‘Ginny & Georgia,’ the Netflix young-adult series from debutant writer and creator, Sarah Lampert, and showrunner, Debra J. Fisher, is what ‘Gilmore Girls’ would have been if it were made in the 2nd decade of the 21st century —unapologetically political and unabashedly over-the-top. In a way, the newer show’s themes and tones make it an interesting combination of the WB/CW series and ‘Desperate Housewives.’
‘Ginny & Georgia’ follows the eponymous characters (Antonia Gentry and Brianne Howey respectively) as they arrive in the fictional town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts, along with Georgia’s son, Austin (Diesel La Torraca), to make a fresh start to their lives. However, they soon discover that history has strange ways of repeating itself.
The narrative shifts back and forth between Georgia Miller’s troubled past and the current timeline as she tries to secure a better future for her two children than what she herself has been allocated. The series is teeming with surprising twists and turns and doesn’t necessarily answer all the questions it brings up as season 1 concludes. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Ginny & Georgia Season 1 Recap
Following the death of Kenny Drexel (Darryl Scheelar), Ginny’s stepfather and the most recent man in Georgia’s life, the family of three moves to Wellsbury, the quaint and affluent town that Ginny describes as, “It looks like Paul Revere boned a pumpkin spice latte.” The series quickly introduces the rest of its main players and the plot threads that will inevitably connect them to the Miller family.
There is a high-school love-triangle involving Ginny, her literal boy-next-door, Marcus (Felix Mallard), and her intellectual peer, Hunter (Mason Temple). After their arrival, Georgia secures a job at Mayor Paul Randolph’s (Scott Porter) office and starts dating the man himself. Like Lorelai Gilmore, Georgia also draws the romantic attention of the town’s scruffy business owner, Joe (Raymond Ablack), whom she first met when she was still 15 and pregnant with Ginny. Then there is Zion (Nathan Mitchell), Ginny’s wandering father, whose visit to Wellsbury stirs up old feelings and complicates things in Georgia’s romantic life.
In the course of the series, some of Georgia’s dark past is gradually revealed. Her real name is Mary Atkins. She grew up in Alabama. Her mother is an addict and her stepfather used to abuse her sexually. After she left home, she was briefly associated with a biker gang and then met Zion. All her life, Georgia has been a grifter, never really establishing roots. This has affected the lives of her children. Neither Ginny nor Austin had any friends before they came to Wellsbury and have always struggled to adapt to their mother’s vagabond lifestyle.
This changes when they arrive in their new home. Stunningly beautiful and full of Southern charm, Georgia draws attention wherever she goes, so it isn’t surprising that she quickly climbs through the social ladder in Wellsbury. The relocation proves to be a positive one for her children as well. Ginny seems to thrive in Wellsbury. She finds a best friend in Marcus’ twin sister, Maxine (Sara Waisglass), and forms a clique with Maxine and two other girls. After an initial incident in which he stabs one of his classmates’ hand with a pencil, even Austin becomes a class favorite with his mother’s help, liked by both his teacher and fellow students.
In the season finale, Georgia’s ruthless but popular tactics sweep the mayoral election for Paul. As his fiancée, she joins him on the stage while his supporters celebrate around them. Georgia is aware that Private Investigator Gabriel Cordova (Alex Mallari Jr.) is looking into Kenny’s death on behalf of Kenny’s former wife, but Georgia isn’t bothered by it because she thinks that she has taken adequate actions to prevent them from finding anything worthwhile.
What Georgia doesn’t know is that her daughter’s life is spiraling out of control. Maxine and Hunter find out about Ginny and Marcus and subsequently end their respective relationships with Ginny. Moreover, Cordova speaks to her daughter, telling her how Georgia used wolfsbane to murder Kenny. As Georgia basks in the glory of her success, she doesn’t realize that she has set herself to lose the very two people for whom she has done all this: her children.
Ginny & Georgia Season 1 Ending: Does Georgia Get Everything She Wants?
No, Georgia doesn’t get everything that she wants. The series establishes that she can make incredible sacrifices and commit vicious crimes for the people she loves. After giving birth to Ginny (full name Virginia), Georgia suddenly took off one day after discovering that Zion’s parents planned to take Ginny away from her and raise her themselves. Troubled by the notion of losing her daughter, she became the grifter that she is now.
Georgia married her first husband, Anthony, because she was on the verge of losing Ginny after the authorities caught them (Georgia and Anthony) running an illegal gambling operation. Georgia ended that marriage by poisoning her husband’s drink. She briefly returned to Zion but left again when she realized that her presence in his life was forcing him to choose between her and his dreams.
He was never meant for a regular job and was forced to accept one to provide for her and their daughter. By walking out of his life again, she cleared the path for him to become a celebrated photographer. Zion eventually returns the favor by leaving Wellsbury so that Georgia can continue her relationship with Paul.
