Bad Mothers finale reveals Charlotte’s killer, but that’s just one part

Bad Mothers cast includes Tess Haubrich (far right). Courtesy of SundanceNow.
Bad Mothers cast includes Tess Haubrich (far right). Courtesy of SundanceNow. /

Who killed Charlotte was just one aspect of the Bad Mothers ending.

Bad Mothers came to an end today on Sundance Now, and so TV crime drama fans know who killed Charlotte. But identifying the murderer ended up being only half of what made the finale so entertaining.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details of the Bad Mothers finale, which is streaming on Sundance Now today. Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the episode yet!

It didn’t come as a huge surprise that Charlotte’s murderer was someone outside the main cast—the creepy teacher who had previously been hovering over Danielle (Jessica Tovey).

After Kyle (Don Hany) discovered his tie, the ladies realized that Charlotte must have also been sleeping with the teacher. Using Danielle as bait, they eventually collared him and Anton (Daniel MacPherson) was finally set free.

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But Bad Mothers was always about more than the murder, and that was true for the final episode as well. Every one of the main characters had some kind of turning point, based on the experiences that the situation had put them through.

Bindy (the ever-upbeat Shalom Brune-Franklin) and Maddie (Mandy McElhinney) both had chances for a fresh start, while Danielle and Tom (Steve Bastoni) reached a crossroads now that Danielle was pregnant.

And as for Sarah (Tess Haubrich) and Anton, after things seemed to be totally over for them just a week ago, they were beginning to repair their once-perfect marriage. Would it ever be the same? Probably not; a murder charge and infidelity on both sides changes a relationship. But the fact that they had hope and a clear future was incredibly uplifting.

That’s been the real fun of Bad Mothers all along. The best TV crime dramas build worlds around their whodunits, and this series made us care about the relationships that were affected by this one murder.

Charlotte was a terrible person—cheating on her husband with multiple other people, including her best friend’s husband. It was hard to grieve for her specifically, but the audience could care deeply about the fallout for the people around her, many of whom barely knew her. We saw Sarah realize that her life was perfect on paper, but that real life is much more complicated and messy, and that imperfect can actually be better.

Anton certainly learned a lot about himself. Bindy saw the reality of her ex and her need to grow up (hard not to when your parents kick you out of the house and move away). Danielle found a new business venture and was finally honest with Tom about what she wanted. And Maddie gained some self-confidence. Bad Mothers was as much about their journey together as it was the dead body that started it.

Now the question is, will there be a Bad Mothers series 2? The show works perfectly well as a limited series—the murder has been solved and everyone’s arcs have come to a natural stopping point. But these characters have come so far, and the actors are so good, you can’t help but want more. Hopefully no one would die next time…or would they?

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All eight episodes of Bad Mothers are available to stream on Sundance Now. Sign up now with a 7-day free trial.