- The Girl From Plainville -The Most Emotional Scene In The 'Girl From Plainville' Finale Is The "What If"
Hulu's The Girl From Plainville tells the true story of Michelle Carter, a young woman who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after she encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy to die by suicide in his truck over text message. The show, which shares its name with journalist Jesse Barron's Esquire feature on Carter, has pulled from the facts of the case as much as possible, with Barron and documentarian Erin Lee Carr (the filmmaker behind the HBO documentary about the case, I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter) onboard as consultants. However, perhaps the most powerful moment in the scripted series isn't based on reality, but of what may have happened if only Carter and Roy never stayed in touch.
In the show, Carter and Roy meet while both are on trips to Florida. While they do meet up occasionally after, most of their relationship exists within texts. As a stylistic choice, the show depicts these scenes as if Carter and Roy are in the same room, but makes it clear that they're communicating over message. Given how easy it would be for Carter and Roy not to have stayed in touch after their trip to Florida, the show examines what the fates of these characters may have been, had Roy never texted Carter back after their initial meet up.
The result is a tragic, 10-minute sequence in the finale. Carter — sporting long blonde hair that we know, in reality, she cut just before she was sentenced to prison — returns home for Christmas of her senior year of college. She went to California for school, something she and Roy would often speak about. She tells her mom over wine that even she is surprised that she survived to make it to senior year of college, and even she isn't sure what she will do next — she only planned her life out thus far.
She heads to a bar to meet up with some high school friends. While they don't show up, she runs into Roy, who asks her if she remembers him. She doesn't, initially, until he mentions Florida. She recalls their boardwalk hang out, and that he never called her after that, despite saying he would. They smile and flirt — almost like they got their happy ending. Then, it's revealed that it's all a nightmare of Carter's, who has played out this scenario time and time again. In the end, she can't stop the dream from going back to the K-Mart parking lot, where she tells Roy over text message to get back in the truck to die.
It's a terrible moment, and it drives home the point that the show was making about Carter (the fictionalized version) all along: She always wanted the best story, but failed to realize that, in real life, no one ever has complete control of the narrative.
For Carter, who romanticized Glee's storyline about Finn's death (which mirrored real-life actor Cory Monteith's own) and other tragedies like The Fault In Our Stars, the final moments of The Girl From Plainville allowed her to see the reality of the pain she caused. Whether the real Carter had a moment like this in her own life, we'll never know — but The Girl From Plainville's closing chapter is certainly a gut punch.