[Editor’s Note: This story contains spoilers for the season finale of “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” titled “Go Getters Gonna Go Getcha.”]
The hands down best scene of Showtime’s exceptionally good, wild ride of a series “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” arrives at the season’s end. As it turns out, it was also the last scene that director Charlie McDowell shot with stars Kirsten Dunst and Théodore Pellerin.
In the Sunday night finale, Krystal (Dunst) — the streetwise Orlando water-park employee who takes command of the cult-like pyramid scheme that drove her husband (Alexander Skarsgård, in a brief but punchy role in the series opener) to his death — is, as she puts it, “fucking done.” By now, Krystal has confronted the insidious, true nature of FAM, which hasn’t been paying off for her or for her co-conspirator Cody (Pellerin), who’s been working as a security detail for the Garbeaus.
In the climactic scene of “Go Getters Gonna Go Getcha,” Krystal and Cody share a come-to-Jesus moment in an empty bathtub, wherein Krystal lays down the terms of their relationship — which took a kinky turn back in Episode 4 and never looked back, especially after Cody’s sham proposal to her. “I don’t love you, I don’t know if I will ever love you. That’s the truth,” she tells him. But she still wants Cody in her life, telling him, “I’m really tired of being alone. People treat me like crap because they can, and I don’t know how to stop them… I can’t do this alone. I need you, Cody. If you’ll let me, I’ll treat you like someone I need.”
“To be honest, that’s my favorite scene of the series,” episode director and “On Becoming a God” executive producer Charlie McDowell told IndieWire. “It’s just so simple and everything is so raw and peeled back, and the characters have gone through such madness and then you’re just still with them for a moment.”
McDowell said, “I actually wanted to hold it to be played in a two-shot, because when we rehearsed with the actors, it was just so perfect and at that point, they were so in their characters. Then, of course, in the reality of editing and getting it down to a certain time, the scene was clearly edited, but the sentiment of letting the actors act instead of complicating it with anything else was just so clear.”
He added, “I was right next to the bathroom, in the bedroom, I was laying in bed with my little monitors. There were very few people on set, and it felt like this intimate magic in a bottle, and I love that scene. It’s so beautifully acted.”
Kirsten Dunst echoed McDowell’s sentiment about the end-of-an-era feeling of melancholy that hangs over that scene. “That was our last day of the whole show. It felt like a little bit like the end of the last day of school, when everyone’s saying goodbye, writing in yearbooks. I was happy to leave, and have that summer feeling, but it was also nostalgic,” she told IndieWire. “The intimacy of being in the bath together, and coming up with these ideas, it felt like the perfect way to end it. My favorite scenes to act in are with Theo. It felt like the right way to end the series for me.”
Luckily, Showtime renewed “On Becoming a God” for a second season. The first is currently streaming.