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The Ending Of Peacock's Bupkis Explained

Contains spoilers for "Bupkis" Season 1

Peacock's "Bupkis" opens with a warning: There's truth in the eight loosely connected episodes of bad behavior by celebrity Pete Davidson, but parts have been fictionalized purely for dramatic purposes. We aren't meant to know the difference, and as a result, it all ends up feeling pretty real to us. As Pete attempts to conquer or possibly give in to his demons, his family — mother Amy (Edie Falco), grandfather Poppy (Joe Pesci), and sister Casey (Oona Roche) — try to save Pete while his friends and hangers-on attempt to endear themselves to him. It's a tale of celebrity debauchery and bad behavior, whether it's real or not.

In the final two episodes of "Bupkis," things take a turn. In the lightly touching Episode 7, Pete agrees to go to rehab after noisily crashing into his family member's (Brad Garrett) dog's funeral. In Episode 8, things go especially off the rails. Here's the ending of Peacock's "Bupkis," explained.

Morning announcements

The final episode begins with a perfect approximation of credits from an old movie, from the music to the black-and-white photography. The black-and-white imagery continues for most of the episode, demonstrating how soul-crushing rehab can be. However, the fact that Pete Davidson has apparently gone through a successful stint in rehab in the real world indicates that this is an instance of the show not quite syncing up with reality.

One way or another, the first person we see is the head of the rehab, Michael (John Pollono), the person delivering the morning announcements. Michael recites them with the utmost enthusiasm, littered with profanity and hype. As he's doing this, Pete wakes up and heads down to the dispensary to grab some legal drugs. He receives some sharp words from the three men working at the dispensary that he doesn't quite know what to make of. Then he's confronted by Michael about snorting his drugs instead of swallowing them. Swallowing is okay, but snorting is certainly not. To prove he isn't doing this, Pete swallows the drugs then and there and shows Michael his mouth is empty, but Michael is still suspicious.

Group therapy

In group therapy, as other patients drone on, Pete experiences hallucinations of Cam'ron, Jadakiss, Eli Manning, and a really scary clown (David Howard Thornton from the "Terrifier" films). While this symbolizes his tenuous relationship with reality, it's also likely that he and the show's team wanted to fit a few extra guest stars into the show. Pete Davidson is a star, but according to the show, he seems to know every celebrity ever, and so by Episode 8, this slew of celebrities seems more like a glamorous humblebrag than an organic addition to the show. In this string of hallucinations, the only one who really seems organic is the clown. 

The hallucinations are interrupted by Michael calling on Pete, but before Pete can start his share, Colson Baker aka Machine Gun Kelly comes in. He greets everyone and confirms to Pete that he's real. Pete then tells him they're in rehab, to which Colson is disappointed; apparently, his friend gave him this address but didn't tell him he was going to rehab.

Amy calls Evan and Pete goes to confession

At home, Evan (Philip Ettinger), Pete's personal assistant, is organizing his shoes when Amy calls from her car to ask him why she can't get through to the rehab. She wants to tell Pete about Casey's graduation. She supports everything Pete's doing there, but she also wants him to come celebrate his sister for all of her hard work, especially since Casey feels like she's always being overlooked because she's the good kid. While Amy's position is understandable — she's essentially torn between her two kids — it's still a little odd that she wants to get Pete out so soon for Casey's graduation. Nonetheless, Evan promises to get in touch with Pete at the rehab. 

Meanwhile, at the rehab, Pete sees a demonstration of Michael's powers. As he watches, Michael asks Donald (Paul Virzi), a random attendee of the rehab, if they're going to have a problem. As Donald protests, Michael harangues him. Eventually, Donald spits out a pill. Pete is surprised and impressed, but when Michael sees him and asks him if he's "cheeking" too, Pete runs away. Pete, never one to enjoy religion on the outside, goes to confession for the first time in 20 years, perhaps for lack of a better option. He tells the priest (Charlamagne tha God) something so eyebrow-raising that the priest's appalled.

