‘The Idol’ Finale Recap, Episode 5: Jocelyn Forever

The Idol

Jocelyn Forever

Season 1

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

2 stars

Meanwhile, at Hunter Biden’s house…
Photo: Eddy Chen/HBO

In an unconvincing show of false notes and withheld motivations and off-screen action and general directorial shadiness, one thing about The Idol rings true. When you are around someone famous, they hold all the power. We all know that, which is why most of us watching believed exactly that about Jocelyn and that this — sort of — is how the show would end: With her straddling her creative crutch of a boyfriend.

It’s a very heavy-handed moral and also not that original. “When you’re a star,” in the immortal and heinous formulation of Donald Trump, “they let you do it. They let you do anything.” Does it feel great that the star for this tardy parable of celebrity is Johnny Depp’s daughter? Honestly it does not.

Let’s check in with some online reactions to this final episode: “the shittiest thing i’ve ever seen in a show” says one; “this fuckass ending” says another; “horrible and boring waste of time,” one opines; “This bullshit ass show is over” is also a thing people said and yes. Basically, this show went over like a rape accusation at a music listening party.

But! The Idol will probably age really well. In 25 years, they’ll be watching it the way we watched Beyond the Valley of the Dolls when I was a kid. Camp and trash require a generation of seasoning. The Idol will be read as an important historical document — a Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! of a later time.

From Mike Dean playing a hilarious yacht rock sax solo in the middle of Jocelyn’s recording session to Heartthrob Rob getting digitally erased from his superhero movie over the rape allegations (which somehow don’t mention Jocelyn’s house!) to Chaim’s long recitation of Little Red Riding Hood, the episode is a long afternoon’s descent into cringe. Jocelyn writhing around the floor like she’s auditioning to have sex in a pool with Kyle McLachlan! Hari Nef taking a meeting in an underground parking garage! And the ending you thought was the ending before the real ending: “You guys, we ruined him,” Nikki gleefully announces about Tedros while everyone throws back their heads and villain-laughs. Hilariously absurd!

If only it had been more enjoyable. Let us pause actually a moment on Jocelyn’s extremely over-the-top and very literalized choreography, as she sells her new song after like-a-prayering in the yard outside. It’s gross! It’s like: “Oh, she found her power … by acting like she was going to blow an important music executive in her own mansion!” Heinous and boring. (Also, this happens as Tedros is taken away by security.)

The other trope that’s a little disappointing is that she had to go through this for her art. “You had to go through it!” says tour king Andrew Finkelstein. “It all led you right here.” Right into a bonanza of cash.

Even that stuff will get funnier as it ages. Your children will watch even that sad scene with great joy, if they have a future. Expect a bump in children named Tedros (from five to 15). They will recite along, Rocky Horror Picture Show-style, during Jocelyn’s last words on the stadium stage, as she reveals she was wearing the pants all along. “I have the opportunity to introduce you to the love of my life. The man who pulled me through the darkest hours and into the light. Tedros. Will you please join us? I want you to meet my family.” Yes. Tedros, still mystified, comes on stage and they make out. “You’re mine. Forever. Now go stand over there,” she says to him. The crowd is chanting: Jocelyn, Jocelyn. And: CREDITS!!!! Expect to hear these tender words in wedding ceremonies.

Does it make any sense that the episode began with Jocelyn screaming at Tedros, “I’m done with you,” and “you’re a fucking con man and a fraud,” and “you’ve served your purpose,” and “are you still here? Shut the fuck up. Nobody’s talking to you.” No. In nonsense we began, in nonsense we have ended.

In the end, the real victims here were the friends we met along the way. Pour one out for Dyanne, all set to become famous, only to be stabbed in the back by Jocelyn. Pour one out for Rob, the first famous man to be falsely accused of rape, stabbed in the back by Tedros. And pour one out for Leia. She had to leave Jocelyn’s life due to an acute case of having morals. Take us with you!

You absolutely know there was an edit where Leia’s farewell letter is voice-overed to us, while Jocelyn dances on the stage of the stadium. But what could it even have said that meant anything? We’ll never know. We hope.

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