The Undoing Finale Recap: Elena's Killer Revealed on the Climax of the HBO Thriller
When it comes to clearing up open questions, The Undoing had more to offer in the series finale on Sunday than one of Grace Fraser's marathon evening walks. Top of the HBO thriller closing list: Who Killed Elena Alves? In a nutshell, how many pieces from Grace Fraser's acclaimed 2020-21 winter coat collection would appear during the 70-minute swan song?
The answer to the second question is two. Or maybe three? I lost the count. Meanwhile, the answer to the first question is… Jonathan freakin ’Fraser ?!
Yes, it was Hugh Grant's prime suspect – and not Lily Rabe's Sylvia, as most TVLine readers falsely suspected – who committed the heinous crime at the center of the six-episode unit.
Of course, before the big reveal, a few bananas happened, starting with the fallout from Grace (Nicole Kidman), who discovered the murder weapon in son Henry's violin case. "The Bloody Truth" picks up right where the penultimate hour left off, and Grace, her jaw limp, clutching the elusive sculptor's hammer while Henry looks on in horror. The boy immediately proclaims his innocence and insists that he found her in the fire station in the family's beach house. And he hid it to protect his father.
Jonathan denies everything (for the umpteenth time) and assumes that Elena's husband Fernando planted the gun to frame him. He later goes so far as to suggest that Henry may have had the hammer because he killed Elena, especially after learning that his son had put the evidence through a dishwasher not just once but twice. The mere suggestion infuriates Grace – and Henry.
Jonathan's attorney Haley recommends everyone keep the traps closed over the hammer, as it will be essentially "game over" for Jonathan when it becomes known.
The next day, Jonathan comments on his murder trial. He charmingly preserves his innocence and declares that he really loved Elena. Besides, her son Miguel was like a son to him. It wouldn't harm either of them. And the reason why he fled town the next day? He panicked.
While Jonathan is being interrogated by the prosecutor, he cannot explain why he took the suit he was wearing that night to be dry-cleaned.
During a hiatus in the trial, Grace asks BFF Sylvia to join her on one of her famous walks where she asks her beast a favor we don't immediately know (though we believe he might have something to do with hers Secrets to the prosecutor to seal Jonathan's fate).
Back in the process, Haley calls Miguel to the booth to poke holes in his father's alibi. She manages to do that and reinforce Fernando's motive. Grace later insists that she take a stand. She vows to defend Jonathan. Jonathan is thrilled and Haley agrees.
Grace initially keeps her word, begging the jury that Jonathan “couldn't have done that,” adding that he is at heart “a healer”. He heals children with cancer…. The idea that he would take (a life) is untenable. He is a gentle man. "
During the cross, however, prosecutors have her admit (with a little help from audio from her 911 call) that she feared for her life when fugitive Jonathan showed up at her beach house. The attorney also lets Grace divulge damn details about Jonathan's sister's death – particularly that, according to his estranged mother, he "suffered neither guilt nor grief" in response to his role in the sibling's death.
Basically, Grace takes Jonathan down from Sylvia's loose lips with a little help. His conviction seems far from certain. And Jonathan knows.
Shortly after leaving the courtroom, Haley whispers to an outraged Jonathan that it is his own damn fault – wait to not get rid of the murder weapon. At that moment we learn that Jonathan killed Elena. And Haley was aware of that all along! What the hell?!
Subsequent crime flashbacks confirm all of this. And it's cruel.
The next day, Jonathan – who isn't even hiding his madmen now – essentially kidnaps Henry. And during the subsequent police chase, he pulls the car past the middle of a bridge and briefly thinks about jumping off. He changes his mind when he sees Grace running towards him. He is quickly handcuffed and taken to safety as a mother and son.
What do you think of the grand finale? Did you guess the unit correctly? Rate the episode (and the series as a whole) below and hit the comments with your snappy judgments. Oh, and in case you're wondering, there won't be a second season. This was really a limited series (read more here).