Life is a beautiful chaotic mess–just take it from Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) and Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini).
The third and final season of Dead to Me was a wild adventure that brought Jen and Judy’s love story to a fitting end. And yes, I said Jen and Judy’s because let’s be real, the show may have been a lot of things, but at its core, it was always about friendship.
There were some pretty jaw-dropping twists throughout the ten episodes before bringing it all home. A lot of F-bombs later, who would have thought that in the end, Jen and Judy would manage to get away with it all?
Here are the biggest moments from Dead to Me Season 3:
Charlie Learns the Truth… Sort of
One of the lingering plot lines from the second season was Charlie reading the letter that Jen wrote and thinking that he figured it all out. However, his mom didn’t want him to know the truth, so she fed him something that was a little less intense. Instead of allowing him to believe that she killed Steve and that Judy killed Ted, she simply informed him that Judy slept with her husband. Charlie was furious thinking that Jen was a home wrecker, so just imagine what he would actually do with the truth. In the end, he came around and was supportive of his mother, Judy, and Ben.
Ben’s Hit and Run Drama
Ben was so drunk after learning about Steve’s death that he didn’t have any memory of the hit-and-run until he ran into Judy at the hospital and realized that he was responsible for T-boning his late brother’s wife and the woman he loved. Initially, Ben kept it a secret from the two women because he was scared of the repercussions, but when his connection with Jen continued to evolve, he couldn’t keep lying and told her the truth. Jen’s reaction was a little shocking as she decided to sleep with Ben immediately after. Despite Jen’s close relationship with police detective Perez, who was working on her case, they still arrested Ben after they realized he was behind the wheel. Plus, because of the bird figuring, officer Nick thought Ben/Jen and Judy had something to do with Steve’s death as he identified the piece found in Steve’s skull as the tail of the bird.
Ben ended up serving his time in prison for the hit-and-run, even though Jen never pressed charges, and you could say the jail stint was part of his process of making amends to his loved ones following rehab.
Of course, Jen and Judy were fairly forgiving about the whole hit-and-run ordeal considering the former killed Ben’s twin brother, Steve. It seems like everyone’s guilty of something in Laguna.
The Greek Mafia Actually Helped Judy and Jen
Steve’s connection to the Greek mafia, er, syndicate, was a lingering thread weaved in throughout the season. They were always able to place blame on Steve’s shady dealings with the Greeks to buy them some time and explain his suspicious death. The Greeks were also responsible for killing the main FBI agent on the case, Moranis, which allowed Perez to remove any and all files about Steve Wood so that it looked as though they were also responsible for his death, which ultimately absolved Jen and Judy completely. Having Perez on speed dial was a huge help, even if she had to down a bottle of Tums because of all the stress Jen put her through. Even Nick, who regarded himself as a good, fair, and honest, cop, couldn’t find it in him to turn in Judy after she “confessed” to Steve’s murder.
The Greeks also ambushed Jen and Judy during their road trip to Mexico, but Judy was a total badass and saved them by faking sick, grabbing a gun, and forcing them to surrender as the two besties drove off into the sunset. Those two were a modern-day Thelma and Louise… and I say were because, at the conclusion of the series, Judy passed away.
Judy Has Cancer
Judy’s cancer was definitely a curveball for the season, but it made sense when you looked at the larger picture. With her days numbered, she could always take one for the team and guarantee Jen’s freedom. And she tried, but Jen was too good of a friend, and she didn’t want Judy to spend her remaining days in a prison cell. Instead, she bought her some time and they took a road trip to Mexico, where they stayed at Steve’s vacation home. This was also Judy’s final resting place.
The reality of Judy’s cancer storyline was that it was the most realistic one—and gut-wrenching at that. At the end of the series, both Judy and Jen were absolved of any wrongdoing, so they could’ve gone on and lived a life of bliss together, but life is unexpected, and it wasn’t in the cards.
They say people come into your life for a reason, and for Jen, that’s absolutely true. Jen and Judy were soulmates who lifted each other up during some very dark moments.
While Judy didn’t want to know about her cancer diagnosis, Jen pushed her to be proactive, and she didn’t stop fighting for her until the very end. And the only reason Judy even found out about the cancer was because of the CT scans following the hit-and-run, so, in a way, it was a blessing.
