Who Dies on Prime Video’s ‘Wilderness’?

Reviews

Happily Ever After seems subjective on Wilderness, Prime Video’s new thriller (based on B.E. Jones’ novel of the same name) starring Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Liv and Will, respectively, a seemingly happily married couple. 

Warning – this review contains spoilers! 

The cracks begin to show almost instantaneously, however, putting a strain on their relationship and setting Liv on a course of seeking revenge… permanently. It’s fitting that the tagline and intro of the show is Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood, specifically the lyric, “look what he made her do.”

Liv doesn’t appear to be the kind of woman that would try to get away with murder, but certain situations have a way of changing people. Audiences soon learn that she has a crippling fear of getting cheated on that stems from seeing her father cheat on her mother, paired with a desire to never end up like her mother, who is still trailing her ex’s every move despite being separated from him for longer than she was ever with him. 

Liv sees her mother’s obsession with her cheating husband as somewhat pathetic—and vows to never end up like that. And that promise to herself may end up making her do something even more unhinged than withering away at home alone… something like murder. 

From the outside looking in—and even from the inside looking in for a bit—it seems like Liv and William’s relationship is a far cry from what her mother experienced with Liv’s father’s wandering eye, however, Liv’s perfect reality begins to cave in on Christmas when she sees a NSFW text come in on Will’s phone while he’s showering. 

The work trips suddenly turn into an excuse to “get balls deep”—a phrase used by Will’s boss—in another woman who’s not his wife. 

The cheating spouse trope isn’t exactly new, but it is promising and delightful that Liv doesn’t let Will gaslight her into forgiveness. 

When he claims that it’s just some flirty woman at a conference, Liv immediately questions why said woman was saved under his phone as “Sol,” another co-worker, pointing to the fact that there was nothing innocent about this. 

Will’s attempts to brush off his indiscretions don’t work, as Liv, who thanks him for his honesty about the “one time” hookup with Emily (likely a fake name), then kicks him out of the sprawling penthouse provided by his job smack dab in the middle of the holiday. 

It’s bold and empowering, and quite frankly, much-deserved. 

Will thought he could charm his way out of this, but he didn’t realize that he was dealing with a woman who refused to go down the same broken path that she saw as a child.

Liv then fittingly burns all of his clothes and mourns their relationship… and while I know re-watching a wedding video and then allowing Will to weasel back into the relationship with a “trip of a lifetime” offer doesn’t exactly scream “it’s over,” I do think that this scene was the pivotal moment where Liv’s love unwillingly ended and her obsession to destroy began. 

After this first sign of infidelity, Liv was never the same, nor did she look at the relationship in the same light as before. Even when it seemed like things were back on track when they looked picture perfect during the epic vacation, Liv underscored that they were merely playing their parts of what’s deemed by society a happy couple. Plastering smiles doesn’t make a happy couple, nor does brushing off every problem and burying it under the rug. It all simply festers there.  

Liv still very much loved him, but she loved herself more, particularly when she realized Will lied to her face about it being a one-time thing after finding messages in his email between him and another woman, and also, conveniently, a sex tape between the two of them during which Will told her he’d leave his wife. 

This part, to me, felt a bit unbelievable as I don’t think Will would be stupid enough to just have something like this in his inbox, but then again, if he has a sex addiction then keeping this on hand and within reach likely makes sense. 

Either way, this affair has likely been happening for quite some time as Cara (played by Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson) was briefly spotted in a scene during Will’s first work event right (when he and Liv go to hook up in an elevator) shortly after they moved to NYC. 

Upon seeing the video, Liv kept her cool in front of Will—despite wanting to internally blow up—and went on the trip as promised. It’s both impressive and terrifying that she kept her composure, and William should definitely be weary of the woman scorned because it’s a thing for a reason. 

A woman who is betrayed and has her trust broken over and over again will go to extremes. In Liv’s case, it set something off in her. The solution bubbling in her mind was much more sinister than just walking out on him and taking half of his assets; she carefully plotted his death—one that looked and seemed accidental during a happy couple’s delayed honeymoon. 

It had to be the kind that wasn’t messy and couldn’t be blamed on her, as she got away scot-free playing the grieving wife, which is why she figured “the wilderness” would be the perfect accidental setting. However, she hesitated the first time when she tried pushing him off the cliff, and the second time, when he went overboard water rafting, she pulled him back up, as he then saved her when she was flung into the water. 

All of this is to say that there’s still love, and despite the pain, it’s not as easy to just turn on someone.

Her desire for revenge is understandable, especially as she’s determined to not end up like her mom, however, in a sense, by killing William, he’ll always have a hold of her; she’ll never really be able to shake him in the same way that divorcing and leaving him behind would. That would take a strong woman in a different sense of the way, which is something she’s never learned or been exposed to. 

But how many times can someone have their heart broken? Liv was sent even more over the edge when she realized that Will’s affair was not only physical but emotional, as he took his mistress’ call during their trip only to climb back into bed with Liv. He feels absolutely no shame likely priding himself on being able to have his cake and eat it, too. 

Meanwhile, it’s only stoking the fire of Liv’s master plan, one fueled by passion, betrayal, and love, and one that she seemingly went through with if we’re to believe that final scene of the episode. 

Did Liv get away with murder? And whose gravestone is she visiting? Is it Will’s? Or perhaps his lover Cara’s? Will Liv and Cara work together? Does Cara have a significant other that Liv will pursue? 

The series will span a total of six episodes, all hitting Prime Video at once on Sept. 15, so we’ll see how twisted this once-joyous love story gets. 

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