An abbreviated final season of the acclaimed Michael Douglas comedy launches

Last year, it was reported that Alan Arkin wouldn’t be returning for the third and final season of Netflix comedy The Kominsky Method, with his character to be written out of the show.

Arkin played Norman Newlander, best friend and agent of acting teacher Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas), with their ruminations on advancing age and all that entails forming the backbone of the series.

The Kominsky MethodNetflixGiven the nature of the show and Arkin’s non-participation, you can probably guess what takes place in the season premiere, leading Sandy to feel adrift and alone.

As viewers will recall, the previous season introduced a new character, Martin Schneider (played by Paul Reiser), the decades-older boyfriend of Sandy’s daughter, Mindy (Sarah Baker). While Martin’s role was seemingly minor, the character now steps to the forefront as something of a substitute for Norman as Sandy’s verbal sparring partner.

Yet Norman’s memory continues to loom large—particularly because he made Sandy executor of his estate, leading to some cringe-inducing moments courtesy of Norman’s useless, money-grubbing offspring (Lisa Edelstein and Haley Joel Osment); meanwhile, Sandy also begins to question Martin’s true motives for marrying Mindy now that she’ll be inheriting a significant chunk of Norman’s millions.

A welcome addition to the cast is Kathleen Turner as Sandy’s ex-wife, who comes to L.A. to help Sarah plan her wedding to Martin. Turner and Douglas, of course, have their own personal history, starring together in Romancing the Stone and War of the Roses, lending depth and resonance to their onscreen rapport as amicable exes.

Consisting of just six episodes, the third season may be a brief one, but it manages to tie everything together for a satisfying farewell that’s both heartfelt and hilarious.

The Kominsky Method streams on Netflix