Recap of the Dead to Me Series Finale: Season 3 Episode 10 – Judy and Jen
dead to me ended its three-year run on Netflix the same way it began with Christina Applegate’s Jen in mourning. This time, she was not mourning the sudden death of her husband, but the tragic loss of her best friend Judy (Linda Cardellini), who died of stage IV cervical cancer in the last episode of the series.
or did you?
In the closing moments of the Liz Feldman-written and directed swan song We’ve Reached the End, Jen cryptically announces to her new baby daddy Ben, “I have something to tell you.” The screen then goes black.
Of course, conventional wisdom strongly suggests that she was on the verge of admitting her role in the death of his twin brother Steve in Season 1. However given dead to me‘s tradition of wacky plot twists, it’s also possible she dropped a bombshell on Judy’s indeed fate.
“It remains ambiguous,” Cardellini conceded to TVLine. “Maybe Jen will say what you do at the end think she will say to Ben. Or maybe she says something about Judy.”
In an effort to get a little more clarity on the issue, we called Feldman – dead to me‘s creator and showrunner — and easily grilled her over that climactic curveball (among other fiery Finale Qs).
TVLINE | Was it always your plan for Judy to die in the finale?
no When I conceived the series, I didn’t know how the series would end. I knew how me Thought the First Season would end, but then you get into a room with extremely talented writers and someone comes up with a better idea. And that’s exactly what happened. One of my writers, Abe Sylvia, suggested that Jen should kill Steve at the end of season one. And that changed the entire course of the series. I did I knew about halfway through filming Season 2 that I wanted to finish the show [with Judy dying]. I wasn’t 100% sure how [exactly] I would do it. But then the pandemic came and we all went through this existential crisis together and experienced all this ambiguous grief with this invisible force out there that could get us at any moment. And that kind of helped me figure out the way I would bring Judy to her end.
TVLINE | Actually we don’t see Judy dies…
I left it ambiguous because I want people to project their own ending onto it. I didn’t spell the ending. I intentionally didn’t show you exactly what happened because I wanted it to feel like a grieving experience. When you really love someone and they’re here one day and gone the next, you’re like, ‘What happened? Where are they?” Someone once said that death often feels like someone just walked into the next room. I was essentially trying to convey that feeling to the audience. The feeling of not knowing exactly what’s happening , when someone walks by. And we don’t even know it if judy [dies].
TVLINE | This ambiguity feeds the cliffhanger to which we are led think Jen will tell Ben about Steve. But maybe she has new information about Judy’s fate?
Both can be true. [Laughs] I am really pleased to say that what you are seeing is exactly as I intended. I know that not giving a definitive answer might not be satisfying, but it is [consistent with] the experience of losing someone. You don’t get all the answers. You can’t ask them any more questions
TVLINE | I read that the last scene you shot was the moment in the finale where Jen and Judy hold each other in bed crying. How was this experience for you?
We intentionally shot that scene last because I knew it was going to be so hard to get through. What was amazing was that every shot was wonderful. These ladies were So currently. Because it wasn’t just a scene where Jen and Judy say goodbye without each other [literally] Saying goodbye, but Christina and Linda are saying goodbye — to the characters, to the show, to this working relationship they had. And you can feeling it. It was so tangible. Every shot was great. There was one take that was particularly beautiful and I didn’t think we needed more, but I knew I should give Christina and Linda the option [to do it again]. So I went up to them and said, “Look, we really have it. So we could be done.” They looked at each other and then they looked at me and said, “Let’s just do it again.” So they did it again. And it was amazing. I cried. They cried. It was a really powerful one last night on the set.
TVLINE | How much of that emotion related to the end of the series and how much to all of the challenges you faced in concluding this third season, including the pandemic and Christina’s MS diagnosis?
That particular moment was really just about that meta-feel of saying goodbye to the characters as they say goodbye to each other. And say goodbye to the show as a whole. It was people who realized, “S–t, that’s it. This is our final collaboration.” You build a community with the people you work with, especially during difficult times. And I felt really lucky that I could choose the ending [the show with Season 3]. So many show makers don’t have that choice. It was a feeling of genuine gratitude that we could say goodbye the way we wanted.
https://tvline.com/2022/11/21/dead-to-me-finale-recap-season-3-episode-10-judy-dies/ Recap of the Dead to Me Series Finale: Season 3 Episode 10 – Judy and Jen