‘Dead To Me’ Season 1 And Season 2: Recap Summary – What We Can Expect From Season 3?

Women telling women’s stories. As we see a lot of them coming out, especially on Netflix, it is refreshing to watch women screenwriters give us stories of strong, independent, flawed women who take life as a challenge and never cry over their bad luck nor are constantly dependent on anyone. “Dead to Me” is all about two fiercely independent women who have made mistakes, lost love and respect, and eventually gained them back, or did they? This is a Netflix original by Liz Feldman, takes us through the life of a workaholic mother and recently widowed Jen, who is struggling to deal with the sudden death of her husband and now must manage home and work while she trudges through life. This is when she meets Judy, who walks into her life not knowing the chaos that will be unleashed on her arrival.


Spoilers Ahead

‘Dead To Me’ Season 1 And Season 2: Recap Summary

Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) is a successful realtor who recently lost her husband to a hit-and-run incident. To come to terms with her grief, she joins a grief support group. Jen is known to have become angrier and impatient since Ted’s death and is willing to meet people who will help her channel her grief. Jen meets Judy (Linda Cardellini), who claims she lost her fiancé to a heart attack. Judy offers her phone number to Jen, and Jen connects with her because they both like an old sitcom. Jen and Judy become fast friends, only for Judy to realize Jen is obsessively looking for the car and the person that killed her husband. Judy realizes she is the one who was driving her car when it hit a pedestrian, which she now realizes was Ted, Jen’s husband. Judy goes to lengths and breadths to cover her and fiancé Steve’s (James Marsden) tracks, for he was also in the car with her. Jen soon finds out Judy’s fiancé is not dead and confronts her about why she lied about it. Judy explains that her fiancé broke up with her because she had her fifth miscarriage, and she couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he could leave her in such a horrible state of pain. Jen sympathizes with her and starts being around Judy more often. Jen offers Judy to move into the outhouse where Ted had practiced his music. Soon things start unfolding when Judy starts dating an ex-cop, and Jen asks for his help to gather any leads regarding the hit and run. To Judy’s horror, they form a list of people who owned a specific car, which they narrow down to after Jen’s son’s classmate reveals she kept a part of the car with her from the site of the accident. Judy’s fiancé, who initially promised to be on her side, decides to bail as the ex-cop reaches out to him with the information about owning a 66′ Mustang. A panicked Steve throws Judy under the bus, but Judy one-ups him by revealing his money laundering business. Jen, on the other hand, loses her clients, and her business partner is forced to work with her mother-in-law, who hates her. Jen also finds out her husband was cheating on her for more than a year with a budding musician and waitress. Jen is beyond doomed, for she thought her marriage was good even though she and Ted went through their ups and downs. Judy finally admits that it was she who killed Ted, and she had always wanted to go back and rescue him. At Steve’s insistence, she drove ahead and never looked back. Steve confronts Jen aggressively at the end of the season about the whereabouts of Judy, and Jen, in self-defense, kills Steve. Season 1 is the process of Jen trying to find closure on who killed Ted.


Season 2 begins with Steve’s disappearance and Jen cooling off toward Judy. Judy also helps cover Jen’s tracks. Steve’s twin brother Ben and his mother show up to find answers to Steve’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Jen needs to understand what her growing kids need. While her elder son Charlie goes through a phase of rebellion after his father’s death, her younger son Henry is a kind-spirited child who just converted to Catholicism. Judy is attracted to another woman, while Jen is attracted to Ben, and they both realize they should not include these two people in their lives, for it is already complicated as it is. Season 2 is about Jen’s struggle to hide the fact that Steve is dead. Jen writes a letter to Judy in which she forgives Judy for her role in Ted’s death, which is unfortunately found by Charlie. Jen’s crime catches up with her when detective Ana Perez, the officer in charge of the hit-and-run case, comes across something fishy about Jen and finally takes her to the spot where she buried Steve. Ana lets Jen off the hook but is worried that someone saw them together. Judy also visits her mother in prison with the hope of sorting out issues with her. Season 2 ends on the note that Judy and Jen purchase a car for Charlie, while it is implied Charlie is now aware of Jen’s letter that accuses Judy of something. Meanwhile, Ben gets a phone call and, in a rage fueled by alcohol, crashes his car into the new car Jen was driving. The reason behind the crash will be revealed in the final season of the show.

“Dead to Me” deals with many complicated matters, with the leading women taking charge of the responsibilities and learning from the mistakes they made. Jen is a full-time working mother, while her now-deceased husband was a musician and stay-at-home father who was taking care of practically everything at home. From cooking to taking care of the boys to managing the household while Jen was out there bringing in the money to support all three of them. Both seasons of “Dead to Me” dealt in depth with the extent to which women must go to prove themselves worthy of everything that they do. Be it a mother or a working professional. Women have to do the extra thing to showcase their families. A woman’s independence to work and live on her own terms, just like Jen does, is the highlight of the show. If Ted was the breadwinner of the family, it would have been considered normal, but Jen going the extra mile to get more for her family is considered someone who did not know what was happening in the family. Jen is wracked with pain because her husband stopped finding her attractive or desirable since she went through a mastectomy to avoid complications from cancer. To Jen’s horror, her husband’s infidelity and his inability to understand her pain broke her heart. Jen goes out of her way just for her to feel wanted and heard in a marriage, which has been the purpose of her life. The show also throws light on domestic violence as Jen admits to having hit Ted once in a fit of rage, which led to him leaving home in the middle of the night, and unfortunately, on that night, he was killed. Jen is guilty because she cannot forgive herself for how she treated him on his last night. The show is brilliant in its portrayal of women as being nowhere near perfect, flawed, and accepting themselves for who they are. Judy, too, goes through turbulent emotional abuse from her rich ex-fiancé Steve, who decided to abandon her just when she had her fifth miscarriage. These women are strong in their own way, and it will be interesting to watch what the writer Liz Feldman has in store for us audience members in the final season of “Dead to Me.”


What Will We See In ‘Dead To Me’ Season 3?

“Dead to Me” Season 3 will be airing on Netflix on November 17 and will begin where Season 2 ended. Jen and Judy’s accident was caused by Ben, Steve’s identical twin brother. It will be interesting to know how Ben came to know about Steve’s death and who told him about it. The show will further dive into Jen and Judy’s friendship, which will be tested as the story moves forward. It will also be interesting to watch how Charlie reacts to Judy being mentioned in his mother’s letter and Jen forgiving Judy for her actions. “Dead to Me” will further take us through how female friendships stay strong despite pop culture telling us women are always vengeful of each other. Women are there for one another, supporting each other financially and emotionally, despite being people who do wrong things consciously or unconsciously. This idea will remain the core of season 3 as well.

“Dead to Me” Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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