In 2014, Buffy the Vampire Slayer producer/scribe Marti Noxon introduced audiences to a group of women unlike any we’d seen before on TV. Ladies with oft-wobbly careers, rubbled relationships, an ironclad friendship and hopeful hearts wrapped by turns in whipped cream and barbed wire. Ladies who weren’t shy about effing up or letting their angst fly.
And so, anchored by Lisa Edelstein’s struggling self-help author Abby McCarthy, the titular girlfriends of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce let the rest of us frazzled females grab a glass and commiserate, even as we coveted their fab digs, wardrobes and ability to cry pretty.
This month, the series ends its five-season run with Abby, Phoebe (Beau Garrett), Jo (Alanna Ubach), Delia (Necar Zadegan) and Barbara (Retta) realizing that the past is, well, always present. It’s how you reconcile it that counts. “We fast-forward years from the last season, and it’s really interesting what happens to all of us,” Ubach hints. “By the last show you’ll see what happens to us years from now and how our kids end up. The theme in the last season is love — love and understanding.”
“As the person closest to Abby, I can honestly say I love the place we leave her at the end of season five,” says Edelstein of Abby, whose business relationship with Barbara remains iffy, even as her relationships with her aging father (Barry Bostwick), erstwhile lover Mike (James Lesure) and ex-husband Jake (Paul Adelstein) have stabilized. “Seriously … it’s epic. You will be happy! And sad! And happy again!”
Edelstein wouldn’t reveal if she ends up with Mike or Jake — or neither — but she cites her onscreen battles with Adelstein as a highlight of “one hell of a job!”
“I loved every fight I got to have with Paul Adelstein, especially the last one, which I won’t ruin, but it’s awesome,” Edelstein says. “I loved the quiet scenes between Abby and her daughter. I loved every single time I got drunk or stoned or wired on caffeine. I loved every tear I shed and every laugh I burst into.”
As for Garrett’s Phoebe — who was finally at home in her home and in her own skin when upheaval, in the form of the brother she’d told everyone was dead, knocked on her door — the time has come to confront long-suppressed demons and truths.
“I had created my own history of who she was and what her family life was like,” says Garrett, now a part of ABC’s The Good Doctor. “But to see it and to understand what the relationship was going to be, how much it brought up for her, and to realize that potentially her struggle in love and feeling of self-worthlessness comes very much from this broken family … it was something even deeper. Her storyline at the end is about forgiveness, acceptance and openness.”
Feisty Jo is sitting pretty, too, finding stable love with Delia’s reformed ex Albert (Brian Markinson), who funded her expanding business empire, when a clean and chastened Frumpkis (Maury Sterling) comes calling. “Frumpkis suddenly shows up, and he’s clean and sober and he’s seen the light!” Ubach crows. “It just baffles me, and I’m torn between both of these men. By the last episode, it’s kind of shocking to see where I end up. It’s funny.”
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce final season > Bravo > Thursdays at 10/9c beginning June 14