It was heartbreaking to see Jen without Judy in the final moments of the series—they never showed her death as it’s assumed she took the boat out that morning and simply passed away in bliss—but the good news is that Judy will always be there in spirit. She left her mark.
Jen is Pregnant
Jen’s pregnancy storyline was the second unexpected twist of the series, even to her. I’m actually still laughing at the “I’m a thousand years old” comment. But the truth is, the baby with Ben was also a blessing in disguise. It reframed her life, it forced her to admit her feelings for Ben—even if they were extremely complicated since his brother killed her husband while she killed his brother—and it gave her some much-needed hope after Judy died. Most importantly, it gave her back the family dynamic that she lost when Ted was killed.
It was a long road for Jen to admit her feelings for Ben and allow him to be a crucial part of her life, but she got a lot of help from Judy along the way. Judy knew that she needed to give Jen the push to be vulnerable and honest about her feelings, and she continuously reminded her that honesty is the best policy. Jen remembered the lesson, which is why she decided to finally tell Ben the truth about everything in the end, including that she was responsible for his brother’s death. The admission might cost them their happiness, but it’s necessary. Unfortunately, we won’t see the outcome of that conversation because the credits rolled right as she told him that they needed to talk. We’ll simply have to find comfort in knowing that Judy’s presence and lessons will continue to influence Jen’s life.
To sum it all up: Judy died in her happy place, Mexico, on a boat, from terminal cervical cancer, but before she left, she gave Jen all the tools she needed to succeed. Jen gave birth to her baby girl, Joey, with Ben, who was now part of her family.
What did you think of the final season? Are you sad to say goodbye to Judy and Jen? Did you like the ending?
Dead to Me
When Is ‘Dead to Me’ Season 3 Coming Out?
There’s been a lot of buzz about the upcoming third season of Dead to Me, which will, unfortunately, also be the final season of the Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini-led comedy drama.
When Will Dead to Me Season 3 Premiere?
Well, the wait is thankfully almost over because the series is set to hit Netflix on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
And that means, you’ll have the whole entire weekend to binge watch all 10 episodes to see how Jen Harding and Judy Hale’s adventures come to an end.
It’s been a bit since new episodes aired, however, with Dead to Me Season 2 dropping on the streaming giant in May 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic along with Applegate’s MS (multiple sclerosis diagnosis) delayed the upcoming season significantly, so it’s understandable if you don’t actually remember where things left off.
How Did Dead to Me Season 2 End? Let’s Recap!
For starters, a dog digs up Steve Wood’s body with his brother, Ben, getting the dreaded call. Judy and Jen find the money that Steve was laundering for the Greek mafia behind the frames of Judy’s art paintings, which allows them to buy out the house and get a new car for Charlie with a shiny new bow on top. Unfortunately, on their way home, they get into an accident with another vehicle… and it’s revealed that the driver that hit them is Ben, who has an empty bottle of liquor by his side. He’s a little banged up, but he drives away. This is honestly messy, so I’m glad we’re on the cusp of the new season. And on top of all of that, Charlie finds the letter that Jen wrote (and Judy didn’t destroy), which probably includes way too much information about what’s going on.
Dead to Me Season 3 Trailer
Applegate on Filming the Final Season
Applegate, who recently received her much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, told Variety that while filming the new season of the Emmy-award winning drama amid her MS diagnosis was challenging (she had to use a wheelchair to get to set because walking was difficult and painful), she remained dedicated to finishing out the story for fans, which we truly admire and are grateful for.
When the creative forces behind the show asked if she wanted to pull the plug since they felt like they were “torturing her,” she replied, “But I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no: We have to finish this story. It’s too important to our hearts; too important to our souls. And we have to give this gift, not only to ourselves — there are people that love these characters, and we’ve got to let them have their closure too.’ So, if that meant me having to take a break in the middle of the day so I could go sleep — or me just leaving because I couldn’t do anymore — then that’s what we had to do.”
And knowing how much dedication went into it will make watching this season so more rewarding and gratifying.
Dead to Me
8 Major Twists & Revelations From Dead To Me Season 2 Including The Cliffhanger
Netflix’s Dead To Me returned for its second season and wasted absolutely no time elevating the twisted drama and darkness surrounding Judy Hale and Jen Harding.
