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The Ending Of Dead To Me Season 2 Explained

It's rare that a TV show comes along that deftly balances intense drama, nighttime soap opera twists, and dark humor. It's even rarer for one to get more than a single season. Thankfully, we have Netflix's searing comedy Dead to Me, which dropped its second season on May 8th, 2020.

The first season had left us on a cliffhanger, with Jen (Christina Applegate) revealing to Judy (Linda Cardellini) that she joined her in the "I murdered your husband" club. Season 2 begins with the two women disposing of the body of Judy's husband, Steve (James Marsden), and only gets crazier from there. Over ten episodes, the two friends lie to law enforcement (and each other) while trying to plot their way out of the various crimes they've committed. Just like season 1, it all culminates in a real doozy of a cliffhanger.

Now that the dust has settled and we've all had a chance to catch up, let's break down the ending of Dead to Me season 2.

Jen confesses to Steve's murder, but can't find the evidence to implicate herself

After a season spent trying to cover up the murder of Steve, the final episode of Dead to Me season 2 finds Jen ready to confess. She leaves a letter detailing her crime for Judy, and then goes to Detective Perez's (Diana-Maria Riva) house to admit her guilt and reveal where Steve's body is buried.

However, when she and Perez head into the woods to find Steve's final resting place, Jen can't remember exactly where it is. The two women bond over their shared lack of a strong maternal figure in their lives, and in the end, Perez makes the shocking decision to not take Jen in for questioning. "You're going to go home," she orders, "and we're never going to talk about what we didn't find out here again."

Jen breathes a sigh of relief, but unbeknownst to her, it will be short-lived. Later in the episode, we see a dog finding Steve's body in the woods, while Jen's son Charlie (Sam McCarthy) discovers the confession letter she left when she thought she was about to go down for the murder. It looks like Steve's death will come back to haunt Jen and Judy in season 3.

Judy is reunited with Steve's mafia money

Before his death at the end of the first season, Judy revealed that Steve was using the gallery he ran as a money laundering operation. In season 2, we learn that the money Steve was moving was for the Greek Mafia. In unraveling his mafia connections, it's also revealed that the Chief of Police, Howard Hastings (Jere Burns), was in on the scheme.

Steve's mafia dealings not only provide a convenient story for why he ended up dead, but they also have a more direct benefit. Toward the end of the finale, Perez arrives at Judy's bearing gifts — specifically, all of Judy's paintings that were confiscated by police during their investigation into Steve's business. After Perez leaves, Judy begins smashing the frames to reveal that they are stuffed full of secret mafia money.

Judy even finds the perfect way to get rid of the dirty money, using it to buy Jen's mother-in-law out of her share of Jen's house. Not only are the two friends and co-conspirators now rid of the money, but they also own Jen's home outright. And so it seems that everything has worked out for the pair in the end. 

Except that's not the show we've been tuning into for the past two seasons. Sadly for Jen and Judy, the writers have one last twist waiting for them.

Jen and Judy get blindsided by Steve's brother, Ben

In the final scene of the season, Jen and Judy are driving home from a car dealership, having purchased Jen's son a new car. The women are laughing and carefree, planning a vacation, and generally acting as though the worst of their problems are behind them. They eventually pull up to a stop sign, which Judy recognizes as the one that Jen had petitioned the city to install.

The women celebrate Jen's achievement and continue on through the intersection, only to be T-boned out of nowhere by Ben, Steve's almost-identical twin brother. Ben is driving while extremely intoxicated in a fit of grief after learning of his brother's death, and flees the scene after smashing into the women. We do get confirmation that Jen and Judy survived the crash, and the collision provides a nice metaphor to tie up the season — both women thought the worst of their ordeal was behind them, but little do they know more drama is waiting right around the corner, ready to blindside them at any moment.

Given how much is on the precipice of being revealed by the end of season 2, should the show get a third season, we can already tell it's going to be juicy. Between the ongoing investigation into Steve's murder, the mafia money resurfacing, and the ever-deepening complicity of the local police department in Jen and Judy's crimes, the writers have set themselves up to have another complex season. Let's hope Netflix gives them the opportunity to show us what else they've got up their sleeves.