It’s decision time. Will Jessica accept Marcus’s proposal, get married, and move to Princeton to be with him? Or will Jess break up with Marcus like she originally intended? I think we all knew, or at least suspected, the answer before reading the last chapter. We’re set up to know that it’s not going to work, because why would Jessica write about her decision making process if she were going to say yes? If that were the case, she could just tell Marcus everything. This level of documentation suggests that Jessica won’t be around to share.
I always forget that Marcus returns the notebooks to Jess, which is probably a healthy decision. It would be so tempting to keep rereading the journals and wallow in the inevitable heartbreak. And as sad as their breakup is, I can’t imagine Jess and Marcus getting married, or even staying together. Fourth Comings shows us a Jess and Marcus whose love isn’t right for now. Marcus shuts down because his dad is sick. Jess resents Marcus for his reticence and dislike of NYC. Marcus only proposes to prevent Jessica from breaking up with him.
When I think of something with a great bittersweet ending, I think of Waitress. Jenna (played by Keri Russell) is a small town waitress, married to a man that she hates, and pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants. But she makes amazing pies, with inspired names, like “Falling in Love” Pie, “Lonely Chicago” Pie, and “I Can’t Have No Affair Because It’s Wrong and I Don’t Want Earl to Kill Me” Pie. The cast is great and includes Nathan Fillion as her OBGYN, Jeremy Sisto as her awful husband, Adrienne Shelley and Cheryl Hines as her coworkers, and Andy Griffith as the curmudgeonly diner owner.