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The Ending Of Good Girls Season 3 Explained

The third season of Good Girls on NBC ended in a way that was noticeably abrupt — that was not by design. Like so many shows in production during 2020, Good Girls had to cut its season short. Originally intended to be 16 episodes in length, the show wound up at an abbreviated 11, leaving the titular girls in a much messier place than originally intended.

The first three seasons have seen a lot of ups and downs for Beth (Christina Hendricks), Ruby (Retta), Annie (Mae Whitman) and the rest of the gang, but there was a moment there in season 3 where it almost seemed like things might be at least a poor man's version of okay. There was a time where some might even have thought Beth could control the money laundering business or that the FBI might fail to catch them all in the act. Heck, they might even best the manipulative Mary Pat (Allison Tolman) who's been successfully blackmailing the ladies for a while now.

However, there's precious little joy in Mudville, and there sure as heck isn't any joy in Michigan, not for the Good Girls anyway. So let's break down where the show left off, where our characters stand, how deep the dangers are, and where the series goes next in season 4.

The FBI are still onto Beth and the gang

It would've been nice if Agent Turner (James Lesure) had represented the one and only real legal threat to the girls, wouldn't it? After all, despite the deeply complicated relationship between Rio (Manny Montana) and Beth (more on that later), the one good thing that can be said for Rio is that he dispatched Turner once and for all. At one point, Rio and Turner had a deal to work together but, since Rio is not the most trustworthy criminal in the world, he went back on the deal by murdering Agent Turner.

The downside of Turner's demise is that he was the devil the girls knew. For the last four episodes, there's been a new proverbial sheriff in town in the form of Agent Phoebe Donnegan (Lauren Lapkus), and she's potentially a more savvy adversary than Turner ever was. In an interview with TV Insider, showrunner Jenna Bans said that Donnegan is set to become a "frenemy" of sorts.

In the season finale, Donnegan turns up at the salon to get her nails done by who other than Ruby. During the exchange between the two women, Ruby checks to see if a $10 bill is conterfeit and, in the process, reads as a little too knowledgeable on the subject, leading Donnegan to swipe Ruby's phone.

After the heist of the episode (which we'll come to in a moment) Donnegan shows up at the end of the episode as the girls enjoy a bit of celebratory sparkling wine. Donnegan asks what they're celebrating knowingly as the ladies attempt to deflect, but it's clear that the new agent is already onto them. What does she know from Ruby's phone, and how will she use that information? The answer to those questions will have to wait until next season.

One marriage is still at least kind of working

One thing Good Girls is known for is its extremely unhealthy relationships. Certainly the marriage between Beth and Dean (Matthew Lillard) isn't in great shape. Dean's been cheating on Beth from the start and Beth has had a little something going on in fits and starts with Rio over the last three seasons, as well. They've split apart, they've come back together, and Beth has even lost access to her children for a time — it's been rough!

But that doesn't mean love can't find a way for someone else, so let's talk about Ruby, her husband Stan (Reno Wilson), and the heist that ends the season. First of all, Ruby and Stan are not in great shape. They are out of money, Ruby is largely to blame for it, and Stan wants that money back. He even tells Ruby that, "I want you to be the woman that I married!" Ruby's solution is to rob Stan's club.

The good news is that the robbery works. Ruby and the girls steal money out of a truck, replace it with fake bills, and then they blow up the truck before anyone can realize it's full of counterfeit dollars. The bad news is that Stan is not an idiot, and while Ruby does pay him back, she does also technically do it by giving Stan back his own money.

Fortunately for Ruby, Stan still sees the effort and loves Ruby. He asks Ruby to accept a ring he'd bought her earlier in the season saying, "I don't know where we're going, I just want to go there together." So while things are still very messy between Beth and Dean, hope springs eternal in the hearts of Ruby and Stan fans. And speaking of Beth and Dean ...

Beth, Dean, Rio, and the dangers on the horizon

Beth's goal for a little while now involves getting out from under Rio's control, and in the season finale she and Dean are working together toward the long-term goal of taking Rio off the board.

However, in the meantime, the pair are still under Rio's thumb as they take over Gayle's (Ione Skye) pool and spa store. Rio helps facilitate the move and, once the entire place is cleaned out, Rio and Beth have a very cold heart-to-heart. Beth wants to know when she'll be able to run her own business, and Rio responds with, "Next time, empty the clip" referring to an opportunity Beth had earlier in the season to kill Rio. Sufficed to say, Beth and Rio are not on great terms.

Is it possible that Beth might actually off Rio at some point? Maybe! However, one thing we know is that, had the season gone its full 16 episodes, the two would've had to team up in a new way. In an interview with TV Line, Jenna Bans revealed that, "They're going to be thrust into very interesting circumstances where they're forced to work together in a way we haven't done on the show. It really changes the dynamic between them and amplifies the chemistry, too.

Might Agent Donnegan present a greater danger than we expect? Or is there someone else on the horizon that puts Rio and Beth at mutual risk? We'll find out when Good Girls returns for its fourth season on March 7, 2021.