Catching up with Little Mosque

Season five of the Canadian television series Little Mosque on the Prairie recently came to a conclusion. In keeping with the primary story arc of this season, we follow in the last few episodes the final march of Imam Amaar Rashid and Rayyan Hamoudi toward their nuptials. Also, in a related story arc, we see the continued efforts of Reverend Thorne to remake himself as a better person (and by the end of the series, he has a moment of redemption that suggests that he might make it after all).

Along the way, we also have the return of some old friends. For fans of the earlier seasons of Little Mosque, the most delightful of these is the appearance of Reverend Duncan McGee, (the original pastor of Mercy Anglican) who guest stars in the final three episodes of the season.  McGee and Thorne (unsurprisingly) don’t exactly hit it off at first, with each of them advancing rival plans for what to do at Amaar’s bachelor party. Amusing allusions to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly are scattered throughout the episode (“The Bachelor Party”), especially in terms of musical stings that allude to the film’s soundtrack. When Thorne decides to liven up what is (to him) a boring bachelor party by enticing everyone into a paint gun-battle (in which, somewhat accidentally, it’s the Christians versus the Muslims), the final showdown between the three survivors (McGee, Thorne, and Amaar) is staged like the stand-off at the end of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

The other pleasant return is that of Yasir Hamoudi from Lebanon. I’ve felt his absence through much of the last season and a half, so it was good to see him again. And, he has the opportunity to make a moving speech (in order to make up for a rift he helped cause) at the end of the final episode (“Amaar’s Well That Ends Well”).

At the end of season four, rejected by his congregation, Amaar took up residence on the prairie, living out of a tent. His congregation soon followed him, and we then had some of the most beautiful sequences of the series: Amaar leading his congregation in prayer beneath the open sky on the flat plain of the prairie. So, it makes a lot of sense that the wedding itself also takes place outside on the prairie. As with much in this series, in those moments when we are on the prairie, Little Mosque transcends the sitcom genre to achieve something quite wonderful.

And so, Amaar and Rayyan, despite the various sitcom tribulations they had to endure over the 13 episodes of the season, are married at last. Amaar has been offered a job in Montreal, and it seems as if we may be headed not only for the season’s end but also the series end. Could there be a Little Mosque without Amaar and Rayyan? That seems unlikely, but, as the newly married couple are headed off in the limo, they seem newly uncertain as to what the future holds. Will they stay in their little town or move to Montreal?

For more on Little Mosque, see also Season Five of Little Mosque on the Prairie.

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