Right here, right now: ‘We Are Who We Are’ finale wraps up season with restrained, passionate farewell

Photo from HBO's TV show, "We Are Who We Are"
HBO/Courtesy

Related Posts

Quote of the Week: “The two of us, we don’t exist.”

MVP: Blood Orange

If we’ve learned anything from watching an entire season of “We Are Who We Are,” it’s that we were never going to get a neat, conclusive finale that ties up loose ends and sends our characters off on a clear path into the future. Despite the mounting tension set up by last week’s episode,  “Right here, right now #8 and last” closed out the season with a small-scale story that departed from most of the main characters and plotlines. Yet, the finale nonetheless provided a beautiful send-off for the show’s two central characters, whose friendship has anchored an emotionally turbulent and often unpredictable story. 

The episode’s premise is simple: Fraser Wilson (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Caitlin Poythress (Jordan Kristine Seamón) go to a Blood Orange concert in Bologna. Caitlin goes dressed as Harper, wearing the fake beard she tried on in episode five. On the train, the pair shares one of the most gorgeous scenes in the season: Foreheads pressed together, sharing earbuds, they sing Blood Orange’s “Time Will Tell” as the Italian suburbs flash by. It’s a touching moment between two people who have such a unique, powerful connection, who are so comfortable with each other that it almost becomes hard to tell where one person stops and the other begins.

Not having bought tickets, they’re eventually kicked off the train and stranded in a random town. They take shelter in an alley, where Fraser tells Caitlin that his relationship with “Mark” from New York was made up. Fraser never knew Mark; he only obsessed over him from afar. It’s a rare moment of vulnerability for Fraser, and it sets a tone of openness and clarity for both characters going forward in the episode.

Fraser and Caitlin search for transport, and they stumble across a group of Italians headed to the concert who offer them a ride. Fraser finds a fast friend in Luca (Arturo Gabbriellini), who shares his music taste and passion for clothing design. At the concert, while Fraser dances with Luca, Caitlin tries to attract the attention of Futura (Emma Segat), a bartender at the concert. 

Caitlin’s and Fraser’s nights diverge here, but they mirror each other. Futura takes Caitlin backstage to meet the band, which leads to the two making out on a couch. Caitlin quickly realizes that she doesn’t feel the attraction she thought she would. She takes off, washes her fake beard off in the bathroom and leaves the concert. Meanwhile, Fraser and Luca go to a secluded spot, where they also kiss. Like Caitlin and Futura, it’s not a negative experience, but it doesn’t mean much to either of them.

Eventually, Fraser sprints to the train station to catch up with Caitlin before the train leaves. He finds her just before it departs, and he convinces her to get off and follow him to a spot Luca described as the “most beautiful place in the world.” They arrive, and without speaking a word, they share a passionate kiss. It’s obvious in both of their expressions that they’ve finally found the satisfaction they’ve been searching for all summer in each other.

But, to find this satisfaction, they’ve had to reexamine what they thought they’d learned about themselves over the course of the summer. Caitlin might not be trans. Fraser might not be attracted to men. They don’t yet know for sure who they’re going to be, but they know they love each other, and that realization brings them to a more grounded place than they’ve ever been. 

There’s a lot left unsaid about the other major characters’ fates, or even how Caitlin and Fraser will move forward. But “We Are Who We Are” was never about seeing the full picture or learning how everything ended up. It was always about watching Caitlin and Fraser discover themselves, and each other, during a pivotal point in their lives. If the show is renewed for a second season, maybe we’ll find out what their futures will look like. But for now, they’re frozen in time — two people who have grown together and who have begun to discover who they are.

Matthew DuMont covers television. Contact him at [email protected].