Find Me in Paris Has Its Last Dance

Only one month after my recent obsession with Find Me in Paris, the time-traveling ballerina princess drama dropped its third and final season on Hulu today. Though somewhat predictable, this season offered a satisfying conclusion to the show's unique concept that combined dance with science fiction and tied up all remaining loose ends from the previous seasons. We finally learned the truth about Lena's birth and why she's always being chased by anyone remotely interested in time travel. Nearly every character got paired off at the end, even if it meant some questionable decisions on behalf of the writers. The season also offered some of the most beautiful dance sequences in the show yet for its key story moments. While I could have done without the repetitive recap sequences, the final episodes made it clear that this was always meant to be the end and gave the cast and crew many happy memories to look back upon.

Find Me in Paris on Hulu

The final season of Find Me in Paris incorporated the "chosen one" trope that countless other science fiction and fantasy shows use during their final moments to show how powerful their protagonist has become. In addition to mastering her time travel powers and claiming her status as a Magical Girl Princess, Lena also took her love of ballet to a new level. The season kicked off with Lena and her classmates traveling to the South of France to audition to become professional ballerinas for the Company. There are some redundant plot devices from earlier seasons such as the school's director threatening to expel everyone again for practicing hip hop outside of class, but Armando comes to their rescue time and again. Each season of this show includes a dance recital in the 13th and 26th episodes, and this was no exception. I particularly liked the mid-season recital that retold the classic story of "The Nutcracker" with a new twist. The scenery that was used to transform the school into Clara's bedroom was breathtakingly beautiful as were the storybook props they incorporated into the set.

Lena trapped in a cage as Clara in a reimagining of "The Nutcracker"

As much as I enjoy the compelling drama of Find Me in Paris, there is one issue that I have always taken with it. The show presents itself as a love story first and foremost, even if it means changing character pairings if they can't keep the same actors. That brings up issues of fidelity and cheapens the romance that certain characters share. The first two seasons formed a love triangle between Lena, the protagonist, Henri, her boyfriend from her life in 1905, and Max, her dance partner from the present day. In this season, Max was written out due to a disability storyline from earlier episodes, so her new dance partner was Nico, a double agent for the Time Bureau. When Max was in the picture, it was unclear whether Lena wanted to be with him or Henri, but this time, it was clear that Lena's first love was her end game. Lena came off as somewhat of a hypocrite when she got jealous of her rival hitting on Henri when she, herself, had not been entirely true to him when they were separated between time periods. Lena's best friend, Ines, switched between three love interests over the three seasons of the show. This season's romance for her forced a breakup between two of my favorite power couples from the previous one and was in serious violation of the "bro code." This was a source of frustration for me in the final season, but I understand why they wanted everyone to have a happy ending.

Princess Lena and her boyfriend, Henri

The time travel elements were downplayed in this season as most of it took place in the present day. I can only assume it was an alternate timeline since no one was wearing masks or social distancing. If it were a truly accurate interpretation, all of their auditions and beautiful recitals would have been canceled. The previous season ended with a tease that made it look like a large portion of this season would take place in the 1980s, but that was, unfortunately, more of a tease than anything else. Most of the time-travel drama revolved around the protagonists escaping from the Time Bureau agents, who posed a bigger threat than ever before. Even characters from 1905 like Claudine spent the majority of the season in the present day. There was also a new character named Romy, who got on my nerves most of the time. She was a young girl who forced her way into Armando's class and turned out to have a closer connection to Lena than anyone could have realized. Though it felt like she was tacked on at first, I understood the purpose she served later on when Lena learned the truth about her past.

Overall, Find Me in Paris has stayed pretty consistent over all three seasons with equal amounts of romance, action, and stunning displays of the performing arts. I've never seen a show quite like it, and I doubt I ever will again. I appreciate that the finale stayed true to the love story between Henri and Lena, but I did feel that the series lost some steam by the end and was forced to rely on some classic sci-fi tropes. That said, the costumes and performances in the final season were some of the best yet, which is more than enough to make it worth watching. I loved seeing Lena's transformation from a Russian princess to a modern-day teenager and how the show brought everything full circle. Though I would have liked a little more footage from 1905 in this season, there was a beautiful royal ball that took place around the midpoint and was extremely satisfying. If you enjoyed the earlier seasons of this show, you will probably continue to enjoy it right up to the end.

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