Love & Death (Series Finale) Episode 7: After exploring the psyche of its characters, David E. Kelley’s ‘Love & Death’ has finally come to an end. The miniseries, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons in the lead roles, gave more attention to the aspects surrounding the incident than the infamous trial. It presented Candy’s chaotic journey through the lens of her marital issues. Moreover, the narrative explored her conflict as a result of the loss of values in a strictly moral suburban neighborhood.
The series finale gives a peek into the final days of the trial, along with the time Candy took the stand to speak for herself. Besides sharing the final verdict, the episode also gives an insight into the real-life versions of them afterward.
Love & Death (Series Finale) Episode 7 ‘Ssssshh’ Recap
What happens in Love & Death series finale?
The episode begins with a montage of several shots from wide empty terrains in the American suburbs. It is accompanied by a voiceover by Candy (Elizabeth Olsen), who reads something out to convey how God would have mercy on her. Her attorney, Don Crowder (Tom Pelphrey), snaps her out of a chain of thought. This is right after the Judge asks Don to bring Candy to the stand. Don gives her a pep talk. He tells her to be truthful and not to make the jury think that she is hiding something.
The press and an angry crowd surround the court building to convey their disdain toward Candy’s actions. Meanwhile, Candy walks into the courtroom and enters the stand to speak. While both Allan (Jesse Plemons) and Pat (Patrick Fugit) sit outside, Don starts asking her questions regarding the day of the murder. Through his queries, he tries to establish that Candy is not an inherently violent person, nor did she intend to go to such a length if not for provocation.
Candy shares details she witnessed when Betty (Lily Rabe) started to attack her. Through her words, she conveys that Betty initiated the fight, and she only tried to defend herself. Holding the axe and attacking Betty was part of the same reaction. We see flashbacks of the incident that are on record only through Candy’s memories. Since the dramatization is filled with brutal violence, I wish the creators would have taken the courtesy to point out a disclaimer for the gory bloodbath.
Candy said that she showered and then drove back to her house. She thought attacking back was a mistake. When Don brings the axe, she starts screaming and tries to look away. She sheds some tears, which makes even the stern Judge sympathetic toward her.
On the other hand, prosecutor Tom O’Connell (Mackenzie Astin) tries to present Candy as a psychopath who switched her emotions on a whim and cared more about cleaning herself than worrying about a baby (Allan and Betty’s).
Tom conveys how Candy kept pretending after the event. He attempts to portray her as a blatant liar. She makes her best effort to explain why she did what she did. Since Tom keeps antagonizing her, Don reacts loudly in the court in his series of dramatics.
Later, Robert Udashen (Adam Cropper) discusses the case with Don. He believes the media’s judgment won’t impact the judge’s decision. He also thinks that Dr. Faison’s testimony would be inadmissible. Don still thinks that it is required to justify the 41 blows on Betty’s body.
Candy starts having nightmares due to her public humiliation. She sees her mother handing a knife to defend herself. Don shows up late at night since the phone was off the hook. Pat did so due to the prank calls they were getting. He informs the change of plans, which includes putting Pat in front of the court.
Pat’s testimony makes people see that the thing could have gone the other way. He says that Candy blocked out the event of killing Betty from what she told him. It helps Don to justify it as amnesia with Dr. Faison’s help. He calls it a result of dissociated reaction, and the judge questions whether she was mentally ill. It angers Don, and he ends up getting another offense on his name.
Later, the doctor explains how Candy is excessively worried about what people think of her. He shares an incident from Candy’s past where she was wailing because of an accident, but her mother kept shushing her while taking her to the hospital room. He says that she spoke about it only under hypnosis and also that she screamed.
Dr. Faison establishes that Candy reacted that way right after her mother said, ‘Shhhhh.’ He connects it with her reaction to Betty, who said the same thing to her. He says it was a projection of her pent-up anger toward her mother. His conclusion was – Candy tried to defend herself against an emotional attack on her. Tom questions how the act of self-defense justifies the later blows with the axe on Betty’s body.
Why did Don malign Betty’s image in the courtroom?
Don explains that he purposefully showed her the axe in evidence to incite her and make the jury see her emotive side and vulnerability. He then plans to tarnish Betty’s image since he does not want to risk making her seem sympathetic. He brings members of their church to the stand to share one by one how they did not particularly like Betty. Their testimonies along with the young pastor’s – almost portray as if God was on Candy’s side.
Don serves some time in the Colin County jail because of his erratic reactions in the courtroom. Robert makes a call and gets him out sooner. His wife, Carol, picks him up from the prison. Once they get in the car, she asks why he tried to establish that God was against Betty’s side – despite knowing she was their good family friend. He says he only wanted to antagonize Betty for what she was. Carol says that this case will be his legacy, maybe because he wanted her to be mindful of it. Allan sees news broadcast on television and struggles to digest the developments.
What does Don say to the Jury on the last day of the court?
Don gets ready like a hero going out to give a performance of his lifetime. Don directly addresses the Jury members to further his point of self-defense and lack of motive based on testimonies. He says how Candy did not lie about going to Gores’ house, which would not have occurred if she wanted to hide her act or had pre-planned the murder. He says how she is in a mental prison of her pain and guilt – to make people feel sorry for her.
What does prosecutor Tom say to the Jury on the last day at the court?
Tom tries to overthrow Don’s theory of psychological trouble and self-defense to pivot from the gruesome act she committed. He repeats that she gave 41 whacks and conveys how the defense council is making a joke of their intelligence. He finally asks them to consider doing justice to Betty’s memories.
Why do the Montgomerys decide to relocate?
Back at the Montgomerys’ house, Candy starts thinking the result of this case would make her life come back to normal. Pat thinks otherwise. He says how the judgment might be that she is not guilty – but it does not prove her innocence. He says that they should move to a different town together if the verdict goes their way.
Recommended: ‘Candy’ vs ‘Love & Death’: Difference between the shows
Love & Death (Series Finale) Episode 7 Ending Explained
Was Candy proven guilty of her crimes?
The judge asks the court members not to react after the verdict, no matter what. The jury shares the envelope, and he reads out that Candy has been proven ‘not guilty’ of her crime. She gets emotional and starts crying. Pat goes up to her and hugs her. They walk out among a crowd, calling her names.
After the result, the Montgomerys pack their stuff and get out to move to Georgia. Sherry (Krysten Ritter) says a final goodbye to her friend. Before leaving the town, Candy stops by the Gores’ house to say goodbye to Allan. Maybe it was her way to end that chapter of her life. She returns to the car and smiles at the kids.
What are Candy, Allan, and Pat doing in the present?
Through the final slides with real-life photographs, we learn that Pat and Candy divorced after relocating. Pat continued his earlier work and still lives in the same town. Allan remarried and got divorced later. Don ran for Governor of Texas after the popularity he received. He later died due to a self-inflicted wound. The autopsy of Betty’s body revealed that she was not pregnant at the time of her death. Candy went on to work as a family therapist and also used her daughter for her sessions.