Dead To Me season 1 premiere recap: Pilot


Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini headline this dark comedy about loss and lies. The first episode of Dead to Me proves that nice doesn’t mean trustworthy.

The first episode of Dead To Me focuses on Jen (who recently lost her husband after a hit and run) and Judy (whose husband died unexpectedly). The two meet at a grief group for people who have lost their significant others.

Jen is, well, not the friendliest person in the world. She’s always been tough, but grief has shut her down to almost everyone except for her two sons. Her version of “meditation” is screaming along to heavy metal in her car. That’s her in a nutshell.

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Judy tries to make small talk with Jen at the coffee table and Jen is (mostly) polite. It’s clear that Judy is much more interested in being friendly than Jen is.

As they talk, Judy mentions where she lives and Jen, an always prepared real estate agent, gives her a card in case she’s interested in selling. Judy, either thinking the conversation had gone much better than it had or just trying to be nice, asks if she can hug Jen. Jen, of course, shoots her down.

During the group meeting, Judy talks about losing her fiancé suddenly and unexpectedly. Jen is reluctant to talk about her late husband, but does confess that she has trouble sleeping.

After the session, Judy gives Jen her phone number. Judy also has trouble sleeping, so she suggests that Jen could give her a call if she needed someone to talk to late at night. Again, mostly being polite, Jen accepts the number.

That night Jen eats dinner with her sons and puts the youngest son to bed. He asks her to stay with him until he is completely asleep and she agrees.

After, Jen cries on the toilet, exercises and does some work. Still, late at night, she can’t sleep. She winds up calling Judy. The two joke and talk (mostly about Jen’s late husband) and quickly become friends. During the conversation, the two exchange pictures of their late significant others, with Judy sending Jen a photo of her and her fiancé in front of their house.

They talk until the early hours of the morning before Jen yawns and starts to get tired. Judy encourages her to go to sleep and Jen, like her son, asks Judy to stay on the phone with her until she’s fully asleep. Judy agrees.

Dead to Me then shows the two starting to talk at night more often, including watching random The Facts of Life reruns on tv. This leads to the two of them watching the show together at Jen’s house in her outdoor living room. As they hang out, they also drive around and wind up getting high on the beach together.

As they drove, Judy witnesses Jen’s habit of pulling over and taking notes on any cars that look like they have a “person-sized dent.” The police said it was unlikely they’d be able to find the person who hit her husband, but this is a coping mechanism she’s adopted since the accident.

Things are going well between the two friends until Jen tries to surprise Judy at Judy’s house.

Jen had figured out where Judy’s house was based on the photo, knowing Judy’s neighborhood and the fact that Jen’s good at her job. But, when Jen gets to Judy’s house, she finds the man that was in Judy’s picture, alive and well. And Judy is nowhere to be seen.

Turns out, Judy had lied about her fiancé dying. In reality, they had simply broken up. Jen, furious, cuts Judy out of her life completely. No contact at all.

That is, until Judy shows up at the grief group. Jen calls her out in front of the whole group for lying. Embarrassed and in tears, Judy confesses that she lied, but says they broke up because she kept having miscarriages and the strain on their relationship was too much. She just wanted a support system, so she joined the group.

Jen is still furious and Judy leaves the meeting. However, the rest of the group seems to understand Judy’s pain and make Jen feel bad for how mean she was to Judy.

Next. Dead to Me season 1 episode 2 recap: Maybe I’m Crazy. dark

Jen eventually goes to visit Judy at her job at a nursing home to apologize. The two women make up and Judy reveals that she actually lives at the nursing home. Jen, feeling bad for Judy, invites Judy to stay in her guest house and Judy accepts.

This episode of Dead to Me ends by showing Judy at a storage unit. In the storage unit is a car that looks like it has a “person-sized dent.”

Do you trust Judy? Let us know how you think this season of Dead to Me will play out in the comments.