The Essex Serpent ended with a whimper.
With many big reveals (and a terribly-placed time jump), The Essex Serpent Season 1 Episode 6 felt incredibly rushed.
The disappointing limited series wrapped with most of the characters receiving a happy ending.
In the bleak world of The Essex Serpent, we didn’t expect everyone to have a happy ending — and we were teased with a much darker one.
Sadly, words we often dread appeared on the screen during the last 10 minutes of “Six Months Later.”
The unnecessary time jump ruined what would have been a poetic ending by making it entirely out of character from the rest of the series.
Before the time jump, things were exciting but still muddled and rushed.
After reading a letter from Will confirming Stella’s diagnosis and approaching death, Cora vows to try and fix things instead of breaking them.
She tried to mend things with Dr. Luke and even offered for him to move in with her, but he claimed he couldn’t because of his love for her.
Cora also repaired her relationship with Martha (to a point; the emotions were still raw).
Even though Cora doesn’t think it would be healthy for her, Frankie, or the townsfolk for her to return to Essex, she ends up visiting Stella one final time.
During her trip, she learned just how sick Stella ended up and also reignited some sexual tension with Will.
However, before they could get too far, Frankie alerts them of Stella’s plan.
She prepared a boat (with the help of Frankie) and launched it into the water, planning to drown herself (trying to see the serpent).
Luckily, Will saved her in time, but not before Stella got a look at the “serpent” itself.
Stella became the best part of the episode, with Clémence Poésy providing the best performance.
She saved the hour from becoming a total disaster until she took her last breath with an emotional Will by her side.
Poésy (Fleur from the Harry Potter films) impressed us the entire season; she seriously wowed til her character’s life stopped.
Her chemistry with Danes and Hiddleston reached new heights during the finale, and we were impressed.
Stella’s death was not something we were surprised by, but we were surprised that she ended up being the only death.
Naomi had been hiding at Cracknell’s house, and she finally emerged to return home.
Why did no one check Cracknell’s old house when searching for Naomi?
Many similar, logical questions were brought up during this series that got utterly glossed over.
The finale’s focus leaned heavily into the romance aspects of the series while shoving the mystery deep down.
However, the mystery got an ending: we got to see the “serpent.”
The “serpent” revealed itself, dead, washed up in the marshlands (Naomi hinted at its death when she returned home).
The creature’s true nature (finally) was revealed, not as a spawn of the devil or even as a serpent, but as a giant whale.
Making the serpent a giant whale disappointed us (although we didn’t expect a big snake) because a whale making its way into marshlands seemed a bit impossible.
Despite the scientific anomaly of a whale in the marshlands, making the serpent, a whale seemed like a bit of a cop-out.
The series teased us with supernatural undertones from the beginning, and many of those undertones lose their worth with the whale reveal.
Instead of answering questions, the finale only brought up questions we had forgotten about (and then failed to give us an answer).
How did Gracie die? What influenced the kids to chant at Jo? Why did Jo have a seizure? Why did Naomi run away?
How are we just supposed to accept that the townsfolk (and her father) accept that Naomi is just suddenly back?
That there’s a GIANT beached whale suddenly in their marshes?
Just as we hope there could be some explanation or more details: SIX MONTHS LATER appeared.
A LOT happened in those six months because there were so many changes.
Dr. Luke has become head of the medical school to teach people his surgical expertise.
When we left him six months ago, he was entirely depressed and defeated that he couldn’t use his hand.
Suddenly he’s okay, can write to Cora, and seems happy with a new job.
Will also had a significant change before the unprecedented time jump: Stella’s death.
Six months later, Will had moved on and suddenly appeared to Cora as she headed home from an archaeological dig (which, when did she get back to doing that?).
They embraced and *literally* walked off into the sunset together.
Things seemed to have calmed down in Cora’s life, but we don’t know how and if she ever really made up with Martha.
Speaking of Martha: she didn’t appear in the flash-forward scene at all.
Martha proved to be an integral part of Cora’s storyline and had a relatively exciting side plot relating to socialism.
Leaving her out of the flash-forward scenes proves to be a strange choice, and we missed seeing her.
Overall, the series disappointed us, and the finale did not improve on the rest of the show.
As a limited series, we assume this is the end, but you never know how streaming works nowadays.
What did you think of the series?
So Fanatics, did you want more from the finale?
Let us know in the comments below!
The Essex Serpent’s entire season is now available on Apple TV+.
Michael Stack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.