On Friday evening, Life Sentence officially bid adieu to audiences as they aired the final episode of a very short but sweet one season run.
To recap, Life Sentence focused on the life of Stella Abbott, a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer but unexpectedly cured after a clinical trial, and her family.
We begin the show immediately discovering that Stella has been cured, and the overall motif of the show after is Stella having to think about her future for the first time, and how it affects the people around her. Having married Wes almost instantly after meeting him, with the expectation that Stella would pass away within eight months, the couple now have to navigate the prospect of actually having the rest of their lives to look forward to. There are a lot of turbulent waters for the pair as they discover they don’t actually know each other and other people, Wes’s ex-fiance Pippa and Dr. Grant from Stella’s hospital, keep popping the bubble they have encapsulated themselves in as a form of denial for all the problems they are encountering.
As for the rest of the co. from the Abbot family, here’s the basic recap:
. Ida and Peter (Stella’s parents) break up and start dating other people, but they always seem to come back to each other.
. Aiden (Stella’s brother) constantly makes self-destructive decisions, which also negatively impact those around him, until he decides to get it together after a potential long-term prison sentence for selling drugs to soccer moms.
. Lizzie and Diego (Stella’s sister and her sister’s husband) frankly didn’t have much of a storyline for themselves (which perhaps is what I’m most disappointed in as I really like both of them). They were the characters that always offered support and a shoulder to lean on for Stella and Wes.
How it ended
For a show that filmed a season finale before it knew it would be cancelled, episode 13 surely felt like a series finale. I don’t think it’s because producers didn’t expect for the show to not be renewed, but because if loyal viewers think about the events of the season, this is not the kind of programme that revolves around cliffhangers and the jaw-dropping factor. It’s a nice show, where characters often encounter problems and hurdles, yet they somehow never lose the feel-good factor. I predict that if this show were to have aired in the days of series like Gilmore Girls were making a stride, it would have been an instant hit. But alas, it didn’t, so we have to accept that Life Sentence is no more unless another network decides to pick it up after it makes its Netflix debut (seriously clinging onto hope here, I actually fully love and embrace this show now).
The series finale was quite predictable, but I enjoyed it. Stella and Wes decides to break up, and as much as it’s painful as I really was rooting for them, it’s necessary and realistic. Stella hasn’t experience adult life on her own and is ready to travel and explore the world. It’s a cheesy but very accurate sentiment that Stella tells Dr. Grant (thank goodness she didn’t go travelling with him I was not rooting for those two): Before I can be happy with someone else, I need to make myself happy…(or something around those lines, you get the gist).
The final scene shows Stella looking out the window at Wes and Aiden (yes they’re still opening a bar together), and the camera pans to some hiking brochures insinuating Stella is ready to explore the world, while also insinuating she will be back and that the Stella/Wes story isn’t over.
As for the rest of the Abbot family:
. Aiden will continue to work on opening the bar with Wes
. Ida and Peter start dating again
. Lizzie and Diego continue to not have a storyline
What could have been…Life Sentence Fan Fiction
If Life Sentence were to have a second + seasons run, this is what I would predict/would want to happen…
Queue into one year later from the season one finale events.
Stella returns to Asheville from a whirlwind trip around the world. She did the whole Eat Pray Love thing, and feels like she has truly discovered herself and her purpose. She is happy being single, and decides that she wants to study medicine on her return to home. She goes to visit Aiden and Wes’s bar, that is booming and a big hit in the community, and Stella is struck by how all her feelings for Wes come rushing back when she sees him for the first time after a year. Except, her joy to see him is quickly squashed as he is in a new relationship with a mystery woman (no, Pippa is no longer part of the equation and neither is Dr. Grant, that storyline is done). Eventually, after more bumps and hurdles, and Stella entering into a new relationship with another mystery man, Stella and Wes find they’re way back to each other and get they’re happily ever after. Stella becomes a doctor, Wes continues to manage the successful bar with Aiden, and they start their own family.
Aiden will start a relationship with their ‘silent’ investor (e.g. Stella’s ex boss from the coffeeshop), but it won’t end well as Aiden will make another self-destructive decision as he cheats on her. This put the bar in jeopardy as coffee girl (sorry I don’t remember her name) terminates their partnership and are in desperate need of a new investor. However, all is fine as they crowdfund it and the bar becomes a neighbourhood legacy. Aiden eventually gets married and starts a family with another mystery woman we have not met, and they start their own family.
Ida and Peter start dating again and never sign the divorce papers, they renew their vows, and get their happily ever after.
Lizzie and Diego start fighting constantly and decide to separate, they both feel unfulfilled in their relationship and start dating other people. A few years later, they get back together, and get their happily ever after.
Ultimately, everyone gets their happily ever after, and that’s what I really want for all these characters 🙂
Cheers Life Sentence for the past few months, it has been a short journey but one that I will always look back fondly on ❤