Spoilers ahead for Dead to Me season 3
Dead to Me season 3 is a somber ten episodes culminating with Judy ultimately succumbing to her cervical cancer after she and Jen go to Mexico for a final vacation.
However, due to the somewhat ambiguous nature of the show’s ending, some fans have shown confusion regarding whether or not Judy actually dies in the finale. Personally, I think this is an open-and-shut case, but here’s why people are a little confused.
Judy’s “body” is never shown on-screen, and most people know the rule of television is that if there is no body, then you can’t say for sure that a character is dead. But I think in the case of the Dead to Me finale, it’s clear what happened, and to show Judy’s dead body would have been way over-the-top and too depressing.
The night before Judy dies, she reveals how much pain she’s been in to Jen, making it clear that her cervical cancer is progressing quickly. When Jen sees Judy is gone in the morning, she already knows what happened. Judy took the catamaran out into the ocean and likely died at sea or was at least near death out there.
Does Judy really die at the end of Dead to Me season 3?
Judy told Jen that being on the water was where she felt most free, so I think we can safely assume she went out there because she didn’t want Jen to see her actually die. Whether Judy died at that instant or maybe within a few days, it’s clear that she was ready to go, so Jen didn’t have to watch her take her last breath.
Even though not everything is explicitly described on-screen or shown in detail, there is enough there to draw conclusions regarding Judy’s death and the aftermath. I’m sure Jen took care of things like getting the boat back, her body, and planning a funeral. But the writers didn’t feel we needed to see that to give Judy a proper send-off, and I agree.
I loved the final moment when Jen drives home and “sees” Judy in the car beside her since Judy told her she would always be there for her, even in spirit. So yes, I think it’s clear that even if Judy didn’t die at that instant in the boat, she did die and didn’t just stay behind in Mexico to fake her death and avoid jailtime.
All three seasons of Dead to Me are now streaming on Netflix.