Amanda Peet as Betty Broderick next to her lawyer, awaiting a verdict.
Photo Credit: USA Network

‘Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story’ Episode 8: Review

Our final review of the Betty Broderick case.

Perception is Reality

Justice is a complicated issue. Sometimes, the courts fail us. Sometimes the only justice and truth we have is in the public eye.

Betty is now in jail. Her life is effectively ruined for murder. Yet, with this curse comes an odd blessing: she can finally get her side of the story out there. People see Betty in court and see the faults in the law’s reliability.

Without Dan there to dictate the narrative, we see the truths come to light. He set her up with a house full of rats. He paid voluntary support that dictated her livelihood, as she became financially constraint and dependent, even after their separation. More than anything, the public eye sympathizes with Betty Broderick, the victim of years of stress, gaslighting, and emotional abuse.

Yet, it cost Betty everything: her family, her friends, and her freedom. Worst is the fallout as, despite being a woman scorned, those close to her have to carry the weight of the events of what happened. The years of abuse and eventual murder stays with not just the friends, who stood by (some of whom sided or did nothing), but, most importantly, the kids. Their lives are ruined.

Still, Betty gets support. There’s a hung Jury with claims of self-defense many-times-over. Even an article was published with her new relationship with the press (which, as we know, is often a double-edged sword).  Betty finally sees the end in sight and believes that she’s winning.

Amanda Peet as Betty Broderick next to her lawyer, awaiting a verdict.
Photo Credit: USA Network

It’s not that easy, and we know this story has a tragic end. Even though Betty was used and abused, her children were often the victims of this years-long-struggle. Children, who’ve mostly had to forget her or are face to acknowledge that their mother’s a murderer… their father’s murderer.

This is hard because, despite the testimonies from those involved to witness, it’s the children that seal her fate. Sure, Dan was a bad dad, initially, but he tried, and above all: he loved his children. Betty has to own that responsibility of taking that love away.

It’s neither perfect or pretty, as this episode jumps inside the world of Betty’s head. Was this a mental breakdown or murder with intent? The results of this determine her jail sentence. To make matters worse, Dan’s defense has been using Betty’s statement’s to the press against her.

 

“I’ve chosen path of peace, and I finally have it.”

– Betty Broderick on the resolution of her case.

It’s sad, but Betty does need help. We don’t know if she’ll ever get well. Just old. And though debates go back and forth to who’s to blame, and to what extent was Betty’s double homocide malicious, people died. And it mattered to everyone involved.

Thus ending Betty’s story with a 32 to life sentence.

There’s a poetic end to this story, with Betty and the ghosts of her past quite literally with her. Though she’d finally gotten her side told, as well as the revenge she’d sought for: it came at a cost. And a loss… that will forever hurt the lives of her children.

I ask you: would you sacrifice everything in the name of truth? Of proving your self-worth? Is being proven right worth dying for?

I don’t have the answer. But I think this story had done a great job of showcasing just how far a person can go to share her story. So that now, everyday people, can see both sides of the story.

 

 

About Christian Angeles

Christian Angeles is a screenwriter who likes sharing stories and getting to meet people. He also listens to words on the page via audible and tries to write in ways that make people feel things. All on a laptop. Sometimes from an app on his phone.

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