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The Righteous Gemstones season 1 finale recap: Better is the End of a Thing Than Its Beginning

The Righteous Gemstones season 1 finale recap
Adam Devine, Danny McBride, Edi Patterson from The Righteous Gemstones. Pic credit: Ryan Green/HBO

The Righteous Gemstones season 1 finale is here and it is time to see the fates of the broken televangelist family that once thought they were untouchable.

Here is the recap for the season finale of The Righteous Gemstones — Better is the End of a Thing Than Its Beginning.

Catching up with The Righteous Gemstones

Last week, everything went bad for most of the Gemstones family.

Jesse was finally honest with Amber, but instead of his honesty freeing him from his sins, it ended with Amber shooting him in the butt.

Baby Billy fired Judy now that he has all the stolen Gemstones money and she went nuts. When she couldn’t get BJ to come back to her, she went nuts in the parking lot and ended up arrested.

Kelvin is shaken up as well, revealing that he thought he might have been Jesus himself but now realizing that he might be the Devil. He kicks Keefe out of his home because he can’t be his leader anymore and Keefe’s reaction was heartbreaking.

Finally, Eli Gemstone is shaken — his grandson betraying the family, his daughter ending up in jail, and his realization that he can’t do this without Aimee-Leigh.

At least Baby Billy is a rich man now, but that can’t last, can it?

On to this week’s season finale.

Righteous Gemstones Season 1 finale

Judy and Kelvin come clean to Eli Gemstone about the robbery and the blackmail attempt by Scotty and Gideon.

When Jesse shows up, he “accidentally” drops some bombs about Kelvin and Judy’s sins as well, thinking they were all coming clean. This all ends with Eli firing all three of his children.

This devastates both Jesse and Kelvin, but as usual, Judy just wonders if they get to keep their houses and Eli will keep paying for them.

She is gloriously clueless.

Then, the final episode goes into overdrive.

Jesse and Amber

Jesse still wants to make his marriage with Amber work but things are not going well.

Amber is still a massive b***h and makes that clear when she continues to insult her friends, even when her own sins are out there.

When one of her friends mocks her by saying she will just “forgive and forget” she responds by saying, “at least my husband didn’t roll over and f*ck a wh*re in front of all his friends. I do admire your courage, though,” leaving the woman in tears.

Brilliant.

Sadly for Jesse, his honesty was not enough. Amber tells him that she won’t even consider taking him back unless he goes to Haiti to get Gabriel, who went there to do missionary work to “pay off his debt.”

The way both Amber and Jesse mention “missionary work” in a distasteful manner is hilarious. It was also funny hearing Jesse call Haiti, “Hades’ country.”

Anyway, he has to go to Haiti to convince Gabriel to come back home or she won’t take him back. He goes and Gabriel refuses to come back home, meaning that when Jesse returned, Amber kicked him out of their home.

BJ and Judy

BJ and Judy had the greatest conversation ever, both in an Outback Steakhouse and later in front of a security guard at the Gemstones Compound.

It turned out Judy had lied to BJ through their entire relationship. She had not slept with thousands of guys before him and he was her first. Honestly, the fact that she is so honest and he was so shocked to hear this is hilarious because it shows both of their cluelessness.

These have to be the dumbest people on a show full of really dumb people.

She then admitted to a hilarious story of her only other boyfriend — an old college professor that she sexually assaulted after class and thought he was complicit in it.

She talked about him crying when she finished and talking about his wife and child. She finished this “relationship” by kidnapping the man’s son from school so she could tell him about her relationship with his daddy, only to end up arrested for kidnapping, ending that “relationship.”

Just, wow…

It was enough for BJ to finally decide to forgive her (!!!) and he went to the compound with a small radio to do his Say Anything moment, only to get tasered by the security guards.

The two finally make up after this with some comments that had the security guard behind them visually disgusted.

Kelvin and Keefe

Kelvin decided he was going to embrace his inner devil and showed up at his youth group dressed in black with eyeliner and told the kids he could no longer be their leader.

He passes it off to another guy and leaves. The girl that he helped save from a life of sin earlier in the season chases him down and asks what his deal is.

She asks if it’s because of his boyfriend, Keefe. After he clarifies they are not boyfriends, she shows him some photos on Insta (“Its Instagram, not Insta. That isn’t even that much more to say.”)

The photos showed that Keefe went back to the Satanist group he was with before meeting Kelvin and was turned back into their big baby again at the rave parties.

Kelvin realized his mistake and rushed there to save his friend.

Baby Billy

The resolution of the first season of The Righteous Gemstones had Jesse, Judy, and Kelvin find a clue that revealed to them that Baby Billy was who was responsible for Scotty’s death and stole the money.

When they tell their dad, he is proud of them (“I forgive, but I don’t forget”) and the four set out to Baby Billy’s home.

He has already started spending the money and goes on the run when they show up.

They end up in the middle of a field where Billy breaks down and tells them that God sent the money in his direction and he deserves it because Eli took everything from him when he married Aimee-Leigh.

However, when he raised a pitchfork to threaten the Gemstones, he was struck down by lightning.

Jumping back, the episode began with Eli, Jesse, Kelvin, and Judy saying their final goodbye to Aimee-Leigh as she died. However, as they tried to pray a bee came into the room and they all tried to kill it, destroying the room.

That tied into this, where they carried Baby Billy back to his house and started to pray over him. A bee came into the room and landed on Billy’s head. To Gemstones saw it but this time stayed calm and left it alone.

The bee stung Baby Billy on his head and he came back. He cried and told them that he saw Aimee-Leigh and told him to forgive Eli and that she loved him.

Billy then gave back all the money.

The Righteous Gemstones wraps up Season 1

The first season of The Righteous Gemstones showed the fallout from this season’s mishaps.

This all plays over a sermon by Eli about forgiving your enemies and learning to live even after a loss. During this, a few things were shown.

First, Judy and Kelvin were both back at the church services and ready to work again. Keefe is also back again. The families that Jesse destroyed are also at church, in various forms of disarray.

Eli met up with Seasons (the preacher that they were running all over early in the season) and offered him the church in the mall. He won’t work for the Gemstones — they will work together as partners.

Baby Billy even had a happy ending as a man who preaches in tent revivals as Baby Billy the Electric Preacher, where they sell his hand-drawn artwork about what he saw when he was dead for $39.99 or $59.99 for versions that used crayons.

However, there was one person who actually sought redemption.

Jesse moved out of his home with Amber. He did not go back to the church. Seeing Judy and Kelvin there, it was clearly his choice.

That is because he got on a plane and flew to Haiti to join his son Gabriel to pay back for his sins. The first season ended with father and son together, digging a ditch.

The Righteous Gemstones will return for a second season on HBO.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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