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Episode 6
BBC/Netflix  ·  50 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: October 09, 2018

Directed by: Lucy Tcherniak  |  Written by: Nick Payne

Official synopsis: Joy and Alan face up to the seismic changes in their lives and try to decide if the choices they have made are the right ones. After a tense encounter with Claire, a lost and lonely Joy takes a risk on love and goes on a bold journey. Tom’s new relationship progresses in a surprising way, and Laura figures out exactly what, and who, she wants for herself. And Joy makes one final decision about the future.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Euan Franklin for Culture Whisper, October 09, 2018

‘Stop noodling and say the thing you’re edging towards saying’, says Lawrence (Paul Kaye) in this final episode of Nick Payne’s excellently written romantic drama Wanderlust. The line could easily summarise the series, which is full of stumbling conversations, awkward sex, and poignant messages about relationships. And although not every cuff has been linked up, it’s a decent end to a wonderful show. (some spoilers ahead). Following the events concluding episode five, when Joy (Toni Collette) uncovered the depths of her own psyche, Alan (Steven Mackintosh) packs up and moves in with Claire (Zawe Ashton) – not the optimistic result we were hoping for. Joy continues to try and make peace with herself, Tom (Joe Hurst) and Michelle (Isis Hainsworth) are taking the next steps in their relationship, and we’re given some emotional answers from Joy’s regular couple-in-therapy James (Andy Nyman) and Elaine Marchum (Robin Weaver).

Throughout the series, Payne has introduced and made us follow a collection of numerous characters, all with their own unique problems and personalities. And each character-relationship creates a strong, connective pull towards them. Even though the central and, admittedly, most interesting story is Joy and Alan’s extramarital experiment, Wanderlust is ultimately about relationships – and no matter how ordinary they appear on the surface, they all have their own mess underneath. But by spoiling us with so many characters, Payne can’t give every relationship or individual the kind of stretched ending they deserve. A few of them conclude abruptly, as if needing to be pushed out the way – especially with Laura (Celeste Dring) and Jason (Royce Pierreson), who suddenly decide to go on a trip together.

Strangely, the more minor characters are given their due. The Marchums, who’ve been in and out of Joy’s therapy sessions, are given a heavy, emotional send-off. Elaine is vocal for the first time – delivering the most heart-ripping speech of the whole series – and the couple are finally able to communicate, which is the ultimate message of Wanderlust.

It’s been an emotional, hilarious, and sometimes sexy series – and although we don’t get a climactic sense of balance in the end, the characters are infinitely engaging to follow. We can only hope for a second series to expand the characters further, and maybe finish their struggle to communicate. But regardless, this finale is a wave of beautiful heartache. We’re still recovering.

Guest Cast: Isis Hainsworth (Michelle McCullen), Amy Leighton (Young Joy), Luke Thomas Taylor (Young Alan), Chloe Harris (Emma), Alexia Khadime (Natalie), Royce Pierreson (Jason Hales), Anastasia Hille (Rita Bellows), Paul Kaye (Lawrence Cole), Dominic Herman-Day (Young Lawrence), Simon Tcherniak (Josh Riley), Jeremy Swift (Neil Bellows), Andy Nyman (James Marcham), Robin Weaver (Elaine Marcham), Dylan Edwards (Marc), Jordan Adene (Sam Morton), Megan Richards (Mimi Brookes), Anya Chalotra (Jennifer Ashman)