I’m recapping Reboot, a new show on Hulu about a group of writers and actors creating the reboot of Step Right Up, a popular sitcom. This week is the finale and I’m so sad it’s over! I quite literally both cried and laughed out loud during the last 30 minutes, so it’s definitely an episode worth watching.
I can’t believe it’s already finale week! I’m so sad to be leaving these characters behind but I’m VERY excited to be sharing this recap with you all today. It was so fulfilling to break down a show that I’m enjoying and share my passions with you. I’m honestly pretty impressed by the way this season went. I knew from episode one that it was a solid premise, but the way that it built on itself, creating emotional complexity without losing the humor, made me truly fall in love with it.
The show opens in the writer’s room with Hannah judging a random (paper!) restaurant menu for having a masculine and feminine version of the same dish, where the only difference is that the female version has an egg on it. That’s super reductive! Nobody else cares, they just want to eat the food. The conversation is interrupted by a light knock at the door from Elaine. She needs to talk to Gordon and Hannah in private, and everyone exchanges worried glances as they leave the room.
Elaine’s boss, the very one that green-lit Step Right Up, got fired last night. While Elaine and Hannah are spiraling, Gordon doesn’t seem that worried– until he hears the new guy’s name.
Apparently, this new guy intentionally caused the original Step Right Up to fail. Gordon is convinced that he has a grudge. Selma helpfully puts in that the grudge is also partially caused by the fact that Gordon fucked his wife. As Hannah spirals even further, Gordon asks them all to relax. This confidence is short-lived, because Elaine comes back to the writer’s room to share that Mr. Griffin needs to see them immediately.
There’s a reporter on set today, and she’s there to interview each of the cast members. Bree’s interview is going smoothly until the reporter asks her how she feels about her ex-husbands “developments”. Right there on camera, Bree finds out that her ex is getting married to the woman he cheated on her with, AND she’s pregnant with his child. In a single breath, Bree blurts out that she told reporters that her and Reed are back together and thinking about children as well. I’m sure that’ll go over well later! Every time I start genuinely liking Bree, she does something like this that’s so incredibly selfish that I want to die. She could have chosen anyone else. Literally anyone!
In the parking lot, Clay is laying on the steering wheel of his car and when Zack pulls up, he panics that Clay is dead. It’s actually worse than that– Clay is being domesticated. Apparently, he’s decided a good strategy for being sober is to move out of his apartment where all of the drug addicts live. Luckily Zack knows exactly what Clay’s going through, because he was also nervous when he bought his first house– at 14! The best aspect of Zack is that he is so stupid it actually becomes reassuring at times. He isn’t saying that he owns 6 houses to make Clay feel badly, he’s genuinely trying to bond about how stressful it is to purchase a house. It’s endearing, and I’m so deeply invested in the friendship between Zack and Clay this season.
Bree isn’t completely without remorse for her actions. She’s sobbing in a corner when Timberly comes up to see what’s going on. Timberly has such a great, wise presence and I’m sad that she was more or less cut out of all of the middle episodes! The character trajectory of her seeming entirely daft, to finding out that she just believed that was how you were supposed to act, is pretty incredible. Bree needs her straight up advice. Reed has a girlfriend! What was Bree thinking! Bree tries to get Timberly to warn Reed about what she said, but Timberly isn’t just going to be walked all over. Bree has to go do it herself.
She sprints across the lot, screaming that it’s urgent, and bursts into Reeds trailer without knocking– to find Nora (Reed’s actual girlfriend) sitting there. Nora is so classically bitchy and annoyed that I cannot stand her. Just as Bree is about to slip out in disgrace, Reed walks into the trailer. He can’t believe that Nora is here, that Bree is also here, and that the two are together. Bree makes an excuse for the urgent way she ran in (she forgot the Wordle, but now she knows it) and then delivers the best one-liner of the entire season: “you are so pretty in the strong and self confident way, and I love your blazer”
A more passive aggressive sentence was never uttered! Bree is back in my good graces again, even if she did nothing to warn Reed and Nora about what she said to the reporter.
Reed isn’t back on Nora’s good side that easily though. Nora just watched Bree burst through the door without even knocking, and she knows for a fact that Bree did not figure out the Wordle for the day (a whole passive aggressive competition going on here! let’s put these women in a room and let them vocally battle it out!). Reed reassures her, but he doesn’t have long because he has to run off and do his own interview.
In his own interview, he finds out that Bree told the reporter they’re in love and thinking about babies. Reed thinks she’s kidding at first, and then laughs and immediately runs off the interview set to call Nora. As he’s heading back to his hotel, he sees Bree in the lot and accosts her. What was she thinking! Bree shares her reasoning, but Gordon doesn’t understand why she’s trying to ruin his life. He asks her directly if she’s trying to get back together with him, and Bree says no. She just panicked! She looks so sad, and Reed is so angry, this scene is breaking me. Reed vents that he was more calm for the past 15 years than he has been in the past 2 months back with Bree. As he storms off, Bree just stands there looking sad.
