Welcome back to the final post in MMFD Rewatch Project!
This episode is a doozy, so get ready to drink with us one last time.
The Official FYA My Mad Fat Diary Drinking Game
Drink once every time:
Rae doubts herself
Rae compares herself to someone else
Rae’s diary includes a drawing of genitalia or swear words
Rae’s mum says something dorky but well-meaning
Karim manages to communicate how lovely he is
Drink twice every time:
Rae sasses Kester
Rae gets positive attention from members of the opposite sex (take a shot if she actually acts on it without overanalyzing)
Rae does something to set back her progress
You exclaim, “I love this song!”
So, this is it: the end is not near, it’s here.
Rae is reeling from finding Katie with Finn in his bedroom, and reeling from finding out that Kester was discharged from his official position at the hospital, but he kept coming back to see her. He thinks she’s ready to go on without him, but Rae feels otherwise…so much so that she sees a new therapist for a new prescription.
Katie, actually, is the person to tell Rae that Rae’s problems are dragging everyone she knows down. But is the kick in the ass that Rae needs? Even if Chloe promises that if Katie hurts Rae, she’ll kick her ass?
Meanwhile, Karim has to leave for a job in Tunisia…and Rae questions why her mum isn’t going with him. Sure, there’s the baby, but her mum is really worried about Rae. Her mother can’t leave England until Rae can, and this scene absolutely breaks my heart. Rae’s mother is so loving, with plenty of boundaries, but her child’s mental illness comes first. And that: that is what makes this show so perfect. Rae can be a total asshole, and often is, but her mother is there for her. Not in a smothering way, not in an absent, “oh right that bothers you” sort of way, but exactly the sort of way you’d hope a parent would be in a time of major and utter crisis.
Rae’s mother is the unsung hero of this series: she is dorky and awkward, as so many mothers seem when you’re sixteen, but oh, she tries. Since the series is from Rae’s point of view, we’re always meant to sympathize with her. It’s also way easier to sympathize with Karim, who is so unabashedly into providing for Rae without any expectation of reward. But when it all comes down to it, it’s just Rae and her mum, who has been struggling with the horror of having a child who somtimes wants to kill herself, who sometimes seem to hate everything she’s provided for her.
And still, Rae’s mum is there.
So when Rae starts feeling really sorry for herself – so sorry she tries to overdose in the bathtub – she doing it from a place of guilt. And then she stops.
No one is coming to save her: she has to do it on her own.
Kester’s right: she is ready.
So she tells the gang about Finn, and tells her mum to move to Tunisia, and realizes the madness will always be with her.
But it won’t consume her, and it won’t dominate her, she will always know that she has great family and friends to keep her from the darkest depths…no matter what may happen with Finn.
Isn’t that all we can ask for?
So in the end, there’s no awkward mum moment (because they’re all awkward and sweet) and there’s no shittiest teen comment (because you’re just generally kind of shitty as a teen). But there is a stellar best friend moment: when Chloe takes up for Rae and dumps all manner of shit on what she thinks is Katie’s car.
And there’s a stellar prom scene, where beautiful and confident Chloe reveals to Rae that she’s every bit as scared as Rae is. And the gang, they love Rae just as much as she loves them.
When it all comes down to it, the show declares, there is no skinny or fat—not when it comes to getting through life. The people you imagine as having it all probably don’t, and similarly, the people you may mock have struggles you can’t imagine. In the end, it’s you and your best friend against the world. That best friend might be your best platonic friend or your significant other or spouse or even parent, but remember to value them.
Things will be okay.
In the end, for us, there is only:
Best Song of the Episode
The Verve’s “Lucky Man”
Rae: “You don’t need fixed ideas about who you are or where you’re headed. You don’t need offers or grades or stamps of approval. You just need to be ready to cope with whatever crap comes your way. And as for all the crazy crap? The mental screw-ups and madness? Well, that’s mine, Dear Diary. I get to keep that. That travels with me.”
And that’s it for this rewatch!
Did My Mad Fat Diary delight you, break your heart, or something else? Let us know in the comments!