'The Undoing' Finale: What's missing in Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant show as opposed to 'You Should Have Known'
'The Undoing' finale aired on Sunday on HBO and we saw how Grace Fraser had finally decided to acknowledge that her husband was a monster that she needed to cut off
'The Undoing' finale had brought the tale of Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman), her murderer husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant), and their traumatized son Henry (Noah Jupe) to an end with Jonathan getting handed in over to authorities. As the episode builds up and leads to Jonathan's confession and apprehension, one thing that rings true is that the show doesn't have the conviction that the book did, especially when it comes to Grace's character. The initial chapters of Jean Hanff Korelitz's book spends time telling us that the one thing Grace's counterpart in the book is proud of is her ability to see through relationships that are set up to fail.
She is working on publicity for her upcoming book 'You Should Have Known', which entails her opinion about how women can and must look deeper when it comes to their relationships. She explains how we tend to overlook red flags when we are in love and that is exactly what one must be aware of in making a relationship work. It is ironic that she would say something such as this and repeatedly, she says that it is important to be blunt, and straightforward to women about their relationships while she herself has been a part of an illusion.
From not finding her husband being estranged from his family strange, or being curious about his family back home to how she concedes to different red flags as just another casual mind slip, she ends up living everything that she had advised her patients not to do. So in the show, none of this nuance comes through. We only see a peek of this in the form of a couple's therapy session where Grace calls one of the partners out for having an affair to escape the control that his partner had had over his life. Does she see herself reflected in this situation when she sits in that courtroom ready to give witness? This scene of Grace, sitting in the witness box as she bluffs her statement, misleads her husband's lawyer into believing that she is on his side, while in reality, she wants him locked up is who Grace Fraser truly is.
She is cold, calculative, and always sure of how any situation would evolve. This scene is also supposed to portray Grace's return to being her true self and not a woman being manipulated and cheated on by a murdering man. However, what we see instead is a desperate mother who attempts to distance her son from his father. To be honest, the only scene where Grace in the show, matched the one in the books in terms of the conviction that each of them holds is when Grace tells her son that she is ready to do anything for him.
Also, the courtroom scene should have been a lot more electric considering how she had pulled the rug not only from underneath the lawyer's feet but also from her husband. The only sign of response we see however is Jonathan's show of surprise when he realizes that his wife had spoken to his mother and had heard about the death of his sister from her. She had also heard about Jonathan's lack of grieving or remorse indicating that he could very well be a psychopath. This moment, however, doesn't hold the power that it should. This statement of hers right after claiming that her husband is incapable of murder didn't make us gasp and that is what's missing.
All episodes of 'The Undoing' can be streamed on HBO Max.