‘Here and Now’: 3 Burning Questions The Finale Needs To Answer

Here and Now, almost unarguably HBO’s most unpopular Sunday night drama in several years, wraps up its first (and likely only) season tonight. It seems like nobody’s watched it except my mother and I, but we’ve enjoyed much of its profoundly misjudged social commentary, channelled into hokey family melodrama by American Beauty writer Alan Ball.

As the only person watching this show, I feel a duty to give its finale a little online push, by publishing this article of 3 BURNING QUESTIONS THE FINALE NEEDS TO ANSWER. The word “burning” is being used loosely here.

1) DID KRISTEN GIVE NAVID SYPHILIS?

This is super important, and even though it’s probably just forgetful showrunning that has led to me asking the question, I want an answer. Kristen caught syphilis from the model at the party in Episode 1 (while, let’s not forget, she was wearing a big old horse’s head). She has sex with Navid relatively soon after — at least I don’t think much time has passed — and it has *never been raised in conversation between them that she is positive*. This is irresponsible behaviour on her part. And Navid has enough problems in his life without contracting an STI.

2) IS GREG AND/OR FARID GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE?

It seemed for several weeks like Greg — suspended from work, caught cheating by his wife Audrey, disengaged from his kids — was heading down a dark destructive path. But then, in a preposterous turnaround, he and Audrey effectively sorted out their differences in about 20 seconds last week, minutes after Greg was hanging out in the treehouse looking glum. So I guess he’ll be okay?

Farid, on the other hand, has been spending a lot of time in his dark basement, and has been gradually losing his mind throughout the season as various trauma (plural) from his Iranian childhood emerge in sessions with Ramon and playing his butterfly videogame. I don’t expect Farid to make it out of Here and Now alive.

3) IS THE SHOW GOING TO END DEFINITIVELY?

Let’s be clear: there will not be a second season of Here and Now. As much as The Leftovers and The Newsroom had small, passionate fanbases and beloved creators HBO decided to give the benefit of the doubt with renewals, Here and Now just doesn’t seem particularly liked by anyone. I consume a ton of TV criticism online and on podcasts etc. every week, and I swear nobody has mentioned this show’s name since the pilot premiered. Which is a pity, because it features some really strong performances by actors who deserve to work again, but may not have received significant exposure from this. Who knows.

Anyway, it’s important to me that this profoundly flawed season of television to which I have dedicated 10 unholy hours has some sort of resolution. The Slap got one, after all. Is Alan Ball canny enough to have recognised early on the high probability that Here and Now would fail, and constructed a potentially close-ended conclusion in response?

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