It's interesting to view this episode after the series has ended, as it's not totally as show-destroying as everybody perceived it to be when it first aired. I remember a lot of anger over the show's decision to basically reveal everybody's future (bar Liz and Kimber, who don't appear), and it wasn't helped by Ryan Murphy commenting that everything seen here is real. I don't know what happened between then and the end of season five, but the episode was eventually retconned. However, even with that complaint proven irrelevant, the episode is still pretty weak.
Sean and Julia's marital breakdown is just as annoying as always. The characters as a couple just do not work anymore, stuck in a repeating cycle of the same arguments and same break-ups, and it's completely mind-numbing to watch. Both Dylan Walsh and Joely Richardson give it their all, but you always have the assumption in your mind that no matter how many times they say it's over, it'll just happen time and time again. It may be realistic or whatever, but it sure makes annoying television.
The future scenes are universally corny. I personally found the future scenes corny as hell. Along with the make-up (which could never be taken seriously), all the clunky references to what happens in the future (like the lack of gay marriage, "phone chips" and the polygamy amendment) just didn't work, and the dialogue was left stilted and just about as unrealistic as possible. And then there's Annie. I don't know if Jennifer Elise Cox is just incapable of playing straight, but her shrill, farcical performance here completely destroys what is a pretty saddening story.
While the episode was necessary for Julia to be written out due to Joely Richardson's real-life family commitments, I personally found most of the hour to be in equal measure silly, tedious and disappointing. Probably one of the series' worst. D
Guest stars Peter Dinklage (Marlowe Sawyer); Stark Sands (Conor McNamara, 2026); Kelsey Lynn Batelaan (Annie McNamara); Bre Blair (Janet); Jennifer Elise Cox (Annie McNamara, 2026)
Writer Ryan Murphy Director Craig Zisk