Amy offers to take Poppy to the hospital

Amy goes to Poppy's house to find him watching television and smoking. She offers to take him to the hospital for his cancer treatment, but he protests that he has a Russian car service that lets him smoke during the ride coming to get him. Amy argues that she wants to spend time with her dad. When he says he doesn't want anyone to see him in his current condition, she counters that she wants to spend as much time as possible with him before he passes. Poppy relents. Amy has won the battle, and maybe it has made Poppy just a little more open to accepting other people's help.

At home, Evan calls the rehab. He admits that he's looking for Pete Davidson, even though he checked in under a pseudonym, and asks to talk to him. The person on the other end of the line, one of the guys from the dispensary, says "nope" and hangs up. This is a demonstration of how little control there really is at the rehab, even among the people who work there. The only one in charge is Michael.

Pete has flashbacks

In his room at the rehab, Pete is remembering his life. He remembers his mother being disappointed by something below his collar, like a tattoo. He remembers his mother dropping his younger self (Preston Broderick) off at the hospital when he was a kid. Finally, he remembers having fun with his father (Joshua Bitton) and sister (Loulou Lazarus) before his father died. Pete is deep in his feelings about his history, especially his history of drug abuse and poor decisions. But just when it seems he might really make a change, he hears a knock at his door.

It's Colson Baker and Paul Walter Hauser, and they have a surprise for him: The three guys from the dispensary come in with the keys to the medicine cabinet. Baker, Hauser, and Pete go to a common area in the middle of the night and do all the drugs they can get their hands on. Apparently, Pete has forgotten all about his reminiscing — or at least he's done enough drugs to not think too hard about any of his sadder memories.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The party gets broken up

Davidson, Baker, and Hauser end up singing "Show Me the Way to Go Home" louder and louder in a drug-induced daze. That is, until Michael, having woken up to their raucous singing, comes to break up the party. Shirtless and angry that he doesn't have a key to get into the space, he grabs a bat from down the hall and breaks into the room, scaring the living daylights out of the guys.

The initial mayhem is scary, but Michael comes in calmly, saying his invite must have gone to spam. As they tell him they were about to go to bed, he informs them they need to clean up and then uses his bat to destroy the table where the drugs were. Clearly, Michael is dealing with some serious rage, but he's also right to be upset that his patients were doing drugs in a rehab clinic.

Michael tells them that he wants the three of them gone. Then the three guys from the dispensary come in and try to tell Pete, Colson, and Hauser off, but Michael sees through their bull. He tells all three of them that they're fired.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Colson takes the blame

Colson steps up and takes the blame. He tells a bogus story about how he broke into the medicine cabinet and got the other two to take drugs by mashing them into their potatoes. The three guys from the dispensary disparage him, but he carries on with the ruse. Michael tells Colson to get out and tells Davidson and Hauser that he expected a lot more from them. The three guys from the dispensary are subsequently unfired.

The irony, of course, is that Michael's initial judgment was entirely right. Only Colson's lie saved everyone from Michael's wrath. And while it's understandable that the guys from the dispensary wanted to keep their jobs, it's odd that Pete and Paul Walter Hauser would want to continue being in rehab. Pete, at the very least, seems like he has reasons to not want to remember, and his memory only seems to work when he's off drugs. Nevertheless, he stays.

Amy and Poppy bond at the hospital

Amy and Poppy are hanging out at the hospital. Amy is stressed about Casey's graduation, and Poppy tells her not to worry. Amy counters that worrying is her job. Poppy tells her that he wasn't the greatest father, but Amy sets him straight. Poppy sang in lounges when Amy and her sister were little, and despite leaving his wife and kids alone, it made them happy because it made Poppy happy. Maybe Amy's explanation of Poppy's negligence is lacking in detail, or maybe Amy's trying to make him feel better, but it sounds like she's saying she appreciated that Poppy left her when she was little. It's hard to tell.

