*Warning! Spoilers ahead for Dead Ringers episode 6*
Dead Ringers dropped in full this weekend, with the six-part series telling the story of genius, but troubled twins Beverly and Elliot Mantle.
The sisters share everything, from drugs and lovers to a totally unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals of challenging antiquated practices and bring women’s health care to the forefront.
But in doing so, they push the boundaries of medical ethics.
However, it all comes to a head when the twins decide together that one of them must die.
While Beverly has fallen in love and established a relationship with a woman named Genevieve (Britne Oldford), Elliot has grown increasingly jealous as her sister breaks away.
At the same time she’s facing increasing pressure as an article detailing her murky practices, which include serious crimes, is about to be released, which has also lead her twin to also publicly distance herself.
In the finale episode, a heavily pregnant Beverly takes a call from her sister, before going to their fancy birthing centre to meet.
While Eliott says she can’t live without her sister, Beverly becomes somewhat despondent and shares she’s never quite felt satisfied with life, despite it seeming like she has it all.
Like in the movie, the storyline culminates in death.
But this time, instead of both twins meeting their end, they decide to switch their identities.
‘They have to climb inside you now,’ Beverly says of her unborn babies to her sister.
‘There was only ever supposed to be one of us. You always were a better me,’ she adds.
The scene then shows Beverly lying on an examination table as Elliot administers anesthesia.
She then slashes her own abdomen with a scalpel and stitches it up to appear like she has had a caesarean, before cutting the babies out of her sister’s stomach as Beverly bleeds out.
When Genevieve later returns to New York after an acting job has wrapped up, it’s made clear that Elliot has taken over her sister’s identity.
For screenwriter Alice Birch, who has previously worked on Succession, The Wonder, Normal People and Conversations with Friends, she said the cast and crew knew they were working towards an explosive final sequence from the start.
‘The ending and final twin swap was always where I thought I wanted to end it and it was all about navigating how we got there,’ she told Metro.co.uk.
‘It was heightened and operatic and gory and messy.’
She added it was the ‘saddest and most intense feeling’ telling this shocking part of the story.
‘We wanted them to be the most extraordinary women you’d never met- we wanted them to be the most ambitious, top of their field and to kind of make their dreams briefly come true,’ she said.
A huge part of the process of putting together the series involved a significant amount of research, as well as having experts on hand throughout writing and filming the series.
‘It was really necessary, and we had them before and during the writer’s room- midwives, obstetricians, endocrinologists and gynecologists’,’ she explained.
Every time there was a birth or medical procedure, several experts were on set because, as Birch said: ‘It was so important we got that right.’
An all-female writing room also sparked many conversations about subjects from fertility and birth to miscarriage and abortion.
‘Throughout the writing process people were bringing in research and stories and feedback and it was shocking because we don’t talk about it as much as we should and often women’s health is underfunded or under researched and the maternal mortality rate is still so high,’ she explained.
However, Birch said she felt they had ‘only just scratched the surface’ because there were ‘so many patients we couldn’t bring into the show that we really wanted to’.
In the original movie Beverly disembowelled Elliot in a drug-induced daze, in the misguided hope of ‘separating the Siamese twins’, before passing away from drug withdrawal in his dead twin’s arms the following day.
Directed by Sean Durkin, Lauren Wolkstein and Karyn Kusama, the TV series also stars Michael Chernus, Poppy Liu, Jeremy Shamos, Jennifer Ehle and Emily Meade.
Dead Ringers is now streaming on Prime Video.
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