'The Act' season finale sees Joey King's Gypsy Rose Blanchard both free and caged at the same time
'The Act' finale shows how Gypsy severed ties with Nick when her case was tried separately and further adds a layer to Joey King's character
'The Act' came to an end on Wednesday, May 1, and the season finale documented the irony of Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King) being freed from the clutches of her mother, only to be restrained in handcuffs, and caged in a prison cell.
In one of the interviews that Gypsy had given in real life after being imprisoned, she had said about living in prison, "In some ways, they're the same, but now I'm so much freer. The prison I was living in before with my mom, it was like I couldn't walk, I couldn't eat, I couldn't have friends. Over here, I feel like I'm freer in prison than living with my mom. [I can] live like a normal woman." The final episode tries to show the moments before Gypsy realized this. The moments where she feared death, time in prison and also worried about the man she had chosen to partner up with.
The entire episode's theme seems to be balanced on dichotomy. Be it when we finally see how Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) was murdered (fictionalized account), or when Gypsy faces trial. The first scene of the episode itself shows a little Gypsy with her mother staring at the stars — an image so sweet, which is very much contrary to the recent equation that Gypsy shared with her mother. This is, however, important to understand why Gypsy feels so conflicted about what she did to her mother. She has begun doubting if what she did was right and the guilt of playing a part in killing her mother further affects Gypsy.
In the episode, we see both Nick and Gypsy facing charges for murder together at first. She pleads not guilty and when the possible sentences are read and Gypsy hears death sentence, she worries and once she is escorted out of the courtroom she looks at her lawyer and asks if she is going to die. He doesn't disagree but instead says its all about perception and they build a case to prove that Gypsy was medically abused so as to sever the case from Nick and later plead guilty to get a deal.
This is interesting because Nick still thinks that he and Gypsy can be together like "Bonnie and Clyde" and even tells her that when he gets the chance. Sadly, he doesn't seem to know what happened to them, but Gypsy does. And this instant shows her exasperated and disappointment in Nick. When Gypsy's lawyer seeks for the case to be tried separately, Nick finally understands the situation that he is in and even whispers he did everything for Gypsy, but at this point we only see her worry about herself and she is quite flippant about Nick's situation.
To get the medical records, Gypsy had to contact her father because she was convinced by her mother to sign the power of attorney. While she does understand all the things her mother did wrong, she is unable to accept that she could have lied about her father too. She only remembers that Rod Blanchard, her father, was never interested in her and was not there for her. This is surprising, considering how Dee Dee lied to Gypsy her whole life about her illness. It takes Rod time to convince her, but in the end, he succeeds.
The extent to which Gypsy's mind is conflicted comes across in this one scene where the prison doctor removes her food tube and says, "You're one of the healthiest people I've seen." While Gypsy is devastated, she also asks the doctor if she could keep the food pipe in memory of her mother. What did she think when she asked that? We might never know.
The final episode is sewn together with conflicting moments and shows Gypsy realize that she did probably make a mistake by killing her mother. Her conversation with her neighbor Mel (Chloe Sevigny) also shows how much she still needs a mother, even if not her own. She tells Mel, "I used to always think, 'I wish that Mel could be my mom'. And maybe now you can be because I need one."
When we see the last scene, of Gypsy imagining herself sleeping with her head resting on her mother's shoulder, it shows how this young girl who made a mistake will always live with it seeking the company of her mother in the back of her head.