The Undoing finale recap: She f---ed us
And we now know who killed Elena Alves — and the answer was the simplest one possible.
Before discussing The Undoing's killer reveal, let's dig into "The Bloody Truth." The series finale picks up where the last episode ended: Grace finding the murder weapon in Henry's instrument case. Well, technically we begin with Nicole Kidman singing the opening credits song, and I think we don't talk enough about how much of a heat check that is by her. Back to the whole "the kid might have murdered his dad's mistress" thing, where Henry confesses that he found it in the outdoor fireplace at their beach house, and we see visual proof of that. “Because he killed her," he says of why he hid it from his mom. "I didn’t want him to get caught.” I've been saying all season how much of a daddy's boy he was!
Well, that's probably about to change. Grace, Jonathan, Haley, and Franklin huddle up to discuss where they go from here. Henry interrupts and further reveals that he ran the sculpting hammer through the dishwasher to protect dad. Haley unofficially advises not to turn the damning evidence over. Jonathan pulls Grace aside and quickly forgets about his son trying to protect him, instead opting to suggest that Henry might be the murderer. Grace is horrified and tells him to leave. On his way out, he stops by to say goodbye to Henry, who greets him with a nice "f--- you." Fair enough, considering he heard pops throwing him under the bus. While Jonathan is making up with Henry, Franklin is hoping that Grace's eyes are finally open. "I do see," she declares. "I'll fix this."
The next day on the awkward drive to court, Haley remarks, "Not loving the vibe here, team." During Jonathan's testimony, she wants no emotion from Grace and the opposite from Jonathan. As they prepare to be greeted by a swarm of press, Haley advises, "Chins up, eyes down, and hold f---ing hands." Sounds like the new "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" to me! On the stand, Jonathan calls himself a liar, cheater, and suspect, "but not a murderer." He insists his life is about healing, not killing, adding that poor Miguel became like a son to him. Stamper, the prosecutor and former intern pal of Queen Sylvia, also questions Jonathan, with the only real glaring hole being that he took his tuxedo to get dry cleaned.
Back home, Grace finds a crying Henry sitting in the window. They have a standoff over their thoughts on whether they can ever be a family again. “I want what’s best for you,” says Grace, who is next seen calling Queen Sylvia to ask her for a walk and a favor. They do go on one of those famous Grace walks but we don’t hear what they say. Unfortunately, we do hear what poor Miguel has to say as Haley calls him to the stand. Here's the quick summary: He might have slept completely through the night of his mom's murder, he told teachers about being scared of his parents fighting, he started crying, and I feel so bad for him that he is now poor, poor Miguel.
Afterward, Stamper and Queen Sylvia run into each other in the bathroom and discuss how "obscene" that was. Meanwhile, Fernando bursts into a meeting room and loses his s--- on Jonathan and Haley. Despite that, Haley likes where they are at with the case and seems ready to rest, but Grace asks, "What about me?" She's suddenly eager to testify, and Haley is rightfully concerned. "What is your truth?" she posits. "I'm having a little trouble tracking it." Grace insists that she doesn't believe Jonathan could do this and will speak to that. He's very excited to hear it. And I'm very excited to see her completely bury him because I don't believe her for one second.
Grace sticks to the loving wife script when questioned by Haley, but when it is Stamper's turn, things take, well, a turn. Grace's previous claims of Jonathan never being violent are immediately voided by Stamper playing the 911 call of a terrified Grace upon Jonathan ambushing her at the beach house. The prosecutor then brings up Jonathan's family, which seems like a clear setup, and Grace is oh so ready to give much more information than is needed if she truly wanted to defend her husband. Stamper and Grace reveal details of Grace's chat with Jonathan's mother, as well as Grace telling Queen Sylvia that she believes Jonathan might suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. "I know who and what I married," Grace says as tears come down her face. Jonathan had been stewing during this, but now he's just outright enraged, standing up and screaming that this is all a lie. Grace gets off the stand, puts on the internet's favorite coat, and walks out with Franklin and Queen Sylvia. Back in the courtroom, a panicked Jonathan keeps repeating to Haley, "She f---ed us." Haley, who did her own f---ing up by thinking it was smart to put Grace on the stand, turns it around on him and calls Jonathan stupid for not getting rid of the hammer. "She was in your camp, and you lost her," she tells her client.
As news reports theorize that Grace was in on it with the prosecutor and took her husband down on purpose, Jonathan texts Henry to see if they can have breakfast for maybe the last time. But when Jonathan doesn't show up for court and Henry doesn't show up for school, it's clear that their destination doesn't involve a couple of eggs. Franklin and Grace hop in a helicopter to track down Jonathan and Henry, who are taking an awkward car ride. A forced father-son duet is intercut with flashbacks to what happened to Elena. After Jonathan and Elena had sex, she talked about getting close to Grace and Henry, which caused Jonathan to get violent, slamming her head against a wall repeatedly. But he stopped from going any further, beginning to walk away, only for Elena to chase after him with the hammer. Turning around, he saw her coming and grabbed the hammer from Elena and hit her over and over and over with it. "You murdered a person, dad," says Henry, to which Jonathan replies, "Not the real me. Not the dad you know."
Despite the police on his tail and Henry pleading for him to stop, Jonathan speeds ahead, eventually parking on a bridge. He gets out and climbs up the side, prepared to jump. Henry begs him not to. By this time, the helicopter and police have arrived, and Grace is running towards her husband and son, yelling, "Stop." Jonathan looks at her, meeting her eyes. This causes him to smile and come down. "I'm so sorry," he says, coming in to hug Grace. But she backs up and takes Henry with her. Jonathan screams their names as the cops take him into custody and Grace flies off with her son and father.
And that is the story all about how rich people become undone.
What do we all think of the ending? Is anyone else slightly underwhelmed? We spent all this time theorizing on who could have been the killer and it turns out to be the person originally positioned as such? I mean, that is kind of a twist in itself, but not one that feels as satisfying as I'd like. And yet, what other logical reveals would we have preferred? I mean, Donald Sutherland wasn't outside of that museum enough to do it, and Queen Sylvia was only ever around to take Grace's phone calls, and we couldn't have it be Fernando and do that to poor, poor Miguel. So I guess I don't really have an answer for what I wanted from the end of The Undoing — but I'm also not the one paid to neatly wrap up The Undoing.
Episode Grade: B-