telling its stories, Good Trouble making it five seasons is a remarkable feat.

And even the diehard, most dedicated fans of this series often agree that the series was due to get wrapped up sooner rather than later.

However, it doesn’t make this loss any less impactful, nor the fact that we essentially got a rushed finale to wrap things up and bid well to these characters as best as the cast and crew could do under the circumstances.

In that sense, it feels as if we were robbed of a much bigger sendoff, something better planned, and what we got, particularly with the last half hour of the finale, was a consolation prize.

Related: Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 19 Review: It’s All Coming Back to Me

And we’ll take it for the “feels.” Everyone enjoys a Coterie family dinner and a dance party. If you weren’t misty-eyed by the final scene of Callie  and Mariana on that rooftop, bearing their hearts before flicking off those lights at the signature pool and walking away, I don’t know what to tell you.

I appreciate everything the powers that be did to wrap up what they could as best as possible, and even under short notice, they captured the heart and emotions of losing this series and what it means to lifelong fans.

The final montage of Cierra Ramirez and Maia Mitchell over the years, from The Fosters until Good Trouble’s bittersweet end, was perfectly done.

In the end, that’s what most of us fans, particularly those who have followed their journey since The Fosters, are drawn to most.

Davia: It’s the end of an era.
Alice: I hate endings.

At the center of Good Trouble and the stories are these two remarkable sisters – the heart and soul of the bunch and how they blossomed from teenagers stumbling through life and finding their way to these beautiful, intelligent, accomplished, mature young women.

It takes the final installment of this series to hit just how far Callie Adams Foster has come in her journey from when we first met her.

She’s such an impactful character whose journey has made its mark on the grand scale of the television realm — a character who has impacted, inspired, and been relatable to a generation, just as Veronica Mars was for the generation before and so forth.

Mariana proved how well she could hold her own and helm this series in Callie’s stead, which was vital to show for a character who was sometimes known for her codependency.

As dark as Good Trouble Season 5 has been (and polarizing as well), an undeniable fact is that Cierra Ramirez has put forth such incredible, heart-rending, emotionally stunning work with whatever storyline was tossed her way.

Seeing her performance through some of these difficult arcs hit like a tidal wave over and over how much she’s grown as an actress.

It’s upsetting that Good Trouble is concluding, and with that, her portrayal of a character she’s walked the shoes of for ten years. But my goodness, I am excited to see what the future holds for this young woman.

We’ve had the privilege of seeing how she’s honed her craft from the time she was a teenager until now, and in a just industry, the world should be her oyster, whether it’s acting or her continuing to get her feet wet with directing.

Sumi: Hey, starfish, what’s wrong?
Alice: I just got off the phone with the landlord. They’re selling the building, and we all have to be out in three months.

Saying goodbye to Mariana is like sending a little sister out into the world and watching her spread her wings and fly, but knowing she has the tools to soar and looking forward to how she does so is just as exciting.

We’ve also had the privilege of seeing what Maia Mitchell can do over the years. If you haven’t already, check her out in The Artful Dodger.

For the finale, it was fortuitous that she was available and could show up for the final stretch, showing just how content Callie is in her life.

Anyone in tune with the character knows how beautiful it is to see this woman reveling in a career she loves, a healthy, stable, loving relationship with a man we sadly won’t get to see her marry, and with so much love and support as her family expanded to include the Coterie crew as well.

When it comes to the finale, the moments you cling to as a fan are at the end.

Nothing could’ve emotionally prepared a girl for the core Coterie crew members having their love fest on the rooftop and slowly walking away, leaving Callie and Mariana to have one final moment.

When Callie mentions that she wouldn’t have done this journey with anyone else, it’s evident that within those final moments, it stopped being Callie and Mariana. Instead, Mitchell and Ramirez shared this intimate moment and expressed their genuine love for each other as soul sisters.

And it felt like we, as viewers, were intruding on this moment. But it also made you want to embrace them both through the screen.

Related: Small Screen Icons: Strong and Impactful Female Characters

It was indeed something special, a deliberate moment to acknowledge the two actresses’ deep bond, something showrunner Joanna Johnson expressed in an emotional interview you should stay tuned for later.

But this experience with the Coterie isn’t just about the sisters. It’s about all these wonderful characters we’ve spent time with over the years.

And their final moments together were just as intimate and heartfelt. Luca said it was the best home he’d ever had, which was humorous and heartfelt.

