The finale opens with Jonas receiving his results on the GED test. He passed! With flying colors no less. He was in the 98-99% zone. I don't know if this says a lot about Jonas or says how a person with an 8th grade education can easily get a GED. Why did we waste our time those last 4 years of school then? But, good for you Jonas!
Mose has decided to make little gifts for all of the house guests, and sets about working in his little makeshift wood shop, while the other Amish discuss whether they will return to the Amish or not.
Meanwhile, Meagan's dog piddles in the bedroom close to Ariel. Ariel says she is "freaked out" by domesticated animals. Yes, those puppies would much rather be in the wild where they belong. I think the golden retriever puppy knows more than she does.
The group is taken on a sailboat ride which they all enjoy. They talk about how they have learned about other people and other cultures. Mose discusses how he would like to be a country singer, and jams some with Nick back at the house.
Jonas is so excited about his GED scores, that he really starts to think about going to college. Kevan jumps in and helps answer some of his questions. Kevan and Jonas take a trip to a local college campus to check it out. Kevan seems really interested in helping Jonas, and Jonas seems pretty excited about the prospect of going to college.
The next and last field trip for the group is to a club on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. You know, this always seems kind of glamorous on TV. But have you ever been to Hollywood? Have you ever driven down the Sunset Strip or Hollywood Blvd.? I have news for you, I was just there last week and it is a dump. It would be considered a slum to us folks from Phoenix/Scottsdale. Needless to say, it isn't all it is cracked up to be. Planning a vacation or a visit to L.A.? Try San Diego or better yet Hawaii.
At the club, Nick and Mose talk to one of the club's band promoters. Nick seems clueless as to how to take advantage of this opportunity and pretty much makes a fool of himself. Mose asks some good questions however. I don't see either of them having a big career in LA LA land.
Back at the house, Reese talks with Kevan. Reese tells Kevan that what he said will hurt him forever. Boo hoo. Kevan explains to Reese that he doesn't "hate" him or homosexuals. It's not about that. He doesn't agree with their lifestyle, but that doesn't mean he hates them. Kevan tells Reese that he loves him as a person and gives him a hug. Reese seems to enjoy it a little too much.
Since Mose is struggling with some theological issues about the Amish faith and whether he has to go back to it to go to heaven, he and Ariel visit Fuller Theological Seminary. Mose discusses with a professor some of his concerns. He is assured by the professor that the Amish life is only one expression of a relationship with God, and Mose can choose to express his personal relationship with God in another way. Mose feels encouraged by these words.
Whitney thinks about changing her career path. She visits a nursing school with Ruth and Miriam. They all think it would be a good career. Ruth especially wants to help people.
Mose decides to hide all of the gifts he has made and uses hidden clues to direct the kids to them. Some of them give up quickly, but Mose tells them they need to keep hunting. I will say this for Ariel, she looks pretty good wearing only an oversized man's shirt. The gifts are found and appreciated by all. Mose must have spent a lot of time making them all.
Later in the evening, the group steps out onto the balcony to watch the 4th of July fireworks show. After, they all sit down for a final group discussion. Each one talks about how they have grown during the experience and shares some of their thoughts. Kevan, as always, is a big person and apologizes for anything that he may have done or said to upset anyone. He really is the only one who ever stepped up and did much of this.
The next morning they all gather to say their final goodbyes. We hear from some what their plans are after leaving the house. Here is a summary of what I could make of what they said:
Randy: Will return to a small town in Amish country, but not return to Amish, for now.
Nick: May try to go to Hollywood and work on his musical career.
Ariel: Will go eat a big fat steak. No she doesn't know about her relationship with Nick will go and doesn't seem to have any significant plans.
Miriam: She says she has no desire right now to go back to the Amish, but doesn't rule it out later in life.
Kevan: Is thinking seriously about going to law school.
Ruth: Thinks she will go to nursing school, but if her boyfriend goes back to the Amish, she might too.
Whitney: May go to nursing school
Meagan: Will pursue fashion.
Reese: Maybe pursue art.
Jonas: Will probably go to college, but doesn't rule out going back to the Amish.
Mose: Doesn't want to live in a city so will return to the country, but not return to the Amish at this point in time.
And so thus ends the journey. All in all I feel that it was a good show. It seemed to fairly and accurately portray each of the house guests and didn't seem to make judgments about their lives. All the fears about exploitation were unfounded. It irritates me to no end when people criticize things they haven't even seen yet. I have contacted several outlets who did so and asked them to actually watch the shows. Of course I am sure they won't because it would prove them wrong.
I received many, many e-mails from people who missed the finale and want to see it, but can't seem to find out if UPN will rerun it. I think it is always a good idea to rerun show finales. UPN should do a better job of supporting the show with their website. I think they were maybe even taken by surprise by the show's success. They seem ill-prepared for it. It's a good thing there is RealityTVCalendar.com!
One of the e-mails I received during the season was from Kevan himself. He said he reads the recaps and thought they were 99.99% accurate. He also told me that he "has a scary sense that I know too much." So that was good to hear. He seemed open to the possibility of an up close interview, but after attempting communication with both the UPN and New Line TV publicists, no approval has yet been given for the interview. If it eventually does go through, it will be posted immediately. You would think they would jump at the chance for some free publicity. So my final memo to all reality TV shows, networks, and producers: Don't forget the fans. Without them, you have nothing.