Apples Never Fall: Savannah and the Ending Were Hiding in Plain Sight

Savannah's identity and Joy's fate were right in front of us the whole time on Apples Never Fall.

APPLES NEVER FALL -- "The Delaneys" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sam Neill as Stan, Georgia Flood as Savannah, Annette Bening as Joy
Photo: Vince Valitutti | Peacock

This article contains spoilers for Apples Never Fall.

Peacock’s Apples Never Fall, which is based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel, tells the story of the seemingly picture-perfect Delaney family. However, when Joy (Annette Bening) goes missing and dark secret after dark secret is revealed, we quickly see just how twisted this competitive family truly is. While it is in our nature as an audience to attempt to put the puzzle pieces together until the very end, this series gives us the answer fairly quickly, hiding it in plain sight as it throws other suspects in the path to distract us.

Why do we choose to ignore what’s clearly wrong right in front of us? It’s not only a question that the members of the Delaney family, specifically the kids, should be asking themselves when Joy does return, but the audience as well. While we could not necessarily predict that Joy was alive the entire time, her being with Savannah (Georgia Flood) was pretty obvious despite the show trying to throw Stan (Sam Neill), Joy’s husband, under the bus.

All evidence against Stan is slowly explained away, and even though he is not the perfect husband or father, he does love his wife. Meanwhile, from the very moment that Savannah knocks on Joy and Stan’s door, it’s clear that something very odd is going on. Viewers might be tempted to feel bad for the young woman at first in the same way that Joy does because that’s instinct when we see someone hurt or in pain, but the longer she stays and the more she inserts herself into the Delaney family’s life it becomes clear that there’s some sort of ulterior motive here. 

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Yet Logan (Conor Merrigan-Turner) is the only one in the family to bring this situation up to the police despite it potentially being a lead. Why is that? Before Savannah finally left, all four of the kids and Stan were on the same page when it came to Savannah being a conwoman and lying about her abusive partner, so would it be so outlandish for her to have done something to Joy as revenge on them ruining her chance at a perfect family — not to mention the real motive of revenge that we find out later in the end? 

While Joy did eventually come around and accept that Savannah was lying, she was not ready to kick her out or end their relationship because Savannah was giving the older woman something that her own family wouldn’t. It makes sense that when Amy (Alison Brie) Troy (Jake Lacy), Logan, Brooke (Essie Randles), and partially Stan were all ignoring her out of anger, she would seek comfort in the source that had wormed her way into her heart and world then abruptly left when her mission was complete and she got money from Troy to leave town. 

Mystery shows like Apples Never Fall can be hit or miss when it comes to finding out who actually “did it.” Many times, these series go for the most shocking suspect possible, which is why hiding Savannah in plain sight was brilliant. Viewers know that something is wrong, they feel troubled watching certain interactions between her and the family, specifically the parents, but instead, they suspect Stan because there was a fight or he’s seen on tape with a large duffel bag. It makes more sense because it’s being presented to you as a solution.

The first suspect of a crime is almost always the spouse. Then you move through the members of the family, thinking something was enough for one of the person’s children to snap. The truth is much scarier: Joy felt bad for Savannah and took her in, treating her like one of her own children because the young woman apparently had no family. She chooses to ignore every red flag tied to who Savannah is because she believes the best in humanity. 

Savannah gave Joy what she needed in that moment and when she blew up her life and tore her family apart. It was easy for Joy to fall back into the already formed relationship with someone who was genuinely appreciative of her, even if the reality of why Savannah came in the first place was a lie right in front of Joy’s face. It was right in front of our faces as well.

All episodes of Apples Never Fall are now streaming on Peacock.

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