LifeAfter’s lackluster ending – Explained
There’s a major twist at the end of the LifeAfter audio drama podcast that needs some clarification (because we argued about it in our audio review) – That Ross’ dead wife is, well, not-so-dead. She’s alive. And how did Ross know? He saw a familiar face at the final LifeAfter meeting – the dental expert who pronounced his wife’s death based on her dental records at the scene of the accident.
Ross, being an FBI agent, realizes that the only way Sasha could have 100% ensured that she gain access to the FBI was to fake the death of an agent’s loved one. And, to make things more complicated, the entire time, Ross’ wife had a dead sister, who Sahsa said would be able to come back in audio form, if they worked together. And because of that, Ross’ wife, Charlie, convinced Ross to move to the social media unit of the FBI, right before faking her death.
Then, Sasha used that to gain access to Ross.
And finally, it came full circle when Ross saw the dental expert, and he realized that the LifeAfter scheme was deeper than Ross thought.
The final scene echoes the opening, when Ross says “The weather doesn’t match the terrible thing I’m about to do,” right as he walks into a building he knows Charlie is hiding in.
The show ends with them talking, and seemingly getting passed the whole betrayal thing.
In my opinion, this is an incredibly weak ending. The “terrible thing” is not at all what we thought. (We all thought Ross was going to kill her, which would have made for a more satisfying ending.) And I think the reason that it feels so disappointing is because that there is no real growth to Ross’ character.
From the beginning, Ross is a bit of a mess. Despite being offensive to say, Ross was overly attached to his late wife. Yes, harsh, I know. But if you look at the facts of the show, they were only together a short time, and Ross even planned to leave her! He still thinks those thoughts even after he’s gone, so why is he so torn up about her?
Either way, Ross seems to have found himself by the later half of the show. He comes up with the plan to sabotage Sasha, and he even expresses his frustration at people who don’t have dead spouses.
He’s gained confidence and resolve that shows he’s more than just a sad person, and that he deserves to be an FBI agent.
Hell, right before the last few moments of the show, Ross is brave enough to realize that he doesn’t need the copy of LifeAfter, and he throws it into the river.
But, I think all of this change in Ross is undermined in the last scene. He walks into the house, and I think many of my fellow listeners thought he was going to stand up for himself – if not kill his wife, at least yell at her.
But instead, they simply say hello. And it’s alluded to that they may even work things out. How is that even possible?
Charlie not only lied and faked her death, using her own husband for personal gain, but she offered him up as collateral damage to potentially have his brain fried by Sasha.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’d be able to get over that. I’m not sure I’d even be able to stop myself from doing something actually terrible, or at least turning her in.
What do you think? Did you enjoy the ending? Did Ross’ character regress in that final scene?
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Vince, also known as Grumpy Gus, is a writer, director and lover of audio dramas. Though he may appear grumpy, working in audio drama production is his favorite passion. During the infrequent times when he’s not working, he’s probably watching The Office for the 6th time through.