The Wonder Years

Season 6 Episode 22

Independence Day (2)

Aired Unknown May 12, 1993 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
121 votes
  • 'Coming of Age' is a tale that must end.

    I have to preface this by saying that I am the exact same age 'Kevin'. I started 7th grade the same year the show debuted. I followed this series right to the end. Some have criticized the fact that Kevin and Winnie didn't end up married. Well, of course they didn't. That's real life. Holding a crush as long as Kevin did will eventually result in the oft harsh realization that the object of affection is indeed human. Beautiful, flawed, perhaps even cruel at times, and entirely believable; Winnie Cooper showed a complexity rarely present in female teenage roles (see 'My So Called Life' for another rare exception). The final barn scene and epilogue alone make this episode a television classic. They had a (let's face it) perfect encounter in the barn. The loss of virginity is a potent moment in life and it was handled here with grace and dignity. Even if they didn't expressly acknowledge the event, anyone with heartbeat and love of these characters knows it happened. If it hadn't there would be an overly huge "what if" lingering over the lives if these two that would make any closure for the fans impossible to come by. The lanterns glow, the storm raging outside, a pile of hay, both soaking wet, you can only script this stuff. Most times virginity and the loss thereof are handled one of three ways. With the crude humor of "teen-sex-romps" and the "girl was taken advantage of" scenario being the first two. The last and perhaps most common, is that the event is horribly regretted by at least one person involved. In the finale we see an all too often forgotten fourth possibility; that this was consensual, beautiful, and eternally bonding. The finale sequence begins showing K&W heading to the 4th of July parade hand in hand, and obviously happy. That was a subtle touch that I think was lost on most viewers. Sure the show had long since hit its peak, but it still had the ability to touch the heart, and we all were treated to a fantastic ending. The music and settings were perfect. I would have been very upset at a "clip show" or some other hackneyed TV cliché (slow motion and epic music not withstanding). This episode will always put a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye *sigh*.
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