Something yet to be revealed must have happened in the intermediate period between Georgia leaving Zion and meeting Kenny that turned her from a shy and awkward teenager to a bold and ambitious woman. Ginny’s narration reveals that there was a series of men, including Austin’s father, in that period of her mother’s life. Georgia married Kenny, a yoga-chain owner, to give financial stability to her two children. She killed Kenny shortly after she saw him inappropriately touching her daughter.
Georgia heard about Wellsbury from Joe during their first meeting, and it clearly left an impression on her. His incredible generosity (he shared his food with her and gifted her his branded sunglasses) towards her in the most vulnerable moments of her life made her believe that the place he came from must be a utopia. This is why she brings her children to Wellsbury, genuinely hoping that she will finally bring some semblance of stability to their lives.
Initially, her efforts show promising results. Her daughter finds friends, love, and even a sense of belonging. At work, Georgia immediately demonstrates her worth to Paul by helping with the Sophomore Sleepover event at her daughter’s school. She subsequently leads Paul’s re-election campaign and plays a pivotal role in the eventual defeat of the challenger, Cynthia Fuller (Sabrina Grdevich), the mother of Austin’s bully.
In the first episode, as they make their way to Wellsbury, Georgia promises her children that she will not get involved in any relationship this time. But the moment she meets Paul, that promise is forgotten. Later, when Paul tries to convince Georgia to choose him over Zion, he correctly recognizes her ambition, pointing out how similar they are in their pursuit of power. From that point onwards, that notion encapsulates their relationship. As far as projection goes, Paul and the Millers become the perfect Wellsbury family following Paul and Georgia’s engagement.
Georgia has always been intrinsically involved in her children’s lives, which continues after moving to Wellsbury. But the very lies that she has told them over the years to protect them end up unraveling her bond with Ginny and Austin. Every decision she has taken since she was 15 years old has been for the sole purpose of improving her family’s quality of life.
Her ambition is intricately woven together with her desire to give the children everything they will ever need. After the election win, she truly thinks that she has secured a stable future for her children. She doesn’t yet know that they have run away together. Although she doesn’t realize this yet, her moment of triumph is ultimately hollow, as she doesn’t have her children to share it with.
Why Do Ginny and Austin Leave Home? Where Are They Heading?
Georgia’s initial success with Ginny comes slowly undone when the latter starts experiencing an identity crisis. She is the daughter of a black father and a white mother. Her interaction with society at large will always be unique from her peers. But in Wellsbury in particular, she struggles because she doesn’t get to explore a quintessential part of her identity.
Although Zion is a loving father, he is never there for a prolonged period. The circle of friends that she becomes a part of in Wellsbury doesn’t include another black person. Ginny starts to experience a sense of alienation even between her friends. This, combined with her inclination for self-harm and sudden exposure to drugs, pushes her life towards a downward spiral. Because Georgia wanted to protect her, Ginny didn’t know that she had a maternal side of the family until her aunt showed up at their house.
Ginny constantly accuses her mother of hiding her past and doesn’t know that she is committing the same mistakes that her mother did. When she decides to run away, she feels the same way her mother felt whenever she had to leave a place. Ginny’s friendships with other clique members have all but dissolved, as has her relationship with Hunter. As for her and Marcus, that relationship seems to be caught in perpetual stagnation.
Ginny also leaves her home because she has become terrified of her mother. The moment she hears about what actually happened to Kenny from Cordova, she knows it to be true, even though she denies it in front of him. She constantly questions her mother about her secrets, and Georgia rightfully warns her that she (Ginny) will not like it if those secrets were ever revealed.
For all his youthful innocence, Austin has endured his share of disappointments when it comes to Georgia. He suffers the biggest heart-break yet when he finds out that his mother never sends the letters that Austin writes to his father, who is in jail. Instead, Georgia writes response letters herself, pretending that Austin’s father is a prisoner at Azkaban.
In her attempts to keep her son from learning the harsh realities of their circumstances, Georgia ends up hurting him, which leads to him joining his sister as Ginny goes on the run. The siblings are likely heading towards Zion’s apartment in Boston. But Ginny mentions that she intends to keep running, so they might end up at their grandmother’s home in Alabama.
What Happened to Kenny’s Body?
As soon as Georgia discovers that Kenny’s ex-wife has hired a P.I., she gets her connection in the criminal underworld, likely the biker gang members from her youth, to exhume Kenny’s body and burn it, permanently stopping anyone from acquiring evidence on how he died. Georgia slightly underestimates Cordova here, not fully comprehending how relentless he can be. As the season finale ends, Cordova has found out about Anthony and will likely make Georgia’s life miserable in season 2 as he unearths what happened to her first husband.
Read More: Where is Ginny & Georgia Filmed?