When the final season of CNN's Parts Unknown premiered on Sept. 23, the episode featured late chef and writer Anthony Bourdain's last recorded narration for the series. After Bourdain's death by suicide in June, CNN opted to craft a final season from the footage that had already been shot, using narration by Bourdain's friends and colleagues to wrap up his work and pay tribute to his memory.
CNN has now announced, per People, that it won't air the episode Bourdain was filming in France with his friend and fellow chef Éric Ripert when he died. The fifth and final episode of Parts Unknown will air on Sunday, Nov. 11, and take place in the Lower East Side.
“After Anthony Bourdain’s tragic passing on June 8, it was determined by CNN and the series’ production company Zero Point Zero, that we would honor the work with a final season,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “From the completed footage, the producers were able to create five location episodes (including Kenya, Asturias, Indonesia, and Far West Texas) plus two specials. Alsace was not included.”
According to People, the penultimate episode of Parts Unknown was a behind-the-scenes special titled Under the Tarp, which aired on Oct. 28. In addition to behind-the-scenes clips, the special also featured stories and memories shared by the show's crew, many of whom counted Bourdain as a close friend after working with him for years.
Parts Unknown director and cinematographer Morgan Fallon told People he thought Bourdain “would’ve loved the special. I think he would’ve felt that it was very true to who we all were.”
He added, “I want more than anything for people to understand that Tony had the ability to be very playful and fun and that what you’re seeing is a family joking and being self-referential and self-deprecating. It’s also very heartfelt for me to watch it because that’s how I feel about our experience. We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and, you know, we all really loved each other.”
Now that Bourdain's story is in the hands of his loved ones, it's bittersweet to see these final episodes of his show. In the Sept. 23 episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain said in his narration, “Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do — at least this time. I do my best. I look. I listen. But in the end, I know it’s my story, not Kamau’s, not Kenya’s or Kenyans’. Those stories are yet to be heard.”
Per previous releases from CNN, the network is also producing a documentary about Bourdain's life and career, slated for release sometime in 2019. Saying goodbye is hard, especially to someone whose influence can still be felt far and wide across the culinary world — but the crew on Parts Unknown is clearly doing their best, and we appreciate every effort.