The episodes found a way to make you feel bad for and cheer on the murderers as they cover up the murder of Steve Wood while also are making you feel the same guilt and anxiety they feel as they sink under the weight and pressure of their lies and get uncomfortably close to being caught
Here are the 5 biggest twists from the Dead To Me Season 2! (
Spoilers if you continue. Recap Dead To Me Season 1 now!
Steve Has a Twin Brother Named Ben
When someone who looked like Steve Wood showed up at Jen’s house at the end of Dead To Me Season 2 Episode 1, our go-to was that Steve was somehow alive. We’ve been conditioned to live and breathe by the “no body = no death” rule, but in this case, we saw a body kept in the freezer and buried in the forest, and we still thought he was going to come back to get revenge. This just goes to show you we have absolutely no trust when it comes to television writers — we expect them to pull one over on us.
However, instead of bringing Steve back from the dead, the writers utilized the cliche twin trope by introducing Steve’s semi-identical and polar opposite brother, Ben, a chiropractor who has the hots for Jen. I’d complain that the show is better than this, but I can’t because Ben was dorky, dweeby, and danced a lot, plus, his involvement will carry over the drama into season 3 (more on that in a minute).
James Marsden is exceptional at weaving in and out of these two varying characters that it was hard to believe it was the same actor at times. And I still thought there was a .01% chance he would turn out to be Steve pretending to be Ben.
It Wasn’t Self Defense
Steve spoke out what Jen feared — that she pushed her husband away and was so unbearable that he wanted to die — which is why she clobbered him over the head and killed him. It was a moment in which she found herself consumed with rage. She was too embarrassed to admit it, so she lied about what happened to herself and to Judy. She allowed her friend to believe that Steve was trying to strangle her and thus, deserved to die.
While no one deserves to die, I would argue that it was a form of self-defense. Jen told him to leave her house, but he refused and the verbally abused her. That’s just as threatening as anything else, which is why Perez let her off the hook. Jen’s anger may have gotten the best of her, but she was also protecting herself, Judy, and her children from a man who had a history of being emotionally manipulative and abusive. Who knows what he would’ve done if he found Judy after she stole all his money and turned him in for money laundering?
Dead To Me Season 2 Recap: The Morning After (2×01 and 2×02)
Judy Hooked Up With Perez’s Girlfriend
I can’t be the only one who thought the biggest twists of the season was that Michelle, Judy’s new friend and love-interest, was Perez’s ex-girlfriend. Talk about messy. Perez couldn’t shake Judy, which is one of her greatest qualities. To echo Jen, she’s like a baby, you can’t help but love her.
Personally, I would’ve liked for Judy’s relationship with Michelle to complicate things more with Perez. It was underwhelming to have her be so messed up with a woman whose ex was the FBI agent that was trying to incriminate her and have it not affect the storyline much at all.
The Chief is The Greek
One of the reasons Perez let Jen go because connected with a mother protecting her children from an abusive situation. However, it worked out perfectly because, at the same time, Judy gave them dirt on the Captain, who was also part of the Greek mafia that Steve was working with to launder money. I expect Perez had her suspicions but never had the proof until that moment.
We know the misogynistic Captain went to federal prison, and it’s likely they pinned Steve’s death on him or will now that Daisy found the body in the woods.
However, it was too perfect, which makes me think the Greek’s are going to come for Judy and Jen at some point. The money Judy had stashed away in the paintings likely belonged to them, and they’re going to want it back!
Steve’s Girlfriend Is Pregnant
This seemed like a bigger revelation that again, should’ve held more weight, but it didn’t. It merely served as a reminder for Judy that Steve was a tool who never cared or respected her. It was also a representation of what she couldn’t have with him — a child — and showed that she truly had a heart of gold and could forgive anyone even the woman who was screwing her man.
Jen Comes Clean
Jen’s “aha” moment came when she realized the secrets and lies were making her ugly and hurting everyone around her. She couldn’t go on like this and thus, she decided to turn herself in and leave Judy to take care of her boys. It was a big realization considering how far they both went to cover up what they did, but in this case, living with her secret was worse than paying the price in jail.
However, she caught Perez off-guard, couldn’t find Steve’s body, and showed genuine remorse, plus, Perez had a soft spot for abuse situations, so coming clean earned her back her freedom without any capital punishment.
Charlie Figures It Out
Charlie was able to crack the case quicker than the Laguna PD and FBI. When he saw a picture of Steve’s car at the vigil, he realized his mother was involved in some way and pieced together that she had gasoline when she came to pick him up, which meant she burned the car. When he confronted his mom about it, she admitted she was scared because Steve was involved with some very shady and dangerous people, which bought her some time.
