Deprivation Binge

Nine Perfect Strangers finale recap: What happens in the end?


Well, we’ve done it. We’ve reached the end of the retreat, and our time at Tranquillum House has come to a close. For such an unpredictable, chaotic, and sometimes stressful show, the Nine Perfect Strangers finale surprisingly managed to give everyone some closure—but not before putting them through their most difficult tests yet.

The first seven episodes all led up to this one explosive hour. Read on to find out how it all panned out.

Nine Perfect Strangers finale recap: Sensory deprivation, information overload

Nine Perfect Strangers — “Ever After” – Episode 108 — Carmel (Regina Hall), shown. (Photo by: Vince Valitutti/Hulu)

Last week, we saw what we thought was Masha hallucinating when she believed that Carmel was the person who attacked her in the parking garage. However, it turns out this wasn’t Masha’s mind playing tricks on her: Carmel was the one who shot her. Not only that, but it turns out she’s the one who’s been sending her threatening texts as well.

Carmel feels guilty about this, admitting she just wanted Masha to know what it felt like to lose control, as that’s how she felt when Masha cheated with her husband. Masha knows that’s not the only reason—that she also came here because she wanted to be fixed. Carmel encourages Masha to call the police and turn her in, but Masha forgives her. After all, if Carmel hadn’t shot her, she never would have become the person she is today. She would never have started Tranquillum House.

Masha orders Carmel a “self-care” session, which turns out to be some time in a sensory deprivation tank. Although Carmel eventually relaxes enough to enjoy this, thinking of a happy memory of dancing around with her children, she quickly becomes panicked when she gets out of the tank and realizes the door to the steam room is locked. Her claustrophobia rears its head, and she begins to scream.

Nine Perfect Strangers finale recap: Nine perfect strangers, one tiny room

Nine Perfect Strangers — “Ever After” – Episode 108 — Lars (Luke Evans), Carmel (Regina Hall), Ben (Melvin Gregg), Jessica (Samara Weaving), Tony (Bobby Cannavale), and Frances (Melissa McCarthy), shown. (Photo by: Vince Valitutti/Hulu)

Meanwhile, Frances tries to extend an olive branch to Tony by telling him about the lockdown she heard Masha mention, but Tony will hardly look at her. Guilty and nervous, Frances begins rambling an apology, saying she doubted herself when she said they would never work—it didn’t have anything to do with him. This causes Tony to soften, and even though he doesn’t think they have a chance together in the long run, he invites her to dinner at the Four Seasons.

Frances happily accepts the invitation, and the two decide to leave the retreat early. However, while getting their car, they run into Ben and Jessica, who are also back deeply in love and interested in going home. But when the two couples get to the garage, they realize their cars are missing: a terrifying situation made even more ominous by the echo of Carmel’s screams.

They retrieve Masha, demanding that she open the steam room door. Masha complies, but when they and Lars go in to rescue Carmel, she shuts the door again, trapping them all. Panic quickly sets in, compounded by the fact that they begin to smell smoke. Convinced they’re going to die, everyone begins listing their biggest regrets in life and saying what they would have done if they had made it out of the retreat alive.

Lars would start being nicer to people and try and win Ray back. Ben would go back to work, as he misses having a purpose and talking to interesting people, and Jessica would stop caring what other people think and open a business. Carmel vows to let go of the past, and Frances tells Tony she would have given him her house key.

Yao eventually saves them, reassuring them the fire was just a simulation and there was never any real danger. Masha designed the room to feel as close to a near-death experience as possible for them to have these revelations. She never wanted to hurt them—only to help them have these epiphanies.

Nine Perfect Strangers finale recap: Hellos and goodbyes

With six of the strangers stuck in a steam room, Masha focuses all of her attention on the Marconis, who are now wary of her methods since Lars told him they’re being used as guinea pigs so Masha can see her deceased daughter. Masha assures him they’re completely safe and that she dosed herself to make the entire process better. She encourages the Marconis to begin meditating with her, and soon, Zach appears to Zoe again.

Zach’s appearance sends the family into turmoil, namely Napoleon, who begins panicking and having a nosebleed, the sound of his alarm clock haunting his head. Luckily, Zach is able to calm him down, telling him how to stop the blood. He works to assuage the family, saying his death was no one’s fault, and they need to stop trying to assign meaning and blame to something that has none.

None of them are guilty for his suicide, and the alarm Napoleon keeps hearing means their time to mourn him is over. They can’t see each other in this life anymore, but they will reunite someday. The family tearfully accepts his words, telling him one final goodbye.

Just as Zach exits, Masha begins to feel her daughter’s presence for the first time. Zoe helps her see her daughter by feeling a snowflake on her skin and leading her into a different part of the forest. Masha tenses up, nervous about what this means, but Zoe encourages her to let go. Once she does, Masha can finally see her daughter again—the one thing she’s always wanted.

Nine Perfect Strangers finale recap: The end of the retreat, the beginning of the rest of their lives

Nine Perfect Strangers — “Ever After” – Episode 108 –(Nicole Kidman) and Tatiana (Alyla Browne), shown. (Photo by: Vince Valitutti/Hulu)

The police that Delilah drove off to retrieve finally make it to the retreat, and they begin to take Masha into custody. Masha, however, doesn’t mind, as she’s still completely at peace after reuniting with her child.

When the authorities question the strangers about what happened at the retreat, they all cover for Masha, thankful for what she did for them.

They all go off to lead better lives than before: Frances and Tony have that dinner at the Four Seasons, where Tony FaceTimes his children and Frances begins writing a book about her experience on the retreat. Ben and Jessica start working at Tranquillum House. Carmel goes to a support group, now doing better than ever. Lars goes back to Ray, and it’s revealed they have a child together, and the Marconis finally begin to heal without Zach.

It’s implied that Masha gets off free and continues taking the drugs as she drives down the street, grinning with her daughter in the passenger seat.

What did you think of this episode? Were you satisfied with the Nine Perfect Strangers finale? Comment your thoughts below!


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