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Bluey Season 3 Finale Review: ‘The Sign’ Honors Fan Loyalty & Teaches Us to Embrace Change 

Photo Credit: Disney+

Bluey superfans are breathing a sigh of relief after watching the Heeler family come within a hair’s breadth of leaving their cherished little house on a Brisbane hill forever. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the new 28-minute episode, ‘The Sign,’ didn’t put viewers through the ringer first!

In the episode, every member of the Heeler family grapples with trepidation over leaving their Queensland home before Bandit ultimately removes the deeply-entrenched “for sale” sign with all the intensity of Chief ripping a marble control panel from the washroom floor at the conclusion of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). It’s an emotional ride to be sure, but the episode is much more than a mere publicity stunt. ‘The Sign’ is yet another home run (or perhaps we should say a boundary six?) for Ludo studios; the creative team now enters their indefinite hiatus having gifted fans a moving reflection on change and anxiety that also finds time to celebrate the magic and community they’ve fostered since Bluey’s inception. 

While “The Sign” lives up to Bluey’s long tradition of making us cry, it’s also gentle with viewers’ hearts. Even before the episode premiered, producers assured fans that there would be more Bluey in the future; however, it’s even more important that the episode takes its time to cradle us in its loving arms and tell us everything will be OK. As the episode opens, Bluey is struggling with the prospect of leaving her beloved home, school, and community. Even with the welcome distraction of Frisky and Rad’s wedding taking shape in the Heeler’s back yard, Bluey can’t quite take her attention off of that “for sale” sign. It’s tough to see, but her teacher, Calypso, rides in with a story about a farmer who doesn’t jump to conclusions as things change in his life; the story doesn’t promise a happy ending, but it helps viewers frame their experience around the notion that they shouldn’t fear a potentially sad ending to the episode.

Furthermore, we get to commiserate with Frisky, whose husband-to-be has apparently assumed she will uproot her life after the wedding (Side Note: we are a bit worried about these two after learning that they never discussed their living arrangements prior to the wedding ceremony … but that’s a conversation for another day). We also connect with Chilli, who is not-so-subtly putting on a brave face about the move to appease her daughters. Even before the episode delivers the ultra-super-happy ending, fans feel like they have a shoulder to lean on and some handy coping mechanisms for the upcoming voyage into the unknown. 

In act one, Bluey, Chilli, and the flower girls help Frisky confront her (extremely justified) anger over her loss of agency at the hands of Uncle Rad; fortunately, Rad decides to do the work before it’s too late. He apologizes for prioritizing his own comfort over Frisky’s, and agrees to make a sacrifice that honors the needs of his partner.

Along the way, Chilli finally reveals her own doubts and helps viewers feel seen, but more importantly we have a great time! We get a sense that they might not go through with the move when we see Bandit interact with a slimy, nickname-dropping real estate agent (Banditus! The Big B! Bandito!). Grownups get a laugh as the in-world parents all sing their own renditions of the “Cat Squad” theme song (Bluey parents are easy marks for the writers) and when Chilli uses every available appendage to stop the girls from revealing that Frisky has called off the wedding.

Kids get to share in Bluey’s wonder as she rides shotgun in the family car for the first time. She has a drawer! A cup holder! We are all equally blown away when we learn that the family car has been nicknamed “Bobo” this whole time! Fan favorite, Muffin, steals some scenes with the demanding, heavy-metal attitude she brings to her role as flower girl in the wedding ceremony. Later, her sister Socks keeps that energy alive when she absolutely demolishes a slice of wedding cake. We finally see where Muffin and Socks get their big party energy when their dad, Uncle Stripe, comes crawling out of the neighbor’s bushes in a daze the morning after the wedding (“What day is it?”).

Photo Credit: Disney+

Of course, we have bigger and more serious problems on our hands than a wedding in peril. There is still the small issue of whether or not our beloved Heelers will put their lovely little cul-de-sac in the rearview mirror. It’s certainly a journey, but it’s all in the title: there are signs everywhere. During the chase, a special little butterfly catches Bingo’s eye and ultimately forces Chilli to pull the car over…only to reveal a larger sign pointing the way to the lookout where Chilli and Frisky used to hang out as teens.

Of course, this butterfly and lifelong friendship also evoke Bingo’s friend Lila, a character who many fans used to assuage their fears about a possible Heeler move in the months leading up to the Season 3 finale. You see, way back at the end of “Daddy Drop Off,” a flash forward revealed a lifelong friendship full of milestone photographs for Bingo and Lila. When Bingo finally understands what “moving” means later in this episode, she fears the loss of her friend Lila; in that moment, top Bluey theorists were probably fairly certain that the Heelers were staying put – it was a metafictional sign! Later, Bandit finally joins the rest of his family in voicing his doubts and fears about the upcoming move (despite the promise of higher pay in a new city), but it feels like the home sale process has gone too far.

