One death brought Andy Brown to a new town and changed it forever. Irv Harper, who admired Andy so much that he wrote a book about him, will do the same in his death. He gradually changed the hearts and minds of Everwood through his marriage to Edna. “Goodbye, Love” shows how Irv touched the lives of Harold and Rose, Ephram, Amy, and Bright, as well as how he indirectly impacted their lives going forward. This episode’s strange, though, because of the flashbacks and for how central Irv apparently was despite his spare interaction with the rest of the show’s characters.
How did Irv impact everyone’s life? Amy remembers her junior year, post-Colin, when she lived with Edna and Irv during her sad and depressed rebellious streak, after she reaches for a mug in her grandmother’s kitchen. Amy broke the mug. Irv fixed it. Ephram stopped by to rekindle their friendship or make more of an effort after they had an unseen fight, though one assumes it copied their fight about Amy using him as a backup plan earlier in season two. Anyway, Ephram told her that her soulmate would wait for her until she believed he existed. Her belief in a soulmate died with Colin. The memory and the repaired mug act as an epiphany, with the mug serving as a symbol for her, and who fixes the mug for her when she breaks it again while remembering the memory? Ephram, the guy who waited for her for two years and who returned from Europe to wait some more, who always was there for her during her worst moments, who always protected her, and loved her.
How else? Bright credited Irv for his relationship with Hannah because he urged him to take responsibility for his life. During season three, the stretch of time between “A Mountain Town” and “Fait Accompli”, they spent mornings together, drinking coffee, discussing life. Irv and Edna had separated. Bright reeled from the sexual harassment incident at work. I can’t remember a single scene with only those two anywhere else in the series. Bright told Hannah his Irv story. At the end, they held hands, giving the viewer hope for a Bright/Hannah happy ending in the finale.
The rest of the flashbacks include Irv as an anecdote, a periphery figure. Ephram saw him for the last time the day Andy bought Nina an engagement ring, which occurred after their moment in “All the Lonely People”. (Andy actually gave him a clean bill of health, a cruel kind of irony atypical of Everwood’s writer). Harold’s story simply visualized a story Berlanti told in Everwood’s earliest days (and more poignantly in “The Kissing Bridge”).
“Goodbye, Love” is the only episode in the series to provide a “day in the life” story, of what the characters do between the drama. Apparently, Andy and Ephram ate lunch together. Irv had coffee in the morning and afternoon at Sam’s. Nina went to work! It’s a decent episode. Greg Berlanti returned to co-write it with Rina Mimoun, his first written by credit since “The Day is Done”. Irv was the voice of Everwood for two seasons. Saying goodbye to the character, and Everwood’s voice, before the finale felt right.
Greg Berlanti & Rina Mimoun wrote the episode. Joe Pennella directed it.