Throughout the season, Casey’s story has been about anxiety and the process of self-discovery. She feels crushed under the weight of people’s expectations, as she is destined to do well both academically and on the field for UCLA recruiters. At the same time, she experiences friction with her boyfriend, Izzie, over their various upbringings and support structures.
In the episodes leading up to the finale, Casey ditches his private school, Clayton Prep, and returns to the low-pressure track team at his old school. The episode begins with Casey taking charge of her own life by reuniting with Izzie, who has been her safe haven all season. It’s a sweet conclusion for the couple, though the finale does not solve any of Izzie’s plot lines: Her ongoing quest to dismantle Clayton’s rigid gendered dress code or her expulsion from her mother’s house.
Instead, it’s Casey in front and in the middle. In the final episode, Casey began to find affiliation with the label “bisexual” and departure from Clayton, but she still has two things to resolve: Her college plans and her relationship with her father. While she has always wanted to go to college far away, her anxiety is now holding back. When she says she wants to be home, her mother pushes her to talk to a UCLA recruiter anyway, reminding Casey of her ambitions. In the end, it’s unclear where Casey goes to college, but it’s obvious that she does not want to run away from her family or settle out of anxiety wherever she chooses.
Casey’s story is not about giving up her dreams, but rather about finding a healthier way to go after those that take into account her mental health. She learns to accept herself for who she is and trust herself over other people’s opinions about her life.