And with that, we come to it. The last episode of Happy!, at least for this year. Yes readers, they renewed this for a second season and I’ll talk about that. This finale wraps everything up and puts a nice little bow on this twisted belated Christmas present. Let’s jump into this season finale and as usual, big spoilers throughout.
1. Stuck In The Middle With You
We all know that Very Bad Santa is, well, very bad, but was there ever any hope for him? Maybe. When everything calms down after catching Blue, Happy finds a green sock that definitely belongs to Very Bad Santa and he remembers another imaginary friend who looks exactly like that. He puts two and two together and goes back to the support group and corners who he knows is Very Bad Santa’s old imaginary friend. He won’t talk so in a spoof of Pulp Fiction, Happy plucks a feather and tortures him with tickling. Feet are a ticklish spot, after all. It’s hilarious and I loved this. The sock puppet (who’s name I cannot remember. It may have never been said) tells them all about how he was his friend when he was little but Very Bad Santa saw things and they gave him lots of drugs and locked him up to try to fix him. Eventually, Very Bad Santa started hurting people and that’s when the sock puppet friend couldn’t stay anymore and he gave up on him. Happy is very mad but it tells him all he needs to know as far as finding Hailey.
I liked this bit a lot because it was completely ridiculous (the Pulp Fiction bit) but also really tragic. Everything with the support group has been rightfully absurd but this final time we sit with them is really sad because somewhere along the line, this kid could have maybe been helped but as everyone know, it is too late for him. He’s harmed far too many people and is irredeemable now. The support group felt like such a silly thing to add into the show but it ended up being some of my favorite stuff.
Last week, the episode ended with Blue getting caught and we didn’t know what Merry had planned for him. Turns out, she just wanted to mess with him and get some justice. As she’s tasing him, he’s yelling about what he’ll do to her mother and she tells him how she’s already dead and all his leverage is gone. It’s a great scene because it feels so gratifying to see Blue fall like this. Meredith’s mom suffered a lot and was used as a prop by Blue for so long so despite her being gone, she ensured her daughter didn’t need to deal with this anymore.
Later, Sunny Shines and Meredith finally get acquainted thanks to Blue. This plays out really interestingly to me because while Meredith isn’t as bad as Nick, she’s still not totally clean. Sunny Shines and her have a conversation that basically amounts to nothing because Sunny Shines is in a position where he has so much on so many people that no one will ever touch him. His parties and his human trafficking has so many important people involved that it would be disastrous for a lot of people if things were made public. Meredith knows this and all she really wants is Amanda, which is a very good thing for her to do. Of all the things that got explored more, I felt like I wanted more from Sunny Shines. This is the only thing that would be interesting to see in season two but since I’m leaving on this high note (more in the final point), I’ll never know.
3. Where Is Hailey?
We don’t know where Hailey went until a little bit into this episode but it’s pretty obvious where she ended up. Very Bad Santa has her and he wants to make her one of his “friends.” Any time we saw Very Bad Santa, it wasn’t in huge bursts. He didn’t hide all the time but the show was determined to have him wear out his welcome and lose his fearful elements and I appreciate this. When he has Hailey, it’s all him now. There’s no getting her ready or anything involving Blue and now things gets really dark. He rubs all the make up off of her face and tells her they are going to Toyland. Toyland is one of his visions but for the first time we see other people involved and it turns out that these are other people he’s taken. They are zombified because Very Bad Santa is driving nails through their head and basically lobotomizing them. He wants to do this to Hailey but she fights back and it’s awesome.Continued below
The best thing Happy! did as a series was expand Hailey’s role. Hailey was allowed to feel fear but she was also allowed to be sarcastic and courageous and really got to be a character all her own instead of just a prop in the bigger story.
4. The Final Fight
After what happens at the imaginary friend meeting, Nick knows where to go thanks to Happy. When they get to the warehouse, all hell breaks loose. Nick ends up trapped, literally, thanks to bear traps and it’s up to Happy to help. Happy goes to fight Very Bad Santa but ultimately he gets stopped and put in a jar. Hailey makes an escape in an elevator only to end up on the roof and up against Very Bad Santa all on her own. He tries to reason with her to come down and go back with him but he backs off. When Hailey comes down, she comes face to face with her dad, Nick and it’s as awkward as you’d expect. When Nick’s heart starts to give out again, Very Bad Santa arrives but there’s hope, because Happy and his imaginary friend squad are there and they go right after him. Nick, in a very Popeye-esque moment, needs his pills and booze and after Hailey gives it to him, he shoots Very Bad Santa dead and when he falls over and into the glass, he ends up hanging (another callback) and his former imaginary friend curls up next to him and dies with him. It’s bizarrely sweet and closes the book on him. This whole last fight plays out so well because the absurdity of it all isn’t as in your face as the other fights in this season. It all feels normal now like Nick being filled with pills and booze to wake back up, his “there’s no f**king thing as Santa” line and the imaginary friends helping out. It all feels normal now but I think what this show did in this moment was great because it let the emotional center of it take the center stage instead of going for shock value.
5. Let Endings Be Endings
In the end, Nick Sax defeats Very Bad Santa and he walks out into the streets with Hailey in his arms and he falls down. This is it for Nick, he knows it and it dawns on everyone else that that’s what’s happening. His heart has given out and the screen goes to black. In the end, Nick did a good thing for someone else, despite being a completely garbage person and wasting his life by constantly making bad choices. But wait! We have to keep the hype going and get higher ratings so there’s more. Nick doesn’t die. In fact, he gets a second chance at life despite, again, being a really bad person but the world thinks he’s dead. He even gets the chance to be a dad as Amanda has let him have some quality time with Hailey. Hailey seems to be okay (which is honestly wonderful. I love her) but she’s changed. She’s growing up and doesn’t really need Happy anymore so he’s starting to fade. They say goodbye and Happy ends up with Nick. You see, imaginary friends go to those who need them the most and Nick needs him most. He’s dead to the world and gets a new lease at life but doesn’t know what to do with that. He needs a friend and he needs guidance so that’s why Happy is with him. Elsewhere, Blue is in jail and everyone believes the password died with Nick. Mikey, or whatever is left of him, goes to visit Blue and he makes him get close to the little hole you speak through and Mikey takes over Blue’s body.
That’s how Happy! leads us to a second season and frankly, I’m very not into it. The show was great. The performances were fantastic. Honestly, this is a very unforgettable show and I’m so grateful to finally see a Grant Morrison penned comic book brought to life but of all the things that didn’t need a second season, this is it. Nick Sax is not someone who should have the chance to be a hero. Even in flashbacks, we saw that he wasn’t really the best guy even before he got kicked off the force. Even if you take this out, what’s the story? Do we really want to see Nick Sax be superdad? Do we really care this much about the mafia subplot of the story? I don’t. This story was told, in full and we even got so much more thanks to it being a television show. We got characters like Smoothie and we saw Amanda and Meredith fleshed out way more. I know I won’t be back for a second season unless something really spectacular happens and I can’t see that being true. Happy! season one is a completely crazy set of eight episodes and I’ll never forget it, but what seems to be the focus of season two is not something I’m interested in. Endings are good. Endings give stories a purpose. Let your stories end and let them stand on their own.