Tweetable Takeaway: Everyone’s complicit as the collateral damage from the incident threatens to end the life of a character on “The Slap.”The collateral damage
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By: Rikki McKernan, Contributor
Let me start off my acknowledging that I’ve been spelling Ritchie wrong for weeks now. My bad. It’s kind of fitting, though, that the episode surrounding the character we know the least about should be the most interesting episode of THE SLAP. From the beginning, Ritchie was the outsider of this little group and he’s been on the fringes for most of the season. Sure, he’s Connie’s friend, but so far the focus has been on the more central characters to the story, with Ritchie coming in occasionally to snap a few pictures. This last week, we finally get to know Ritchie and it makes me wish it had happened weeks sooner.
We start off watching Ritchie take photos of a glass enclosed carousel but we quickly transition to Rosie & Gary’s house. Rosie is depressed after getting beat up on the stand and is reluctant to get out of bed, even while Hugo gets into trouble around the apartment. This prompts Gary to tell their lawyer that Ritchie has the incriminating photos of the slap. At school, Ritchie is finally getting some respect for his artwork but it comes to a screeching halt when a detective shows up looking for the slap pictures. Of course, last week Ritchie deleted the pictures but what kind of TV show would it be if CSI couldn’t recover them?
Harry’s lawyer shows the deleted pictures to Harry saying that once “the story” comes out, the prosecution won’t risk putting Ritchie on the stand. Turns out “the story” is that Ritchie only recently moved to town with a different name because he had been cyber bullied at his last school. Not only that, but pictures of him and his boyfriend were distributed and as a result, his boyfriend committed suicide and Ritchie tried and failed to do the same. At his art show, Ritchie gets some long awaited praise but is accosted outside by a reporter digging through his past.
At school, Ritchie is severely bullied again and after Connie badgers him about his past, Ritchie gets upset. At home, his mom tries to convince him not to testify, saying they can move again but Ritchie insists that he will testify. Afterwards, he goes to the pharmacy to refill a prescription and then drops off some photos to Hector and Gary. It plays out like a goodbye, especially after he speaks to Hugo. When Gary realizes what’s going on, he immediately rushes to find Ritchie. He’s at the carousel, having taken an overdose. Gary apologizes, saying that it’s all his fault that Ritchie is involved in the first place.
In court, Ritchie takes the stand and tells the truth about what happened the day of the slap. When he’s attacked because he deleted the proof, he starts saying what we’ve all been feeling the whole season. The photos weren’t just of the slap – they were of Hector & Connie standing too close together, of Rosie drinking and breastfeeding, and of Gary getting drunk. He deleted the pictures because there were pictures of him that were distributed that shouldn’t have been and it ruined people’s lives. The judge finally lays down the law – Harry is guilty but he’s sentenced to time served. Gary & Rosie will be subjected to child services visits to make sure Hugo is safe and to make sure others are safe from him. It’s a healthy dose of reality after weeks of these characters acting crazy.
The season ends with another party – this time celebrating Uma’s new arrival. We check in with everyone we’ve met so far. Uma has broken up with Jamie but she’s happy to be a mom. Manolis and his wife went to Greece alone. Aisha, Hector, and Harry seem to be back to normal. It gets a little tense when Gary & Rosie show up with Hugo but while the adults are arguing, Uma lets Hugo hold the new baby, assuring him that he won’t break.
I have to say – I’m glad this season of The Slap is finally finished but it has had some redeeming moments, tonight included. Everything worked out in the end for these characters, but barely. Each of them has been damaged by the slap, some physically, some emotionally, but the most important takeaway is that no one can predict the collateral damage. Ritchie almost died, not because of the slap, but because of the aftermath. These so-called adults were acting like selfish, vindictive children, and each one of them is complicit in some way. It took a near fatal overdose for them to finally realize that there are more important things than being right or getting even. Even though it’s been bumpy along the way, in the end everyone learned their lesson and it was worth trudging through the more tedious episodes to get to the finale.
In Rikki’s perfect world, she’s Queen of Westeros, best friends with Mindy Kaling, and her other car is a TARDIS…a girl can dream, right?