'The Undoing' Finale Leaves Some Big Questions Unanswered

Albany clams? Hammer washing? We're as perplexed as you are.


The biggest reveal in the finale of HBO’s The Undoing turned out to be that the show wasn’t actually much of a mystery at all. Yes, spoiler alert, Hugh Grant’s Jonathan Fraser was the culprit all along. He murdered his lover Elena Alves (Matilda De Angelis) in a fit of rage after she mentioned that she was going to get closer to his wife, Grace (Nicole Kidman), and child Henry (Noah Jupe). This is all to say that the entire show was essentially a red herring. In the pilot you learn that Jonathan might have killed Elena, and then you are strung along as Grace considers other possible options: Elena’s husband? Their son, Henry? Her father, Franklin? But in the end it really was Jonathan, a charming pediatric oncologist who is also a sociopathic murderer. Remember, when he was a teen, he didn’t kill the family dog, he “killed the family sister.”

The finale was met with a collective groan by Twitter fans who felt they’d been suckered by the David E. Kelley–scripted series directed by Susanne Bier. It’s not that The Undoing didn’t have any redeeming qualities. Grant’s performance, despite ending with an absolutely ludicrous chase sequence during which he recited nursery rhymes and talked about fried clams, was wonderfully maniacal and worthy of accolades. Still, The Undoing is ultimately a show that ends with Nicole Kidman chasing down Grant and their son via helicopter for a brief, anticlimactic confrontation on a bridge in Kingston, NY. It also left us with a lot of unanswered questions.

Niko Tavernise/HBO
Niko Tavernise/HBO
Niko Tavernise/HBO

Can you really put sculpting hammers through a dishwasher?

The finale picks up with Grace confronting Henry about the sledgehammer she found in his violin case at the end of Episode 5. It turns out that Henry had found the murder weapon in an outdoor fireplace at his family’s beach house and, to save his father, ran the sculpting hammer through the dishwasher-twice. Are sculpting hammers even dishwasher safe? And would a dishwasher fully clean the object? I mean, sometimes it’s hard to even get pasta sauce off a bowl in the dishwasher. The Frasers must own a pretty strong dishwasher to get rid of all that blood.

What was all that about Albany clams?

On the drive north after kidnapping Henry, Jonathan says, “Right, I say it is very nearly fried clam o’clock,” and starts rambling about how wonderful the fried clams at the fictional Bollie’s of Albany are. Having never tasted fried clams from Albany, I must ask: Is the landlocked capital city of New York really a fried clams destination? If you’re actually in the mood for fried clams before you plan to either jump off a bridge or go to prison for life, why not head straight for the known fried clams purveyors in Connecticut and other New England states?

Why was Donald Sutherland in this?

Donald Sutherland’s presence seemed entirely like a misdirect. He’s Grace’s rich, menacing father, and… that’s all he’s here to do ultimately. I definitely was not the only person to think his Franklin Reinhardt might actually be the killer, but even if that didn’t turn out to be the case, why was Sutherland’s part as the protective family patriarch so thin? Why did they show him creepily peering up from the street at Fernando holding his baby in the Alves’ apartment in Episode 3, or give him that face-melting confrontation with the private school headmaster if he wasn’t ever going to be a suspect? Hats off to his epic eyebrows, though.


Can Noma Dumezweni get a spinoff?

Aside from Hugh Grant, the series standout was clearly Noma Dumezweni, who played the ultimately undermined defense lawyer Haley Fitzgerald. I have no interest in revisiting the Fraser family, but how about a spinoff starring Dumezweni teaming up with Grace’s weird friend Sylvia, played by Lily Rabe? It could be just like one of David E. Kelley’s old legal shows like Ally McBeal or Boston Legal. Consider it, HBO!

How many coats does Grace actually own?

Obviously the true star of The Undoing was Grace’s fabulous wardrobe. How does one even have that many coats? And where can we buy them?Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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