About 18 months ago, I wrote a post about the end of Stella Season 5, imploring Ruth Jones to bring back the wonderful characters of Pontyberry, when there was doubt as to whether the show could carry on with the death of Stella’s first true love, Rob Morgan. Stella Sky One – My Thoughts and a Plea to Ruth Jones I thought it could. Despite being Team Rob all along (and still am😉), I felt it was the right decision to kill him off and let Stella have a life with Michael. I pondered the idea that Rob could return as a confidante to Stella in ghostly form (so pleased I got my wish!)
After watching this final series, Ruth Jones having made it clear that at this was the end, I have loved seeing Stella and Michael battle over the revelation that Rob was baby Holly’s dad, in a twist that I didn’t see coming at all. I was strangely pleased that Holly was Rob’s (see, always Team Rob) and whilst I never really bought into the idea that Stella and Michael wouldn’t find their way back to each other, the final episode was sheer writing perfection to draw everything to a stunning conclusion that leaves everyone satisfied, though not without it’s drama. I did wonder if Stella would just walk away with Rob, adding a real definitive finality to the series, but I’m glad she didn’t.
I have watched every episode of Stella right from the first episode and I have loved every single minute of it. Ruth Jones is immensely talented, having written a wonderful series and played Stella so beautifully. She has given each and every cast member their own unique identity that even when they play a tiny role in a scene, it gives so much viewing pleasure. A gutteral noise from Auntie Brenda, a gasp from Bobby, a “that’s disgusting” from Nadine, or a “cock” from Rhian adds such humour to a scene, it is impossible not to smile.
There has been lots of laughter over the years, but there have also been tears. Craig Gallivan has made me cry the most. He’s had some harrowing scenes to film over the six seasons and he is a wonderful actor. His “don’t make me into a f**king orphan” speech tonight had me in floods again. To have a show generate such warmth for its characters from its viewers is a wonder to behold and a show that can initiate a myriad emotions in an hour is genius.
I argued for Stella last year that for those who felt it was getting boring perhaps were not seeing the value in the community of Pontyberry as it is. The dynamic between the characters was enough to keep me invested regardless of the plot, although personally I have not felt there has been a dip in the plot anyway. Is now the right time to draw it to a close? Ruth Jones seems to think so. I could have watched more series of it had tonight’s ending not played out as it did.
However, what Ruth Jones did in tonight’s episode was a stroke of genius. She gave Stella the perfect ending. No loose ends, no what if’s (as Rob said, “it’s the here and now that matters” – I might be paraphrasing here), and an ending that leaves the viewer feeling that if there is no more Stella, as Ruth Jones has indicated, there were no unanswered questions to frustrate, as is common in many dramas.
I’m terribly sad to see it end, but I’m happy in the knowledge that my box sets will be like old friends to comfort and amuse whenever the mood takes me. I have favourite episodes that already I watch again and again. They all have a strong Rob presence, I admit. To name but a few, the one when Luke fights Lenny, when Emma has her baby, when Rob dies, and tonight’s episode will undoubtedly join that list.
Thank you to the wonderful actors who brought these vibrant, funny, multi-layered characters to life. You have, and will continue to make me laugh and cry. Biggest thanks goes to Ruth Jones though, who has written this stunning masterpiece that has the perfect mix of quirky humour and overwhelming poignancy that has left me rather emotional yet again. I look forward to reading the novels that Ruth Jones is currently writing and doing what I normally do on this site and reviewing her books. To date, Stella has been the only TV programme to inspire me to review it. There’s a good reason for that: because I’ve cockin’ loved every minute of it, presh! So long, Stella. You will be missed.