After three seasons of frank exploration of modern relationships against the backdrop of media-saturated Los Angeles, Netflix's Judd Apatow-produced series Love has come to an end. The Season 3 finale - and last episode of the show - finally gave accidental lovers Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) a happy-ever-after, seeing them find clarity in their relationship and share a secret wedding. Or did it? As with all things love, it's not so simple.
Over the past three years, Gus Cruikshank and Mickey Dobbs have changed a lot. They met in a convenience store at their lowest ebbs: Gus had broken up with his cheating long-term girlfriend and ran from an incestuous threesome, while Mickey has had her drug dealer on-again-off-again partner spring a recovery on her. In Season 1 they gradually come together - Gus was infatuated, Mickey hesitant - and decided to take things slowly-but-surely once Mickey confessed her sex, alcohol and drug addiction, making way for a turbulent Season 2 where they fought against all odds to stay together. That ended with the pair deciding to make a serious go of it, leaving Season 3 to chart them trying to define themselves, eventually finding what they feel is happiness after a fateful visit to Gus' South Dakotan childhood home.
Related: Love Season 3 Review
Alongside the most carefully nuanced exploration of love and impermanence of perceived happiness of Apatow's work has been the pair's professional lives. Gus is an on-set teacher for a teen drama trying (and repeatedly failing) to break into screenwriting, with often embarrassing professional results, while Mickey produces at a local radio station for a lustful "advice" "doctor". The end status for both jobs plays an essential role in the emotional state of the two characters come the series finale, although what we're really going to dive into is the couple's relationship - and their marriage's future.
This Page: How Gus & Mickey Finally Found Happiness
How Gus & Mickey Finally Found Happiness
From the very start, Love made no illusions that Gus and Mickey were seriously flawed. She, obviously, represented a wholly hedonistic, selfish lifestyle, but his constant pleasing and inability to stand-up for himself was just as socially crippling. This, of course, made them unlikely romantic partners, but also provided key motivation to improve. The danger was the other trying too hard to interfere; Gus helped Mickey get and keep clean but often extended to be nagging, while Mickey helped boost Gus' confidence yet not without fuelling his introversion.
This all came to a head at Gus' parents, where a joke about their future revealed respective concerns about commitment and sobriety. Rather than splitting the pair up, it forces Gus to finally be honest about his repeated failures - including a humiliating email chain shared around half of Hollywood by Ridley Scott - to his family, and he and Mickey finally see eye-to-eye. As Mickey later says, they "crack the code" to their relationship: be open, be real, be there for each other, and work through anything.
This helps them find clarity in the rest of their lives. Mickey becomes a smart, work-driven producer for an up-and-coming sex advice star, while Gus' repeated efforts (at his girlfriend's supporting) eventually lead to him getting a staff writer job on a new show (he turns his erotic thriller screenplay into a short film, a production that fractures friendships and goes disastrously, but in overstepping and getting his famous student to star brings attention to the screenplay). And this status quo brings us to the wedding...