Nine Perfect Strangers ends the season with their last episode “Ever After”. Will the Extreme Treatment Protocol Work? Will the guests of Tranquillum House survive?
Masha (Nicole Kidman) and Carmel (Regina Hall) continue their discussion from the previous episode. We learn that Carmel is the one who shot Masha years ago and sent threatening texts. Begging Masha to call the police, the guru refuses and forgives Carmel for what she did.
Francis (Melissa McCarthy) walks up to Tony (Bobby Cannavale) at the pool trying to apologize for pushing him away. She admits that when she’s nervous she struggles with what to say and apologizes for ending their blossoming relationship. Tony hastens to forgive and asks her to go with him and Francis accepts.
Masha heads for her meeting with the Marconi. When she finally joins Napoleon, Heather and Zoe (Michael Shannon, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten), another obstacle is thrown before her psychedelic treatment. Lars (Luke Evans) explained to them that Masha hopes this experience will work so that she can connect with her deceased daughter. Quickly, Masha allays their fears and the four begin to meditate, while Lars records videos of the outskirts and Yao (Manny Jacinto) monitors their health.
Between Delilah (Tiffany Boone) going to the police, Carmel doing an out-of-body experiment in a sensory deprivation chamber, and Francis and Tony leaving, the action returns to the woods and the Marconi experience. Zoe thinks she hears Zach and leaves the group with Masha following closely behind. As Carmel rediscovers the joy of his children and life through his hallucinations, the Marconis desperately want to see Zach (Hal Cumpston) once again.
Napoleon’s overreaction to a nosebleed brings the ethereal spirit from within, and Zach stands in front of his family teasing his father. This is the moment that Heather, Napoleon and Zoe wanted. Each of them wonders why Zach committed suicide, and his answer is that there really isn’t a definitive answer. Napoleon is tormented by the sound of his alarm clock on which he slept on the morning of Zach’s death. Lars having watched this intense drama from behind the scenes turns off the camera and leaves.
Back at the lodge, Francis and Tony look for their car so they can leave when they meet Ben (Melvin Gregg) and Jessica (Samara Weaving). Hearing Carmel screaming from her locked room, the group try to assure Carmel that they will take her out, causing a confrontation in the woods between the group and Masha. Upon leaving the Marconi, Masha slyly locks Tony, Francis, Ben, Jessica, Carmel and Lars into the room so that she can return to the forest.
As Napoleon continues to hear his alarm clock, the group in the lodge fear for their lives as they smell the smoke. The belief that the building is on fire brings. Faced with the possibility of death. The guests reflect on who they were and what they would do if they survived.
Napoleon continued the sound of his alarm clock until he saw Zach again. In chatting with his son, Napoleon describes how he won the Teacher of the Year award seven times. He has drawers full of cards from parents and students congratulating him on all he has done for them. Napoleon’s greatest grief is that he was able to help so many other children, but he feels like he has let his son down. For Napoleon, he failed the only boy that mattered.
Joined by the rest of the family, Zach gives some advice to his parents and sister. The alarm Napoleon keeps hearing isn’t a reminder of what he didn’t do on the day Zach died, but it’s an indication that the time has come to mourn him . Zach implores them to separate him from the day he died.
Having gained a better understanding of their pain, Zach leaves and the Marconi must now build on what they have learned. Returning to the lodge, Zoe sees snow and leads Masha to her own calculations. On a hill led by Zoe, the snow swirls into a storm where Zoe is lost and replaced by Tatiana (Alyla Browne). Masha’s pain over losing her daughter is replaced by joy as she spends a few more minutes with her child.
Yao frees the group trapped in the basement and explains to them that they have never been in danger. Although controversial and alarming, the simulated fire was intended to motivate patients to make a change by putting them in an extreme situation. Angry with the way they have been treated, they all head for the hill, where they see contented Masha as she cradles her imaginary daughter while singing to her.
Delilah arrives with the cops and Masha is taken away for questioning.
Beyond Tranquillum House, we see how the Nine Perfect Strangers have progressed. Tony and Francis start their relationship by going to dinner. From there, we watch Francis write at the table as Tony succumbs to a nap. Away from the dinner table in weeks and months, and a year after their visit to Tranquillum in search of healing, we see nine very different people.
Yao and Delilah have joined the Peace Corps. Carmel is healthy and content while discussing her mental health issues in group therapy. Ben and Jessica, who have little motivation to motivate themselves, decide to buy Tranquillum House and embark on wellness. Lars and Ray have reunited and they now have a child together. The Marconi are happier than they have been, but they will always carry the scar of losing Zach with them. Francis and Tony’s relationship blossomed with the purchase of a dog and the sharing of a home. Tony even reconnected with his daughters. Masha speeds down the road in Ben’s car, seeing the image of her daughter and a smile on her face. On the dashboard of the car is Francis’s latest book titled Nine complete strangers.
My opinion :
Unbelievable! I didn’t think the show could still turn up the emotions, but these final scenes between the Marconi family are heavy and will definitely make viewers cry. Michael Shannon is going to be nominated for an Emmy. Michael Shannon deserves an Emmy. The way he delivers this heartache as he describes not being able to help his son is haunting. The power this man brought to the role of Napoleon should not be forgotten by Emmy voters.
Nicole Kidman proves her ability to disappear into a role and create compelling stories that will hook viewers. I couldn’t help but support Masha because Kidman makes her so sympathetic. At the same time, Kidman brings enough danger to Masha that it should come as no surprise that Tranquillum House could end in disaster. Nicole Kidman is extremely talented, award-worthy and will certainly be on stage several times this year for Nine complete strangers.
I loved how there were clues to when this show was filmed. The last episode used the term lockdown and social distancing. COVID-19 is not mentioned, but those few choice words were devious nods at the time.
I think it won’t be the last we hear about Nine Perfect Strangers, and I look forward to seeing this show honored with many upcoming awards.
Bill Gowsell has loved everything Disney since his first family trip to Walt Disney World in 1984. Since he started writing for Laughing Place in 2014, Bill has specialized in covering Rick’s literary universe. Riordan, a retrospective of the Touchstone Pictures film library, and a variety of other Disney-related topics. When not spending time with his family, Bill finds himself at the bottom of a lake. . . Scuba diving