And a clean-shaven Joaquin, joking about the circumstances under which he entered the place but found a family, made you smile. The Coterie has a way of making a haven and providing a family to those who need it the most when they need it the most.

Initially, Joaquin was such a closed-off character, and even he fell victim to the Coterie’s charms. He solidified his place in their family before he even realized it.

It’s also something that hit hard with Dennis Cooper when you reflect on his journey. Similar to Joaquin, he attempted to keep an emotional distance and endured some powerful moments as a man grappling with suicide ideation and grief.

But now, he’s the happiest and healthiest he’s ever been, and these people are the epitome of his family.

Even Kelly got to bask in the unity of the house and everything it represents as a core member on that rooftop, and it was indeed something special.

The family dinner and dance party were a great way of paying homage to how welcoming the Coterie is for many. All our newbies and other figures broke bread around the table or danced in the front room, from Mabel and Evan to Sumi, Angelica, and Jay.

The exposition-heavy family dinner could have been better. Sadly, it was the most effective way to address everyone’s storylines and attempt to wrap things up as much as possible.

Was it clunky and hokey? Of course, it was. There was no getting around it. I found myself both happy to see a final coterie meal and annoyed that the bulk of everything we’d get about these characters got shoved into inorganic dialogue because there were few alternatives to make it work.

It was like an icebreaker moment on the first day of class or at a work mixer, and it required us to buy that this close-knit bunch wasn’t informing their friends about what was happening in their lives in the three months they spent packing because the building got sold.

Related: The Fosters Series Finale Review: Where the Heart Is

Yes, it’s hard to unpack this series finale properly when we know the circumstances surrounding how it came to be in the first place.

It seems unfair to judge how it holds up.

It was an unplanned finale for a series that ran out of time telling its stories and had to rush to wrap up the larger arcs however it could.

All of that showed in every facet of the super-sized finale, which is why it was much easier and more fun to honor the show for what it was, aside from this farewell.

Dennis: Do you think anyone will remember us? That we were even here.
Callie: I’d like to think so.
Gael: That we had some sort of impact.

One of the striking moments of the finale was when Dennis wondered if they would be remembered, and Gael pondered what type of impact they’d have.

It speaks to Good Trouble’s legacy, not just as part of a larger franchise, as The Foster’s footprint is firmly stamped and goes without saying.

But Good Trouble has its own legacy, and to answer the guys’ musings, yes, we will remember that they were here. They will be recognized– their impact felt.

The series took bold, audacious, unapologetic swings at tackling real-world issues and is one of the few series out there that captured the heart of the Millennial and Gen-Z experience, especially in its early days.

Related: These Shows Are Successfully Commenting on Social Issues

Good Trouble was as intentional as the Coterie as a living space, and nothing can take that away.

Those first couple of seasons, in particular, stand out and are held in high regard because of their audacity and a sense of purpose as they try to step into the namesake, getting into good trouble by reflecting the world around us while also being hopeful and inspiring.

Good Trouble mattered, and so did these characters.

We fell in love with the actors who graced the screens and poured their hearts into these roles and telling these stories, and they should go forth knowing that every one of them left a little bit of magic that carries on because as long as they resonated with a single viewer, the impact was made.

As for the technical stuff, well, there are a lot of wishes and hopes for what we would’ve liked, and the pacing of the first hour of this finale was a reminder of how the season meandered too much with storylines because they couldn’t go anywhere by the end.

Callie: What happened to the sitcom?
Alice: I had to turn it down. I didn’t want to leave the guys, and they ended up canceling the sitcom anyway. Yup, they pulled the plug, it’s a brutal business.

We have some comfort in knowing that Gael Martinez resolved things with Yuri in a scene that could’ve been an email. And that Jay is a great influence and the perfect partner for Gael because he challenges him and makes him reflect on himself and his desires.

Gael loves what his street art means, and he needed the reminder that he didn’t need to subscribe to some concept of elitism in art by focusing on “fine art” when his passion is in the raw, truthful, grittiness of street art.

And thankfully, it paid off. After a series-long journey, Gael is a proud, accomplished artist. And while there was no more mention of Lyric, we can surmise he’s a content father, and all is well there.

He may move in with them to help care for his daughter, or he may move in with Jay so they can continue flourishing.

Davia: So what do we do?
Dennis: We do long-distance. I’ll come to New York as much as I can. You can come home whenever you can.
Davia: OK, but if the show is a success, two years is a long time.
Dennis: Not in the scale of our whole lives together.
Davia: Are we spending our whole lives together?
Dennis: That’s my plan.

