Love & Death Episode 6: Recap & Ending Explained

Elizabeth Olsen in Love & Death, Episode 6. (Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max).

Love & Death Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained: With ‘Love & Death,’ we received yet another dramatic translation of the incidents that transpired around the infamous axe slaying by Candy Montgomery. The narrative slowly explores the stages of the affair between Candy and Allan that bloomed due to their personal dissatisfaction with their married lives. While their interest dissipated over the course of time, the affair left a lasting impression leading to the murder of Betty Gore. 

The penultimate episode of this HBO Max miniseries titled ‘The Big Top’ follows the events from 1980, when Candy’s trial occurs under public scrutiny. Allan’s testimony about Betty’s mental state troubles her father. Candy, meanwhile, struggles to maintain her sanity during the intensely public trial of her crime.  

Love & Death Episode 6 Recap:

Episode 6: The Big Top 

Directed by Clark Johnson, The Big Top begins in October 1980, a few months after Betty’s death. The family of Montgomerys suffers from the shock of Candy’s (Elizabeth Olsen) arrest, and so does Candy herself. She changes her appearance as per her attorney Don Crowder’s (Tom Pelphrey) suggestions to appear meeker to the jury. 

Sherry (Krysten Ritter) keeps trying to snap her out of her stress, whereas Pat (Patrick Fugit) seems unsure of how to handle the developments in the case. He is also shaken after knowing that Candy did attack Betty with an axe. Don Crowder’s associate Robert Udashen (Adam Cropper) takes Candy to his car for a ride to the court. He does not allow Pat to join – saying that only the parties and lawyers can get side access. 

The news reporters swarm the court surroundings to get a shot of Candy. Robert talks with Candy about the prisons and says she will get the good one. Eventually, they reach the court. She puts on her specs and starts walking inside from in between the crowd. 

The prosecutor Tom O’Connell (Mackenzie Astin), addresses the 12 jurors and says that his job is to prove that the defendant killed the deceased. Then, Don takes the stage and tries to sway their mind in the opposite direction. He tries to make juries feel like heroes for serving this duty. 

Don then goes on to announce that Candy did kill Betty with an axe on the given date. However, he wants them to consider things beyond the facts and consider a story he has to tell to prove that Candy did it to defend herself. He asks Candy to take the stand and tell them exactly what happened. 

The script decides to judge right to the aftermath. Don addresses the press and proposes to look at the case beyond their preconceived notions. He then takes Pastor Ron Adams (Keir Gilchrist) in confidence to create a sound public image of Candy through his influential position at the church. He wants the jury to believe that God is in Candy’s corner. 

Pat walks out, angered by what just happened. He wasn’t aware that Don was going to publicly share this. He also feels he has been cuckolded now that Candy’s affair with Allan (Jesse Plemons) has become public knowledge. Don tries to calm his nerves by saying that what matters is Candy won’t do it again. He asks Pat to be strong through the trial.

Bob Pomeroy (Matthew Posey) hears from the news that the lawyers are trying to portray that Betty tried to kill Candy before. Allan reacts to it without much emotion. So, Bob decides to come there to attend it himself. Back at the Montgomerys, Candy tries to bring a sense of normalcy to their dinner table. The kids, however, want to speak about the case, and she does not allow it. Don shares his discontent that Don announced directly that she killed Betty. Candy justifies it as a part of their plan.

Jackie Ponder (Elizabeth Marvel) shows up at the door, angry by what she learned from the news. Candy takes her to the basement to speak in private. Jackie accuses her of lying, and Candy rejects it. That enrages Jackie, and she starts shouting at this old friend of hers. She cannot believe that Candy said Betty tried to kill her. Candy still expects Jackie’s support. Jackie says that won’t be happening. 

The writing gives a glimpse of the popularity of the case and Candy due to this trial. A woman asks to get inside the court just to get a glimpse of Candy. Before the court proceedings begin, Judge Ryan (Bryce McGill) reveals that the jury has changed since Don, who is inexperienced in the practices of a criminal court, kept jabbering without any control. Judge finds him in contempt and punishment for a fine, and a day in the Colin County Jail.

Later, Allan walks into the court, and Tom starts asking questions from the time he found out about Betty’s death. He tries to bring out details about the case and how Candy also reacted to the news. It clears Allan out of the claims of promising any future with Candy or breaking their marriage. 

Then, Don starts questioning Allan to portray Betty as having mental health issues. He brings up questions that would make Allan accept that he was concerned about Betty’s state to the point he considered she may have committed suicide. 

Simultaneously, Don tries to portray Candy as an ordinary woman who would not go to such lengths as killing a person with an axe if she wasn’t provoked. He also brings one more crucial detail to the jury’s attention – Candy couldn’t have known where the axe was kept, but Betty could. As a result, he succeeds in furthering his theory to the jury.

Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Pelphrey in Love & Death, Episode 6. (Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max).
Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Pelphrey in Love & Death, Episode 6 (Jake Giles Netter/HBO Max).

Later, Bob gets angry at Allan since he pretty much fed the answers to prove that Betty was unwell. Allan justifies what he did by saying he couldn’t lie. He accepts that he and Betty were not getting along too well before the incident and the affair. 

Sherry gets angry at a person passing a comment teasing Candy. She is clearly not doing well since her friend got accused of committing a brutal murder. However, she tries to control herself, sensing everyone else is watching her get outraged.

Later, Allan’s neighbors, who were the first respondents of the killing, share their testimony in court. The women from the church also share details, including the time when Candy left and returned to Church and what she said and wore. 

Candy stays robotically still in her chair, which bothers Don. He brings her back to his car and asks her if she is on any medication or drugs. She eventually agrees that she took Serax to calm her nerves. Don says that it helps the prosecution depict her as an inhuman zombie. 

Candy ends up lashing out at Don since the press outrage has taken a toll on her. She says how they all want her emotions to explode in the court. Don sympathizes with her but says that she should stop taking Serax and show that she is capable of being vulnerable so that the jury can empathize with her.

Love & Death Episode 6 Ending Explained: 

In the next court session, the feds share the details of the bloodbath they saw in Betty’s house. Don shares how the murder could not have been premeditated since Candy’s car was parked right outside. The press starts speaking about how the case has become about Why-Done-It than a Whodunit.

While the defense council manages to convince their side pretty well to the jury, they worry that the worst is yet to come since self-defense does not explain 40 whacks of the axe. After the lunch break, the prosecution plans to bring pathologists to shock the jury. While speaking with his team, Don figures that Candy may have taken Serax. He warns her that she may need to go on the stand to speak for herself. 

As Don suspected, the pathologist shares the gruesome details about Betty’s injuries and hemorrhage. It impacts the jury to consider Candy inhumane. He shares acutely specific details of how the axe would have been used to cause suffering to Betty. When Don gets a chance to question the doctor, he keeps trying to bring up the aspect of self-defense since the doctor can’t rule out the possibility that Betty may have approached Candy first. 

Then, the prosecution rests the case for the day. The Judge asks Don to bring his witness to the stand. He requests Judge Ryan to let Candy defend herself the next day since she took some medication to calm her nerves. The Judge does not pay heed to his requests and tells him to bring her to the stand in 10 minutes. Now the miniseries finale will let us know how Candy responded to the accusations against her in the courthouse.

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Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.