Submitted by Julio M
By the time Chelsea (Jane Fonda) returns from Europe to pick up Billy (Doug McKeon), close to the end of summer, the boy and Norman (Henry Fonda) have truly bonded up; they joke with each other, took into fishing together and even caught that legendary trout “Walter”, only to decide to let it go after. Furthermore, Norman gloats about how Billy has been able to execute a backflip dive, which, like many other things in their long strained relationship, was a source of friction between him and Chelsea. To prove him wrong, Chelsea is determined to finally execute a successful backflip and she does, in front of the others cheering. Norman himself seems to be more open towards others and more accepting of the fact that he is inevitably old and frail; of course, without completely letting go of his sarcastic, cantankerous ways.
Chelsea and her father finally embrace, showing they have somewhat made amends with their rocky past, before she and Billy leave. Later, as Norman and Ethel (Katharine Hepburn) are packing and moving boxes, he has a heart episode and collapses on the porch. Ethel tries unsuccessfully to call for help, so she comes around and frantically gives him a Nitroglycerin pill to deal with the chest pain. Here, they share a tearful moment about how she always knew death might eventually arrive, but not like this and at that specific moment. After a bit, Norman claims to feel better and gets up with Ethel to go look at the lake one last time.
As they make it to the edge, they contemplate the loons -a bit of a symbol, in the movie- and Norman observes how the birds, like themselves, see their offspring grow and fly off on their own towards new beginnings. The camera pans away on the lush scenery and the film ends.