So if we look at the misdeeds of Jackie Peyton as a sort of dark and anguished triumphant shout, this is like a birthday and a wedding altogether at once: The chance to be completely free and see where that takes her. A renunciation of the responsibilities that kept her tethered. On a story level, I don't really love it because we didn't see it happen: He was on the show or not, and it didn't necessarily connect at all to whether he was in her life or not, because of the way the story goes. So if you tell me they were falling apart this whole time, that's one way to get it across. Little shots of him disappearing and putting on cologne aside, I mean, you can say that these scenes were sprinkled in arbitrarily and that somehow adds up to a compelling narrative arc, but does it really?
Jackie ignoring her husband, from this side of a screen, is indistinguishable from the show ignoring her husband, so there's a discernable lack of shock at this development. But since we only stay with her anyway, I guess it's best to see this through her eyes, and puzzle out the rest. See the abyss it means she's standing at -- and how Gloria's misbegotten kindness is just digging the hole deeper.
"Make more rope," Gloria said. We thought she was talking about baby Xanax, but it occurs to me that the show might finally be giving Jackie enough rope to actually hurt herself, after three years of basically resenting the fact of her husband and the limits he places on her.
It's not like she's got the stuff to emotionally disengage from anybody, right? It would have to be his choice. Just like she let Eddie, and now Eleanor, fill in the blanks of their love. Just like she's never, ever lied to Gloria Akalitus, not once.
So I guess for a fairly good season -- as judged on the merits, and not how the unduly critical Jacob, Expert In Things Televisual, would prefer things to have gone -- you've got what amounts to a pretty stellar finale:
Jackie finally gets what she wants, complete and total autonomy. The ultimate punchline: "Oh, you think the universe keeps handing Jackie what she wants? How about everything at once? Everything the tiny monster, the little king inside her, could ever demand?"
And maybe that leads to, just maybe, Jackie getting what she needs: God's most gigantic knuckle sandwich. A chance at grace.
But I wouldn't bet on it. I still don't think the show loves her enough for that.