The season finale of “Mom” contained that most tried and true of sitcom Big Events, a birth. The birth of Violet’s baby came complete with wacky hijinx from Luke, the stoned father, a series of jokes about how painful labor is and the requisite scene of the mother sobbing as she says goodbye to the baby she’s giving up for adoption.
Oh, wait, sorry: That last scene, played to silence from the studio audience and a keeping-its-distance wide camera shot, is something you almost never see in sitcom baby episodes. But a season of being unafraid of big emotion earned “Mom” the right to do the scene like that, and everyone involved, particularly Sadie Calvano as Violet, played it to a T.
“Smokey Taylor and a Deathbed Confession” did of course feature a steady stream of jokes, delivered with snap by the cast. Christy’s delight in realizing Bonnie still has a thing for Alvin showed off a too-rare sense of mischief for Anna Faris; one of the shortcomings of the season is that too often Faris played straight woman or scold to the crackpots around her. Seeing her actually smile here felt most welcome.
The Alvin-Bonnie story did most of the heavy joke-lifting here, as it’s implied he’ll be hanging around some more in Season 2. That would not be a bad thing at all — Kevin Pollak and Allison Janney bounce off one another especially well, and he has shown just enough remorse for his past sins to make it plausible.
What’s going to be memorable about this finale, though, is that tearful scene and the coda of Christy getting her one-year AA chip and recounting the “unrelenting c***-storm” of a year she’s had. If Faris has sometimes drawn the short comedy straw, she’s done really well in the show’s more serious moments.
The past few episodes of “Mom” have really felt like a show playing to its strengths — it’s no coincidence that they’ve been light on scenes at the restaurant. French Stewart will always be good for a deadpan one-liner, but with the Christy-Gabriel relationship pretty well played out, it would serve “Mom” well next season to keep the center of the show at home, with work filling in B-stories when they’re needed.
And there will be a second season — “Mom” was one of the 18 shows CBS picked up for 2014-15 back in March. Let’s hope Season 2 continues the upward swing the final episodes of this season provided.
What did you think of the “Mom” season finale?