Hannah and Gordon make it up to Mr. Griffin’s office, and Gordon starts right off with asking if they’re cancelled. They’re not! Mr. Griffin (I truly forgot his first name and I’m not going to go back and check) loves the show, but he’s casting Timberly as a lead in a different show right away. He also needs to make some promo and production cut budgets, which hopefully should not lead to the show’s long and lingering death but might. This is enough for Gordon, and he goes in on Mr. Griffin. He’s stupid and pretty but he wouldn’t know a good show if it–
“Slept with my wife?” boom. it’s all out in the open. As Gordon finishes his speech and walks right out, Mr. Griffin turns to Hannah. She would be better without her dad, wouldn’t she? Hannah declines the offer, and does the most adorable run across the parking lot to catch up with Gordon. She demands that Gordon go back and apologize, because there’s over 100 people that work on the show and Gordon (who is excited about his antics) jeopardized all of their livelihoods. At least someone is paying attention to all of the non-main actors who truly might not be able to afford rent if the show goes away.
One of these people is Elaine, who is absolutely freaking out that she’s going to get fired. She sneaks away with Zack to vent to him, but Zack is caught up on what might happen to everyone not just Elaine. When he hears that the show might be in danger, Zack realizes that he has to run off and tell Clay before Clay signs his house. Elaine doesn’t want him to, because she only told him expecting it to stay confidential. That’s not who Zack is though, and he runs off to warn Clay despite Elaine begging him not to.
Zack arrives not a moment too soon. Gordon is about to sign the papers with his real estate agent (the HR guy Doug!). Gordon’s still worried that he’s making a mistake, but with Doug hyping him up he’s about ready to sign. Zack bursts in telling him that it’s not a good idea to buy a house right now. Gordon straight up asks Zack if there’s something he’s not saying, but Zack hedges and says no, and Gordon signs as Doug celebrates and Zack looks defeated. He doesn’t know if he did the right thing, but he tried, he really tried.
After work that day, Gordon sits in his brand new home when the doorbell goes “ding dong!” and he heads over to answer it. It’s a gift from Hulu as a congratulations on the home. What did they give him? A bottle of whiskey! This is literally a nightmare for Gordon, who was sitting in the middle of his giant empty home contemplating his life choices even before the alcohol arrived.
We then flash to Zack in the parking lot of the studio, looking at Gordon’s parking spot and then at his phone where Elaine is calling. He declines, gets in his own car, and drives away. At this point, I was begging him to show up at Clay’s house. If the episode ended with him relapsing I would fully break.
Instead, the person who arrives home is Reed, who is just grateful to see that Nora is still there. Reed explains the whole situation to her, and Nora laments Bree finding out on camera, but she can’t help but be tired of the whole relationship. She feels like she’s losing Reed, and she’s sick of FaceTime calls. In a panic, Reed asks Nora to marry him. I hate when men do this! Marriage is not going to make you suddenly live in the same state! As he lists off all of the things he loves and “needs” about her, it becomes clear that he’s just listing Bree’s opposites. It’s sad that Bree just ended her loveless marriage that she chose as the antithesis of Reed, and now Reed is entering his own marriage that’s the antithesis of Bree.
Nora leaves the room to answer her mom’s phone call, and Reed answers his own phone call, where Bree is calling. Bree says that she said Reed because she knew that it would hurt Anders. Anders knew that Bree always loved Reed even when they were together, because Reed is her one true love. Reed tells Bree that he just got engaged, and Bree hangs up the phone immediately. I’m so sad!
After the world’s most bittersweet montage of Gordon walking through set and seeing everyone in separate groups laughing, he heads back up to Mr. Griffin’s office to talk with him again. We don’t know what they say to each other, but as Gordon is packing up his office later that day, Hannah comes in to share what she learned from talking to Mallory from HR, her maybe maybe not girlfriend who she’s been dating for the past few weeks! None of that matters though, because Gordon went up to the office to quit.
Hannah is appalled. She doesn’t understand why Gordon wouldn’t just apologize, but he is too old and too rich to do that. Hannah can’t believe that he wouldn’t even try. Gordon is just leaving her (“an impossible situation” // “where have I heard that before?”) just like he did before. My heart breaks for both adult Hannah and childhood Hannah that finally thought she was healing. Gordon kisses her on the head and says he’s proud of what they did here, and he’s proud of the show, which is as close as he’s ever gotten to telling Hannah he’s proud of her.
Sad music swells, and we cut back to Clay sitting on his single chair and staring at the bottle of liquor. Just when I think he’s going to take a sip, his doorbell rings. It’s Bree. She doesn’t want to be alone, and Clay knows that he shouldn’t be alone either, so he lets her inside. As the door shuts behind them, we cut to credits.
And that’s the season!
When I tell you this ending had me absolutely bawling that is not an exaggeration. I truly need good things for all of these characters, and all of them are ending the season sad! Even Reed isn’t truly content with his engagement! Ugh! If the show gets cancelled here I will be devastated.
Thank you all for sticking with me for this entire season’s recaps. Let me know what you liked and disliked about this recap, and whether you want me to continue doing recaps as a feature on this site in the future!