Only it did not end there. We get a shot of Kai surfing, and boy oh boy, Keala Kennelly can surf. John weighs in once more with a voiceover: "Mother of God, Cass-Kai." Well, why not end things on an ambiguous note?
Well. Everyone gets the right to weigh in with their opinion about a show when it shuffles off stage right, so I suppose this ought to be my chance. There's a tendency, I think, to view shows in extremes -- either something is great and brilliant or terrible and unwatchable, with very little room for nuance in between. I suppose some of my more caustic comments over the life of these recaps suggest that I fall in the terrible/unwatchable camp, but I really don't. Some things about John From Cincinnati I liked, other things I did not. Oh the plus side of the ledger was the acting -- Brian Van Holt and Ed O'Neill in particular. The dialogue, as you might expect, from a Milch-helmed show, was lyrical, and certain imagery was truly breathtaking. And on the minus side? Well, there's that problem of coherent narrative and engaging storytelling. I don't doubt that John From Cincinnati probably struck a chord with some viewers; I just wasn't one of them. Part of the problem is that the themes of the show -- once you managed to wade through all the hoo-doo and mysticism -- were fairly ordinary. People feel better when they belong to part of a larger community. It is better to be part of some sort of family than not to be. We'd do a much better job understanding each other if we actually stopped and listened to what the other person was saying. True sentiments and all that, but not exactly earth-shattering stuff. The show always seemed to claim a profundity it never actually earned, at least from my point of view.