Alexis and Ted share a romantic dinner with a depressing ending. Photosource: CBC

If you were hoping to save your tears until the series finale of Schitt’s Creek well you’re just out of luck. Chances are you probably won’t have any left after this latest episode.

Deceptively titled “The Presidential Suite” you might be tempted to think that the focus of this week’s Rose drama would be Moira and Johnny trying to nab the Presidential Suite of the new Rosebud Motel for themselves for a staycation before Jocylene and Roland try to do the same. Alas, you poor sweet summer child, it is far worse. This episode is actually a pivotal turning point for Alexis and Ted.

When Ted shows up at Alexis’s door to surprise her she’s as thrilled as you can imagine she would be, how romantic, her boyfriend came across the world just to be with her for the one day they have together on the long weekend, and while we all know Ted is truly this romantic his trip came at the behest of an unpleasant task. The research team in the Galapagos that he’s working with want him to come onto their team permanently for a three-year contract, meaning that this long-distance relationship that’s been keeping them apart and in torment would have to go on, for years. Otherwise, Alexis will have to move to the Galapagos with him and leave her career behind, or Ted will have to come back to Schitt’s Creek and leave his dream job.

Clearly devastated, Alexis seeks some solitude away from Ted, even though he’s only here for one day. Walking through town and the cafe she comes to remember how they first met at the cafe, how he complimented her for being the prettiest girl in town and she faked humility by insisting there must be some other girl out there prettier than herself, and all these recollections give Alexis an idea.

Pushing everyone out of the cafe and recruiting Twyla she plans an elaborate private dinner for Ted with all his favorite cheat-day foods. Sitting across from each other, so clearly still in love, you almost expect her to come up with some brilliant newly found idea in which they can both get everything they want, everything they deserve, but instead what it is is a painful but accepted goodbye.

Yes, that’s right. Ted and Alexis break up.

It’s almost unfathomable. They were one of our cherished Rose family couples, like Moira and Johnny and David and Patrick we expected them to be each other’s endgame. We’ve watched from the first season as Ted fell head over heels for Alexis, as she pushed him away because she couldn’t accept the amount of love he gave her, and how she grew into a comfortable place where she recognized her feelings for Ted, were she chased him for an entire season and won him back, this time treating him well. It was such a roundabout thrilling love story that felt so authentic, so right.

Yet, that accuracy was its own downfall.

Because in real life love often isn’t enough. Even if you love each other, if you believe your soulmates, it doesn’t mean that life will cooperate, that it will let your timing work out, that it will let you be together. Instead of either of them losing out on themselves they had to let each other go, and they did so with as much love and respect and thankfulness as they could and even if it is terribly bittersweet for those of us who have rooted for this couple since day one it is also the absolute most fitting Schitt’s Creek ending for them. After all, when we started the series Alexis didn’t think twice about ditching her family to run off with a boyfriend who barely cared about or acknowledged her, now she’s choosing to let go of a man she deeply loves and cares for, a man who makes her happier and more secure than ever, to stay with her family and work on her own life. They’ve both come a long way with each other across the series and while it’s hard to watch them end their relationship in this final season it still feels right.

Star plot aside, we would be amiss if we didn’t mention the other situations of the Rose family. As mentioned, Moira and Johnny square off against Roland and Jocelyne for the suite and ultimately yield it to them after they confess that with a baby and them renting out the spare room in their house to help pay for the motel that they seriously need a vacation and some time to themselves. Just to note, let’s remember when this show started Moira and Johnny could barely stomach Roland, now they’re in business with him and sacrificing personal comforts for him and his wife. They’ve become actual good friends and it’s nice to see these acts of benevolence that will make us feel sure that they will continue to work together in the future as well.

Lastly, David and Patrick are shooting their engagement photos with Ray, only they have a lighting issue. Mainly that Patrick is so pale he is literally reflecting light and the photos are not looking great. David remedies this by sending Patrick to a tanning salon with Stevie, and Patrick, not understanding how tanning works, ends up looking deeply orange. While Ray shoots the not-so-happy couple regardless, none of the pictures are usable, but before Patrick can spiral into despair David suggests a solution.

Since Patrick’s endless showering his cheese-puff coloring has come out and so he recruits Stevie to take the pictures on her phone. While the tan looks good, David admits that this was a teachable moment and he will scale back the eccentric wedding planning. All in all, a pretty standard humorous story for our soon to be newlyweds that just shows that they can tackle any obstacle that comes their way, even if they may have accidentally made that obstacle and are very sorry for it.

It would have been considered another classic Schitt’s Creek episode, if not for the utter heartbreak. However, let’s keep in mind that just because Alexis will not be ending up with her perfect man it does not mean that she will not get an ending as happy and fulfilling as David, Moira, or Johnny. This episode just highlighted how much each of these characters have grown from the start, they are wildly different, stronger people than they were when they first came to Schitt’s Creek, and we can have faith in Dan Levy that even their stories don’t go the way we think they should that they will still be a fitting tribute to the struggles and growth of this family and their personal journeys in Schitt’s Creek.