It’s all been leading up to this. The end of the previous episode revealed that Syd’s Father survived an explosion while serving as a Marine and appears to have been going through the same issues Syd is currently going through. Syd’s Mum couldn’t help but suspect he was always wrestling with internal demons and unfortunately he let them win.
Syd’s Father has been a black cloud hanging over this entire show and that bombshell reveal leads us straight into this final episode as Syd scrambles to find her misplaced diary. “Dear Diary, if you’re not here then that means…” yep, there definitely is a shadowy figure watching from the wings, but who is it?
Before we find out who took her diary, Syd decides to put everything behind her and makes pancakes for the family, trying to make peace with Liam after the incident with the bully. This new, positive Syd heads to school and catches up with Dina, where they talk about their friendship.
With things patched up between them for now, everyone prepares for Homecoming. Back home, Syd has help from her Mother in putting on her dress and as she throws her arms around her daughter, she tells Syd she’s beautiful. This is the first sign of affection we’ve seen from her and it gives this estranged mother/daughter relationship a nudge toward repairing the issues they’ve been facing over the past year since her Father’s death.
At the dance, Syd and Dina joke and dance together but in the background, Stan’s new date Mercedes ditches him, prompting him to sit alone watching the others have fun. Syd sits with him and they get all their feelings out in the open. Dina and Syd then start dancing and they talk about the kiss they shared earlier in the season. Dina doesn’t outright say it but it’s obvious she thinks there may be something worth exploring there. Just as they’re about to kiss, things take a turn for the worst.
Brad snatches the microphone up on stage and calls out Sydney, flaunting her diary around, calling her a dyke and mentioning her particular issues with her Father. Stan tries to stop him from continuing and gets a punch to the face for good measure, knocking him out on the ground.
The pressure is too much for Syd, who sees her rage bubble up to the surface. Just as Brad is about to divulge the truth about her powers, his head outright explodes; something Syd causes with her mind. It’s at this point she runs, blood-stained and shocked, out the building and into the street which is where the opening parts of previous episodes are now clear.
After Stan’s earlier comments at the start of the series about the tower and the people who have died there in the past – it’s fitting then that Syd finds her way atop this very same tower as a shadowy figure materializes infront of her. He tells her “They should be afraid, let’s begin.” as we only catch faint glimpses of who this could be, leaving things on a big cliffhanger as the series ends.
Big questions hang over Netflix’s latest teen drama as the final credits roll. Who is this shadowy man? Is it her Father? What will be the repercussions from the incident in school involving Brad? And will Stan think differently of Syd after waking up and seeing Brad’s decapitated, bloody body? Having not read the comic this is based on, it’s difficult to tell what direction the story will go next but one thing’s for sure – there’s plenty more story to tell here.
The biggest problem the show has going forward is the dilemma of being pigeon-holed alongside Stranger Things. While Netflix’s flagship show has gone all-in on the supernatural elements, I Am Not Okay With This keeps this subplot in the shadows for much of the season, playing out as a much more straight forward coming of age drama. Whether this will change if the show is renewed remains to be seen, but for now I Am Not Okay With This certainly has the potential to be another hit for Netflix.
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