The last three episodes of Dead to Me is when the major secret of Judy killing Jen’s husband finally comes out. In these previous episodes, the way scenes build on one another is just leading up to the last moments of Jen finding out, and the narrative progression increases for the worse, when another conflict happens at the end of episode 10 that leaves a window open for a season two (which there now is on Netflix). In each of these episodes, the lead in scenes grabs the audience’s attention because Ted’s death is getting closer to be solved, and Judy is right in the middle of it, acting as if she didn’t do it until the truth comes out.
In episode eight, “Try To Stop Me,” the lead starts with Jen, Nick, and Judy looking for people in Laguna Beach who have a registered 1966 Mustang to their name. Since Nick works in the police force, he can obtain a list with everyone on it. This sets the scene for the rest of the episode because Judy realizes that TKG Arts is on that list, which is the art studio that Steve owns where they use to keep the mustang. Interestingly, Judy is cracking under the pressure of Jen finding out, but at the same time, she’s still going with them to look for the person as if she didn’t do it herself. Within the episode, scenes are built on one another by showing other personal issues that Jen and Judy are going through, but the main one is coming back to the death of Ted. The scenes go from Jen having problems with her kids and money to Judy thinking she’s pregnant with Steves kid, only to find out she can never be pregnant again. With the pressure of her secret about to be out, she calls things off with Nick, where he then takes it upon himself to finish looking at people on the list. Jen had to stop because the police said she couldn’t go into people’s homes without a search warrant. Also, it’s just not her job. The narrative progression of this episode is intensified when Nick finally realizes who the owner of TKG Arts is. He is seen looking at the outside of the window and seeing artwork signed by Judy Hale.
The end of the plot in this episode is left open because the audience is eager to find out what Nick does with this information, knowing that Judy has some sort of connection to TKG Arts.
In episode nine, “I Have To Be Honest,” the lead-in contrasts with Jen and Judy’s feelings. Jen has found some peace in her life and begins taking dance lessons, while Judy is having a breakdown because her she still is guilty also she now really knows she will never be able to have children. This grabs the audience’s attention because Jen’s happiness is soon to be crushed by knowing that Judy killed her husband. The scenes in this episode progress as Nick finds more clues into leading him to the person who owned the 1966 Mustang. He eventually figures out that Steve holds TKG Arts, and he knows that he and Judy had a past relationship. Also, while he is asking Steve questions, he gets very flustered because he knows that Nick is on to him. The truth finally comes out when Jen is ranting to Judy about how she and Ted got into a fight that night he was killed; he ran away because Jen punched him in the face, and that’s why he was running in the middle of the night with Vans on. Feeling bad, Judy yells, “no, I hit him,” Jen is in shock and tells her to leave. On top of this, the plot thickness because the police officer Ana Perez is investigated Steve’s storage unit because Judy said to them he was laundering money. During her search, she finds car oil on the floor, leading her to believe they had something to do with the hit and run, like Nick already told her.
This end scene helps set up what will happen next episode and leaves the audience wondering if Judy will get caught and how her friendship with Jen will change.
In the last episode of season one, “You Have To Go,” the lead draws the audience in with Jen having a total freak out by destroying all of Judy’s things and ultimately changing her life. She gets a new security system and even takes out Ted’s old gun that she swore she would never use. Here the audience sees the protective side of Jen, people were always telling her it’s weird that she let Judy live with them, but now she is putting her family first, knowing that Judy is dangerous.
Towards the end of the episode, Steve comes to Jen’s house and tries to explain that he wanted to stop the car, but Jen realizes that Judy is not that type of person. Steve refuses to leave while getting very close to Jen; she pulls out her gun and demands he leaves.