To restate what I said when I summarized A Womb with a View, I am aware that many viewers felt that Moonlighting declined after Maddie and David slept together, or after Maddie got pregnant, and although I understand that sentiment, I can't say that I share it. Admittedly, there are some fifth season episodes that I like better than others, but this final episode is (in my opinion) among the very best of the best of anything Moonlighting has ever done.
This is Moonlighting's final episode, and, as if to commemorate the previous five seasons, this episode includes the best of Moonlighting's best features into one package. This one's got a clever storyline, great humor, great characterizations, great pathos, great music, great social commentary, great Dave 'n Maddie banter, great use of Moonlighting's trademark tendency to break the dramatic “fourth wall”. Say what you like about the rest of this season, but in my opinion, Moonlighting redeemed itself with this episode.
We begin by announcing that Agnes and Bert are finally engaged. Everyone's happy – the office staff throws a party, with champagne all around, and MacGilicuddy even makes peace with Bert. But in the midst of all of this happiness, into the Blue Moon offices walks Mark Charnock, Annie's husband, asking to see her.
Recall that we met Annie three episodes ago, when she came to Los Angeles to visit her cousin Maddie, whereupon she developed a relationship with David and decided to stay. But nobody ever told Mark any of that, and so he's in town to be with her. In a desperate attempt to keep them away from each other, David sends Annie on a trip to Disneyland with Bert, and while she's away, Mark confides in David that he's hired a detective from the Lou Lasalle agency. (“I would have preferred to go with Blue Moon, but I didn't want to stick Maddie in the middle.”) And naturally, the detective misidentifies Bert as the one Annie is fooling around with. They get into a brawl, Bert's arm and jaw are broken, and at his wedding, he's unable to pronounce his own vows. When Bert notices the detective at his wedding, the brawl starts again, and suddenly, everyone in the wedding party winds up in the swimming pool.
While talking with Mark, though, David has a change of heart and decides to send Annie back to him. He knows he can't talk her into returning with him, so he stages a scene with Jamie, one of the office staff, in the shower of his apartment. (Jamie believes that she's doing this as part of the Anselmo case, and that she's doing it to “fool Mrs. Anselmo.”) Annie comes back to David's apartment, “discovers” him giggling in the shower with Jamie, and silently and angrily packs her bags. Sadly but nobly, David looks into her eyes as Annie leaves for home, arm in arm with Mark.
David and Maddie return to the Blue Moon offices to find an ABC executive, Walter Whitebread, overseeing the removal of all of the office furniture and the dismantling of the set. (“Where's Red taking our view?!!”) When David asks him what's going on, Whitebread breaks the news to him that his show's been canceled. (“Somebody from Current Programs was supposed to call you. Well, I guess that's why NBC's Number One, eh?”)
Desperate to save the show from being canceled, they visit Cy, “one of the biggest [television] producers in the business,” who tells them he can't help them. “Even I can't get people to tune in to watch what they don't want to watch anymore. People want romance, and romance is a very fragile thing. You two were a great love story. People fell in love with you two falling in love, but you couldn't keep falling forever. Once it's over, it's over, and I'm afraid for you two, it's over.”
David and Maddie try to find help from a priest, but when he can't help them either, they sit down together and say their farewells. “Well I guess this is it,” Maddie says reflectively. “I thought it'd be different. If we could just have these five years to do over again, maybe we could....” Her voice trails off. Then she continues, “You know David, after all these years, all we've been through together – the ups, the downs, the ins, the outs – I just want you to know: I can't imagine not seeing you tomorrow.”
With Ray Charles singing in the background (“our memories I'll treasure forever”), we spend the last few minutes of the series watching clips highlighting Moonlighting's best moments from its best episodes.
“Blue Moon Investigations ceased operations on May 14th, 1989.
The Anselmo Case was never solved ... and remains a mystery to this day.
With Love and Thanks to Glenn Gordon Caron.”
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