Since its beginning, ‘High Desert’ on Apple TV+ has been delving largely into Peggy’s emotional turmoil. It showed her coming to terms with her mother’s loss. While trying to process her grief, she kept trying to reinvent her life. Be it because of Denny, Guru Bob, or the Gatchis, she kept falling back into her old pattern of life.
The previous episode showed Peggy informing the Gatchi brothers about what she learned about Donatella. While hoping to get her reward money, she kept getting caught in some kind of trouble.
Now, the season finale shows Peggy fighting with the Gatchis to gain control over this situation. While Heather continues to wreck Peggy’s life, Peggy tries to find a divine way to make the Pioneertown show a success.
High Desert (Season 1 Finale) Episode 8 Recap:
Episode 8: I Need a Hero
The previous episode ended with the Gatchi brothers showing up at Peggy’s (Patricia Arquette) to take her away. She had earlier told them that she knows where Dona’s body is. That is why the Gatchis were onto her.
The season finale begins with Heather (Julia Rickert) and Arman (Carlo Rota) driving away in Denny’s truck. Earlier, Peggy gave it to them in exchange for the remaining money she owes them. While driving away, that truck gets pulled over by a cop. He wants to speak to them about a shooting incident related to their vehicle. But Heather shows no sign of respect towards the officer. So, he asks her to step out. She walks out and goes back towards his car. While Arman plays some music, Heather stabs the officer to death. In the meanwhile, someone shoots Arman from the back.
On the other hand, Carol (Weruche Opia) shows up at Peggy’s house since she could not reach her any other way. She finds Denny (Matt Dillon) sleeping right outside. He calls her ‘Nia’, and she tells him to call her Carol instead. Once they walk inside, away from her step-daughter Cooper (Jayden Gomez), Carol tells him why she changed her name/alias. Peggy once introduced Carol to a guy who helped her with medical assistance. Cooper is that man’s daughter. Anyhow, she finds Peggy’s car keys inside the house. That means she did not leave by herself. Denny thinks Arman & Heather took her away. Carol instead suspects the Gatchis took her away.
While Carol decides to drive away to find Peggy, Denny starts calling their acquaintances to know Peggy’s whereabouts. None of them is of any help. Then, Denny calls Kachel to see if he knows where Peggy is. Ethan (Alex Saxon) picks up and says that his dad is in jail. Denny tries to convince him that Peggy truly cares for him. But he is not in the mood to listen. Suddenly, Heather shows up outside the house in Denny’s truck. Denny recognizes potential danger and walks out to hide with his dog, Judy. Heather walks into the house and creates a wreck because of her anger about her father’s death. After throwing the TV out of the house, she drives away in Peggy’s recently purchased car.
At the time, Peggy is in the trunk of Gatchis’ car next to Guru Bob (Rupert Friend). Turns out, Bob did not run away but was in the wine cellar of his house. Peggy believes the Gatchis are going to kill them both. While she battles this life-or-death situation, Bruce (Brad Garrett) continues with his daily routine. Carol walks into his office and starts questioning him about Peggy. She is certain that Peggy has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, during the drive, Nick (Carmine Giovinazzo) commands Leo (Michael Masini) to stop the car since he cannot get a signal on his phone. After a brief argument, Leo does that. They bring Peggy and Bob out of the trunk and give them two shovels. Nick asks them to dig holes in the ground.
Peggy and Bob both try to save themselves from being killed by these two brothers. Peggy tries to prove the fact that she could not kill their sister, i.e., Dona. Bob realizes that Peggy has been conning him since the moment they met. Anyhow, Bob finally confesses the truth about Dona’s death. Bob reveals that Dona got killed in a ‘freak accident.’ At the time, he returned from one of his pretentious gatherings, exhausted. Dona had written an angry letter addressed to him since he stole one of her works for money. They start arguing, and it reaches a point when she throws away a trophy precious to him.
Dona refused to cater to his fragile ego, and he could not handle that. When she planned to walk away with a bag, he tried stopping her. During those efforts, she accidentally slipped down the stairs and bumped right into the trophy she threw away.
In the present, Peggy tells Leo that she did steal Dona’s painting from their salon. Even if it was a counterfeit, she found a buyer for it. Nick cares about the money and asks her to get the money at the earliest. Leo finds it hurtful that they are not killing Bob and Peggy despite their connection (in his mind) to Dona’s death. Peggy and Bob use this opportunity to create a rift between these brothers. Leo gets a little too emotional about Dona’s memories. Since he cannot resist shooting Peggy, Nick gets into a fight with him. In the end, they end up shooting each other dead.
After the Gatchis kill each other, Peggy decides to drive away in their car. Bob stops her and asks about her earlier con attempts. She stops him from whining, assures him that Kachel is a real person, and asks him to get in the car. Carol brings Bruce to the desert (Bob’s backyard) to show Dona’s dead body. Peggy calls Bruce and calls him ‘Kachel’. She asks him to come to Pioneertown soon. Since he is in front of Dona’s dead body, he gets concerned about Peggy’s well-being.
After that call, Peggy calls her sister Dianne (Christine Taylor) and tells her to bring a painting from her house to Pioneertown. Meanwhile, Cooper realizes that Carol’s real name is Nia. She does not tell her anything right then. In Pioneertown, Tammy (Susan Park) still suffers from issues due to her transplants. As always, Owen (Eric Peterson) is worried about whether their big event is going to work out fine. Roger (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) defends Peggy because of his crush on her. Denny, who had come to Pioneertown notices this conversation from a distance. Anyhow, Owen just wants a volunteer to throw themselves from the canon.
High Desert (Season 1 Finale) Episode 8 Ending, Explained:
Peggy shows up in Pioneertown with Guru Bob. She meets Denny and says that Dianne is bringing the painting. The two make up a lie that Kachel is somewhere around. Denny takes Roger with him, and they threaten Bob with a gun. Scared to his wits, Bob foolishly starts running around in the desert. Meanwhile, Dianne shows up with the painting and takes out her anger on Peggy. Right after this, Owen starts insulting Peggy. He calls her a disappointment and a selfish woman. Hearing that, Dianne feels sympathy for her older sister. So, she defends Peggy and says how she helped them move on past their father’s loss.
Hearing that, Peggy feels a pang of guilt and opens up about her past. She regrets not doing enough for her mother when her condition was worse. One night, instead of helping Rosalyn with the fever, Peggy took some pills. Later, she found the doctors taking her away to the hospital. Because of this remorse, Peggy thinks she should do one thing right. She asks Owen to hand over the cape. She wears it and walks up to the canon to shoot herself out. The episode ends with her sitting inside this canon, suspended in time.