Normally I'd use spoiler or tags, or something, but I don't see an option for them here, so be forewarned, spoilers will be discussed....
This has been such a good show, and I admit the finale was done better than most other shows that try something daring, and the very ending was... okay, but damn it, I just can't get behind ending the show with Charlie dying. They always go for the emotional stinger, and it's usually so effective, but in this case Charlie's death fell completely, in my opinion.
They had me wondering once or twice during this season if he might die, especially when he started seeing himself as a ghost, and I toyed with whether I could get on board with it, but didn't come down on either side of the concept until it was definitive; and it just didn't work for me. Nor did any of the little touches they did to try and soften the blow; like him maybe, somehow giving his daughter the words to say at Luke's wedding, or being there when Alex was on her death bed or meeting her on the beach 50 years later.
I get that life can be cruel this way, and the show has never shied away from a good dramatic death, but this was too harsh; when the saving grace of show, as it were, was playing up the silver linings, and in the balance of things the aforementioned up sides weren't sufficient.
And so many unanswered questions. Did Shahir adopt a child? What was the point of having Jackson have such an extreme allergic reaction to the anesthetic, only to breeze by his recovery the next episode? I get creating suspense, but it was a non-starter the next episode, which is odd for this show; and the reversal only seemed to setup donating Charlie's liver later. They minimalized that so much, I thought I missed an episode in between where it was resolved when they didn't pick-up where the last episode left off. And Maggie couldn't make it back to support Alex after finding out Charlie died? Or did I miss a blink and miss it appearance by the actor who played Maggie?
They couldn't even let Alex and Charlie be together and married a full day; and after all the yo-yoing the show did between them, it seems like a dick move. After they finally move past Alex's superstition about being "cursed," (in addition to all of their other hurdles) the so-called curse is effectively born out. And does Charlotte develop her father's gift to speak to spirits? Could that be why and how she manages to see Charlie? To that end, I don't care for the fact that the spirit plot device played so little into the last episode. It was there, I know, but not to the extent and effectiveness it had been throughout the series, and should have been given more it's due - like Alex and Charlie spending time in limbo, and exploring the potential there as they work out which, if either of them, will actually survive. It also makes me realize how rushed the whole episode was in hindsight.
Honestly, it should have been Zach. Yeah, it would have been a hard blow to Dawn, but I think I might have felt the intended gut punch a little harder if Zach died. It's not that I didn't care about Charlie, or if he lived or died, but they went to that well so often throughout the series, it just didn't have the same weight. Zach interacting with Charlie as a spirit could have been interesting; especially with him making peace with Dawn through Charlie. Otherwise I'd go with Alex as my second choice; even though she's been put through the ringer almost as much as Charlie has, plus being pregnant. I think many of the same story points they tried to do with Charlie after the accident might have been more effective for me if it were Alex - maybe. Alex giving the wedding toast to her daughter (who would have been born premature, naturally, but ultimately pulls through); being there at Charlie's death bed - perhaps with some twist, that after the accident he no longer can see the spirits, but he does see Alex before the end. Then Charlie meeting her on the beach.
Pretty much anything beside this.
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