Dead to Me Season 2 Ending Explained

Dead to Me season 2 throws Jen and Judy even deeper down the rabbit hole of secrets and lies, and where they end up may surprise many!

Dead to Me Season 2 Ending Explained
Photo: Netflix

The following contains major spoilers for Dead to Me season 2.

Dead to Me’s first season looked at the difficult and toxic relationship between Christina Applegate’s Jen Harding and Linda Cardellini’s Judy Hale. The two both have the best of intentions and even though they develop an intense friendship together they both have debilitating secrets that weigh down on them. 

The second season of the show flips the character dynamics in a lot of effective ways, but it continues with the idea of secrets and lies while Jen and Judy get pushed down a dangerous path that’s not going to end well for either of them. The second season goes to some exaggerated places (James Marsden is back as Steve’s twin brother, Benjamin, for example), but the drama and character arcs still resonate. Dead to Me stays true to the addictive nature of its storytelling and it makes sure that its second season finale once again changes the status quo and teases a lot of stories for what lies ahead.

Does Jen Go To Prison?

Dead to Me season 2’s finale revolves around Jen’s confession to Detective Perez. Jen goes through lengthy planning to prepare her family for a future where she’s away in prison and tries to get Judy ready to take things over. Dead to Me treats Jen’s confession and the emotion behind it very realistically. Jen takes Perez all the way to where she and Judy buried the body, but she’s unable to remember that there’s a tree marked with a heart near the corpse. When they’re unsuccessful in their trip, Perez shows some overdue empathy and more or less decides to let Jen go and forget the whole thing. The season ends with Jen avoiding prison time and for all intents and purposes, nothing left hanging over her head.

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Why Are Judy’s Paintings So Important?

Judy’s arc over the course of Dead to Me season 2 is very delicate and her character goes to many places, including some tough material with her mother and a very endearing romance. Right from the start of the season Judy is eager to locate some paintings of hers that she’s lost after Steve’s death. It’s assumed that Judy just wants to retrieve these paintings so she can sell them and make some kind of money to help her and Jen out. However, when Judy finally does recover the paintings it’s revealed that she’s literally stuffed the canvas with money. This leaves Judy and Jen well insulated as the season comes to a close and they use some of this money to buy Jen’s house from her mother-in-law and gain some independence in the process.

Does Steve’s Body Get Discovered?

The finale of Dead to Me’s second season sees Jen attempt to do the good thing by confessing to her murder of Steve to Detective Perez. The two don’t find Steve’s body, but in the final moments of the episode a stray hiker does discover it. At least some individuals, Ben, are notified over this news and so the hiker definitely goes forward to the police and there’s an official report open now. Since there’s now a body that somebody has to answer for, it’s unclear if Perez will still look the other way for Jen, or if she once again will be on her case, albeit in a complicated new way.

What Does Charlie Discover?

Dead to Me season 2 does a lot to expand Charlie as a character and he takes on a number of secrets of his own throughout the season. This year becomes a very trying time for Charlie and Jen, but they ultimately find an understanding for one another by the end of everything. This however has the potential to change when Charlie comes across the letter that his mom wrote for Judy when she thought she’d be going away to prison. Charlie is likely about to learn exactly what his mother has done and if he doesn’t come forward to her about what he knows then his understanding of the whole situation may fester and turn worse.

Who Crashes Into Jen’s Car?

Dead to Me tries to outdo itself when it comes to the big cliffhanger for its second season go out on. Jen and Judy are out on a drive and celebrating the money that they’ve come into, only for them to get sidelined by a car in a nasty crash (something that’s ironic considering Jen just gets a stop sign put up at the intersection). Benjamin is the one at the wheel of other car and when he realizes what he’s done, he quickly speeds away before Jen and Judy know that it was him. 

Ben is driving so fast because of what he just learned about his brother’s body, but he’s also been drinking heavily. It’s unclear if Ben even knows who he’s hit. Judy seems to be okay from the accident, but Jen takes the brunt of the crash and she’s unresponsive at first after the crash but regains consciousness at the very close of the episode. It’s seriously unlikely that Jen will be dead and the show gets rid of Christina Applegate, but with how melodramatic Dead to Me getting at times I wouldn’t be surprised if the accident gives Jen amnesia and she can’t remember killing Steve or something comparable.

What’s Ahead For Season 3?

Dead to Me offers some broad hints about what may be ahead in a hypothetical third season. Jen and Judy are now more financially set, but that suddenly holds much less significance now that Jen is injured and more people know the truth about them. Just when it seems like Detective Perez has been neutralized as one of the main forces against Jen and Judy there’s now a new threat in the form of Ben who wants vengeance over his brother. He’s now the perpetrator of a serious crime himself and his relationship between Jen and Judy takes on another unexpected layer.

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Ben may not know the truth about what Jen did to his brother, but at the least he knows that he’s officially dead at this point. For that matter, so does Charlie, who likely has a very different take on his mother now. This is too bad because all of this tragedy does manage to bring them closer together this season, but this much truth will likely cause a rift between them and make Jen even more alone in season three, whatever shape she ends up in.

Dead to Me season 2 is currently available to stream on Netflix.