Netflix's Dead To Me Creator Reveals Why Her Original Ending Wasn't Used

Dead to Me Christina Applegate Jen Harding Netflix
(Image credit: Saeed Adyani / Netflix)

Spoilers for the ending of Dead to Me Season 1 are discussed below

Never let it be said that Netflix doesn't know how to keep you on edge. The streamer's series Dead to Me ended its first season with a killer cliffhanger. In the Season 1 finale, Christina Applegate’s Jen points a gun at Judy’s ex, Steve, telling him to leave her house. He does not do that and comes towards her.

What happens next occurs off-screen. One thing is clear. What happened did not end well for one of them. At the end of the finale, Jen calls Linda Cardellini’s Judy, telling her to come home. The next shot is of Jen and Judy looking into Jen’s pool, where Steve’s dead body is floating in the water.

No need to worry about that James Marsden / Westworld conflict, after all. Marsden played Steve. When asked if the original goal of the ending was to always reunite Jen and Judy through another death, Dead to Me’s creator Liz Feldman told Uproxx:

I originally had pitched an entire season to Netflix, which is the pitch that I sold them. And my ending was… I did not go as far as to kill Steve. Sometimes, when things are pitched in the writer’s room, there is an electricity that takes over the room, you can feel this sort of palpable buzz because it’s a good idea and everybody knows it. That’s what happened when they brought up the possibility of killing Steve. I thought it was kind of a big swing. . . . I’m not going to say [what the ending was] because that’s something that we still may use.

Is anyone else super curious to know what the original ending was? Maybe Judy initially succeeded in getting hit by a car. That was what she was trying to do in the finale. I can see a scenario wherein Judy survived, and Jen went to visit her in the hospital. Starting the forgiveness process.

Dead to Me viewers may end up finding out for sure what the original ending was, eventually. Hence, the secrecy. Liz Feldman says it is something the show could end up using. For now, one thing is obvious.

Season 2 is an absolute must. Hopefully Netflix does not let such a massive cliffhanger go unresolved. It is interesting to hear that Dead to Me was not initially set to conclude by killing Steve off. The idea built too much buzz to not go through with it.

How does this particular notion set up a potential second season? Well, Jen and Judy now share a deadly secret in common. Unlike Jen not knowing about Judy killing her husband, Judy knows all about Jen’s lethal limbo from the get-go. Liz Feldman explained how the twist brings the duo back together, saying:

Yeah, the idea was to force them back together to deal with their complicated relationship. Obviously, Jen and Judy have a love for each other, but once Jen finds out what Judy has done, that’s a very difficult thing to forgive. So, we wanted to set them on an even footing. They’re forced together to keep this secret if you will. And in doing so, will be confronted with having to forgive each other.

They are definitely on more even footing than when they started Dead to Me. At least they know each other’s worst truths now. Jen knows Judy killed Ted, and Judy knows Jen killed Steve. If there is a second season, Jen is not heading into it keeping a secret from Judy.

Netflix has yet to give Dead to Me the go-ahead for Season 2. Having premiered at the beginning of May, there is still time left to do so. Lucifer’s showrunners expected to hear back about its renewal a month after Season 4 dropped on the streaming giant. A similar timetable should theoretically apply to Dead to Me.

The first season of Dead to Me is currently streaming on Netflix, alongside many other series premieres. Summer has no shortage of things to watch on broadcast television or Netflix, so stay tuned.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.