‘Average Joe’ Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Cathy Dead?

Directed by Robb Cullen, Average Joe is a dark comedy thriller now streaming on BET+. This ten-part series revolves around Joe, a plumber residing in Pittsburgh whose life goes far beyond the concept of average. Living happily with his loving wife, Angela, and beautiful daughter, Jennifer, Joe’s world takes a drastic turn after the accidental death of his father, Teddy Washington. In the aftermath, Joe stumbles upon an unsettling revelation in his father’s truck towing store. This discovery turns Joe’s once-blissful life into a living nightmare as he comes to terms with his father’s dual identity.

Spoilers Ahead

What Happens In The Series?

Average Joe‘s protagonist, Joe Washington had a challenging childhood, as Teddy wasn’t an ideal father. Teddy used to leave Joe alone in the woods to let him find his way home, a strange practice that Joe adapted to to prepare for the worst scenarios. After losing his terminally ill mother at a young age, Joe harbored a strong resentment towards his father because he never told him about his ailing mother. After Joe grew up, he married Angela, who was diagnosed with polymyalgia. They both did their best to ensure a bright future for their daughter, Jennifer. Joe had two friends, Leon, who owned a hardware store, and Benjamin Touch, a white cop with a severe dope addiction. While Touch was single, Leon lived with his wife, Cathy, a desperate woman who could go to any extent to get rich quick.

After Teddy’s passing, Joe held a funeral and met his daughter’s boyfriend, Demitri. Although Demitri seemed charming initially, Joe soon discovered his true nature. When Joe visited his father’s store, he was attacked and woke up tied to a chair. Demitri, the son of powerful Russian drug dealer Nicolai Dzhugasvilli, revealed that Joe’s father, Teddy, had been a drug mule for Nicolai and had stolen $10 million and a Lamborghini from them. Joe had a hard time believing that all his life he never got to know his father, who lived a double life. However, as Demitri asked Joe to reveal information about the money, he remained clueless. Despite Demitri inflicting heavy torture on him, Joe managed to free himself and kill Demitri and his henchman.

Leon arrived at that moment and witnessed Joe’s predicament. Just two of them were grappling with the situation when Touch also came upon the scene of the two dead Russians. Joe informed his friends about the cash and car, which sparked their greed. Instead of involving the police, they devised a plan to hide the bodies, cover up the murders, and search for the money and car. As more of Nicolai’s men arrived, they were systematically eliminated by Joe and his friends, even though they didn’t mean to get their hands bloody. 

Jenn stumbled upon Demitri’s body in her father’s van, shattering her perception of him. She struggled to believe that Demitri had used her to get to Joe. Eventually, Joe’s wife, Angela, and Leon’s wife, Cathy, came to know the truth. Though Angela was far away from the violence, Cathy killed one of the Russian henchmen who had come to find Demitri. Meanwhile, as she learned about the money, her desperation and greed for it skyrocketed.

While Cathy grew increasingly desperate to get the money, Joe and Angela wanted to distance themselves from the situation. Angela, being a righteous person, held the belief that living modestly was better than living with the potential complications associated with wealth. On the other hand, Joe had a strong desire to secure a better future for his wife and daughter. He aspired to provide Angela with improved medical treatment and offer their daughter a higher-quality education. His aspirations ultimately drove his family to actively seek out the money.

Who Was Arina? How Did Joe Cover Up The Murder?

Cathy came up with a plan to dismember the deceased bodies and coat the parts in peanut butter before leaving them in the woods for coyotes to eat. Despite their intentions, Leon failed to properly bury Demitri’s severed head, which was discovered on a nearby golf course the following day, causing a stir. An investigation was soon initiated by Pam Talford, a seasoned investigator from the state who had a long-standing rivalry with Nicolai. She took charge of the case upon realizing the head belonged to Nicolai’s son, Demitri. Touch was a close friend of Pam’s, so he attempted to manipulate the investigation, but Pam was determined to find Demitri’s killer.

