After the ill-considered kiss in the previous episode, Lindsay (Mae Whitman) and Miguel (Carlos Valdes) have parted ways. Again. But, as with every other time they’ve tried to separate, they just can’t stay away from each other. If they’re going to make it work, of course, they’re going to finally have to come to terms with their issues. Figure out who they want to be. And stop being too scared to embrace who they are.
Lindsay and Miguel have both undergone their own individual journeys throughout the course of the season. She had to learn to be true to herself, regardless of whether that made some people dislike her. He had to learn to embrace love without fear, and to stop pretending to be who he thought he should be over who he really is.
As anyone who’s struggled with their own personal journey can attest, figuring out who you really are isn’t easy. Embracing that person is harder still. And, honestly, that journey never really stops. So the fact that Lindsay and Miguel have things only somewhat figured out is fairly realistic. Even if they only real figure it out after losing – or nearly losing – everything.
They’ve both made mistakes along the way. As they’ve struggled to be honest with themselves, they’ve struggled to be honest with each other. But at their heart, they’re good people. So even through the worst of their struggles, it’s hard not to root for them to work it out.
Given what messes they both have been, it’s also hard not to imagine their future post-series will continue to be fraught with drama. But it’s gratifying to see them in a better place now, determined to face it together. The episode’s major musical number – a compilation of all the songs that have come before – is a reminder of how far they’ve come. And if their personal growth doesn’t keep them together, their stubbornness will probably do the trick.
Up Here 1×08 “Y2K” is an interesting episode, as much for what it isn’t as what it is. It isn’t wildly dramatic, in the way that some shows are. It doesn’t exactly slap a happy bow on things and pretend that it’s all going to be okay. That these people haven’t been – and won’t continue to be in different ways – messes of their own making. There aren’t huge plot twists or dramatic battles. Neither Lindsay nor Miguel even open up about the voices in their heads.
But these voices are really their own personal insecurities and fears. And those, they did admit to. The series has been a story about two people trying to figure things out and move forward. It’s never been about big drama or an epic external battle. It’s been about the small, internal victories. Realizing you don’t have to be liked by everyone. Figuring out the ending to your own story. Embracing love without fear.
With that perspective, Lindsay and Miguel’s ending may not be without its share of mess. But it’s the exact ending they need. And maybe even deserve. In theory, it could open the door for a second season. Or their story could end here, leaving us to write the next chapter we imagine for them. Either way, it’s okay.
And so are they.