Trying on Apple TV was clearly always meant to carry on a comforting disposition, and it not only does so all throughout, but in the final episode of season two, it goes above and beyond.
I’ll be honest in admitting that I wasn’t immediately sold on Apple TV’s Trying when I first started watching. A part of me doubted that both Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) were on the same page, and the reluctant part of me that’s been burned too much by TV doubted that their love would even last. But it’s times like this where I love admitting that I was wrong. I was very wrong.
Nikki and Jason are not only part of an incredible show that is shining light on the adoption process and system, but they are one of the best fictional couples on-screen right now.
Trying and Succeeding in Romance
Currently? I cannot stop thinking about the spirit in the finale “I’m Scared” and I cannot stop thinking about the fact that every emotional beat was met with perfect vehemence. I also cannot stop thinking about what a perfect song choice Maisie Peters’ “Gloving Review” is. Because that’s essentially what this feature will be, a glowing review of this show’s second season and its unbelievably perfect finale.
There is something to be said about the fact that healthy relationships are seldom displayed on-screen throughout the course of the show’s run. I can count some favorites that have mastered this on my fingers. (Ted Lasso’s Keeley and Roy certainly being one.) Trying is only in its second season, but at this point, it’s safe to assume the series is going to be one that stands its ground as well.
Nikki and Jason didn’t have to get married—that’s something that easily anchored their relationship because they established that they’re committed without the license. And so I never even thought a proposal would come up, which is entirely why it’s so incredible to appreciate.
Jason doesn’t propose because he thinks he needs to, but he proposes because he realizes he wants to. No one tells him to do it. No one pressures him (not even the adoption agency really), but he does so because of how much he loves Nikki and because he realizes it is something he wants.
And the finale’s pacing, in its chaotic rush is so utterly reflective of the real world in the best way—the detail that sometimes, the things we want happen when we least expect them to.
Sometimes, after what feels like seemingly constant rejections, we get the reply we’ve been waiting for. Nikki and Jason are scared, but they’ve got this. They’ll get through this even though there’s still so much work to be done.
I cannot imagine the agency taking back Tyler after they realize just how attached he is to Princess, and I can’t imagine these kids wanting to leave Nikki and Jason after the moment they share in the end. When Nikki first saw Princess and realized that she is the kid who’s meant to be theirs, she wasn’t wrong. She just didn’t realize that they’d get a Tyler too. And they’ve both always been open to it. The agency just needs to let it happen. Please let it happen.
Finding Happiness and Holding On to It
Nikki and Jason were always meant to be parents because it is very clearly something they both want. They both want each other, and they both want a family—and they finally have it.
In a crushing performance by both Esther Smith and Rafe Spall, the moment shared between the kids in the living room was inexplicably hopeful. They have their family. They have hope. And the two of them are best at holding on, which the warmth in their expressions promised beautifully.
And happiness also equates to thinking maybe the proposal can come later, but no wait, never mind, it must happen now. Jason proposing on the bridge was precious, but Jason proposing in their hallway with their future kids safely tucked into bed was everything. It was as close to perfect as it comes because every beat of that moment was laced with so much sincerity, I had to scream and walk away from my TV for a second.
They’re both scared, they’re both full of doubts and certainties, but they both have hope. The love between them is and has always been their safe place; thereby, taking on every surprising journey together will ensure that they’ve got this. They really do.
The Perfect Middle
Imelda Staunton’s Penny is hope personified. There is no scene with her in it where my heart isn’t just bursting with the belief that good news is bound to come. She’s far from perfect, but she is just the kind of woman who’s in the right business because she cares. She cares and she cares deeply.
She especially cares about Nikki and Jason’s journey.
When she moves Princess’ picture, she does it with full conviction, and the uncertainty with moving Tyler’s makes just as much sense. She isn’t someone to spread false hope. She does things with belief and understanding. However, putting him in the perfect middle still tells us that this will be good for everyone. This will be good for each of them. The middle is better than a side. Tyler will find his home too, and he’ll find it with Nikki and Jason (hopefully).
Trying isn’t a show about ample promises, it’s a show that allows two people to find joy in the imperfections, the trying times, and the uncertainties. It’s a show that reiterates the fact that a solid foundation is always a strength, and that vulnerability is bravery. Nikki and Jason are allowed to be scared, they’re allowed to be imperfect, they’re allowed to fall, and they’re allowed to rise.
Where there is a healthy romance, there is always healthy growth. If TV shows want to be reflective of the real world, this is how to take it on. In the real world, couples go through a lot and sometimes even at once, but they don’t give up easily either. And that’s why its so crucial that the series allows their imperfections onto the surface in order to emphasize their strengths as a pair.
They’ve got this. We’ve got this. And I know it just ended, but season three needs to get here stat.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.