To remove any traces of their involvement, Joe and his team embarked on a mission to erase all potential evidence that could link them to the crime. However, their quest led them to harm innocent individuals who were unrelated to their situation. Meanwhile, Nicolai dispatched Arina, one of his most formidable assassins, to find Demitri’s murderer. In return, he ensured her reunion with her long-lost daughter, whom he had taken away from her. With no other option, Arina complied with Nicolai’s demands.

During this time, Joe left his house and moved into a property where he worked as a plumber, which happened to be owned by his realtors. However, when the realtor and her husband came to visit Joe’s house, they encountered Arina instead. Through meticulous investigation, Arina traced the connection between Joe Washington and Demitri. During her investigation, she arrived at their house, but after discovering the realtor and her husband, Arina was forced to get rid of them. Later, Pam discovered the corpses in Joe’s home, raising suspicions and leading her to believe that Joe Washington had some form of association with Nicolai.

How Did Joe learn Nicolai’s Location? Did Jenn Survive?

Pam Talford also had a history with Nicolai. Her mother, Gladys, who was a cop and employed by Nicolai, was forced to murder her investigative partner, Sam. Sam had gathered substantial details about Nicolai’s criminal group, leading Nicolai to order his termination. As Gladys was initially reluctant, Nicolai threatened her with the death of her daughter, Pam. Compelled by the threat, Glafys had no other option but to kill Sam. After that, she was arrested, which made Pam suffer further, facing severe criticism throughout her entire career. However, Pam struggled to believe that her mother was truly responsible for her partner’s death. This fueled her anger against the Russian drug dealer and made her determined to bring him to justice.

Meanwhile, Leon, Cathy, Joe, and Touch managed to recover the stolen Lamborghini that Teddy had taken. They believed the car held ten million dollars, but their search was in vain. Later, Cathy deduced that the money was not in the car; rather, it was in Joe’s house. Joe covertly visited their house and managed to locate a taxidermied deer head, a gift from his father. This deer head contained 1 million dollars, which he brought back to their hideout. However, Cathy was dissatisfied with just $1 million and initiated her own investigation to locate the rest of the money.

The situation further worsened when Arina kidnapped Angela, and Nicolai began to threaten Joe by targeting his wife. Without hesitation, Joe agreed to surrender himself to Nicolai in exchange for Angela’s freedom. However, Jenn took matters into her own hands and directly contacted Nicolai without informing her father. She offered herself in exchange for her parents’ safety. As Angela found Jenn sacrificing herself for her parents safety, Jenn revealed that she was pregnant with Demitri’s child.

Nicolai was overjoyed by the news of becoming a grandfather and altered his plans. He decided to keep Jenn instead and forgo the meeting with Joe. Learning that Jenn was held at Nicolai’s hideout, Joe and his friends became frantic in their efforts to locate and rescue her. Pam eventually empathized with their plight and joined forces with them to locate Nicolai. She approached her mother, Gladys, and got information about Nicolai’s hideout. Joe and Leon set out to rescue Jenn from there.

After an extensive game of hide-and-seek between Joe’s team and Nicolai’s associates, Joe finally managed to breach Nicolai’s cabin. Just as Nicolai was preparing to head to the airport to fly to Moscow with Jenn, Joe intervened, disrupting his plans. In a heated confrontation, Joe tried to launch an attack on Nicolai, but he tied him up. Joe told him that it was Nicolai who was responsible for his son Demitri’s death. Joe pointed out that Nicolai neglected to raise his son and prepare him for challenges, as Joe’s own father had done for him.

In response, Nicolai disclosed a dark aspect of his past. He admitted to his failure as a father but revealed that he never intended to continue the same abusive pattern that he experienced during his own childhood. Nicolai’s father had been violent and abusive toward him, prompting Nicolai to lose his innocence at a very young age. One day, when he was only nine years old, he fatally beat his father to death. He confessed that he had similar intentions towards Jenn after she gave birth to his grandson. While Joe tolerated Nicolai’s tyranny, waiting for the right opportunity to strike him, Jenn successfully persuaded Arina that she was doing something wrong.

