Apples Never Fall Ending Explained: Why Does Joy Leave Her Family?

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Based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, ‘Apples Never Fall’ follows the complicated dynamics of the Delaney family. When their matriarch goes missing, a Pandora’s box of secrets and lies is opened, and no one in the family is safe. With each revelation, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the mother deepens, and the father and the children are forced to question each other’s intentions and motives while also reflecting on their own actions over the years. Still, the question remains: What happened to Joy Delaney? SPOILERS AHEAD

Apples Never Fall Plot Synopsis

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Joy and Stan Delaney retire after an illustrious career in tennis, first as players and then as coaches. Months after their retirement, Joy Delaney goes missing. What’s odd is that whenever someone asks Stan about her, he makes some excuse, saying that she is sick or at home or not at home. As days go by and there is no sign of Joy, her children and friends get worried, and a police investigation begins. Once the cops look into the Delaney family, they realize that there is a very complicated dynamic between them, and there are so many things they don’t know about each other.

Joy’s four children also embark on an investigation of their own. While two of them are convinced that their father had something to do with their mother’s disappearance, the other two are adamant that their father is incapable of inflicting harm on their mother. However, as all secrets come to light, they are forced to change their opinions. Then, there is the case of the mystery girl, Savannah, who spent more than a month with their parents, and still no one knows anything about her, including her real name.

Apples Never Fall Ending: Why Does Joy Go With Savannah?

For about two weeks, the Delaney family is in turmoil. Everyone is worried about Joy, and this tension unravels all the secrets and lies within the family. It brings the family to the brink of ruin, where Stan is arrested and almost tried for the murder of his wife. But then, it turns out that Joy didn’t die. In fact, she never really went missing. She just went off-grid.

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Joy had given her life to her family. She had given up on her dreams and left behind a promising career in tennis to support her husband’s career, which didn’t really pan out as well as they thought it would. Then he went to coaching, and it didn’t matter if Joy wanted it or not. She decided to support him through it. She knew the dedication his job demanded, and she gave him complete freedom to pursue his goals, which could only happen if he didn’t have any other responsibilities. This meant that Joy had to do everything that Stan was allowed to be absent for.

While Stan focused on being a tennis coach, Joy handled the finances and accounts of his business, in addition to taking care of four kids, all on her own. Whenever things got tough, whenever Joy felt she could do with some support from Stan, he would walk out and come back after days. She was left with no choice but to do everything on her own. And she did it. There wasn’t a single minute of her life that she had to herself, and she had no one to help her through it. It wasn’t until after she and Stan retired and Savannah came into their lives that Joy realized how helpless she had been all her life.

What Savannah did wasn’t something grand. She did house chores, cooked, cleaned, spent time with Joy, and gave her space to talk about her feelings. It didn’t matter that she had an ulterior motive behind it. In the time she spent at Joy’s house, Savannah became the child Joy wished she’d had. All her children were like their father, self-absorbed and ungrateful. They never cared what was going on with their mother. They didn’t care that she had helped them through their worst times and forgiven them all their trespasses. When the one mistake she made came to light, they all shut her out like she was the one who ruined their lives.

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Joy felt betrayed by her children and her husband, who didn’t show her the empathy she’d shown all of them their entire lives. She called them in a moment of need, and when they didn’t pick up, she was disappointed but not surprised. It’s then that she called Savannah, not expecting her to come back after she’d so suddenly left. But to her surprise, Savannah not only picks up, she comes to see her. So, it didn’t matter that she was a con-woman, that she’d lied to her and taken money from her son.

What mattered to Joy was that despite everything, Savannah was the one to show up for her. So, when she invites Joy to her house in the hills, Joy accepts. She leaves without her phone and without having told anyone about where she is going. For once, she thinks her family should miss her. They have been taking her for granted all this time. It would do them good to know what it’s like when she is not there.

Does Joy Come Back?

While Joy may have left out of anger on her family, she still loved them. She needed time off from them to process her feelings, to be on her own, and to have the freedom she gave to them but not herself. She spends days at Savannah’s place, completely off the grid. She left her phone at the house, and there is no Internet connection where she is now. But that doesn’t bother her. She finally has time to do the things she wants and have some fun. With time, her head clears up, and when she discovers that there was a hurricane in Palm Beach, she decides that it’s time she reaches out to her family.

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Joy was bound to leave at some point, but Savannah didn’t want that. In conning her family, Savannah formed a real bond with Joy, and she saw the mother she had never had. After the truth about her lies came to light, Savannah never thought Joy would want to see her again, but when Joy calls her and she gets the chance to have that bond again. This is why she cuts off the phone line, and even though she knows her family is looking for her, Savannah doesn’t tell Joy anything.

It was because Joy had been completely unaware of what was happening with her family that she didn’t try to get back sooner. Had she known that the cops would get involved, she would have reached out and cleared the air. In the end, she does come back and is shocked by how much things have changed in the few days she was absent. Her return clears the air, and Stan is let go. The family is reunited, and while they still have a long way to go, Joy’s family has learned their lesson. What they went through in the past week or so has changed them. They appreciate their mother more, and now they know they must not take her for granted.

What Happens to Savannah?

Things would have never changed for the Delaney family had Savannah not come into their lives when she did. The dysfunctionality within them had hollowed out their relationships, and the fact that most of them could not look into the mirror and see their own flaws kept things as is. But when Savannah came and shook the tree, the Delaney family fell apart like a deck of cards. And that’s what Savannah wanted.

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Savannah was actually Lindsey Haddad, Harry Haddad’s sister. When Joy got Harry’s father to fire Stan, things didn’t just change for the Delaneys but also for the Haddads. Whatever flaws the Delaneys may have had, things were much worse at the Haddad household. When Stan was fired, Harry’s dad realized that the only chance he had of changing his life was to change his son’s life, and he could only do that by completely focusing on Harry. Things weren’t good with his wife, so he packed his bags and took Harry with him. He left behind Lindsey, not caring what would happen to her.

Young Lindsey was forced to stay with her mother, who was abusive in her own way. She was not kind and compassionate, not the mother Lindsey wanted or needed. She blamed the turn of her fate on the Delaneys and decided to destroy them when she had the chance. This is why she’d come into their family. But then, she found the mother she was looking for in Joy, and when, despite all her lies, Joy came back to her, Lindsey thought she could finally have what she was looking for.

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She was disappointed when Joy revealed she still loved her family and wanted to go back to them. Lindsey, aka Savannah, was heartbroken, and when it turned out that Joy knew the truth about her, she realized that Joy would never come back to her. Instead of sending her back home, Savannah decided to do something rash. Joy tried to calm her down, but in between this, their car crashed. While no one was hurt, Savannah knew she would be held accountable for her crimes. If she went to a hospital, she would be arrested, so she ran away from the crash site. Does this mean she will come back for the Delaneys? Probably not.

Now that the cops know about her, it would be stupid for Savannah to come back and try to harm any of the Delaneys. It would be better for her to stay away and start a new life somewhere else. She would most probably stick to her profession as a con-woman and continue living the life she led before she got herself involved with the Delaneys. However, the chances of her coming back to their lives are slim to none. Moreover, there is nothing she can do to damage them anymore. All of their secrets are out in the open now. She has lost the advantage she had over them, which leaves no reason for her to put herself in danger anymore.

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