How about that? We actually made it. There was a few points where I wondered if this would ever be picked up again. And now that it's over, I hate to see it leave. I can only imagine what it must be for you guys who actually put it together. I hope that you have taken some wonderful things from the experience, and have learned some useful things to take with you when you leave this story behind, as we have.
And so for the last time, let's take it down.
The thing about grand finale's is that you can throw away all the formula, all the rules, and all the characters. Fesmer was likely to be only the first. Somehow you pulled them out of the fire and not feel like cliché.
In fact, you did that by throwing in twists.
So. When you come right down to it, Second Shift is the story of people from a third universe, who told a little white lie to get someone to save them all. If they'd said anything else to Shauna, she might have taken a chance on getting herself home at the end of the first season instead of sending Arkahn; and if they'd been even a little less blunt to Mike, he never would have dared hold onto the direction so completely. He might have gone just a little bit one way or the other.
And just like that, we are back where we started, with a lot of learning and a lot of life at their disposal; Ainorem was proven correct. The formula they saw in the three kids from Boston was the exact combination that would save the worlds between worlds.
Shauna: Always throwing herself in where needed, and focused completely on helping her family
Katherine: Uncompromising, pragmatic, perceptive, cutting.
Mike: Loyal, direct, eager to club the bad guy with a chair at a moment's notice.
The Epic stories have power because they have the weight of history, without telling the whole tale. This one did that. The great quest is done, the girl was saved, the Dark Lord's power was broken. Sonsa is torn down, and the Dark Lord gets brought back to square one. But there are still escaped villains who can rebuild, The Dark Lord is dead, though Oren lives... So maybe the story ain't over yet.
What they'll do now is a good question. If anyone was expected to stay, it'd be Shauna; and she was the only one that left.
Jareth has left the university behind, and I would imagine him becoming that world's first Engineer. So instead of Odi-Decay, or whatever they call it we can have actual Global Warming.
Fesmer got what he wanted, more or less.
Porec and arkahn are in the same boat, with people to mourn, and no orders to follow. Where they go, who knows?
They kept the secret of what Ainorem was; which may be a moot point if the breach between world's is sealed. Katherine was, as I recall, essentially planning on becoming a Seeker of Truth, except that Drayenmeyer is almost certainly closed for business.
Shauna's got some explaining to do, but what she'll say I really couldn't guess. She doesn't even know how to pay for a train ride. All her information is at least a few years out of date, and who knows what the family have done with her room. After 900 years, she's a girl at home again, and miss Everything to Everyone is no longer necessary to her old life. They have spent at least two years figuring out how to get by without her. A world without Odi, and no armies at her feet. Once again she mimics the life of Oren. A fresh start from square one.
Katherine and Mike living happily ever after? Well, their bickering has been 'put to bed' (LOL), and they've agreed to stick around. When Zana died, Targonanne came to see her. That's sort of where Mike and Katherine are now. They're the Special Two. What they are, who can say, but they are. Maybe Katherine was holding back because she saw them in two different worlds when the Mission ended; or maybe she saw Mike walking off with Shauna like he always wanted.
With Mike's last word that he will Go West, there's just another horizon to cross. Who knows what's west of Sonsa? Nobody ever made it that far.
There's still the university to deal with, and the revolutionaries are now the powerful ones. Who knows what that large and violent groups of people will do with their cause achieved?
With the grand story over, and all the plot-lines more or less tied up, all we have left are the questions. A point illustrated beautifully in the epilogue. She just walks in and the room falls silent.
Where do we go from here?
You can read more of Matt's work at mattstephens.me