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The Ending Of Good Girls Season 4 Explained

Regardless of whether or not you were ready to see the end of NBC crime dramedy "Good Girls," it has arrived. Thanks to a rather unexpected cancelation, the final episode of Season 4, "Nevada," also serves as the finale for the series itself. While the end of the episode leaves the door open for a continuation of the narrative, it does also provide some clarity and perspective to the journeys of Beth Boland (Christina Hendricks), Ruby Hill (Retta), and Annie Marks (Mae Whitman).

The final episode opens with Beth winning her election for city council and immediately getting to work leaking incriminating evidence that implicates Rio's (Manny Montana) cousin and fellow councilperson Nick (Ignacio Serricchio) in criminal dealings. However, as has been the case throughout Beth and company's journey into the criminal underworld, the walls are never not closing in. Even though Beth has claimed two victories, they are little more than a piece of Scotch tape over a growing fissure in a dam.

Beth's husband Dean (Matthew Lillard) and Ruby's husband Stan (Reno Wilson) have found themselves in a parallel ordeal thanks to their involvement with terrifying pyramid scheme mastermind Vance (Breckin Meyer). Seeing no way to painlessly extract themselves from their various messy situations, everyone seems to be settling in on the idea of using a recent influx of cash to uproot their lives and start fresh in Nevada.

Before that dream can be actualized, though, Beth gets an unexpected visit from gun-for-hire Mick (Carlos Aviles). After telling her that she's about to receive "consequences" he shoots her and drops the gun next to her body. That sets us up for the shocking final act of "Good Girls."

The dream of Nevada was always an illusion

While Beth's shooting feels grave and consequential, in the next scene, we find that we've flashed forward in time and are rejoining everyone in Nevada. Beth survived the assassination attempt, Ruby and Stan are trying out the jingles for their new nail salon on daughter Sara (Lidya Jewett), and Annie is living with Ben (Isaiah Stannard) and Kevin (Shane Coffey) in the RV of their dreams.

However, it's not long before the façade of this happy ending begins to crack. As the group navigates through their new lives, Beth comes to realize that the plan to run away and start fresh isn't actually going to work out for three reasons. There's the fact that many of the problems that drove them to a life of crime in the first place won't just magically disappear with a move, as evidenced by the fact that Sara's kidney problem flares up and Ruby once again doesn't have money for medical bills. There are also all the new problems that arise with their change of local, as demonstrated by Ben being discriminated against for being transgender by his new school's lacrosse team. But most important to Beth is her realization that she doesn't actually want to leave her life of crime behind.

During one Nevada scene, she is at a supermarket when a would-be robber holds up the store at gunpoint. Beth uses her first-hand knowledge to verbally browbeat the pistol brandishing amateur. When he asks her, "Do you wanna die?" she responds, "Kinda." This moment represents Beth's realization that while her life of crime came with lots of danger, she has grown to see it as the way she's interested in living.

Beth convinces Ruby and Annie to take things back to basics and pull off a good-old-fashioned store robbery, which ends as poorly as possible when an armed customer shoots Beth square in the chest. As she fades away, though, she realizes that her new life in Nevada was all a dream.

Annie and Ruby find themselves at a crossroads

After Beth wakes up back in Michigan, Mick's bullet having non-fatally hit her in the shoulder, the episode careens toward its conclusion and we see where "Good Girls" might have gone had they had one more season to wrap everything up.

The group quickly figures out that Mick's assassination attempt, which was orchestrated by Nick, wasn't actually meant to kill Beth. After all, he left the gun he used to shoot her at the scene of the crime, a gun that we've seen on the show before. It was the one used to kill unwitting counterfeit cash printer Lucy (Charlyne Yi) back in Season 3.

While Beth and Nick believe the cops will find Beth's prints on that gun and arrest her for Lucy's murder, Annie already took care of that little problem earlier in the season when she appealed to Mick's paternal side and asked him to not plant Beth's prints on the gun because she's "a really good mom." Although it isn't explicitly explained, we can assume that Annie ended up having her prints put on the gun. When the FBI agents look at the case file, they declare the shooting a case of "sibling rivalry," implying that they believe Annie is the one who shot Beth because her prints were on the gun. A few scenes later, Annie is being placed in handcuffs.

As Annie is taken away by the police, Ruby is faced with a major decision. Stan has already made an offer on a house for them in Nevada and he plans on going there with Sara. The last we see of her, Ruby is staring at an empty suitcase deciding whether she's going to abandon Beth or watch her family leave her behind.

Beth takes control

Speaking of Beth, she gets the closest thing to a happy ending out of the three main characters. The final scene of the series sees her meeting with Rio on a park bench having abandoned her plans to move to Nevada. Now that she is on the city council and has survived Nick's attempt to have her arrested for Lucy's murder, she's put herself in a position of real power.

Beth, barely able to contain her glee, tells Rio, "You work for me now." To which Rio responds, "You got it, boss."

Although all three of these endings leave clear questions begging to be answered — Is Annie really going to let herself go down for a crime she didn't commit? What will Ruby decide to do? How will Beth and Rio's relationship change now that she's the top dog? — it is, in its own way, a fitting end for the series. Although "Good Girls" began its run as a show about women who go to extremes to better their circumstances and protect their families, it became a tale about how easy it is to get in over your head.

As much as Beth, Ruby, and Annie tried to control their circumstances, they were constantly caught in the currents of the criminal underworld. They had to commit new crimes to cover up the old ones. The money they made rarely stayed in their hands for very long before it was stolen or had to be used to get themselves out of another pickle. Although they dreamed at various points about the end of their predicament, no end actually existed.

We'll never know how the women's stories come to an end, but perhaps that's okay, as their stories never really will have a clean conclusion. Maybe an unresolved finale was always the best note for "Good Girls" to end on.