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‘Dirty John’ has came to an end, here are the screencaps from the last episode. My review comes after the More tag.

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Television  >  (2019) Dirty John  >  Episode 8 Screencaps

The last episode of this series had two very intense sequences, but otherwise left open a lot of questions…

Right now, everything happens in the present, like in the first episode. John is up to something, we see how he’s preparing for an obvious murder. But why now? Why didn’t he murdered Tonia? Or the girlfirend who spoke to the cops about his drugs? Anyway, Eric Bana hardly speaks in his last scenes, but his body language says more than words.

Juno’s character mainly stays in the background, but the first very cool sequence, the car chase, is hers. The whole thing was very well done, the music from the club was nice, Veronica looked really nice, and the driver guy was believable. (What was that music he was a fan of? Chow-track? I have no idea what that is, if you know, reply on Twitter! – EDIT: It’s chillwave.) Despite the single timeline, the episode can be split into two parts: What happens before John’s attack and the aftermath. The chase is in the first half, that’s where Juno has her last chance to shine.

Interestingly even Connie Britton becomes a supporting character here, because the majority of the episode belongs to Julia Garner. Now, the thing is that regardless of what happened in real life, Terra was neglected during the whole season. She was in the first episode, and in the one about Debra helping John recover from being a drug addict; but she was missing from all the others! She’s the least established figure among the four main women – even the grandma has a half-episode centered on her; while Veronica’s the second most important after her mom almost all the time. This means to me, that if you developed a caring for Terra in that very little time, or you’ve listened to the podcast which she was heavily involved in, or you’re a fan of Garner; you could care about her, but otherwise… I understand that they can’t change the course of events, because this is how they happened; but if they knew how important the younger daugther will be at the end, they should have given her more screentime, so the viewers could care about her…

Two more things involving Garner’s figure: The first is, she always wears shoes inside, like the characters in bad USA-made series; this is really visible in the last episode, where both the mom and the older sister has slippers on inside, while she still wears her shoes. This is unrealistic, but could be a little extra detail about the real Terra. Speaking of her, I wonder if she helped to recreate the big fight scene? That’s the second thrilling experience I was referring to earlier: John attacks Terra in a parking lot, but the girl fights back and ultimately defeats the man…

Now comes the second half, this part deals with the fate of John, the consequences of this whole charade, and it gives us the moral they want us to percieve. The title figure recieved very serious injuries, his body is still alive, but he’s braindead. And, according to USA-law, his next of kin has to decide what happens with him now. The hospital asks Debra, and this is the moment where the creators show us their intention, which is probably based on the public opinion of the real Debra Newell: She refuses to decide, which means she doesn’t get her hands dirty by pulling the plug; she’s just like her mom, and chooses a totally different path than what’s expected. She doesn’t take the chance of revenge. I percieved this as „Debra is the hero”.

So now comes Denise, and we are back to the episode which dealt with John’s dad: Just like how the son exacted revenge on his father; the sister exacts revenge on the brother by saying the final word. But wait, there’s a murder case here! What happens to Terra? Because the real life Terra was present at the premier of this series, it’s pretty easy to deduct she didn’t get sentenced. Self-defense… Debra and Denise meet at the hospital corridor, and Debra brings John’s sister to Terra, where Denise liberates her from the guilt by basically saying „you’ve done nothing wrong”.

Here comes the irritating part. Terra’s being released from the hospital, and Debra apologizes to her. She, of course says that it was not her mom’s fault, but the thing is, we never see Debra apologizing to Veronica, Toby, or her son. We see how they become a whole family again, but this should have been done. And the grandma basically liberates her from responsibilty daugther by saying „it wasn’t your fault, you were in love”. Conclusion of the series: None of these women are responsible for what happened…

My opinion about the series is that it was very well acted. Most of the time the music was good, the past and present lines together worked almost every time; but since I haven’t listened to the podcast, I have no idea about how faithful this adaptation is to the real-life events. The story was weird, but much weirder things have happened in history. The most important thing is that it gave another chance for Juno to show how good she is, and helped to spread word about her.

Two questions at the end, those who listened to the podcast can probably answer them: 1. How did John know where Terra will be? 2. Was that the real Christopher Goffard’s voice in the telephone? Please send the answers over Twitter if you know!

If anyone’s really interested, this story will „continue” in the ’Dirty John: The Dirty Truth’ document-movie, which is being released this week!

Labels: Dirty John, Gallery, Review
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