“Perhaps it was just a matter of time before ‘Review’ stopped my heart, possibly forever.” Forrest MacNeil’s (Andy Daly) words hit with a finality we’ve been dreading for some time: Comedy Central’s “Review” has come to an end.
Thursday’s (March 30) episode not only provided Forrest a chance at reconciliation with ex-wife Suzanne (Jessica St. Clair), “Cryogenics, Lightning, Last Review” gave our hero the awakening we’ve been waiting for — a chance to take his life back, to reclaim free will, to reconnect with his humanity one step at a time. But in classic “Review” fashion, it all came tumbling down in the end.
Researching cryogenics was Forrest’s first review and the harsh reality behind this mission hit him like a ton of bricks: He actually really truly may die, this time. And to fully express the enormity of this situation, a quick montage of Forrest’s many near-death experiences flash before our eyes. Of course, he goes through with it anyway…
At least, he thinks he does. Talk about a miscommunication: Lucille (Tara Karsian) booked Forrest a whole-body cryotherapy appointment, instead. But the intense freeze of this trendy cosmetic procedure put a disoriented Forrest out on the streets, thinking he’d been frozen for thousands of years.
After all these senseless reviews, it took this one misunderstanding to wake Forrest up: Believing centuries had passed, our host, for the first time ever, realized there is more to life than reviewing life. As if the shackles had been removed and the weight has been lifted, Forrest gleefully ran to Suzanne’s house to tell her his mistake — that she’s been right all along.
“There is nothing that I could possibly have shared with the world about being frozen,” Forrest exclaims on her porch, “That would have been worth the sacrifice of losing you and Eric.”
Forrest had reached the mountaintop and, finally, it seemed as if he achieved clarity. But this life-changing revelation is short-lived. He almost refused to review being struck by lightning, but old habits die hard — and Forrest dove right back into his old patterns, convincing himself that failed review of cryogenics was behind his epiphany on Suzanne’s steps.
And so, inevitably, Forrest succeeds at his second review — getting struck by lightning, and ever closer to his own inevitable heart-stopping end.
Just when it seems things can only spiral downward from there, Suzanne throws a wrench into the whole equation and submits her own review request: “What’s it like to spend the rest of your life not reviewing anything?”
It’s a simple, logical question — and almost immediately, Forrest’s attachment to this obsessed lifestyle is turned on its head. His ex-wife, through all the drama and trouble Forrest brought her way, played her final move: To save Forrest MacNeil from certain death.
It’s in this moment that Forrest’s redemption finally hits: He’s free! He can simply walk away and leave all this nonsense behind him. After all this time, Suzanne played into Forrest’s game with the goal of ending it.
It’s the perfect, moving resolution… If not for Forrest’s producer, Grant (James Urbaniak).
Resourceful, demonic Grant convinces Forrest to veto Suzanne’s review — just when Forrest thought he was out, Grant draws him right back in! Consider it revenge over being paralyzed from the waist down, the horrible result of Forrest’s final Season 2 review.
Leave it to Grant to nudge Forrest back into this self-made prison, placing our hero right back into his obsessive, addictive, hopeless mind state that, without his “important work,” the world will fall apart. But it’s been Forrest’s own dark fall into madness that we’ve really been witnessing this whole time — and it’s now evident, no intervention was ever going to help.
“What’s it like to be pranked?”: This final review is presented to Forrest as his “Truman Show”-style existence begins crumbling around him. Even as Grant tells him the show has been canceled, Forrest can’t help but think the bad news being delivered is the prank. And as his officemates pack up, as Josh (Michael Croner) clings to Forrest one last time, crying, “I love you more than my dad!”, as Lucille proclaimed her happiness that Forrest “got out of this dumb show alive”… He just can’t see the forest (pun intended) for the trees.
Ending the show alone on stage is the poetically tragic, and thus perfect, way for “Review” to go out — without a co-host, an audience or a crew, Forrest is left pursuing his life’s work by himself, desperate to keep his convoluted legacy intact. But the stark reality of the finale not only finds Forrest giving up everything for “Review”: The series — in all its tragic hilarity — has finally given up everything for him.