'Gaslit' Ending Explained: Is John Dean a free man? Here's what happened to Martha and John Mitchell

'Gaslit' is portrayed from the lens of lesser-known people of the Watergate scandal who publicly opposed President Nixon


                            'Gaslit' Ending Explained: Is John Dean a free man? Here's what happened to Martha and John Mitchell
A still from 'Gaslit' (Starz)
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Contains spoilers from 'Gaslit' Episode 8

'Gaslit' is a political thriller that is a modern take on the Watergate scandal, starting in January 1972, five months before that infamous break-in at the DNC headquarters. Inspired by Slate’s 'Slow Burn' podcast, the Starz drama tells the story of those who were involved in the political scandal and also the lesser-known people who publicly opposed the former president. 

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The series shines its light most prominently on Arkansan socialite Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts). Martha Mitchell, was the outspoken wife of John N Mitchell (Sean Penn), Nixon’s attorney general and close personal friend. Nicknamed the “mouth of the South”, Martha was labeled as an alcoholic and drug addict by Nixon loyalists, including her own husband, for speaking out against the President. The Starz drama has concluded its run after premiering its final episode. Scroll down to learn how the series ended.

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What happens to John Dean and Mo?

John Dean (Dan Stevens) is known for his role in the cover-up of the Watergate scandal and his subsequent testimony to Congress as a witness. 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 outside Baltimore, Maryland. Dean only had to serve four months in prison and was the first former member of the Nixon administration to be a free man. Towards the end of the episode, John Dean and Mo (Betty Gilpin) prepare to start a new journey and decide to relocate to Los Angeles. 

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Dan Stevens and Betty Gilpin as Dean and Mo, respectively, in 'Gaslit' (Starz)

 

What happens to Martha and John Mitchell?

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, Martha and John Mitchell divorced each other and end their tumultuous relationship. John was also on trial for conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction of justice for his role in the Watergate cover-up. The final episode reveals that Mitchell faces 8 years in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up. “Could be worse,” Mitchell said to the press after he was questioned about his sentence. "I could have been sentenced to life with Martha". It is also revealed that Nixon has been impeached but will not be facing any charges. He is replaced by Gerald R Ford who has decided to pardon Nixon from all offenses.

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A still from 'Gaslit' (Starz)

 

On the other hand, Martha is desperately ill, without friends, and without any money. Winnie is the only friend who believes in Martha and takes care of her. Martha tries to build her relationship with her daughter Marty who blames her for John going to jail. Unfortunately, their relationship remains strained and they never speak to each other. However, Martha reunites with her elder son Jay. Throughout the episode, it is indicated that Martha is sick and later it is revealed that she has cancer. The series ends on a poignant note with Martha’s funeral and the final scene flashes a flower arrangement that reveals a message: “Martha Was Right.”

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