“I love you,” Jen (Christina Applegate) writes to Judy (Linda Cardellini) in Dead to Me’s season two finale, “more than wine.” It’s a sentiment that wouldn’t be out of place as a bumper sticker on a soccer mom’s Toyota Highlander, but the ritual of sipping on and gossiping over wine has been one of the most defining characteristics of our murderous duo since their fateful meeting in season one. Malbec in glasses? Sure. Pinot straight from the bottle? You bet. Riesling in mugs to create the illusion of nonalcoholic beverages? Cut them some slack! They’re hiding way too many secrets that could result in 25 to 30 years of jail time, duh.
While we’re still reeling from the shocking events of the finale, Vulture thought it would be fun to channel our energy into honoring all of those fermented grapes who sacrificed themselves for Jen and Judy’s wellbeing. (And Jen and Judy’s livers.) Let’s recap their scene-stealing appearances.
Our very first wine moment of the season isn’t a Jen and Judy pairing, but a Jen and Karen pairing, with the clingy neighbor offering up a bounty of orange wine for backyard sharing. What is it, you ask? “I saw it on a Reddit subthread,” Karen explains, “about menopause.”
When dinner arrives and with Jen still Judy-less, she breaks out a red blend in the hopes of dulling the dinnertime conversation with her boys.
Which she continues to sip in bed, while researching how to get a damn stop sign at a damn intersection thanks to all those damn cars driving too fast.
Jen spills a little of this bonus late-night wine, but it’s all right. It makes her miss Judy and she gives her a call. They’ll be back to watching The Facts of Life together in no time.
After Detective Perez surprises them at home with Jen’s restraining order against Judy (ha ha, like these two can actually stay away from each other), Judy drops a bombshell in the garage, a few feet away from Steve’s freezer corpse: He was in the … Greek mafia??? “It’s actually more of a syndicate,” she notes. We’re gonna need a glass of white to process this.
And another glass to process this, over a nice salmon dinner with the boys.
In their defense, we’d also need yet another glass of pinot gris if Steve’s equally handsome twin and his defined cheekbones came knocking on our door, looking for a friendly chat. At least there’s cherry pie?
It’s honestly perfect that Jen’s choice of self-defense weaponry for a potential home invasion is a bottle. A full bottle, of course.
Jen likes to work on her real-estate stuff from home, but doesn’t exactly like how Steve’s corpse is giving her an eerie gravitational pull from the garage.
Not even switching tables (and pouring another glass of white) can help.
It feels almost criminal that throughout Jen and Judy’s drunk wedding crasher montage in Antelope Valley, not one of their beverages of choice is wine. To honor their dance moves anyway, here’s a shot of them downing some Moscow Mules while “Chains of Love” booms in the background.
But all of the fun must come to an end when Dad Bird dies. RIP, Dad Bird.
“I’m sorry, are you the wine sheriff?” Jen tells a store clerk when he scoffs at her many, many bottle purchases. “Because I’m the dick police and you have the right to remain fucking silent.” Too bad what happens next isn’t as cool.
Karen really wants to bask in the glory of orange menopausal wine, doesn’t she? But Jen has bigger, non 5.5–16 percent proof problems to deal with, like the fact she’s increasingly attracted to the twin brother of the man she murdered, who’s standing right behind her.
Following a healing (and at times, erotic) chiropractor session, Jen and Ben get to know each other better over wine. And for a brief moment, he seduces her through the power of dance. It’s very effective, obviously.
Between the excitement of Judy getting a new crush and a kid’s Christian choir recital, there was barely any time to luxuriate in a few sips of nectar from the grape gods. Good thing the entire gang bails on the recital for an arcade, which has a liberal alcohol policy. It makes air hockey twice as fun!
The misery index for Judy is depressingly high now. First, she has to break up with her new lady love, Michelle, because she just happens to be the ex of the detective investigating her case. And then Judy gets roped into planning a memorial service for her dead ex-fiancé? With hundreds of guests? Yeah, we’d need an afternoon glass, too.
Nothing quite like running into the Laguna Police police chief by day, Greek mafia underboss by night, who subtlety threatens you for turning in your dead ex-fiancé to the feds for money laundering. Glass two, coming up!
Oh God, and what is this now? Your dead ex-fiancé’s girlfriend, who’s a few months pregnant after you tried for years to have a child with the same guy? Glasses three and four with an extra side of sneer.
And now, our poor Judy has to witness Jen making out on the beach with the twin bother of her dead ex-fiancé. When she was bringing her a glass of wine! Ugh. Time for glasses five and six.
It’s been a long day. If only Jen knew that in approximately ten seconds she’ll be getting a declaration of love (and a bedroom exercise) from Ben.
Jen prepared one hell of a dinner (“kind of a once in a lifetime thing here”) for the boys and Judy before her plans were unceremoniously ambushed by bad news after bad news. We’d like to honor that dinner with this empty wineglass, which we know would’ve been home to a damn good vintage.
In a twist almost as shocking as the car crash, there’s no wine anywhere in the season finale. (And we dare not mention Ben’s whiskey.) As consolation, here’s our favorite ladies snuggling before things turn to shit again.