The eventual resolution of “The Betty Broderick Story” in the “Dirty John” anthology is an expected one. From the beginning it is apparent what Betty was going to do. The final episode goes through the texture of the trial and what necessitated a certain reaction. Betty’s response is seen by some as warranted while others rally against it for obvious reasons. However how much psychological abuse leads to the break that leads to murder is an interesting quandary and what determines that psychotic behavior. The progression shows a hung jury in the first trial but then it is specifically overturned in the 2nd trial. The tone seems to push that Betty in fact liked the attention and in a way felt vindicated by those rallying behind her. She however comes off as a bit too flippant. But again the key of the show , despite how vehement it shows Dan. is what dictates a certain consequence of action.
Betty is a tragic figure but there is a disconnect in the elements of whether her actions were the result of a nervous breakdown, a conniving mind or a mixture of both. This degree of responsibility is not debated in the end of this series but it is certainly brought to mind. The texture though places it in the essence of what dictates in her mind and the general populace the greater good. Her kids are now without a mother who is in jail or a father who is dead. Even her daughters, as is shown in the 2nd trial, are against each other in who they support. Despite what causes this degradation, it speaks to an idea that human behavior is messy and some situations have no true solution. Betty still to this day believes, as a certain parole hearing reinforced very recently, that she did the right thing and was driven to it. Yet she supposedly still shows no remorse over the action. It is an interesting conundrum. The final shot is the most diametric with Amanda Peet singing an interesting song into a phone to an unknown caller, a life lost but claimed despite an outcome.
By Tim Wassberg