Over the last three seasons, Dead to Me has told a beautiful story about grief, loss, friendship, and forgiveness, and Jen and Judy truly became the greatest duo on TV, thanks in no small part to Christina and Linda's amazing chemistry onscreen.
The final season of the show was challenging in a number of ways. It was filmed during the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, but also, about halfway through filming, Christina was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
"On Dead to Me, we shoot completely out of order," Liz continued. "We had shot scenes from all 10 episodes by the time the news came in, and there was no going back."
While some might watch the final season and wonder if anything changed following Christina's MS diagnosis, Liz said that nothing did in terms of the story.
"We were stuck with the story that we had to tell, but also, that's the story Christina wanted to tell," Liz said. "She chose to finish. We did it on her terms, and nothing in the script changed, really, at all. We did whatever we needed to do to accommodate her in terms of blocking."
In fact, if you watch Dead to Me Season 3, you can see Christina holding on to Linda during certain scenes. Linda became Christina's shoulder to literally lean on.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Christina said there were conversations about stopping filming altogether, but she insisted that they finish the season on her terms, saying, "I had an obligation to Liz and to Linda, to our story."
"Everything that we went through, throughout all the different seasons, with the last season being the most challenging, made us so close," Linda told BuzzFeed in a recent interview. "Anything you go through in life that's very challenging — and we all went through different things, because you do go through things throughout the years, and they've been interesting years, of course — everybody leans on their friends."
She continued, "So you're lucky if you have those people at work, and I've leaned on Christina and relied on her, and I hoped I would do the same for her. So I think that's just what friends do. I think I'm lucky to be a friend who could be beside her."
Linda added, "I think that [Christina's] work is just as outstanding, if not more, in this final season. She's just so good, and she's just so brilliant. So I'm excited for people to see that."
Of course, at the heart of Dead to Me Season 3 is Jen and Judy coming to terms with Judy's terminal cancer diagnosis and the thought of having to say goodbye to each other. This made wrapping the final season even more emotional, on top of everything else.
"It was a lot. You know, you're saying goodbye in the script, and then, with the show being its final season, which we knew going in, we knew we were saying goodbye in real life, too," Linda told BuzzFeed. "There was a lot of denial about it."
Despite all the ups and downs that got them here, Dead to Me wrapped with a very poignant and emotional finale that focused on Jen and Judy's friendship, and it allowed the emphasis on Christina and Linda's offscreen relationship to really shine as well.
In fact, the last scene that was filmed for Dead to Me is the moment when Judy and Jen are lying in bed together and are "saying goodbye without saying goodbye," according to Liz.
"There was one script where I said something like, 'I know I've had the best time,' and we could not even get through that in the Zoom read-through," Linda added. "We could not get through it. It's true, I've had the best time. When you think about saying goodbye to your friends, or your life or grief, even when it's not you, you can never quite sum up those feelings in any way. But that simple statement, I think, means a lot."
For Liz, the night on set filming this final scene is one of her favorite memories from shooting. She said, "It was a really incredible experience to shoot that finale. It's bittersweet because I knew it was the last thing we were shooting. The goodbye scene was a night on our set that I'll never forget."
In an interview with Variety, Christina talked about wrapping the show, saying, "My life is so different now, and I miss [Linda and Liz] so much — not the characters, these two. I can honestly say with 100% conviction that I have never, ever worked opposite someone like Linda Cardellini; it was magical. I can’t think about whether it was good or not — I'm talking about just sitting there looking into her eyes every day."
She added, "That was the gift of my life. Hopefully, that was not the gift of my swan song. But if it was, I am so happy that it was with [Linda], my love."
You can read BuzzFeed's full interview with Linda Cardellini HERE, and our full interview with Liz Feldman HERE.
What did you think of the final season of Dead to Me? Tell us in the comments below!