Call Me After The Kiss (Series Thoughts: We Are Who We Are, Right Here Right Now VIII, HBO)

It all ends with a kiss.

And we are instantly confused, or should we be? The last episode of the show gives us only Frasier and Cait, and that makes total sense because they are the show – we have been following their journey of who they are, and we get more questions than answers here, but in my opinion, we also get resolutions.

We see Cait’s family packing – Chicago first and then Okinawa? – and then we have Frasier and Cait going to Bologna to see Blood Orange. They take the train and end up somewhere in the middle of their journey, only to meet kids on their way to the concert. One of the kids is Luca, who we see connecting with Frasier with their mutual love of fashion. You can see in Cait’s eyes how she felt – am I gonna lose him to Luca? This gets exacerbated when they ‘lose’ each other once they got to the concert venue. But then Cait gets her own moment with the bartender. Somehow she ends up backstage meeting Blood Orange, and she gets ‘confronted’  when the bartender asks her ‘You are a trans guy, right?’ This scares her, and she runs away, running back to the train station to go home. Meanwhile, Frasier’s own moment comes when he kisses Luca, and he in turn has his own realization after that when Luca asks him to ‘one of the most beautiful places on earth,’ the arc at San Luca. He runs to the train station looking for Cait. He finds her inside the train and the two of them run back to San Luca. And then they kiss.

So does the show end with both of them ending up as a couple? There is ambiguity in that but I disagree. These are kids who have realizations on the same night, and they both ‘give up;’ what could have been to go back to each other. I think their kiss symbolizes the feeling of affection they have for each other – at that age, it was the only way they could express that overwhelming feeling for each other. We can look at this objectively because maybe we have already gone through our own journeys, but for these two, they are just feeling these feelings for the first time in their lives. There is confusion, but there’s also that euphoria that comes with all that.

I think this is still a bittersweet ending for me. When they get back to the base, they will probably part and who knows when they will see each other again. I started writing this because of parallels to ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and this excursion in Bologna reminds me of Elio and Oliver’s last trip to Bergamo before the train scene. There’s joy in the time they are together, but they both know they will leave each other the next morning.  

And there we are. I have read articles that during the lockdown, Luca Guadigno has made a bible for these characters for a second season. That will be great, but maybe not necessary. The great thing about this show is how it told these character’s story in snapshots. The last kiss is a perfect ending, and maybe it should be left that way.  

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