When you see someone unintentionally walk into a wall or get hit by a softball, you might say "Ouch" with a smile. They were slightly hurt and you do wish they hadn't hurt themselves, but you know they will survive so you're probably not overcome with sadness. That kind of 'Ouch' is throughout this terrific season finale.
There were many happy and funny moments. It wasn't depressing or disappointing, but storylines that have been building up for several episodes reached their peaks and descended in unfortunate ways for main characters.
Take Robbie for example. Since last season, he has encouraged Kim to be more open and honest. She finally wanted to admit their love publicly, and he wanted it to remain hidden. When Kim said no secrets or no relationship, he let her go… right into the arms of River.
From Kim's perspective, the rejection is especially painful since she had more at risk by admitting the relationship. Robbie's friends might disapprove, but Kim has a popular and important reputation and friends/people who talk to her at school or events.
Then there are Lily's ‘Ouch' moments. It would be so much easier if Grace were annoying like Ray's former girlfriend, Veronica. Instead, she's sweet, decent, and gave Lily a guitar strap used by Lily's favourite blues singer, "Muddy Legs" Bradley.
Later, Lily conquered stage fright after battling it since the series began. She even asked for a spotlight on herself at Soundwave, listened to her conscience (played by Parker, not Jimney Cricket) and sang a song to Ray. While those accomplishments deserve praise, the song led to a first kiss for Ray and Grace. Lily's shouted "I Love You" to a departing Ray is lost in the cheering crowd and Ray doesn't know if he heard it or not.
The scene provokes "Ouch" feelings for Ray. Earlier, he had confessed to Lily that he worried about being with Grace when his true love might be trying to get his attention. He used this neat analogy of a phone ringing while he dried his hair. When he turns off his hair dryer, he's unsure if the ringing phone (a call from his love) was real or imagined.
Perhaps the most ouch-worthy character was Travis. He was bursting with joy over Bridget's return. Frankly, it was a bit scary seeing him smile for almost a whole episode. When Bridget said they had to talk, Mr. Strong (formerly Mr. "Suffering is good") joked, "no one has ever said anything good after 'we have to talk.'
Then they have a twisted Jerry Maguire-ish moment. Travis didn't say "You complete me" and Bridget didn't reply, "You had me at 'Hello.'" Rather, Travis said, "I need you. You make me who I am" and Bridget torpedoed that notion.
This would have been disheartening if it was a break-up, but it wasn't exactly.
It was Bridget telling Travis he wasn't ready for the relationship. It was a deep in denial Travis, who was reluctant to open up to anyone, telling Bridget that he loves her. She assured him that she loves him too. It was Travis getting a hug and kiss before being left by the girl he thought about everywhere he went for the past 10 months. It was going from Cloud Nine to depths of Heck in 60 seconds.
There's no telling how he will deal with this. He might fight a bully (like in The Awful Truth), withdraw into himself, or hate Ray and/or Parker for pushing him; pursue Lily as a rebound, pretend everything's fine, or constantly listen to Gary Jules' haunting Mad World.
Regardless, all characters will muddle through these emotional upheavals and next season there will be more laughs and good times.