Like Father, Like Son
I Know This Much Is True’s extended finale rounds out this limited series in the perfect way. With all the plot threads resolved, character arcs closed and lots of interesting, poetic juxtapositions between the past and present, I Know This Much Is True ends its 6 episode run with a wonderful finale.
Episode 6 of I Know This Much Is True begins with Dom and Thomas heading to the Falls together, where Thomas tells Dom that Jesus forgives him. As they get talking about what’s happened in the past, Dom takes Thomas back home with him and throws the manuscript away, “F you Grandpa.”
After putting Thomas down to sleep, Dom drifts off too but when he’s awoken by a car alarm outside, Thomas is nowhere to be found. As he frantically tries to find is brother, he calls the police and scrambles up to the Falls. Dom breaks down in tears as it’s revealed that Thomas has passed away after falling into the water and subsequently drowning.
Distraught but keeping everything bottled up, Dom starts to make funeral arrangements and calls Ralph, leaving a message to let him know the time and date. When he rings Dessa, she picks up and tries to get through to him, calling Dom a brilliant brother. Unfortunately, Dom feels like he’s failed Thomas.
The funeral begins and although Dessa doesn’t show up, Sheffer does. The words of the priest really hit Dom hard, especially the moments he talks about their family set-up, including how Thomas and his Mother had a special connection. This bring back painful memories of Thomas sharing a tea party with his Mother but Ray, upon returning home, kicked off and trapped Thomas in the closet.
With the audio from this event cut over the top of the final moments of Thomas’ funeral, Dom leaves teary-eyed and continues to blame himself for what happened, believing that he did nothing to ease Thomas’ descent.
After drinking several glasses of whiskey, Dessa finally shows up and embraces Ray, expressing her concern. As he starts to weep too, Dom finally snaps and confronts his step-Father over the abuse Thomas suffered for all those years. Ray calls himself a good Father but Dom continues to berate him. He tells Dom he’s a good man and that his conscience is clear but Dom scoffs incredulously and breaks out the truth about Ray’s abuse.
While everyone leaves, Dr Patel stays behind. She pleads with Dom to head into therapy and tells him to go easy on himself while Sheffer apologises for what happened and offers her sympathies, hugging him.
Dessa stays behind too and talks to him about the way he pushes everyone away. As he begins to do the same with Dessa, she looks at him and says “You’ll end up like him.” Dom stares back, “Like who?!” It’s akll too much though and she leaves, prompting Dom to head back and pick up the manuscript from the trash.
As he keeps reading Constantine’s words, he reads about his disdain for the Indians and in particular Henrik Drinkwater, before striking a deal to send Prosperina to a mental institution after what happened with his child. Dom finishes reading with the final note of the manuscript detailing how Constantina held many secrets. As he finishes the story, it’s revealed that Dom was reading these final notes to Dr Patel.
As they work through his issues together, she suggests he speak to Ray and patch things up given they’re essentially family. Whether he wants to admit it or not, he’s the closest Dom has to a Father. As he sits with him in the hospital, Ray tells Dom he’s a good boy as he holds his hand and weeps.
In the morning, Dom learns that Ray had a serious heart attack and because of this, he’s now going to need the support of his family to get through this. That family, of course, being Dom.
At the hospital, Dom finally starts to open up and he speaks to Dessa, apologizing for everything that happened between them in the past. After inviting her to meet him again, we cut forward in time and see Ray and Dom spending quality time together and him helping Ray while he’s in the nursing home.
On the back of this, Ray decides to stick around and offers up the house to Dom instead. As they keep talking, Ray reveals that he knew who his biological father was – Henrik Drinkwater. He immediately heads over to visit Ralph upon hearing this news, who admits that he hated Thomas and Dom, especially the way his sister and he were compared to them.
Ralph thought he always knew but kept it a secret because he was ashmed of them. This is obviously far removed from the truth and ironically he also hated Dom and the connection his twins had to him.
With the past put to bed and new seeds sown for the future, Dom finally feels free and able to move on with his life. As the episode closes out – Dom holds a baby in the children’s ward with Dessa and they both look at each other.
Between the masterful cinematography and excellent sound design, I Know This Much Is True bows out its 6 episode run with a reflective and poignant final episode. Seeing Dom finally open up and not be so consumed by the guilt and anger that’s plagued him for so long is a really powerful, positive message and it’s reinforced by those final moments where he holds the baby with Dessa.
Dom has been through so much over the weeks and while he believes himself to be alone, the truth is he never has been. The reveal that Ray and his Mother actually had a lot of intimate, sweet moments together that he didn’t see is a great reflection on what Dr Patel told him in therapy; people can be angry and sweet in equal doses and there are many shades of grey to people – it’s not as simple as a black and white version of good and evil.
Ultimately though, the show does an excellent job capturing the rawness of human emotion and for that alone, I Know This Much Is True has been one of the must-watch shows of the year. It’s helped by a stunning dual-performance from Mark Ruffalo too and out of all the limited series this year, this is going to be a tough one to beat.