Going into the Feud: Bette & Joan finale on Sunday night, what we ended up seeing from start to finish was a powerful, heart-wrenching, and also incredibly-sad 80 minutes of television. While the stories of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford came to an end, the In Memoriam tribute at the Oscars proved to be a reminder of one thing: Two seconds. A great career, and that is all it boils down to. You get your tribute, and then everyone moves on and starts to look more and more towards whatever could be coming down the road in their careers.
During the finale, we saw the final stages of Joan’s career, whether it be the release of her book (which didn’t end up being anywhere near what she hoped that it would be), or some of her struggles to revitalize her career with Trog, a movie that was not anywhere close to what she thought she would be. She wasn’t always a nice person at all, but there is no denying how terrible the end of her life was.
Do we think that the show over-simplified her end that she was thinking so heavily on Bette Davis? Maybe, but you can’t exactly ask like you consider this to be all that much of a surprise given that this is what the show is about. Also, we do have to say that one of the most powerful moments of the entire series was seeing Joan imagining in her head that she and Bette were coming back together for a dinner, putting most of their differences in the back burner in the process.
Ultimately, Joan’s ending was sadder than what we can say, but Jessica Lange owned this role with power and empathy. The same goes for Susan Sarandon and her performance of Davis. We saw her continue to anchor the end of the finale, especially when it comes to her confronting the documentary makers about why she didn’t want to speak out about Joan.
What we learned about Bette in the closing minutes here is that while she tried to project being a coldhearted person when it came to her former co-star, there were some moments of sympathy. For example, there was that moment where she briefly debated whether or not she wanted to speak with her on the phone. She even called her before hanging up!
Our final verdict on Feud: Bette & Joan is that this was a story of heartbreak, where Hollywood was the cruel abusive partner who gave you everyone you want, and then took it away. It turned Joan into an addict; there were moments where we started to see her and feel for her when the addiction waned, but at that time she was too far gone in order to ever fully recover. Finale Grade: A-.
What do you think about the Feud: Bette & Joan finale? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Meanwhile, head over here in the event you do want to see some additional news right now when it comes to Feud season 2. (Photo: FX.)