‘On the Verge’ is a Netflix comedy series that revolves around four women who have been close friends for nearly two decades. The story is predominantly set in the pre-COVID Los Angeles, where Justine (Julie Delpy, who is also the creator, co-director, and co-writer), Yasmin (Sarah Jones), Anne (Elisabeth Shue), and Ell (Alexia Landeau) deal with motherhood, work, and the pursuit of love while trying to overcome their midlife crises. ‘On the Verge’ is a quintessentially feminist show about women in their 40s and 50s who try to find a way to reinvent themselves. The humor in it is eccentric and often satirical. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘On the Verge’ season 1. SPOILERS AHEAD.
On the Verge Season 1 Recap
The show begins with a flashforward scene that depicts all the main protagonists in paintball gear. The narrative then goes back to almost two months earlier. Justine is a French expatriate and chef who runs a successful French restaurant with Jerry (Giovanni Ribisi). She is the sole provider in her family, which also includes her husband Martin (Mathieu Demy) and her son (Christopher Convery). Martin is an out-of-work architect who is both envious and disparaging of his wife’s success. In the course of the season, Justine writes a cookbook, the success of which sends Martin further into depression and impotent anger.
Anne is an heiress to a large fortune and runs an ethical clothing line. Initially, her marriage to George (Troy Garity), who is about a decade younger than her, seems to be the most stable among their friends. However, George later declares that he is unhappy and wants a separation. He subsequently moves out and gets a new apartment with his wife’s family’s money. Anne’s relationship with her mother is clearly toxic. She is financially dependant on the older woman, which has allowed the latter to have considerable leverage in her life. Anne and George have a son together, Sebastian (Sutton Waldman).
Ell is a struggling singer mother. Her three children, Sarah (Daphne Albert), Oliver (Duke Cutler), and Kai (Kai To), have three different fathers. Among them, only Sarah’s father, a lawyer, gives Ell any child support. She gets hired to do a number of odd jobs throughout the season but can’t hold on to any of them for a prolonged period. Eventually, she decides that her children are talented, so she sets up a talent agency to represent them. It doesn’t work, and she is forced to go back to square one. This is when she finds out about families that run channels on video-sharing platforms and decides to set up one of their own.
Yasmin is a black Iranian expatriate. She is married to William (Timm Sharp), who has made his fortune by selling his tech company to a wealthy individual in Saudi Arabia. They are the parents of Orion (Jayden Haynes-Starr). Yasmin is in-between jobs. Although she doesn’t suffer the same financial hardship as Ell, being out of work has definitely made her more emotionally volatile.
And that seems to have strained her relationship with her family. It is revealed that she used to work as a spy for the US government but later left that job and married William. In the show, a shadowy agency contacts her and instructs her to spy on William as they believe he is involved in international espionage. Although she reluctantly accepts the job, she quickly realizes how much she has missed her old life.
In the season 1 finale, the narrative comes full circle as it catches up with the fast-forward scene. Most of the major characters visit an outdoor paintball facility to celebrate Orion’s birthday. The experience ends up becoming a pivotal moment in the lives of several of them. As they return home, a newscaster reports the advent of the COVID outbreak.
On the Verge Season 1 Ending: Does Justine Leave Martin?
Yes, Justine tells Martin that she is leaving him as they return from the paintball facility. Martin’s failure in his own career as an architect has made him insufferable, petty, and somewhat cruel. Initially, Justine seems to accept his abhorrent behavior, but that changes as her world expands after the publication of her book. Discovering that there are people who are impressed by her creativity, humor, and talent, she learns to value herself. Her friends also help her in this journey. While visiting San Francisco to promote her book, she meets Francisco Ortega, an Argentine chef. They spend a wonderful day together, which ultimately leads to a passionate night.
It is revealed that Francisco is also married. But he confesses to Justine that he can’t live without passion in his life. After returning to Los Angeles, Justine is overwhelmed with guilt. This is when Martin chooses to change his behavior, but that is only because one of his designs has finally been approved. When Francisco tells Justine that he will accept a job offer in Los Angeles and move there, she is still hesitant to end her marriage. But Martin’s behavior when the newscaster speaks about COVID makes her realize that he will never change. And that realization makes the decision for her.
Does Anne Reconcile with George?
No, Anne doesn’t reconcile with George. After she tells him that she will stop putting money in their joint account because she is cutting her ties with her mother, George panics. During the journey back from the paintball facility, he tells Anne that he is ready to return home, not realizing that the woman he sees in front of him is not the one he left. Anne declines but still tells him that he will continue to be an important part of her life.
Of all the protagonists of the show, Anne is the most easy-going. But after George leaves, she is forced to re-evaluate certain things in her life. She meets Adam, a free-spirited and inherently romantic soul who has consciously chosen not to have a home. With Adam and her friends’ help, Anne realizes that it is time for her to break free of her mother’s constraints on her. And that means that Anne has to free herself from the financial burden she has put on herself, including adding money to her and George’s joint account and effectively sponsoring his life as a single man.
Do Ell and Her Family Become Famous?
Yes, Ell and her family become famous. They set up a channel called Priceless on a video-sharing site and start posting videos they record. Not long after this, the channel starts to gain popularity as their videos documenting their lives and those around them draw more and more views. One time Ell and Kai even get recognized in a grocery mall. In the season 1 finale, the video they post about the paintball fight goes viral, prompting Ell to correctly remark that their lives are about to change.
Is William an Enemy Spy?
No, William is not an enemy spy. Yasmin gives all the information she has gathered from her husband’s computer to her handler, who then clears William of all suspicions. And suddenly, Yasmin finds herself in the same position as she was a few weeks earlier: jobless, largely purposeless, and anxious. During the paintball event, she tries to take out her son early so he wouldn’t suffer a serious injury. But this backfires, and she ends up hurting him. In one of her and William’s final scenes of the season, the latter basically asks her to be honest with him, making Yasmin recall all the secrets she has hidden from her husband.
Read More: Is On the Verge a True Story?