Wanna take a leap of faith?
The episode changed its format subtlety. They kept in the characters’ side stories, but not all of them.
Everyone was on the same goal in this episode. Before, they were lost in their personal world of drama and the God account simply tugged them along for the ride.
This week, however, it felt like everyone was on the same track. And the single-mindedness of the episode held everything together.
We still jumped from one character to another, but it wasn’t jarring. The scene dealt with whatever drama that’s going on, but it’s while they worked on the case/good deed/stranger meddling in other people’s lives thing.
It’s scary simple.
With only half of the characters clamoring for their two-minute scene, the episode felt less chaotic and more accessible. My irritation stemmed from the sudden leaps to other characters with little reason other than it was their turn to talk.
Here, we get a smooth flow even as we switch from one POV to another. The episode felt cohesive.
The story about Fliss and Beaker was uncomplicated. The fact it turned out Beaker was the elusive Joe Smith was predictable. What happened after they finally met was not.
And that’s what I liked about this episode.
Yes, everything appeared to be predictable; how Fliss and Beaker reunited inside Hayden’s starry projections was not a shocker. You could guess what might happen when Fliss declared “we’re here, together, under the stars, it’s like we were meant to be.” When Beaker clutched Fliss’s hand and—oh no—you think they’re actually going to go that way and—
Beaker is gay.
I did not see that coming.
Miles and his shock was meta because who would have thought? I bet, like me, you were expecting Beaker to make some declaration of love especially after most of the episode, including Arthur’s story, dealt with love and destiny.
Rather than giving Fliss the sort of clichéd happily-ever-after ending she thought she was looking for, Fliss ended up finding herself instead.
After rekindling her friendship with Beaker, Fliss decided to move to New York and start something new. And Beaker found his star and regained a friend who reminded him what’s more out there. Best friends reunited after so many years apart. It’s a different sort of payoff that was just as satisfying if not more so.
Rakesh learned he didn’t need a name for what he and Jaya already saw each other as.
As for Miles, you saw it coming that the experience gave him the confidence to jump over the “just friends” fence and ask Cara out.
What was also predictable was that Cara’s ex, Eli, came out of nowhere just as Miles was about to ask and Miles lost his nerve and hastily backtracked.
Even though I don’t believe in destiny, I do believe in second chances.
Essentially, God Friended Me stayed the same: our characters waddled through life and love while some friend suggestion shanghaied Miles into interfering with someone else’s life and love.
However, like the melodrama that is Rakesh and Jaya, our characters were woven in with the Beaker and Fliss storyline. There were no scene cuts to the pair and back to the focal point of the week. No need; Rakesh and Jaya were part of the story. The whole episode, in fact, felt like one story, one voice rather than a gaggle of voices trying to get your attention.
The episode still rewarded you with warm fuzzies in the end. And things among the Finer family appeared to have settled to a sort of cordial truce. Even the storyline with Arthur and his dented sax wasn’t obtrusive to the whole. It didn’t detract from the main plot. It bookended the episode; Miles and Ali paid for the sax repairs and finally shared memories about their mother.
It helped that the episode narrowed its spotlight only on four characters. Rakesh and Miles still had their own dramas, but nothing that tore us away from Beaker and Fliss.
The episode was noticeably scaled down: plot-wise, thread wise, but it worked. There was too much going on in the previous episodes. Simplified, we’re allowed the chance to appreciate the feel-good emotions the storyline tried to invoke.
So, yes, I smiled in the end. I too believe in second chances. I’ll be back for the next episode with my fingers crossed. If the show sticks with this pared-down version, they have a lot going for them in the long run.
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