What if she hadn’t gotten off the plane?
Rachel would’ve moved to Paris, leaving Ross asking for more (and repeatedly saying “I’m fine”, to shield the major missing). Perhaps that could’ve provided closure to the 10 season-long sitcom show F.R.I.E.N.D.S..
Monica and Chandler would have moved to the suburbs with their babies. Joey would have continued to live the Days of His Lives, wooing ladies with his “How You Doin’s” and Phoebe would have continued to croon `Smelly Cats’, strumming her guitar. But that was not to be.
The reunion of Rachel and Ross, which has been a recurrent theme since the first season, was the highlight of the series finale. Though having the gang vacate Monica’s apartment was a good move to lend a sense of wrapping up, the effect didn’t last long as the audience wanted to stalk them to Central Perk for their final mug of coffee. What if, in that farewell rendezvous, Ross and Rachel decide to go on a break again? (Lucky Gunther!)
Would it BE any more awesome if Chandler and Joey decide to be roomies again? What if Monica and Phoebe think on similar lines? What if Monica and Chandler’s babies grow up to be as cute as Emma? What if Phoebe and Joey start doing their own musical? What if these six continue to hang out together and we would be missing out on all the fun? Well, we would never know as we’ve been trapped inside their vacated flat, eyeing into that peephole on the purple door with the golden frame. To add insult to injury, there wasn’t even a scene after the end credits in The Last One.
Since then, we’ve been looking for our long lost F.R.I.E.N.D.S. in binge watching the series over and over again. We’ve been spending sleepless nights, searching them in the replicas of Central Perk (originally named Insomnia Cafe) all over the globe, including the latest one that opened in Kolkata. We’ve also been expecting them in our false hopes to witness a reunion on the small or big screen. The fact remains that they’re still pulling each other’s legs in some alternative universe that we’re barred from. The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) has been acting as slow poison for the last twelve years, much before the term was even coined.
Maybe a `Nineteen Years Later’ like Harry Potter could provide some much-needed momentary respite. Are you listening, Romedy Now? Sigh! I hate The Last One. I hate that open-ended climax. I hate how lightly their final appearance was treated. How routinely they stepped out of that empty flat.
And that is why, till date, it remains the most effective finale of a sitcom series.