When Bandit asks Chilli if he is making a mistake, she says, “Probably…but let’s make it together.” This is a moving and healthy attitude, but fortunately, another sign comes to the rescue. It turns out that the “lucky” coin Bluey found on the floor of the juice ship earlier really was lucky. Back at the lookout, the prospective home buyers are hoping to find a view of their new home. Sadly, they don’t have a coin for the viewsight binoculars. As luck would have it, Bluey and the girls placed the lucky coin in the wrong slot during their visit to the lookout. It’s still there waiting for the next tourist, and the buyers are able to spot another home on the market – this one has the pool they’ve been hoping for throughout the episode! In the end, they cancel the sale, Bandit gets the call, and we land on the cathartic and emotional sign removal we mentioned at the top of this review. Our beloved family gets to walk back into their emptied-out home with fresh eyes, as if they are moving in for the first time. It’s beautiful.

All of that would work on its own, but Bluey always knows how to add another layer. Perhaps the most important moment in the episode isn’t the happy ending, but the moment when Bluey comes to the aid of her younger sister, Bingo. Seeing her younger sister in distress, Bluey is able to dip into a well of emotional strength to comfort her sister with the story about change she learned at school earlier in the episode. She even makes use of one of her classmate’s notes and gives the horse at the center of the story a name (Midnight) in order to better hold Bingo’s attention. Believe it or not, this story does manage to find its way into the ending of the episode. In the final sequence, we get a rare musical moment where lyrics come into play. What are we hearing as the family reclaims their home? It’s a rendition of “Lazarus Drug,” by Meg Washington, the voice actress for Bluey’s teacher, Calypso. It’s a beautiful nod to the idea at the center of this series: people learn best through imaginative play. 

Of course, one beautiful musical cue isn’t the only nod to the loyal Bluey fanbase; the references drop at a furious pace. We could do this all day, but let’s cap it at five of the top references: 

  • Greenie, the child-surrogate balloon that Bluey had to “let go” with touching support from Chilli in the episode, “Mum School,” makes a brief appearance during the closing montage. 
  • The Busker, a musician from multiple episodes who is modeled after Bluey composer Joff Bush, appears as the wedding DJ and gives our favorite characters another chance to rock out to the main theme from the episode, “Dance Mode.”
  • After perfecting his dating game in a drug store back in the episode, “TV Shop,” Winton’s dad has found love with the Terriers’ Mum. As one of the Terriers revealed to Winton earlier in the episode, “Our Mum likes your Dad.”  She sure does. In fact, they are moving in together! Not only that, this move is what freed up a home with a pool for the buyers in this episode.
  • Grandpa Bob, aka Bobba, is alive and present for the wedding! We last saw Grandpa Bob way back in “Grannies” when he learned to “floss” alongside Nana. As a result, fans have been speculating about his death for years. In this episode, we learn that he was simply off on a voyage of self-discovery in India. He and Nana even show off their “flossing” at the wedding reception. But wait, there is more good news!
  • Brandy is pregnant! Back in “Onesies,” we learned that Chilli’s sister, Brandy, has been isolating herself from her family due to her emotional struggle with fertility issues. Learning that Brandy is now pregnant, something she wanted so desperately, is yet another exclamation point on this episode’s happy ending. 

It’s clear that Bluey is a one-of-a-kind television viewing experience. It brings us deep and meaningful personal reflection just as often as it brings us simple joy and laughter. If there is any flaw in ‘The Sign,’ it is the simple fact that it would make a beautiful and touching series finale. There aren’t many episodes of television, children’s television or otherwise, that can pull off such a delicate balancing act. We got an emotional tour de force, an ending that was also a new beginning, and we still had time to revisit our favorite moments and close important loops. Whatever happens when Bluey returns from its current hiatus, there is no doubt that the creative team at Ludo studios have pulled off three of the most important seasons in television history.

For now, let’s take pleasure in the fact that we saw Chilli unfurl that iconic kiwi rug on the playroom floor. There’s nothing to stop us from spending time with our favorite family of Heelers, and perhaps we can add a few more fans to the family before the Season 4 premiere!

Bluey Season 3 Finale ‘The Sign’ is now streaming on Disney+

Randy Allain
Randy Allainhttps://randyallain.weebly.com/
Randy Allain is a high school English teacher and freelance writer & podcaster. He has a passion for entertainment media and is always ready for thoughtful discourse about your favorite content. You will most likely find him covering Doctor Who or chatting about music on "Every Pod You Cast," a deep dive into the discography of The Police, available monthly in the Pop Break Today feed.

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