All season, Casey’s story has dealt with anxiety and the process of self-discovery. She feels crushed under the weight of people’s expectations as she’s meant to perform well both academically and on the track for the UCLA recruiters. At the same time, she experiences friction with her girlfriend, Izzie, over their different upbringings and support structures.
In the episodes leading up to the finale, Casey ditches her private school, Clayton Prep, and returns to the lower-pressure track team at her old school. The episode begins with Casey taking charge of her own life by getting back together with Izzie, who’s been her safe harbor all season. It’s a sweet conclusion for the pair of them, though the finale doesn’t resolve either of Izzie’s plotlines: Her ongoing quest to dismantle Clayton’s rigid gendered dress code or her expulsion from her mother’s house.
Instead, it’s Casey front and center. The last episode saw Casey begin to find belonging with the label “bisexual” and departure from Clayton, but she still has two things to resolve: Her college plans and her relationship with her dad. While she’s always wanted to go to a college far away, her anxiety is now holding her back. When she says she wants to stay home, her mom pushes her to talk to a UCLA recruiter anyway, reminding Casey of her ambitions. Ultimately, it’s left unclear where Casey goes to college, but it’s obvious that she’s not going to be running away from her family or settling out of anxiety wherever she chooses.
Casey’s story is not about giving up on her dreams but rather about finding a healthier way to go after them that takes her mental health into account. She learns to accept herself for who she is and trust herself over other peoples’ opinions of her life.