If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: After leaving Pablo Picasso, Françoise Gilot struggles to escape his shadow; Picasso withdraws to create the perfect painting. (TVGuide)
Writers: Kenneth Biller and Matthew Newman
Director: Mathias Herndl
Running Time: 43 mins
Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm on The National Geographic Channel (Canada/United States)
A beautiful ending to a beautiful and dramatic season of Genius. This week’s season finale encapsulated the last days of Picasso in a wondrous manner, and was executed seamlessly by Antonio Banderas as he depicted Picasso taking his last breaths.
In the season finale, the focus was only on the final years of Picasso’s life and the journey it took after Francoise decided to leave him once and for all. If you recall, in last week’s episode she slept with Luc, and made the decision to move on from Picasso, who had seemingly moved on from her.
Her relationship with Luc transforms into a marriage, but not without resistance from Picasso, who is angered over Francoise’s decision to move on. But Francoise worries about the future of her children, and whether or not they will be taken care of when she is gone. She decides to ask Picasso that he set up a trust in their name, but he refuses to do so unless she divorces Luc, and remarries him.
Picasso seems to be the thorn in Francoise’s side that never quite leaves for the rest of her life. He wants very much for her to return to him but she has made up her mind and moves forward in life. Eventually, she does divorce Luc while Picasso gets married to a woman named Jacqueline, the last woman/muse in his life before dying.
Francoise moves away to New York City to pursue her career as an artist but the shadow of Picasso never quite leaves her. Everyone knows she was once his mistress and is curious about her life with him. However, one day, things change when she meets Jonas Salk who is only interested in her, and not her past. The two go on to get married in later years.
As life goes on, Picasso grows old and weary, with Jacqueline by his side. She isn’t exactly keen on him having a relationship with his children or any women of his past. When Claude comes to visit from America, she turns him away at the gate, and lies to Picasso about his children asking about him.
However, in his final moments, Picasso has a vision of his entire family coming together one last time. He sees all the women he has been with in his life, and all the children he had with each one. We see a young Fernande, Olga, and Dora Maar, along with an elderly Francoise, Marie Therese, and Jacqueline. It’s a very fitting and beautiful send-off for a man who created an interesting family over the years.
After he passed away, the end credit facts tell us that Jacqueline and Marie Therese both commited suicide after he passed away, while Francoise led a long, happy life with Jonas Salk until his death in 1995. She is still alive today, and continues to paint at the age of 96.
Despite Jacqueline’s persistence, Picasso never wrote a will and left behind paintings that are now worth billions of dollars. After years of legal battles, Paloma and Claude were finally legally declared rightful heirs to his estate.
What a life Picasso led, and what a pleasure it has been to watch Genius narrate it for us over the course of this season. This show will be missed very much and how it explored the life of an icon that will forever be etched in our hearts. Thanks Genius, for one hell of a season, and for covering one hell of an artist.