The following post contains spoilers for Dead to Me‘s Season 3 premiere. Proceed with caution!
Jen Harding and Judy Hale certainly don’t need more emotional trauma, but Dead to Me‘s final season premiere piled on a little extra anyway.
Netflix’s dark comedy returned for its 10-episode swan song on Thursday, picking up shortly after Jen and Judy’s car was T-boned by an inebriated Ben in the sophomore finale. The women were rushed to the hospital — with Jen in considerably worse shape than Judy, post-accident — and both of them went in for a CT scan to rule out any serious injuries. Jen, having received enough bad news in the last year and having watched her mother die from cancer, was especially reluctant to get the scan done, but ultimately relented.
Jen wasn’t wrong to be worried: Later in the episode, the doctor informed Jen that her CT scan showed some shadows that could potentially be cancerous masses, and he urged her to follow up with an oncologist. But then the doc called Jen “Ms. Hale” — and a mortified Jen realized she was sitting on Judy‘s hospital bed, having recently spilled water all over her own, and the concerning CT results were actually meant for her best friend. (Jen, meanwhile, walked away with merely some bruised ribs.)
Jen couldn’t bring herself to tell Judy the bad news before the premiere ended, but the medical twist brought new emotional resonance to an already-meaningful final season, which star Christina Applegate filmed while battling multiple sclerosis.
“I had an obligation to [series creator] Liz [Feldman] and to [co-star] Linda [Cardellini], to our story,” Applegate recently told The New York Times. “The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together.’ I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms.’”
Grade Dead to Me‘s final season premiere in our poll below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on that Episode 1 curveball.
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