I get it now.
The Piersons’ daughter, Sophie (played by Abby Ryder Fortson), is a metaphor for the audience watching Togetherness, especially when she mutters this line in the series finale “For the Kids,”
“I want Tina [Amanda Peet] to put me down.”
After all, if there’s anyone we want to stick with on this show, it’s Tina, as she’s pretty much the most interesting character.
While season one followed the Pierson clan and their troubled relationships (Brett and Michelle? Michelle and David? Alex and Tina? Tina and Larry?), season two became a crusade for a charter school with Anna (Katie Aselton, looking like Cameron Diaz) taking on the role as uppity-bitch with her French-inspired education idea (hey, but at least it’s an idea, right?).
Without taking a political stance on charter schools (although I really have no opinion), the most troubling thing about Michelle’s desire to start this school is that she pulls the curriculum out of her ass from her estranged husband’s Dune puppet show. So during all of these meetings in the past months, what have they been discussing? Just getting together for snacks?
In the finale, when Sophie is playing hooky from school after breaking both her arms (again, a metaphor for what this show does to its viewers), Michelle makes the novel realization that the Dune puppet show should be about the children, with the entire production being put on by the kids, for the kids (get it, like the title!). While it’s an adorable little pageant at the end and it’s great to see the creative arts being valued, it’s also terrifying. Michelle appears to literally have no idea what she’s doing with this school. Is putting on shitty plays based on a critically-panned David Lynch movie really going to cut it?
In the end, like any ’80s comedy, the evil white bitch is taken down, despite her really cool Le Petit Village sign (watch for the bearded dude’s smug reaction, which says, “Pretty cool sign. Must be a good school.”), and the weirdos from another planet win. (Although, given how hastily they pulled this idea out of thin air, I think everyone, especially the children, loses.)
But the Togetherness audience does win with one facet: We get to end with Amanda Peet, with the final scene being about her and Alex’s relationship. I’m so glad we all got to be put down by Aunt Tina.