Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for the show and the Season 1 finale of Wolf Like Me.
After a season filled with comedy and heartache alike, Wolf Like Me ended on a rather bloody note, apt considering the show features a man-eating werewolf.
Written and directed by Abe Forsythe, Wolf Like Me takes place in Adelaide, Australia and follows single father Gary (Josh Gad) and his daughter, Emma (Ariel Donoghue), as they navigate life after the death of Emma’s mother from cancer. It’s already been a few years since the tragedy, but the two are clearly still affected; Emma is in therapy, trying to overcome her trauma and grief, as well as the guilt she feels for all the sacrifices Gary makes for her, and Gary spends his days searching for love and never quite finding it, afraid to bring someone into Emma’s life who isn’t the right fit.
Enter Mary (Isla Fisher), a kind-hearted yet mysterious advice columnist who literally crashes her way into Gary and Emma’s life; in Episode 1, Mary crashes into Gary’s car while he takes Emma to school. While it may seem far from the most romantic of meet-cutes, Mary’s ability to not only calm Emma down but to make her smile surprises Gary, as his own attempts to connect with his daughter have ended in failure. From there, Gary finds himself drawn to the woman and the way fate always seems to bring them together; Mary, for her part, is equally intrigued, but her dark secrets threaten to end not only their blossoming relationship, but Gary’s life as well.
It is only once Gary follows Mary back to her after she repeatedly runs away on their various dates that he learns the truth: Mary is a werewolf and her husband, who she had told Gary had died while on vacation in Italy, was actually eaten by Mary on the night she turned. (She admits later, when Gary confronts her, that she also ended up eating an entire Italian family as well.) Mary had come to Australia to escape her past and protect her loved ones, eventually building herself a fortified house where she could transform in peace and the only victims would be the various chickens she kept stocked for herself.
Mary’s confession shocks and terrifies Gary, and he attempts to stop seeing her for Emma’s safety. However, fate seems to have other plans, and the two consistently run into each other. As Emma starts to grow closer to Mary, Gary decides to give the relationship another chance. Eventually, Mary finds out that she is pregnant with Gary’s child.
The season finale starts with Gary and Mary planning a camping trip, during which Mary plans to reveal her werewolf identity to Emma, despite her reservations. Mary finding out she was pregnant only complicates matters, and her fear about revealing her true identity to Emma shrouds the episode in a foreboding fog. Even as the three characters attempt to enjoy their simple camping trip together, Mary’s eventual transformation under the coming full moon sits heavy in the back of the adults’ minds.
Yet, not all is morbid in the season finale; Despite her reservations about having a child and bringing another potential werewolf into the world, Mary announces to Gary and Emma that Emma will be getting a little sibling. Contrary to her earlier conversation with Gary, Mary decides to keep the baby, opting for a more positive outlook on bringing new life into the world.
Unfortunately, while the little family had planned on heading home in time for Mary to seek refuge in her barricaded basement during her transformation, they’re forced to improvise when their car breaks down, leaving them stranded in the Australian outback. Terrified of not only hurting Gary and Emma, but also of what Emma will think once she finds out that Mary is actually a monster, Mary runs away into the woods.
Confused and afraid, Emma is left to help her father secure their car in an attempt to survive the night with Mary on the loose. However, it turns out Mary isn’t the only terrible creature prowling the outback that night; Despite Gary calling for roadside service multiple times, the only ones to show up are a group of bandits who proceeded to attack the car. They howl and scream like animals, beating the car and attempting to get to the terrified Gary and Emma inside. (Props to Gary for still trying to tell the bandits that they’re more in danger of being attacked by the werewolf hiding somewhere in the shadows.)
Of course, the bandits don’t listen, and what happens next is a rather brutal end to their attack on Gary and Emma; out of the darkness, Mary appears, overtaken by the wolf and out for blood. While her love for Gary and Emma keeps her from attacking them, she still mauls the bandits, taking one away into the night to eat, and Gary is left to explain everything to Emma.
Gary is understandably terrified of what Emma will say; not only are the deaths of the bandits nightmare-inducing all on their own, Emma’s traumatic past with the death of her mother and her hatred of lies could mean that she’d reject the first person, other than her father, that she’d felt she could actually trust: Mary. Gary is left to wait out the rest of the night with these fears plaging his mind.
Fortunately, come morning and Mary’s return, Emma seems rather okay with it all; As Mary sits in the back of the car, still covered in blood, Emma plays the album that Mary had given her — a callback to the song that Gary had played to Emma to reassure her of his love for her, despite his past mistakes following the death of his wife. The song is a symbol of Emma’s growth and maturity, as well as her ability to not only forgive, but accept Mary as well.
Whether or not another season is in the books for Wolf Like Meit’s clear that these three are dead set on creating the kind of family they all deserve.
All six episodes of the “genre-bending” dramedy series premiere January 13 on Peacock.
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