I may or may not have cried. A lot. I may or may not still be crying.
As a season, this wasn't perfect. That's okay, because nothing is. When you look at all of the things they got right - when I think about how much it affected me emotionally, I know that it was brilliant. I think this third season was structurally more sound than the second, with more engaging characters. Of course, it didn't have the long exposition you find entangled in the first season. I still think I prefer the first season, mostly because of the impact it made on me, but also because it was something fresh and new whereas the subsequent seasons were needfully derivative.
As an ending, it was pretty solid. It certainly wasn't deeply disappointing like some finales can be.
Charles died doing what he loved.
Oliver finally gets the peace he so desired. And Geoffrey said that he loved him, though I don't think Oliver was around at that time to hear it.
Geoffrey and Ellen will be together - and the Theatre Sans Argent will exist once more!
Anna did run away with the Bolivians (although, did you see her after the wedding?)
Sophie and Paul are together (though part of me thinks she's better than him.)
Darren is artistic director (loved the suit.)
And Richard will be shunned by all of those with good sense, as all fools should be.
It's pretty ridiculous for me to think that anyone actually involved with writing S&A would ever have read my idol_reflection essay on Richard, so I'll instead assume I'm completely psychic when it comes to characterisation. I may have got what was to be Richard's motivation wrong before seeing the season (stressing a little too much on the platitude Archer gives Richard), but I easily foresaw his eventual actions.
So. I should be happy for Richard, really, shouldn't I? He's going to be directing Oklahoma. He's probably relatively happy. These are good things. I'm not happy for him. It's not good enough. Anna's speech to him at the end was every note of perfection. He came so close to being human, to having a fully-rounded soul, and then... no. He's just a fool. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. Oh, Richard.
I guess I should commend Mark, Bob and Susan for creating a situation which is overwhelmingly realistic. The nasty little twerp actually doesn't get redeemed. But... *flail* I wanted him to. I really, really did. He could have been so much more. You could have been so much more Richard. Foolish me for hoping that you would be.
And here I am concentrating on Richard again. I don't know. Geoffrey is far more worthy of my time and concentration, and I think it's because of that very reason that he doesn't get quite as much. Because, in the end, despite the madness, despite the hysterical crying, despite Oliver and Ellen and every bad thing in his life - Geoffrey is always going to be okay.
He has to be. He's Geoffrey Tennant. He's our protagonist. We're supposed to like him. We're supposed to support him. And we do. He's honest - heartbreakingly so on occasion. He's virtuous in many regards (he sacrifices a lot for Ellen on multiple occasions, he sacrifices a lot for Charles.) He's passionate. And conflicted. And an artist. And a hero. It doesn't take much to know that unless the writers really hated their audience, he wasn't going to end up completely ruined.
There are so many things I could say about Slings & Arrows. How clever it was for using convention and playing with it. How wonderful the use of Shakespeare was in every regard. How nicely shot. How brilliantly acted. How this is what all television should be. But... well... I'm emotionally drained. I'm impressed with the entire series. Most of all, I'm sad it's over.