Monday, May 20, 2024

The Sun Also Rises: Vida’s Season Finale Feels the Real Feels and Creates New Beginnings

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Welcome welcome, it’s the season finale of Vida, in which everyone must go through a lot of pain to get a little closure, and to make space for what’s ahead. It’s magical in more ways than one!

Doña Lupe opens the episode with some magic, in the form of a ceremony during which she cleanses Lyn of all the bad stuff that’s built up inside of her. Including, she warns, the stuff Lyn was used to- even what she thought she wanted. Lyn brushes off this warning, claiming to feel lighter than air.

Fresh from this ceremony, Lyn runs into Emma in the stairwell. Emma is her usual super-stressed self and starts talking about how if they sell the bar, they’ll only break even. Lyn says one of the only truly insightful things she’s said on this show, which is to point out that Emma claimed all she wants is out. Who cares if they don’t make money off of the bar, doesn’t she just want to break even and not be responsible for it anymore? Out with the old, in with the new! This seems to kind of get through to Emma, who suddenly thinks about what it is she wants and what she wants is Cruz. OBVIOUSLY. We all want Cruz. And we all want Emma to want Cruz.

Give the people what they want.

So she goes over to Cruz’s place and they have this very cute tender hookup, but then Emma seems to remember she’s supposed to be sad and angry all the time so she gets up to leave. Cruz points out that the bar Vida and Eddy built is one of the only safe spaces “girls like us” can go (which still baffles Emma) and that no one can take that away. Emma doesn’t like being told or even getting suggestions about what she can and can’t do, so she snaps at Cruz, who gets out of bed with her wing tattoo and her endless grace and apologizes, kissing Emma, trying to make things a little better for her. Emma softens a little. This is my favorite scene of the episode for obvious reasons.

Back at the bar, Eddy and her buddies are drinking and playing cards when Emma strolls in wearing some clothes she stole from Lyn, aka not put-together-office-wear, and announces she’s going to start cleaning up the junk out back and touch up the paint in the bar. Eddy joins her outside and they have this moment, working together, where they are both kind of happy and maybe getting a little more comfortable/friendly with each other.

Look at these smiles ok!

Unfortunately, as always seems to be the case in TV and in life, that’s the exact moment a man decides to show up and embody everything terrible about the patriarchy. I’m talking about Nelson, the slimy developer who really, really wants to own all four corners of that block and will do anything to get what he wants.

Both Emma and Eddy are angry about Nelson’s threats, but as Emma points out, she herself speaks fluent asshole and knows from her work experience how to deal with the Nelsons of the world. Eddy is a little less cool. She reiterates to Emma that she will not sell, and they get in another fight during which Emma says some very hurtful things (WHY Emma?! Stop that!) Eddy’s friends tell her they’re going to take her to another bar to buy her a drink. “Where?” Eddy asks. “You know I don’t like places.” I relate so hard. But they find another spot.

Meanwhile, it didn’t take long after they officially got together for Johnny to start being as neglectful and self-centered with Lyn as he was with Karla. He doesn’t answer her texts and only pays attention to her when he wants to have sex. By the way, all the men in this episode are the literal worst. Spoiler alert.

When Johnny and Lyn do have sex, and she’s feeling a little more seen and held, Johnny brings up that he wants to move away from this neighborhood because people are being mean to him about cheating on his pregnant fiancé and then leaving her. So sorry Johnny, that must be so hard for you.

Earlier that day, Lyn had seen Karla drop some groceries and then just sit in her car and cry. So she feels bad too. She asks Johnny who would take care of his dad if they moved away. Obviously the answer is Mari, as if she didn’t have enough to deal with and could use some respect and recognition; but Johnny just says he’d figure something out. Lyn looks into his face and we can see the realization of how messed up their relationship, and Johnny and his irresponsibility, is.

Boy, bye to you, too.

Lyn breaks up with him and then goes to Doña Lupe’s place to cry and get mad at her for making her feel “all weird.” Doña Lupe insists this is how she’s supposed to feel, and she warned her, but alas, Lyn is pissed that everything she thought she knew about her own feelings was actually just a bunch of padding she made around her true emotions so she storms off.

Then we get to this really terrible part in the episode that warrants a content warning for bigotry, assault and violence.

Eddy and her two buddies are drinking at another bar, where people are giving Eddy side-eye because of her butch presentation. Her femme friend gets hit on by a total sleazeball who won’t take no for an answer, so Eddy gets up to defend her. He says some truly horrible things to her and they start to brawl, but it doesn’t go very far because their respective friend groups break them up. But later, when Eddy goes to the bathroom alone, he’s waiting and viciously attacks her, landing her in the hospital.

Lyn and Emma come running as soon as they hear. Eddy’s friends aren’t allowed to see her because it’s family-only in the ICU; Lyn tells the nurse that Eddy is their stepmother, and just hearing her say that makes me melt.

In the hospital room, both women cry and touch Eddy’s arms as she lies unconscious. They’re family, y’all! Like real family, even if they don’t always think they want to be. Emma yells at a cop who is being super unhelpful in trying to find the attacker, after which Lyn quietly leads her back to the bar. In the hospital room, Ghost Girl takes Eddy’s hand, and we see that she is actually Vida. She’s been here this whole time.

Back at the bar, Emma admits that she loves the place, that it’s so important to her despite all the pain of her fraught relationship with her mother. She and Lyn sit on the roof, making plans to help run the bar instead of selling it, and the sun comes up before them.

It’s a new dawn.

So yeah, that’s it for this season of Vida, may there be many, many more! We didn’t see Mari at all but I suppose her storyline did get some closure last week. We did get to see the possibility for so many new beginnings and storylines- the sisters and Eddy growing into a family and running the bar together; Lyn doing literally anything besides chasing Johnny; Eddy hopefully recovering and continuing to be such an important presence for the queer community of the neighborhood; Emma giving a relationship with Cruz a shot. And those are just my ideas; I can’t wait to see what the writer’s room comes up with. Until (hopefully) next season!

P.S. I’m a fan of the existing bar décor, thank you.

Images Courtesy of Starz

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