This is a Hannah appreciation episode—a goodbye episode that doesn’t send her off at the end—and how much one likes “So Long, Farewell” depends on his or her fondness for the Hannah character. I’m indifferent about her, but also occasionally annoyed by her. She’s similar to Tara in Buffy. I liked Tara, but not as much as Joss did. The same goes for Hannah, but the writers adored her. So, before she leaves, which, I remind you, she doesn’t, she motivates Amy to meet new people. She saw that Ephram still loved her, she’ll understands Bright better than anyone, and her belief in her friends makes them believe in themselves more. “So Long, Farewell” affirms and affirms the positives of Hannah.
Like the premiere, this episode and “Pro Choice” worked better on first viewing. Re-watching these episodes is a bore. She stays. Much of the episode’s about the inevitability of her departure The thought of her leaving gives Amy and Bright perspective. Bright felt heartbreak for the first time in his life. Amy confronted a life without a significant friend in her life. Nothing changes for any character, not for Bright or Amy or Hannah. It’s similar to The Wizard of Oz. They were already capable of these things Hannah highlighted. The Abbott siblings always appreciated and loved her. Hannah loved them. Why devote an episode to her leaving only for her to stay? Fans loved Hannah too. They didn’t need the equivalent of Buffy’s “Family” for Hannah.
The Jake subplot is Everwood at its worst. A character no one ever met appears in Jake’s life, an extreme adventurer named plot device, or Cliff, who bikes with Jake. Cliff and Jake want to bike down a mountain, but Cliff suffers an accident and wakes up paralyzed. When he’s awake, he tells an already distraught Jake that he, Jake, is to blame and that he wants painkillers because he doesn’t want to feel anything anymore. Jake’s a former user of pain medication, so Cliff really speaks for what Jake feels in that scene. It’s Jake that doesn’t want to feel anymore. Scott Wolf gives his melodramatic best to Jake standing alone holding a pill bottle in his hand, alone in his office, at episode’s end.
Andy’s and Harold’s subplot about being adventurous is the only enjoyable part of the episode. They want to skydive and take a pack of gum from Herb’s General Store. They do neither, but they share a dinner together, with Rose. It’s an amusing and light story removed from the episode’s melodramatic dreck.
The melodramatic dreck includes Reid’s forced rejection of Amy, the Senior Prom date Bright arranges for Hannah, the “breakup” between Hannah and Bright, Hannah’s mom telling her she can stay, and the aforementioned entirety of Jake’s story. The episode precedes the last episode before the Christmas hiatus, which is why the writers cranked up the melodrama to highly annoying levels. Audible sigh.
Josh Reims wrote the episode. I retract my Drew Goddard compliment that I gave to him in my “Pieces of Me” post. This episode is lousy. Joyce Chopra directed it.