The Girls on the Bus Ending: Does Sadie Go to Prison?

The finale of HBO’s ‘The Girls on the Bus’ turns out to be the tensest episode of the season as things seem to fall apart around Sadie, especially as she grieves Bruce. For her friends and colleagues as well, the clash between personal and professional leads to several problems. By the end of the episode, Kimberlyn’s marriage suffers a fatal blow, while Lola discovers the power of having the journalistic badge and the doors that the lack of it closes. For Grace, her personal life finally settles down a bit, and things look on the bright side. But the final scene of the show, which calls back to the first scene of the series, opens the door to a whole new set of challenges. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Girls on the Bus Episode 10 Recap

Image Credits: Nicole Rivelli/Max

Being a journalist is difficult enough, but it becomes even more challenging when the forces you want to topple are more powerful than anyone else. Sadie McCarthy faces this problem, as she finds herself helpless even when she has quite a potent weapon in her arsenal, the exposure of which could make or break careers. However, things are not so easy, and that frustrates her even more.

After discovering that her favorite Presidential candidate, Felicity Walker, was targeted specifically to have her pushed out of the race, Sadie tries to get to the bottom of the plot against Walker. She had previously tracked down Declan Morales, who revealed that the one who asked him to dig up dirt on Walker was none other than the billionaire Dick Braun. It makes sense that Braun would go after Walker, especially after what happened in the previous elections. But that is not the only reason. Sadie theorizes that there must be bigger forces at play if Dick Braun is making an effort to have Walker, a rather popular candidate, pushed out of the race.

It only makes sense that he must be invested in some other Presidential candidate, someone who would benefit greatly from Walker’s removal from the race. It doesn’t take her much to realize that this person is none other than Hayden Welles Garrett, the unassuming Mayor who flew under everyone’s radar because everyone considered him the horse who would lose.

Why is Sadie Arrested?

Once Garrett’s true face comes to light, Sadie asks her friends— Grace, Lola, and Kimberlyn, to help her find out more about Garrett because it turns out that they were all so focused on the other candidates that they never thought of doing a background check on him. No one knows who he really is and what he really stands for. Considering that he was smart enough to have Dick Braun on his side to get rid of Walker, it is clear that everyone heavily underestimated him. But the girls decide that now is the time to rectify that situation.

Image Credits: Nicole Rivelli/Max

The task is divided between them, though Kimberlyn asks to stay away from it as much as possible. Grace posits that now that they are questioning Garrett, they must start by verifying everything about him, especially the things that brought him into the public eye. She decides to dig into the accident that turned Garrett into a hero, where he saved a woman from a burning car. With the help of her daughter, she gets in touch with a witness, and it becomes clear that the story is not what Garrett is telling the whole world. Meanwhile, Lola reaches out to the community of influencers, especially those with the expertise and influence, to help her track all the donations made towards Garrett. Though he says that all donations come from the general public, it turns out that most of these donations come from rich people, one of whom is Dick Braun.

With the help of Declan Morales, Sadie discovers another shocking truth about the Mayor. It turns out that his history in the military is not as decorous as he has led people to believe. He received a dishonorable discharge, and the incident that led to this is also hidden from public view. Sadie delves into the files that Declan produced for her, reminding her that this act is illegal and she will go to jail if she references the evidence because that is classified information that she shouldn’t have in the first place.

When Sadie’s editor discovers what she has, she is told to get a quote about it from Garrett or his staff but also be cautious because they cannot disclose a classified file. Instead of being cautious, Sadie eventually goes directly to Garrett and questions him about his military history, which raises all the alarms, and Sadie falls into the orbit of the FBI. She is called to meet them, but she knows where this will lead, so she avoids them like the plague. However, once the nomination results are announced and it becomes clear that Felicity Walker has lost and Garrett has won, Sadie realizes that it has become even more crucial to bring his true face to light. But for that, she will have to cross the line of the law, and the first step outside will lead to her getting arrested.

What Happens to the Files?

Image Credits: Nicole Rivelli/Max

While Garrett takes centerstage, revving up for the next phase of the elections, Sadie is taken away by the FBI. The handcuffs seem a bit extra, especially after it is revealed that the agency doesn’t really have any evidence against Sadie. They were tipped off about her having access to confidential information, but they would need proof to take action against her. Perhaps they put her in handcuffs because they considered her a flight risk, especially after she didn’t reply to any of their calls. But once she is questioned and it becomes clear that nothing can be pinned on her, she is let go. And it all happens because of her quick thinking.

Sadie knew that the possession of the evidence was the reason the FBI was chasing after her. She also knew that if they got the files back, all her efforts would be in vain, as that information would never see the light of day. It would be buried so deep that no one, not even Declan Morales and his connections, would be able to get it, especially if Garrett’s rise continued to be meteoric. Sadie couldn’t, under any circumstances, lose those files, even if she had to go to prison for it.

At the announcement of Garrett’s nomination, Sadie meets Grace, Lola, and Kimberlyn and gives all of them one part of the evidence so that even if one of them is caught, there will be something left for the others to follow. The trick works because while the FBI turns Sadie’s place upside down, looking for the files, they never stop and pay a mind to her friends. This saves not just the files but also Sadie, who is allowed to walk free due to lack of evidence. With the files in their possession, the girls now have a way to bring down Garrett, though it won’t be so easy, especially with Garrett’s win over Walker.

Read More: The Girls on the Bus: Is the Max Show Based on a Book?