‘Tell Me Lies’: Meaghan Oppenheimer Breaks Down The Finale


This article contains spoilers.

You cannot say you weren’t warned! Hulu’s Tell Me Lies is one of the most gripping series of the year! And the finale, “The Bedrooms of Our Friends,” did not disappoint! While many questions were answered, there were also cliffhangers aplenty.

Based on Carola Lovering’s bestselling novel of the same name, the 10-episode drama centers around the tumultuous and passionate relationship between Lucy Albright and Stephen DeMarco (Grace Van Patten and Jackson White). Their relationship destroys everyone in their inner circle.

This twisted, sexy series was adapted for television by Meaghan Oppenheimer, who also serves as executive producer and showrunner. She recently opened up about writing a series about toxic relationships and warned of the dangers of revolving your entire life around another person.

At the time, she hinted that the finale would be worth the wait. Oppenheimer wanted to make a series that explored how we undermine ourselves when we fall for the wrong people. When Lucy meets Stephen, she sees all the red flags but ignores them. “I wanted to write a show that captures, for lack of a better word, how humiliating love can be.”

Tell Me Lies received a straight-to-series order, and we definitely need another season. Here’s what we know: Stephen was driving the night Macy died; Stephen left Lucy for Diana; Lucy hooked up with Evan; and Stephen ended up with Lucy’s best friend, Lydia. As for the rest, Oppenheimer answered six questions.

What happened to Drew?

Drew’s fate is something that will be revealed in later seasons. At the engagement party in 2015, Evan excuses Wrigley’s behavior by saying, “It was his brother’s birthday yesterday.” This could mean a couple of things. It could mean that his brother is literally dead, but it could also just mean that Drew and Wrigley are deeply estranged, and everyone knows how upsetting this is for Wrigley. At this moment, I can’t reveal what exactly happened. Either way, Lucy’s actions definitely begin the domino effect that leads to Drew’s fate, but all of her actions are a result of Stephen’s.

Did Stephen feel remorse for killing Macy?

I do believe Stephen felt remorse, but Stephen’s depth of emotions is hindered by his overwhelming need to survive at all costs. Stephen was raised not to trust anyone and therefore treats everything and everyone like a threat. This has turned him into a person who is unable to act selflessly. So no matter what situation he’s in, his mind always returns to the question, “How does this affect me? How do I protect myself?” So while he does initially feel extreme guilt over Macy’s death, he almost immediately goes into self-protection mode. In order to protect himself, he has to essentially repress any feelings of guilt he’s experiencing. As for his manipulative behavior that follows Macy’s death, I don’t think this behavior is different from how he lived before the accident. He has always seen other people as pawns to control; it’s just that the stakes are higher now that there is a death involved. He manipulates Lucy initially to ensure that his relationship with her remains on his terms and within his boundaries. But then, once she learns his secret, his manipulations become more about keeping her close in order to protect his secret. He turns Lucy and Pippa against each other because he recognizes Pippa as a threat to his relationship with Lucy and therefore feels the need to form a wedge between the two. In general, narcissists isolate the people they’re in relationships with in order to control them. As for Wrigley, the way he turns everyone against him is purely for revenge. He considers Wrigley’s history with Diana a huge betrayal, and Stephen is the type of person who sees revenge as justice. I don’t think he’s ever had a friend he feels as close to as Wrigley. At the start of the season, it is probably the closest thing he has to a selfless relationship apart from his sister. When Wrigley hurts him, he doesn’t have the emotional intelligence to handle it maturely. However, I do think he regrets Wrigley’s injury at the end of the season and is aware it went too far. At that moment, he decides that Wrigley has been punished enough, and he can finally forgive him.


Did Stephen love both Diana and Lucy?

I think he loves both women in whatever way he is able to love anyone. However, he always saw a future with Diana. Everything in Stephen’s life is strategic, so being with someone like Diana, who has similar ambitions and can help his career, is clearly the more strategic move. His connection with Lucy is intense but inherently unstable. But Stephen’s love is fickle, so this could all change again.

What was the thing that ultimately changed Stephen’s feelings for Lucy?

Several things changed Stephen’s feelings for Lucy. The fact that she gave up her trip to India for him is a huge turn-off as it tells him that she has no focus or motivation outside of their relationship, which is the complete opposite of Diana. But his fight with Lucy is the final straw. Not only because Lucy attempts to blackmail him but because he realizes that Lucy is actually no longer a true threat to him. If she reveals Stephen’s secret about Macy, she would have to reveal her own part in the cover-up, which is something Stephen knows Lucy is not brave enough to do. Lucy has messed up badly by sending the letter to the Dean, which ruined Wrigley and Drew’s lives. She has hurt Pippa by allowing her to take the blame. If Lucy tells on Stephen, he will also tell on her. Both Lucy and Stephen realize this during their fight. Lucy is no longer the only one who has leverage. They are both at the mercy of each other. They are even. So Stephen feels safe leaving Lucy for Diana. Lucy has become a controlling force in his life, and being controlled is not something Stephen will ever accept. Diana, on the other hand, feels stable. She has always been the person he goes to when he’s struggling; she always has a plan. When he sees Diana at the Hawaiian party, his life has unraveled, so when she offers to help him, it is an escape route that feels familiar and comforting.

Lucy does terrible things to her friends. What kind of a person is she?

I think being in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship brings out the worst in people, especially someone so young and inexperienced. I don’t think Lucy is an inherently bad person, but she has been so manipulated and gaslit over the past year that she has lost touch with herself. She is completely addicted to Stephen, and like any addict, she will do anything to maintain that connection. She’s making almost every move in a state of flight or fight. As for sleeping with Evan, I think this is something she will regret more than anything else. She is not someone who does things intentionally to be cruel; she does them without thinking and then feels terrible about it afterward. She hooks up with Evan in a moment of desperation and isolation and is looking for any sort of comfort.

How did Stephen end up with Lydia, Lucy’s best friend from home?

It is important to remember that Lucy’s breakup with Stephen at the Hawaiian party is not the last time they interact with each other before the engagement party. The Hawaiian party is seven years before the engagement party, and Lucy tells Pippa in 2015, “I haven’t seen him in four years.” So there are still three years left of ups and downs that we have not seen yet, all of which lead to the dynamics we see at the engagement party. Stephen’s relationship with Lydia is a mystery that will unfold in future seasons. Lydia does not act guilty in front of Lucy because her relationship with Stephen is no longer new information. Lucy already knows Lydia and Stephen are together, and their friendship ended (most likely because of Stephen) long before they see each other again at the engagement party. It is still extremely painful to Lucy, and seeing Lydia and Stephen after all this time opens that wound, but it is not a revelation. However, whenever Lydia and Stephen initially became an item, it would have resulted in an extremely dramatic response from Lucy. I hope we get to show that moment and everything that led to it in future seasons. I don’t think Stephen is being intentionally cruel. I think he is just being careless. Everyone knows he and Lydia are together now, and he feels no reason to hide it since he and Lucy have been over for so long.

This fantastic cast includes Catherine Missal, Spencer House, Sonia Mena, Branden Cook, Benjamin Wadsworth, and Alicia Crowder. Let’s hope season two comes soon!


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