Oh, y'all, it's our last episode, and though it is sad to say goodbye, the farewell certainly did not disappoint. When the Darling Mermaid Darlings go to the Aquacade to memorialize Chuck's half-birthday, they are confronted with their old competition: Blanche and Coral, the Aquadolls. The gang has brought Chuck to the show for their own celebration, as well, and thus they are all there to see Blanche get eaten by a BIG ASS SHARK. So, depleted of his headlining act, the owner of the Aquacade calls upon the Darling MDs to re-enter the pool once more. Meanwhile, Galveston Gus, owner of the offending great white (Bubba), hires Emerson to clear the shark's name. Apparently, someone put lard in the dead woman's hair gel, the biggest suspect being Coral, who besides being a biiiiitch, was having an affair with Blanche's himbo husband. Ah, but wait: the guilt lies with the himbo, and, thus cleared, Coral joins the Mermaid Darlings in their act. It... doesn't go well. She blackmails Lily about having had a baby 30 years ago, setting Lily back a few paces in her attempts to get on with her life.
Afraid for the safety of the newly-back-in-the-water Mermaid Darlings until the himbo is caught, Emerson, Olive and Ned case the Aquacade. Ned, acting as their agent, is able to get them an awesome contract, which includes a vodka fountain and a tour of Europe. He thinks Chuck will be happy about this, but she is actually devastated, since this means she won't be able to keep tabs on them anymore. Someone needs to be keeping tabs on them, for real, because the wretched Coral, out of spite, exposes the secret of Chuck's birth and its circumstances to Vivian. Meanwhile, Ned has had his own epiphany. He realizes that keeping Chuck from revealing herself to her aunts was in his own best interest, not Chuck's. Thus, they take us on one last visit to Chez Aunts, and tell the truth. Other good news that we learn in the last 30 seconds: eventually Emerson is reunited with his daughter; and Olive and Randy fall in love and open a mac & cheese restaurant. Abruptly stated? Yes. But they did the best they could to wrap it up as prettily as possible, and I am so grateful.
Young Lily Charles was five years, yadda hours/minutes etc. old when her baby sister Vivian was born with a hole in her heart. Oh, Young Lily. You are so cute with your beautiful red hair, with scowling eye looking through a notch in the crib. Poor Vivian got her heart fixed, sure, but pity Young Lily, who was told then and internalized it ever forward that her duty was to put her sister's well-being before herself. It helped a little that Vivian's worship of Lily made her the perfect mimic in the pool, thus guaranteeing success for the Darling Mermaid Darlings they would grow to be.
"The renowned synchronized swimming sisters were loyal beyond separation until... Charles Charles," Jim Dale tells us in ominous tones. And ominous he may well be, because... could I get a little explanation here about why they all have the same last name? And like, how they met and whatever? No? Because why? What's that? THIS IS THE LAST EPISODE? Hate. Anyway, you know this part: Vivian was engaged to Charles Charles but he cheated on her with Lily, who became pregnant (in a frighteningly biological presentation, the narraration of which I am sure caused Jim Dale to blush vividly). Lily ran away to the convent of turquoise nuns and gave birth to Charlotte, who she immediately... abandoned? To save Vivian's feelings? That seems drastic, but okay. So, Chuck was raised by her dad (who got the baby how?) until he died. Then she was somehow raised by these two women we know as her aunts, who apparently were no relation to her at all, whatsoever, and told... what? Did they tell her they were her father's sisters? Who knows? Not us, and we never will. Incapacitated by the secrets she was having to keep, Lily stopped swimming and retreated from the world, dragging Vivian and Chuck down with her. And then, JD says, sadly, Chuck died.
The number of words and images they can fit in 60 seconds of this show is truly amazing. My wrists hurt already. In the present day, Vivian is lighting a bagel in celebration of Chuck's half-birthday. Next to her on the couch, Lily stoically reads the paper apparently unmoved. Sweet Vivian remembers what a happy girl Chuck was. "It was as if, when she died, the merriment in this home died with her," Vivian says. From behind her newspaper, Lily mutters an acerbic "good Lord," leading Vivian to apologize for not being as strong as her tough sister. Oh, but she isn't strong. Vivian can't see that Lily's face is covered in tears.
Suddenly, Vivian notices an ad on the back of the paper. The Aquacade is in town! Apparently, they used to take Chuck every year for her half-birthdays. Lily, of course, balks at the idea of going, but Vivian pleads. Though Lily was weak with grief, JD says, her compulsion to put her sister's happiness before her own forced her to agree. "Find my opera gloves," she snarks. "All those children... tourists in culottes! The place will be crawling with germs." Thrilled, Vivian blows out the half-birthday candle, and makes a secret wish.