Poppy tells her he wishes her happiness, too. Then, after a beat, he asks her if she thinks the kid — meaning Pete — is going to be alright. She tells him "yes" because she is the strongest woman he knows. The trouble is that her being strong doesn't say that much about whether Pete will be okay. After all, while Amy may be strong, that strength may not have translated to her child. Pete may still lose his battle with drugs, his mental health, and his poor decision-making.

Michael bonds with Pete

At rehab, Pete is smoking outside by himself when Michael comes up to ask him what's going on. Pete says he feels ashamed because, although he blames everyone else for his failures, he now sees that his failures are his alone. Michael tells him he thinks this means he's ready. He tells Pete to follow him into the woods. After some hesitation on Pete's part — he thinks Michael might want to have sex with him in the woods — Pete follows him.

Michael tells Pete to envision everything that hurts him and then scream. Pete starts to tell him off but Michael interrupts him with a scream of his own. Pete screams back. Then Michael asks him what matters in his heart. Michael slaps Pete and asks him again. Then he slaps him again, and the picture goes from black and white to color. Pete says he gets it. He gets really excited and says Michael fixed him. As Michael protests that he didn't fix him, that they only just started, Pete tells him he has somewhere to be and runs off. It's no surprise that Pete jumped the gun on rehab and declared himself cured after one successful treatment. Anything that's hard, like rehab, is handled with the smallest commitment possible on Pete's part.

Pete tries to get to Casey's graduation

Out of rehab, Pete stops at a gas station where he sees Ray Romano, whom he tells off. Pete, after seeing Ray in a couple of prior episodes, seems to be under the impression that the Ray Romano he sees is imaginary. Ray, however, is entirely real and was just trying to tell Pete that he's a fan. Too bad for Ray. Never meet your heroes.

Pete checks his voicemail and hears his mother's pleas that he come to his sister's graduation. Despite Casey's one message about how he doesn't have to come, he still tries to make it. His desire to get to the graduation despite his sister's wishes may be to please his mom, who clearly feels passionate about his attendance. Amy and Poppy see Casey walk at the graduation and then meet Casey's friends and fellow graduates while Pete is still on the way. He really wants to get there, but he's already late and it's not looking good.

The end

As he's driving down a narrow road, Pete rubs his eyes and starts to drift into the other lane. An oncoming car honks at him, and he swerves and hits a fence. His car does a 360-degree flip. Pete wakes up in the now-broken car with blood and glass from the windows all over him. He spits blood and is clearly in pain, but he laughs as the picture cuts to the credits.

The car accident will make it necessary for him to call someone from his family to help him. As a result, he'll end up taking away from Casey's big day. It's yet another instance of Pete stealing Casey's thunder and pulling attention and emotional support from his family. Also, we haven't seen Pete do drugs since the night in rehab with Colson Baker and Paul Walter Hauser, so he probably isn't high when he has the accident. It's likely that he's completely sober. Maybe he really is cursed.

What about Bupkis Season 2?

There's no word on whether "Bupkis" Season 2 will happen yet. Season 1 has to unspool first, and then Peacock will take stock. One thing is certain, though — if we get a Season 2, it will have a lot to deal with.

Not only will it have to deal with the aftermath of that spectacular car crash, but it will also have to deal with where the episodes go from here. Will the show feature more of the same, with Pete's drug-induced antics and bad behavior? Will he see a modicum of growth? Maybe even a successful rehab stint? After that breakout from rehab after four days, things aren't looking too promising. And given that some of the issues the show covers are issues that Pete Davidson still struggles with in real life — he had what some sources called a mental breakdown while filming "Bupkis" — a second season would probably stick to those same themes.

Before the story concerning his mental health and rehab is dealt with, though, the aftermath of the car accident will have to be handled. Amy and Casey will no doubt be disappointed and scared. But they're also likely to be furious that Pete left rehab. We'll see if that drives him back there or if Pete gets a pass. Then there's the matter of Poppy. He's dying of cancer; meanwhile, Pete is out there wasting his life. Will Poppy live long enough for Pete to recover and live up to his potential? Let's hope so.