Hiro Yoshimura (Series Finale)
Original Air Date: Mar 3, 2010
Tom R. – Sr. Staff Writer
“Nothing that breathes is perfect.” – Dr. Sean McNamara
Ever since CBS aired the epic finale of MASH, every show has been chasing the perfect grand finale. While some have been truly riveting (The Shield, of course, comes to mind for me), so many have fallen short on the expectations alone. Some have killed off major characters to emphasize the word “finale” and to bump up the pathos. Others have chosen to avoid making a special episode, as if the characters continued to live their lives without us. And some finales were just flaky for the sake of being different.
Thank you, Ryan Murphy. Not only have you given us one of the most provocative, unexpected and versatile shows ever to air on television, you have given us a finale that is tender and gentle without sacrificing the style and daring that made it great. With the complexity we have come to expect, it’s great to see a character who is left feeling “excited…terrified…grateful.”
At the center of it all is Hiro Yoshimura, a 73 year old Japanese porn star. Hiro entered the business after his wife died, and retirement left him feeling unvalued. With over 100 films to his credit, he is ready to launch his “Grandfather” niche in the US. In order to do so, he needs to have his heart surgery scar repaired. As Christian puts it, his audience should be reminded of life, not death. Unfortunately, in the middle of filming an orgy scene, Hiro has another heart attack just after climax. Rather than mourning him, his co-stars praise the fact that he lived and died on his own terms. In the understatement of the millennium, one of them comments, “He died a very happy man.”
Liz is promoted to partner, and the practice is now McNamara/Troy/Cruz. The logo has Cruz beneath the other two doctors, a reflection of her support. She sits in on Hiro’s consult, and the guys let her ask “The Question.” As surgery begins, Liz confesses that she has been unaware of the Why behind the surgeries, and she has a new appreciation for what Sean and Christian do. When Sean adds an on-site nursery for the impending baby, Liz feels like he in intruding on her life, and she prepares to leave.
Christian strikes a deal with Ava: If she dumps Matt, they will perform the surgery on baby Rafael. She agrees, but makes sure the surgery is under way before she talks to Matt. As Rafael recovers, Sean tells her that he will need one follow-up surgery a year for the next five years, and even then the scars will still be visible. Ava, who has been raised to think that “different” means “ugly”, abandons Rafael. At the airport, she is met by Matt. Offering his perfect little girl Jenna, he pleads his case for them to start a family. Reexamining herself after walking away from Rafael, Ava agrees, and the (ironically described) perfect family walks off hand in hand in hand.
Christian and Julia worry about Sean’s new attitude. He’s committed himself to the practice, but Julia thinks it’s denial. Christian does not agree, believing that his love and need for Sean make the practice the center of his life. Julia counters by saying that Christian steals people’s souls. The accusation is repeated in a visitation by Kimber, who says she had to kill herself to get away from him. She says if Sean stays with Christian, he will die. Sean even outlines a new business model: Perform 10 implant surgeries a day, then spend the money.
Finally reaching a decision, Christian cancels the morning’s consult and calls Sean into his office, where he asks him The Question. He goes on to say that they have used it to manipulate people into thinking they can change. He tells Sean that of all the people who have come through the office, Sean is the only one capable of real change. He announces that he is dissolving the partnership, giving Sean one way tickets to Bucharest. Sean can take Rafael back to the orphanage where Ava found him, and then settle in as a true healer. They say their goodbyes at the airport. Before heading back to Troy/Cruz, Christian stops off for a drink at the airport bar. The final scene is an echo of the very first scene of the show, where Christian met Kimber. It’s up to the viewers to wonder if things will play out any differently.
The true farewell actually comes about three-quarters through the episode, as Sean prepares dinner for Julia, Christian, Liz and all the children (well, all but Matt). Sean raises a glass to “cherished memories and bright futures”, and thanks them all for being a part of his family. It’s pretty clear that the audience is involved in that wish as well. As Julia departs, Christian vows to still be “sucking the caviar and champagne out of life.”
I am a little upset that FX has not updated the online episode and music guide as I’m writing this (fxnetwork.com). I hope that someone can identify the farewell song. I wish I could include a mention. But then again, that would be me chasing the perfect review
Were you satisfied? Feel free to indulge in some brief fan fiction. What would be the next chapter for your favorite character? Post your comments below, or drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.