Hell, maybe while Davia Moss is gone, he and Dennis can shack up together as besties.

Haven will be fine, and despite all their bickering, Dennis and Davia are in a great place and stable enough to survive a long-distance, bi-coastal relationship as she pursues her off-broadway stint.

Davia is living her dream, and that’s great for her.

Something tells me that Sumi and Alice’s new house will be the haven for the rest of the Coterie family whenever they need it because it’s in Alice’s nature to be nurturing and have a home for her extended family.

Malika: I need you to make a decision. I’ve got to know where we stand and if I need to move on. And before you answer that, there’s something else: my work is not going away. I want to be with you, but I have plans for my career, and I’m about to make a pretty bold move, so you have to be on board.
Angelica: On board with what exactly?

And one could appreciate her dig about the fickle industry and cancelations. However, she got to keep the theme of the finale, which was pursuing dreams without sacrificing herself by turning down the sitcom series regular role and getting to host the show she runs with the MMM trio, after all.

Malika running for council president against her nemesis feels far-fetched, and it almost makes me grit my teeth that, as a WOC, I have to question how another WOC who has barely gotten her feet wet in this can sail past others to this position.

But hell, if others can get opportunities through nepotism, connections, privileges, and luck, then Malika may as well be council president and potentially pursue a field in politics.

And I’m pleased that she called Angelica out, laid out her feelings and conditions, and demanded an answer so she wasn’t in limbo anymore; good for them.

Related: The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Arman

The Luca situation was whatever it was, but the kid doesn’t have to worry about his immigration status, has found something with Mabel, and he’s going on tour with Olivia Rodrigo, so go him.

Joaquin probably got the shortest end of the stick here (and the bluntest edge of a shovel). We’re led to believe that finding and saving his sister and finding success as a journalist via his cult stuff is rewarding enough.

I wasn’t sold on much of that, but whatever works.

The Silas ordeal took up the bulk of the finale, and thankfully, it resulted in Silas being run down and likely in prison, Madison’s body found, and Jenna freed from the mental confinement of a cult.

And they reneged on Joaquin Perez and Mariana once they inserted the moments of Evan talking to her about his memory returning.

The second she knew Evan’s memories were back and that he loved her (and likely always would), her ability to move on went up in flames.

I appreciated her effort and adored Joaquin even more for respectfully giving her the out at the top of the hour by letting her know that he understood they slept together again under emotional circumstances. He would give her the space to sort through that if necessary.

Joaquin is a genuinely good guy. And he and Mariana have such an adorable friendship.

Joaquin: So I know emotions were kind of high last night, so if this is just something that happened and you’re still figuring things out, then I get it.
Mariana: No, I’m ready to move on.

Unfortunately for Joaquin, even with their sexual chemistry and tension, it rarely felt like it could be anything beyond that.

So Mariana made her choice, something we learned when Evan joined the Coterie for dinner, and she gave him a chaste kiss.

And as much as Cierra Ramirez evoked in scenes with both men during those flashbacks, they were underwhelming because the situation called for more than they could do.

Maybe Eviana has what it takes to last forever. And perhaps Joaquin will find a love who can love him back in equal measure.

Evan: I remember everything. It all came back to me at once: everything we’ve been through and all of my feelings. Mariana, I love you.

I want these things for all of them. And I’m sad that I can’t see them come to fruition.

It’s also disappointing that because Mariana got sucked up into this cult arc for so long, we don’t know where she stands as a professional woman…

We’ll have to believe that she will continue to be co-CEO of Speckulate, but for her arc to start so strong and intriguing during Good Trouble Season 1, only to feel like an afterthought by the end, is unfortunate.

And we sadly won’t get to see Callie and Jamie’s wedding.

Mariana: I don’t want to say goodbye.
Callie: I know. Me neither.
Mariana: It’s been quite the journey.
Callie: It certainly has. And there is no one that I would’ve rather done it with.

But we have some semblance of closure, and in the end, it’s all you can hope for, so with that, I appreciate what we got.

And it’s been a pleasure covering this series.

My debut experience at TV Fanatic was covering The Fosters, and even with reservations, it extended into this spinoff.

And it’s been an incredible experience and quite a journey.

Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Are you content with the finale? Did things end as you hoped? Let’s discuss it all below!

You can watch the full series of Good Trouble on Hulu.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

Source link