Arina had left her violent past behind until Nicolai forced her back into his service by threatening her daughter’s safety. Jenn managed to guide Arina towards a more righteous path by asking her if she wanted her daughter to see her as a killer. Arina put down her weapon against Jenn and agreed to cooperate with them to kill Nicolai. With a united front, Leon, Touch, and Arina launched an assault on Nicolai’s hideout just before he was about to depart for the airport. In a final showdown, Joe brought Nicolai’s reign of terror to an end by injuring him in the eye and ultimately killing him.

Following her severe torture by Nicolai’s henchmen, Angela was hospitalized. Even in the hospital, an operative from Nicolai attempted to attack her. However, Angela fought back, incapacitating the assailant and managing to escape from the hospital. Upon returning home, she anxiously awaited her daughter’s safe return. Angela finally felt relieved after Joe led his daughter back home unharmed.

What Happened To Touch? Did Arina Get Her Daughter?

Touch carried a haunting and traumatic past that plagued him for an extended period. He had been involved with his ex-partner, Tess, who had a young daughter named Donna. During a night when they both got drunk and eventually passed out, Touch inadvertently left his gun unsecured. Tragically, the next morning, Donna discovered the gun and accidentally shot her mother to death. As Touch was afraid of suspension for negligence in leaving his gun within reach of a child, he concealed the truth. He staged the incident to appear as if Tess had taken her own life. He realized that it was actually an attempt to prioritize his reputation over Donna’s wellbeing. Despite this, Touch did send money to Donna’s address and later wanted to meet her in person. However, he learned the heartbreaking truth from Donna’s grandmother. She revealed that Donna had taken her own life, unable to cope with the memory of that fateful morning. Her grandmother placed the blame squarely on Touch, seeing him as responsible for the tragedy and even urging him to end his own life. Overwhelmed by guilt and self-loathing, Touch attempted to take his own life with a gun. Though a gunshot was heard from outside the house, it remained uncertain whether Touch really died.

On a brighter note, Arina’s story took a positive turn. She regained custody of her daughter and chose to leave behind her criminal past, embracing the prospect of a brighter future.

Did Cathy Die? Why Did Jenn And Angela Leave Joe?

Cathy’s unrelenting greed for more money ultimately proved to be her and her husband’s downfall. Leon and Cathy had struggled to become parents. But Cathy’s insatiable desire for a lavish lifestyle led them astray. Instead of finding happiness in the modest income from Leon’s store, Cathy’s ambitions led her down a dangerous path. While Joe and Leon were busy rescuing Jenn, Cathy discovered Teddy’s hideout, which didn’t contain the ten million dollars as expected but rather a substantial amount of heroin worth far more. She seized the drugs and reached out to local addicts to gather information about a potential drug dealer.

Cathy even convinced Leon to participate in her scheme, and the two went to deal with the dealers. However, their encounter with the dealers took a dark turn. One of the dealers demanded she lead him to the location of the stash. In order to safeguard herself, she pepper-sprayed him, which led to an exchange of gunfire. When the dealer, blinded by the spray, randomly fired his gun, Cathy got shot in the back. Leon rushed to save her, but in order to seek revenge on the dealer, he ended up fatally shooting him. Tragically, it was later revealed in Average Joe that the individual he had just killed was an undercover cop, not a drug dealer.

Meanwhile, Pam secured her mother’s release from prison by leveraging the governor’s association with Nicolai. In the midst of these, Joe aimed to rebuild his life with his family. However, he discovered a note left by Angela, who let him know of her decision to take Jenn away from him. She wanted to ensure their safety, as their lives had been jeopardized, especially their daughter’s, because of Joe’s actions. Joe broke down in tears, but he accepted his loneliness as a deserved punishment. Just as he absorbed this news, a knock came at the door. Average Joe, however, ended without revealing who was at his doorstep. It’s likely Leon, now facing potential trouble due to the cop’s murder, or someone else could bring news about Touch’s tragic fate. The open-ended conclusion leaves room for various possibilities, setting the stage for another season of Average Joe to come along.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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