And then, Charlie found the letter his mother left for Judy. While we don’t see if he opens it, my guess is that he does read it and learns the truth about his father’s death.
Ben’s Drunk Driving
Judy fought long and hard to get a stop sign an intersection known for speeding and just when her wish was granted — BAM — she got T-boned while driving the brand new car she and Judy bought for Charlie. They both survived, thankfully, but it leaves us with the perfect segway into season 3 as the driver of the car that hit them was none other than Ben, Steve’s twin and Jen’s sort-of-lover, who, upon learning that they found Steve’s body, drank himself into oblivion, and got behind the wheel.
Still in a fuzz, Ben drove away from the scene of the accident clearly not aware he hit his “realtor friend.” Jen kept a secret from Ben about his brother and now, Ben’s likely going to keep a secret from her.
Will she be as forgiving as she’d want Ben to be?
What did you think of Dead To Me season 2? Were you a fan of the season? Sound off in the comments!
Dead to Me
Dead To Me Season 2 Recap: The Morning After (2×01 and 2×02)
Season 2 of Dead to Me picks up right where season 1 left off. It’s the very next day after Steve Woods was left floating in the pool.
Beware – spoilers below! Stop reading if you haven’t watch Dead to Me Season 2!
Episode 1: You Know What You Did
“We should talk about what we shouldn’t talk about before we don’t talk again,” Jen says to Judy, making it clear that she cannot go to the police because her sons Henry and Charlie need her. Judy reluctantly agrees, torn between wanting to care for her friend and knowing how heavy the weight of guilt can be.
Judy is dropped off at the assisted living facility where she works as an arts and crafts teacher. The two plan to never speak again. Unfortunately, Judy is now without a home. In season 1 she lived with her now-deceased ex-boyfriend Steve Woods and then moved in with Jen Harding whom she befriended at a grief group after she killed Jen’s husband Todd Harding in a hit-and-run accident. What a strange way to spark a friendship. Of course, Jen was unaware of Judy’s actions until later in the first season.
“You Know What You Did” leaves Judy Hale right where she started — alone, living in a car that was left to her by Abe, her elderly friend who passed away. She dodges repetitive calls from an unknown number but answers one from a name she recognizes. “Didn’t think you’d answer,” Jen said. “Didn’t think you’d call, ” Judy said.
Jen was spooked by nosy neighbor Karen while dismantling her security cameras in the backyard. The cameras are not the problem, it’s the footage of what happened the night before that has to be dealt with. Jen finds out that there are more electric eyes in the neighborhood than just her own. Eyes with higher resolution, eyes that can see all the way down the street. Eyes that don’t just record but store everything in the iCloud for safekeeping.
It’s not long before Judy and Jen are together again watching Facts of Life. This time though, it’s a role reversal as Judy is unaware that when Jen killed Steve, it was not self-defense and it was not with a gun. It was a vicious beating. Just as in season 1, Jen did not know that Judy was the one who killed her husband. Episode 1 ends with a knock at the door from an expected guest.
Episode 2: Where Have You Been
Apparently, Steve has an identical twin brother that Judy forgot to mention-semi-identical-Judy corrects, a detail Jen has zero patience for after opening the door to the same face of the man she beat to death. The shock was enough to make her faint.
Twin brother Ben revealed that Steve has been missing and the FBI is looking for him. Jen starts preparing for worst after finding out that Judy turned Steve in for money laundering and also never told her that he was “peripherally” involved with the Greek Mafia. The FBI raided Steve’s office and confiscated his computers. Jen updated her will in case anything happens to her. Stress continues to mount and her insomnia worsens.
There is a brief reprieve from the tension when we the cutest puppy ever and then a more skeptical Detective Perez who showed up at the house with the restraining order against Judy that Jen requested.
She is confused by the sight of them together again, living in the same house, when the other day Jen had yelled in her face that Judy killed her husband, something they sheepishly brushed off as a misunderstanding.
The Dad Bird as little brother Henry Harding calls the bird that visits him gets trapped in the garage. Ben offers to climb on the freezer to get him but Judy is the one who does. Episode 2 ends with the reveal of Steve’s body in that freezer.
Watch the full season now streaming on Netflix.
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