HBO’s We Are Who We Are: Season Finale Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On the season finale of HBO’s We Are Who We Are, Right Here, Right Now #8 and Last, Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Cate (Jordan Kristine Seamon) spend one last day together and open up about themselves before they say their goodbyes.
Right from the start, the finale carries the momentum of the last episode as we see that Cate and her family are leaving the base – likely after Sarah (Chloe Sevigny) reprimanded Richard (Kid Cudi) for his insubordinate behavior. It’s a really sad moment as Guadagnino captures Cate’s last day on the base and the dysfunction still occurring in the Poythress home. Guadagnino doesn’t make this finale sad though. Instead of focusing on the conflict of Richard being furious at having to leave, Danny (Spence Moore II) screaming at Richard for having them move, or Fraser attacking Sarah for making Cate go, Guadagnino decides to leaves things on a more positive note with Cate and Fraser. It’s actually surprising to see how many characters are pretty much left out of this finale, but there is one character who goes through some surprising growth – Britney (Francesca Scorsese). When Britney comes over to say goodbye to Cate, it’s hard to expect how it would go, given their emotionally stretched friendship, but Britney really surprises by not only revealing that she’s gay but that she’s in love with Cate. It’s a reveal that actually now makes sense since her relationship with Sam (Benjamin L. Taylor II) was clearly to make her jealous and the two share a passionate kiss. Cate isn’t all that into it, and her, though and the two share a sad goodbye before Cate spends one last day with Fraser.
Looking to have one last blast together, the two have end up going to a Blood Orange concert together and it couldn’t be more perfect. Dev Hynes, who also does the music for the series, and his music have been such an instrumental art of Fraser and Cate’s friendship and its great to see the series once again take a nod to the artist in his finale. The way that his song Time Will Tell is used throughout this episode is legitimately perfect as it’s really the anchor of their bond. From how the two romantically sing along to the song on the train ride, which just instantly warms your heart, to Hynes singing the song for Cate as an encore at the show, it’s legitimately a pivotal part of their relationship and it’s what’s made them so endearing throughout. Their journey ending, for now, at Blood Orange concert feels so right and their music gives this fantastical, positive-minded atmosphere to the finale that embodies the good vibes this series brings. Not to mention, the songs, mostly about being open with yourself and being open-minded, fit perfectly with the two personal journeys that we get in this finale.
First, with Cate, we finally get her real transformation into Harper as she wraps her breasts, which can be referred to as breast binding, in order to give her the look of a male chest and drawing on facial hair. It’s a sweetly surprising moments, especially given that Cate seemed like she was going to put that behind her last week, and it’s great to see Fraser be such a strong support for him. He introduces Cate as Harper, uses he/him to refer to Harper, and helps him put on the facial hair makeup on the train ride. It’s a visual and auditory example of being supportive of the trans community – even if Harper isn’t sure that he’s a part of it. Eventually, Harper ends up on her own at the concert and catches the attention of a female bartender. The eventually share a backstage kiss and Harper is asked if he is transgender but isn’t really sure and is frustrated that he doesn’t find the kiss to be as great as he wanted. Ultimately, Caitlin takes off all of the things that make her Harper and at first it seems like an incredibly sad moment – especially with what’s happening with Fraser.
In most of our time getting to know Fraser, we’ve seen him be a much more pessimistic presence and be closed off with most of the people around him. Here, however, we get a much more emotional and open look at Fraser as he discloses to Cate about who Mark, a boy that Fraser was thought to be in a relationship with, actually is. It turns out that Mark was just an imaginary figure for Fraser that symbolizes his desire for love but can never achieve as he always wants to say hi or talk to Mark about his real feelings but can’t. In some ways, this is what made Jonathan (Tom Mercier) so tantalizing for him, but Fraser ends up finding his opportunity to break past his barriers when he meets a boy named Luca (Arturo Gabbriellini). Luca is an Italian boy that Fraser meets on their way to the concert and hits it off with in a friendly way, but it’s easy to see that something more is there. They definitely have some romantic tension that eventually comes to a head when the two kiss after the concert, but then there’s a bit of twist. Just as Luca takes Fraser to “the most beautiful place on Earth,” Luca’s role really becomes clear as he disappears when Fraser runs away to find Cate. Luca was just Fraser’s new Mark, but it gives him the confidence to take hold of his feelings and it leads to the most emotionally impactful and best moments of the series.
From the palpable suspense of Fraser trying to find Cate to the amazing action music put behind it, Fraser’s search for Cate is just plain incredible. When he finds her and takes her to the place that Luca showed him, the two take hold of their feelings for one another and share a very passionate and emotional kiss. It’s easy to look at this moment at a bit of regression since Cate spend most of the season exploring her transgender desires and Fraser exploring the possibilities of being gay, but it’s not because they never were these things. This series has been about explorations and possibilities, not definitions. Even now with Fraser and Cate kissing, doesn’t mean that they won’t want to re-explore themselves later in life. Everyone truly understands themselves at different points in life and new perceptions and realizations about one’s self can come at any instant. Even for everything that happened with them throughout the season, the possibility of them coming together was always a possibility. It’s an ending that perfectly subverts expectations in an emotionally satisfying way while also being a testament to the series’ coming of age themes of personal exploration.
While the future of what’s exactly going to happen or when we’ll see more of this series is unknown, We Are Who We Are ends on a perfect note as it embodies it’s ideas of personal exploration personally as Fraser and Cate take big chances and steps forward for themselves and displays it with an unapologetic heart and a personal love for humanity.