In Ground Floor’s season finale, Brody gets on a plane.
He always was going to get on one, whether it be to Hong Kong or Paris, but by the end of “The Decision: Part Two,” Brody makes a final decision – perhaps one that he hadn’t realized was quite so definitive.
The choice that Ground Floor sets out for Brody is this: he can either further his career in Hong Kong, or he can follow through with his relationship in Paris. Brody thinks he’s making a decision between his head and his heart, but what’s unsaid is that really, Brody’s making a decision between the girl that he loves and has been dating for three months, and the father figure who has made him into the man that he is.
We knew someone’s heart was getting broken tonight, I just didn’t think it would be Mansfield’s.
Brody and Jenny go backwards and forwards on their decision. She encourages Brody to go – and really means it, too. Jenny knows what Brody’s career means to him, and genuinely wants the best for him. She says they’ll make it work long-distance. He then says that she should just come to Hong Kong with him.
But it’s clear, when Mansfield reminds him of all the work that’s ahead of him, that this isn’t going to work. And when Threepeat pops downstairs to ask if anyone has a spare room (he told his landlord to suck it when he thought he was getting promoted) he forces Jenny to realize that not only would she be alone most of the time in a new city with no friends and a language barrier, but that getting a work visa would take a year – if she started the process now.
The way forward is clear, and Jenny prepares to go to Paris alone, while Brody packs up his life for Hong Kong. Harvard, who happens to have not one but two fold up beds in his apartment, and, therefore, a new tenant in Threepeat, holds a goodbye party for Brody (“She actually read it wrong, it’s not ‘Brody’s going away party’, it’s ‘Brody’s going away! Party!’”), where Briga Heelan damn near made me cry when she told Brody that he had to go.
She’s happy for him, she is, because Brody and Jenny have one of the more healthy and normal relationships that I’ve seen on television lately, but she’s sad, too, trying to stay strong so that he doesn’t have to feel bad about leaving her and abandoning her dream of Paris, in exchange for his.
Brody leaves Harvard’s apartment (conveniently positioned above a funeral home and opposite two others; something that Threepeat’s overjoyed about) and shares one final balcony-mentoring scene with Mansfield. They talk about Jenny – what else? – before Mansfield tells him that yes, he might lose Jenny if he goes, but if he stays, what happens if they break up? Brody, if he decides to stay, could lose everything. But if he goes, at least one aspect of his future will be truly secure. Mansfield admits that he’s come to love Brody, and tells him that he’ll see him in the morning.
Up until the last few minutes of the episode, Brody’s decision wasn’t actually that, a decision, but instead a choice. Brody had two options, staying or leaving. He could either get on a plane to Hong Kong, or get on the one to Paris. But it’s in those last few seconds that we – and Brody – realize. This was never a choice that Mansfield was offering up. The promotion wasn’t for Brody to pick, it was something that he had to take. So without realizing it, Brody makes a decision. He picks the girl over the job – Jenny over his mentor, whose loyalty has been stretched. Mansfield fires Brody over the phone.
It’s a pity that the scene of Brody running through the airport felt so poorly edited in, because Ground Floor, in its last few seconds, changed the game on a boy who, for the entire time that we saw him, won at everything. Ground Floor upped its stakes at the last second, and proved that its decision really was a decision, and that if the series comes back, Brody’s got a lot of ground to cover.
Threepeat was bitter this episode due to Brody having it all, but in one self-destructive swoop caused by him overestimating Mansfield’s loyalty, Brody falls down 30 floors, until he’s in the same position as Jenny for the first time in their relationship: on the ground.
I don’t know if Ground Floor will be back, but if it does get a renewal, the writers have made sure they’ve got plenty to explore – including Harvard and Threepeat’s status as roommates, and what might just be Brody’s upcoming struggle to regain his golden boy status.
And, if not, we’re left with the whimsical image of Brody abandoning his finance career for the girl that he loves, and she, in turn, letting him.
Ground Floor started with Brody skipping work for Jenny, a girl that he couldn’t help but feel a connection with, and that’s the way that it’s ending, as well.
“I’m going to miss everyone. Really. Even you, Harvard.”