'Casual' Season 4: Four things to look out for in the finale season
After their epic journey through love, hatred and family, Valerie, Laura and Alex are back to a new world, in a new decade, with different hopes and dreams.
'Casual' Season 4 opens with a dream. Valerie finds herself in front of a giant egg, and as she touches it the egg cracks open to reveal a pointy virtual assistant who greets Valerie and tells her, "Fruit toast is not a thing. Jam is a thing." After the virtual assistant glitches while saying "preserve", it plays Valerie's own bathroom song in an attempt to make her listen to music. When Valerie asks it if it was recording her, it replies, "I know everything about you."
Just as the first episode opens on an eerie note, 'Casual' Season 4 (which is probably set sometime in 2022) not only puts its characters in place but sets them against a near-futuristic background of driverless cabs, virtual reality dates, and several annoying virtual assistants. However, Season 4 is just as well scripted as the previous three seasons and it has brought each character to a full circle. While Season 4 is set sometime in the near future, the characters are certainly now in very different situations and things have just got interesting. It can be expected that the final season will certainly push its characters beyond the edge for the perfect narrative.
Here are four things that you can expect from 'Casual' Season 4:
1. For Laura, nothing will ever be worse than "signature collecting"
Remember the gruesome task that Laura had to pick up, while interning for an environmental group, to go from door to door in order to collect signatures? Well, looks like nothing in Laura's life could have been worse than that. In Season 4 Laura returns home with a renewed taste in everything. Job, relationship, her own take on her family, and most of all her arrogance. Laura has been thrown all over the place in the series, she has changed jobs several times, discovered her sexual orientation, and has parted ways with her mother at the end of Season 3. But now that Laura is back, what is in store for her next?
It could be hard to predict that considering Laura's absolutely altered lifestyle, but probably the person inside is still the same. After being lost for a while, she probably has things in place now. As a clipping from Season 4 suggests Laura is now seriously seeing a girl named Tathiana with whom she has been living. She is also much more composed while greeting Valerie, who has been pretty nervous about meeting with her daughter. She has a new job now at a restaurant. But do all of these mean that Laura is now a new person? Probably not. Sometimes when new things go wrong life has a way of leading us back to the familiar path, and maybe the same thing will happen with Laura. After all, the mother and the daughter have to reunite at some point.
2. Alex, the Dad
Season 3 saw Alex just as wasted as he ever has been. With things falling apart between Judy and him, and Alex losing his sexual prowess, Season 4 sees Alex as a more confined character. We saw Alex and Rae get into a fix when Rae reveals to him that she's pregnant. Alex doesn't mind to raise a child with Rae- whom he claims to be amusing- while keeping the relationship open-ended.
Of course, Alex still sees women! Only this time he goes on a virtual date with a virtual blonde inside a virtual limo. However, as the plot already indicates Alex and Rae raise their daughter, Carrie, together and this could be the cause behind the renewed subtlety in Alex's character. Considering the kind of man that he has always been for Laura in the previous seasons when he was the only thing close to a father-figure for her, Alex might just be the best father that Carrie will have. The change in Alex will be intimate, it will be more about his realization of the desire for a secured relation as compared to the fling that he often involves in. Alex who has been the man-child of the show so far might just find himself being flung into the role of a borderline parenthood. But what about him and Rae? Does Alex realize that there might be some potential in it? Will he pursue it? Maybe.
3. Valerie's is more or less the same
Perhaps Valerie will be only one to be not affected in any way by the leap in time. The last episode of Season 3 saw Valerie trying to fix things with Laura, but then Laura leaves. Where does that leave Valerie then? Is she looking for love?
Well, she is probably no more looking for love but certainly, there is a big decision that she is about to take. A decision she believes should not be limited to age. However, it could be made out from the already revealed trailer that Valerie is now slowing things down. Maybe, she will be anxious to see Laura after so long and she wouldn't have the right thing to say, but she is still the same woman who hopes for what could be next. She still is restless and contemplating about what her future could be like, only this time she will probably not take a step towards something emotionally demanding. The decision that she makes will not only affect her but the people who have laid their trust in her. In a world which is increasingly moving towards everything-tech, Valerie's natural disposition when it comes to dealing with the human nature has always been refreshing. She tries to converse with the high tech devices as though they are humans, and in the end finds herself being just a human who loses her neighbor's dog and drinks her wine alone late in the night.
4. The POTUS in 2021/22
As 'Casual' Season 4 is set sometime in the future, there are high possibilities that the LA-based upper-middle class group of people lives in a world with a new President, or maybe not. However, creator Zander Lehmann had mentioned that probably Trump is no longer the president by then.
Nevertheless, 'Casual' certainly has its own way of hinting towards the changing political scenario of the future. In a clipping from Season 4, during the dinner party, Valerie's ex-husband Drew scrolls through his phone and says, "Oh wow, they found Scott Pruitt in Ukraine. You remember him? Shot 14 times in the street." Referring to the infamous Republican Scott Pruitt who had to resign from his position as the head of Environmental Protection Agency after the lavish scandals about his ethical lapses is probably a way of indicating the fact that the Republicans no more rule the White House. The timing for the dialogue is appropriate, after all, who would have expected that the Republican would resign just a few weeks before the final season of the series comes out.
Lehmann said, "The timing worked out for us...Look, at least for me, I’ve had a really hard time writing comedy and jokes in the world of Trump, because there’s a lot of sad things going on that are sort of happening outside of our control. So part of jumping four years into the future was to paint a world that has some sort of light at the end of the tunnel, where some of these criminals are actually being brought to justice, [and] some of these people are getting punished for the horrible things that they’re doing.”
Although the show will certainly not concentrate on the political future of America, however, any political scenario does affect the lives of the civilians. Just as the emergence of virtual dating has almost put an end to real relationships, maybe Trump stepping down from his throne would mean that Valerie, Alex, and Laura live in a world with a new president, new rules, and new crisis. Probably, it is the show's way of projecting that the world has not come to an end with the president, in fact, it has evolved. Exactly the same way in which Laura and Alex have evolved. The show has its own share of crisis and emotionally upsetting moments but the light indication towards the changing political structure actually helps cope with the characters' changing lifestyles.