'Gaslit' Episode 8: Did John Dean go to prison for five years after Watergate?

The final episode of ‘Gaslit’ sheds light on the last days of Nixon administration, including the fate of John Dean who is facing several years in prison


                            'Gaslit' Episode 8: Did John Dean go to prison for five years after Watergate?
Dan Stevens as John Dean in a still from 'Gaslit' (Starz)
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Contains spoilers from 'Gaslit' Episode 8

'Gaslit', inspired by the debut season of Slate’s 'Slow Burn' podcast, tells the story of those who were involved in the Watergate scandal, including then-President Richard Nixon’s White House counsel John Dean (Dan Stevens) who was convicted of conspiracy for his role in Watergate. Though he initially participated in the cover-up, Dean eventually testified before prosecutors and was fired by Nixon.

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In the previous episode, it was revealed that in spite of John Dean testifying, he and Mo (Betty Gilpin) will have to face inevitable separation when he is sentenced to prison for five years.The final episode of ‘Gaslit’ sheds light on the final days of Nixon administration, including the fate of John Dean who is facing several years in prison.

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Dan Stevens in a still from 'Gaslit' (Starz)

John Dean was involved in the cover-up of the Watergate scandal, however, he later made his subsequent testimony to Congress as a witness. Dean pled guilty to obstruction of justice and admitted his role in the Watergate scandal. He was handed down a sentence of five years in a minimum-security prison. The final episode titled 'Final Days' confirms that when Dean surrendered, he was relocated to the custody of US Marshals and kept instead at Fort Holabird in a special safe house mainly used for witnesses against the Mafia. Later in the episode, he testified as a witness in the trial against Watergate conspirators Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Robert Mardian, and Kenneth Parkinson. All except Parkinson were convicted, largely based upon Dean's evidence. It Is also revealed that John Mitchell (Sean Penn) has been sentenced to eight years.

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Dan Stevens and Betty Gilpin in a still from 'Gaslit' (Starz)

Dean's lawyer made a plea to have his sentence reduced and the judge granted the motion. His guilty plea to a single felony in exchange for becoming a key witness for the prosecution ultimately resulted in a reduced sentence, which he served at Fort Holabird. Towards the end of the episode it is revealed that John Dean will be released from prison after serving only four months in prison. He is also the first former member of the Nixon administration to be a free man. He reunites with his wife Mo and they prepare to start a new chapter in their life by moving to Los Angeles.

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Dean reveals to Mo that he feels guilty and confesses that he should be in prison now. He laments about how he and others involved in the Watergate scandal destroyed something about America that was so special. Mo consoles him by saying he didn’t break anything that wasn’t already broken. 

The final episode of 'Gaslit' is available on Starz.

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