Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon. Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well. The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples. It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and the end of the Cocktail series has arrived. On one hand, I am very sad to see this fantastic series come to an end yet on the other hand, I am glad to see the series come to an end before it becomes played out and stale. Last Call is one of the best endings to a series that I have encountered in a very long time. Clayton has done absolutely everything necessary to give her characters (and fans!) the ending they all deserve.
Over the course of the series we have followed Caroline and Simon (aka Wallbanger) through the ups and downs of their relationship, through the ups and downs of life and, through the disappearance and reappearance of one smug little cat. Last Call finds Caroline and Simon at the wedding of one of their best friends and facing the same question over and over from nearly everyone. When are they going to take the plunge and join the ranks of the blissfully wedded. Though Caroline is somewhat freaked out by the concept of marriage, Simon is not and soon, Caroline is sporting her own engagement ring.
Before long the wedding planning is in full swing and the closer they get to the date the more stressed out each becomes. Between Caroline’s mother and the tiny dynamo professional organizer known as Mimi, the wedding has become over the top and beyond what both Caroline and Simon originally wanted. With just a few week left before their big day, Simon leaves everything in Caroline’s capable hands and jets off to Southeast Asia for a photo shoot. Just one more job before the wedding and honeymoon.
In a most unusual and unexpected turn of events, Clayton throws a HUGELY GINORMOUS monkey wrench into Simon and Caroline’s lives. When the phone call comes in, Caroline is devastated, terrified and, absolutely desperate to get to Simon. Getting to Southeast Asia in as little time as possible seems to take all the time in the world and once she arrives, Caroline isn’t sure her happy future is going to happen at all. Oh, there is certainly going to be a future but with the condition Simon is in the quality of that future is in serious question.
The Bottom Line: Though Clayton throws some serious curveballs into this final read, they make total sense to the plot line, the characters and, the series. Simon and Caroline have faced some obstacles in their past but they have faced nothing like they do in Last Call. I have the greatest respect for Clayton and her decision to throw such a huge obstacle in the path of such beloved characters. The struggle brings Caroline and Simon closer together and in the end, it brings them to a moment that has been a long time coming and is so well deserved. Very often fans are left completely disappointed by a series’ end but in this case, I found myself not only completely satisfied but totally and completely thrilled with how the Cocktail series has ended. Well played Alice Clayton, well played.