Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 Review: A Fitting Finale

Spoilers

Well, we did it. We made it to the finale of Elsbeth, and all that’s left to say is when will the next season be?!

A lot was done differently in Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10, and it all made for a fantastic ending to an enjoyable season of murder hijinx.

As most viewers likely noticed from the start of the episode, the usually “howcatchem” show shifted gears to a genuine murder mystery.

It was undoubtedly a subtle misdirect to treat audiences, as the trailer promo didn’t show who the killer was, and viewers were likely expecting a full rundown at the episode’s start.

At least the most likely character from the episode trailer to be the killer was a mislead because Nadine was hilarious and likable.

I believe strongly in kindness and second chances. Also, in the healing power of the sun and certain textiles.

Nadine

If you read the spoilers for this episode, you’ll remember that Nadine is played by Laura Benanti, who previously graced the small screen in Gossip Girl.

She also appeared on in The Good Wife Season 5, Episode 19, “Tying the Knot.”

Audiences can forgive for thinking Nadine was the killer, as every previous killer has been a familiar face in The Good Wife and The Good Fight universe.

Nick: Backstage is chaos before the show. There’s no way to know who was where at any given moment.
Nadine: Which works out well for designers who like to screw the models.
Nick: Why are you still wearing that? Just because your career is over doesn’t mean you have to trash mine.
Nadine: Oh, yes. This is going to be a huge seller at Talbot’s.

And wow, did she make an impression during her appearance in “A Fitting Finale.”

Nadine - Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 - A Fitting Finale

Early on, some moments felt like hamhanded approaches to mislead the police.

Nadine: no, it can’t be. It was Ezra? Someone killed Ezra?
Matteo: Can you believe this is happening on your final appearance?
Nadine: That doesn’t matter now.

But as the episode continued, viewers likely realized that the supermodel wasn’t putting on an act. She’s just ridiculous.

Nadine: You asked me questions yesterday and I wasn’t completely honest. I wasn’t myself and not just because I was made up like a melting glacier.
Donnelly: Oh, that’s what that was.

Laura Benanti delivered some of the season’s best lines, with so many quotable moments it was hard not to pick them all.

As for the real killer, that was a bittersweet revelation because Matteo was the only person in the entire series to compliment Elsbeth’s style.

Elsbeth: You like what you see there, sailor?
Matteo: Has anyone ever said you have a singular style?

He was a sweet old man who clearly needed corrective lenses because while Elsbeth’s look is fun in a quirky way, it’s by no means runway-worthy.

You all look so incredible. I wish I had a better fashion sense, but, you know, my knees.

Elsbeth

The only thing the episode fell short of was the exposition required to change the murder mystery format.

Designer - Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 - A Fitting Finale

Hearing Matteo give the rundown of what happened before the episode diminished the spark of seeing the crimes played out through the show’s trademark camp.

Matteo: I’d given some assignment exploring different cultural modes of fashion. They took it upon themselves to produce this elaborate pictorial with Nadine made up completely as different ethnicities from all around the world.
Elsbeth: You mean?
Matteo: Oh, yes. Black face, yellow face, red face. Each more offensive than the last.

If all that wasn’t enough, Elsbeth was still in the dog house with Wagner, as audiences saw at the end of Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 9 when the captain told the attorney she was no longer welcomed at his precinct.

Seeing Elsbeth and Wagner arguing felt like watching your mom and dad argue.

Elsbeth: I was just doing my best to support the department according to the Consent Decree.
Wagner: The Consent Decree? I thought that was a ruse to hide what you were really doing which was investigating me?

You know what they say is valid, but you still wish it didn’t require raised voices.

And poor Kaya looked out of sorts, caught between the whole thing.

At least we got to see the officer done up in something other than a police uniform one last time, as the only other time she got to get dolled up was in Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 7.

Kaya & Detective - Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 - A Fitting Finale

And Kaya looked absolutely stunning at Matteo’s fashion show.

Oh, and let’s not forget that she is now on the fast track to becoming a detective, which is also a little bittersweet because it means we might not see so many rotating detectives for Elsbeth to work with.

Speaking of detectives, Donnelly made another memorable appearance in this episode, dropping more of that trademark NYC snark.

Okay, you let us do the police thing based on evidence. You do the cozy-up to the suspect thing. I don’t respect it, but it works.

Donnelly

And how sweet was that moment between her and Elsbeth at the end?

Donnelly has definitely climbed the ranks among my top detectives on the show.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m going to miss you.

Donnelly

She’ come a long way since Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 3, “Reality Shock.”

For all Wagner’s rough around the edges and broody nature, he’s still a sweet, kind, and understanding man at the end of the day.

Captain Wagner - Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 - A Fitting Finale

He’s also a bit of a trickster, waiting until the last minute, after Elsbeth said all her goodbyes, to tell the Chicago attorney that her place in NYC is permanent, with a brand new office to boot.

He’s a sentimental one, that Charles Wallace Wagner.

Celetano: The Department of Justice doesn’t issue apologies. Only indictments and reports. Lieutenant David Noonan was indicted and Captain Charles Wallace Wagner was cleared in our report.
Wagner: I would appreciate it if you didn’t repeat what CW stands for too often.

With the dynamic changed, it’ll be interesting to see how Elsbeth and the captain work together now that she’s officially part of the team.

Even though this episode was the last of the season, we’re really hoping Nadine makes another appearance next season because she was seriously laugh-out-loud funny.

Donnelly: But where did he get the gun?
Nadine: Well, I can’t figure out everything for you, can I?

So, a new supermodel best friend, a permanent gig in her favorite city, and a fashion line entirely inspired by her questionable wardrobe. What else could Elsbeth want?

I suppose it will be a fitting finale to my time here in New York.

Elsbeth

The best news from “A Fitting Finale” was probably that Elsbeth actually did keep the dog Gonzo from Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 8, “Artificial Genius.”

Elsbeth in the city - 2 - Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 - A Fitting Finale

That’s great because Elsbeth will probably need company since another episode has come and gone with Teddy, Elsbeth’s son, nowhere in sight.

I really thought he was going to have a quick visit or something, but no.

He’s just a terrible son who never calls or visits.

This was such a fantastic series that I enjoyed watching from beginning to end, with all of you viewers along for the ride.

It’s that odd woman with the police. Oh, she’s funny. Let her in.

Nadine

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long for the next season, which is slated for a 2024-2025 schedule run.

The Trio - Elsbeth Season 1 Episode 10 - A Fitting Finale

Until then, audiences can relive all NYC’s whacky, campy characters and the sleuthing Chicago attorney who knows all the answers before the questions are even asked on Paramount+.

I know a bunch of people died, but we had a lot of fun.

Elsbeth

What did you think of Elsbeth’s premiere season?

Who was your favorite guest murderer?

Drop a comment below to let us know, and join us again when Elsbeth returns!

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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