I think about this show far too much
It wasn't as funny as the ordinary episodes, but I don't think that was the point. What came through again and again was her was her desire to pay a final and fitting homage to these women, and to position the show as part a movement to re-establish their true and lasting relevance. And she did that with that unparalleled wit which synthesises linguistic flair with meticulously crafted personas.
Given that, going "back to the beginning" as a device was really great, even if it was to just underline how long these women have been in the game; how much they've persisted through (Patti's line about being there "back when black lives mattered even less than they do now" really got me); and just how real they are in all their fantastic and inspiring and messy ways (which so accurately reflects reality).
There was a real sense of 'all this has been done before, and better' you got (Chaka: "all these young girls thinking they're throwing shade; I planted and smoked those trees"). If you're looking at the scene right now, that's probably correct. It doesn't make the current crop of stars untalented or whatever; it just means that appreciating them should also come with a healthy regard for what has come before. And that regard can had with all the levity of some good shade.
I just think it's a stunning body of work. For it to go beyond just a show and to become a part of the culture and actively influence it (any time Patti slays, Aretha tries it, the Patti Pie; all the reaction that is generated is largely the show's legacy) is a testament to its brilliance. I definitely wouldn't have discovered and rediscovered so many of these women's music and legacies, nor have come to truly appreciate the fine art of shade, if it wasn't for the show, so all I can do is be thankful for its existence and bask in all its shady glory.