‘Dead to Me’ Finale Recap: Yet Another Bittersweet Ending

Netflix darkish comedy Dead to Me confronted a tricky prospect with its third and ultimate season. Not solely did the pandemic delay taking pictures by a number of years, however co-lead Christina Applegate obtained a a number of sclerosis prognosis halfway by manufacturing. Still, all of the scripts had been written and Applegate was decided to finish the present in the way in which creator Liz Feldman had meant it to be completed.

Warning: Spoilers from right here on.

The ultimate 10 episodes of Dead to Me wrapped up the story of Jen (Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini) in bittersweet vogue. The determination to have Judy die may need been a shock for some. The crux of the traumedy is the friendship between Jen and Judy, every serving to the opposite deal with grief and trauma, buckets of wine included.

Yet when wanting again on the present as an entire, a painful ending involving demise is in keeping with the primary two seasons. The motive Jen and Judy meet is as a result of Jen attends a grief counseling group after her husband Ted’s sudden demise. At the group, Jen encounters the anxious, earnest human golden retriever Judy.

Judy helped coax Jen out of her resentment spiral and again into the world, the place her two sons wanted her. Then, on the finish of season 1, Jen killed Judy’s ex-fiancé Steve Wood (James Marsden). Yep, there’s a number of demise on this comedy, however it’s referred to as Dead to Me in any case.

Two women looking at each other and smiling in a carpark

Michelle (Natalie Morales) and Judy having a candy second in a carpark.


It was Judy’s flip to undergo much more grief — going by 5 miscarriages along with the demise of her relationship along with her scumbag ex-fiancé. She discovered new love with Michelle (Natalie Morales), which was rekindled in season 3 after a break.

Here’s the place the selection to have Judy die turns into just a little dicey. It might be argued that Judy performed some half in Ted’s demise and was doomed from the start to pay a value. She did her greatest to pay that penance by bringing pleasure and light-weight to Jen’s household, however the whole lot was all the time destined to meet up with her. That peaceable boat journey into the dawn off the coast of Mexico was the choice she selected for herself. Saying no to Jen’s needs of signing up for a medical most cancers trial confirmed she’d grown as an individual.


Yet, as some have pointed out on Twitter, her tragic ending echoes Villanelle’s demise within the ultimate season of Killing Eve earlier this yr. Spoiler: Villanelle (Jodie Comer) sacrifices herself to avoid wasting her lover Eve’s (Sandra Oh’s) life. Dead to Me’s conclusion additionally echoes one other present that noticed one girl sacrifice herself for an additional: In The Haunting of Bly Manor, Dani (Victoria Pedretti) submits to her demise, regardless of being in a loving relationship with Jamie (Amelia Eve).

While demise is in keeping with the themes of Dead to Me, the execution of season 3 would not really feel completely convincing. For one, it commits the bury your gays trope, the place homosexual characters in films and TV exhibits usually find yourself killed off. Not simply that, the tone of season 3 feels just a little off. It opens on a glowing seashore with Jen and Judy ingesting cocktails. It is not the melancholy-tinged world arrange by the very first episode of season 1.

Season 3 has a cleaning soap opera tint to it greater than ever, now not punctured by the biting black comedy and high-stakes twists which made the primary two seasons sing. Jen and Judy resolve any points with relative ease — the Greek Mafia just about take the blame for each considered one of their issues. Surely, this might have prolonged to Steve Wood’s homicide, as a substitute of Judy taking the blame and struggling the demise sentence within the type of terminal most cancers.

Surely, Jen and Judy have suffered sufficient trauma to hammer house the darkish premise of the present. But no, as a way to carry us again to the heartbreak Jen feels in season 1, Judy has to go. It stays to be seen whether or not the data of Judy’s demise negatively tinges any rewatches of the present. Nonetheless, Dead to Me efficiently leaves a long-lasting affect. Just like within the present, it invitations us to grieve Judy’s demise with the assistance of associates, household, a twisted humorousness and wine.

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