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“The truth’s going to come out, it always does.”
In the third and final season of Dead to Me, it just might.
The final run comes more than two years after the second season was released. That season ended on a cliffhanger when Jen (Applegate) and Judy (Cardellini) got into a major car accident after being struck by drunk-driving Ben (James Marsden). As viewers recall, the series began with a hit-and-run accident that killed Jen’s husband, sending Jen to the grief group where she met Judy.
The trailer now shows the pair surviving the crash — Jen, however, is confined to a neck brace — and spending the final episodes of Emmy-winning creator Liz Feldman’s breakout series once again at risk of being found out for the murder of Ben’s brother Steve (also played by Marsden).
In a New York Times interview this week, Applegate opened up about the show taking a five-month hiatus following her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, which she announced in August 2021, and how she was adamant about finishing the shoot. “This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am,” she said about promoting the final season. “I put on 40 pounds. I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.”
She said she had an “obligation to Liz and to Linda, to our story,” and that she wanted to finish the remaining episodes on her terms, which included making changes to the set, her trailer and knowing her limits during shoot days. The piece also notes a “terrible coincidence” of much of the final season, which was written long before Applegate received her diagnosis, concerning illness. “When Linda and I would do those scenes, it crushed us sometimes,” Applegate said.
Cardellini was “my champion, my warrior, my voice,” she added of her co-star and friend. Noting how Applegate’s illness is nearly invisible onscreen, thanks to “savvy blocking and Applegate’s talent and resolve,” Applegate added, “Hopefully, people can get past it and just enjoy the ride and say goodbye to these two girls.”
The logline for the final season reads: “Jen and Judy return, ready to risk their lives one last time for a friendship that’s above the law. In the aftermath of yet another hit and run, both women receive shocking news. When the FBI takes over Steve’s murder case, Jen is confronted with the dire consequences of taking a life, and Detective Perez (Diana Maria Riva) struggles to cover up her own complicity. Meanwhile, Judy faces her own existential crisis when her life is threatened by an unexpected force from her past and Ben (James Marsden) wrestles with his darkest demons. This season, no one’s future is guaranteed. Will Jen and Judy get away with their lives? And can they save each other?”
Feldman, who has an overall deal with the streamer, executive produces Dead to Me along with Jessica Elbaum and Will Ferrell for Gloria Sanchez Productions, Christie Smith, Applegate and Adam McKay. Cardellini serves as co-executive producer. Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios for Netflix.
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