‘Apples Never Fall’ Ending Explained & Series Summary: Was Joy Dead Or Alive?


Directed by Chris Sweeney and Dawn Shadforth, Apples Never Fall is the story of a dysfunctional family who, over a period of time, realized how they had drifted apart with time and how there was a need to mend the cracks that existed in their relationship. The series is based on a novel written by Liane Moriarty, and it tries to explore the relationship dynamics between the members of the Delaney family after they are struck by a tragedy. So let’s find out what happened with Joy Delaney and if Stan and his kids were able to find her in the end or not.

Spoiler Alert

What happened to Joy? 

Joy and Stan Delaney had their share of struggles, but it was normal for any couple to face those kinds of conflicts in their marriage. Both of them had some issues with each other, but they were always able to cope with them even if they probably didn’t understand each other’s perspective. But over a period of time, things got worse, and the dysfunctionality became more and more evident. The kids had problems with their parents, and Stan and Joy, too, reached the threshold a lot of times. One fine day, the four siblings, i.e., Troy, Brooke, Amy, and Logan met for breakfast as they were worried about their mother. They hadn’t heard from her for the longest time, and they felt it was a bit weird considering their mother always made a point to give a call to everybody on a regular basis. Stan was acting all weird, and Troy, due to his preconceived notions, was inclined to believe that his father was hiding something from them. Stan was, in fact, hiding things, as whenever the kids, the neighbors, the friends, or anybody else asked him about Joy, he became very awkward and didn’t know how to reply to them. Troy went to meet his father, and he saw a huge cut on his face.

Stan made up a story that was not at all convincing, and Troy’s beliefs strengthened even more after that. The siblings found out that their mother, just before disappearing, had gone to a motel in Aberdeen for some unknown reason. They went there and found out that she had consulted a family lawyer, as she probably wanted to get a divorce. The siblings did not tell each other that all of them had received a call from their mother the day she disappeared. It made them feel even more guilty, and they knew that there was a huge possibility that she was stuck in a difficult situation and that she wanted help. There were two probable suspects at that juncture in Apples Never Fall: the first obvious one was Stan, and his being awkward and secretive about everything didn’t help his cause. The second was a girl named Savannah, who had stayed with the family for a couple of months, and nobody knew about her real identity. The police were looped in, and a formal investigation was initiated. Joy’s bicycle, the one she was riding on that fateful day, was found by one of the officers, and he told the detectives Elena Camacho and Ethan Remy about it. The police, the children, and everybody else had made up their minds, and they knew that something bad had happened to Joy Delaney. 

Why was Savannah staying with Joy and Stan? 

At the beginning of Apples Never Fall, we saw that one night, a woman arrived at Joy and Stan’s house, and she told them that she needed a place to stay as she was trying to run away from her abusive boyfriend. She told her name was Savannah, and though Stan was against her staying with them that night, Joy couldn’t help but let her do that. Joy felt sympathetic towards Savannah, and she didn’t think that the girl could do any harm to them. Very soon, it felt like Savannah took control over the entire household. The children saw it happening in front of their eyes, and they felt a bit jealous of her. They knew that something wasn’t right with her, as she had stayed for days and showed no signs of leaving the house. It felt like Savannah had done her research before arriving at the Delaneys, and she seemed to know a lot about each one of them. She knew their weak points and their secrets, and she used that information to throw them off course and create conflicts between them. Savannah got intimate with Brooke, and both of them had this secret affair going on for the longest time. Savannah made sure she put Stan in a compromising situation intentionally and then later put all the blame on him in front of Joy and played the victim. She had found out that Troy was having an affair with his boss’s wife, and when he asked her to leave the house, she threatened to reveal the information to his boss. That’s when Stan decided to pay her $40000, so she left them and never came back. But still, before leaving, she made sure that she brought up the very sensitive topic of Harry Haddard, the professional tennis player so that their family could realise the kind of enmity they had with each other. Savannah left on that day, and nobody heard from her after that. 

Why did Harry Haddard leave Stan? 

Stan and Joy were tennis players themselves, and after a while, they opened an academy and started mentoring kids. Stan had very high hopes for one of his students, Harry Haddard, and he knew that in the future he would become a pro. It was Stan’s dream to coach a prodigy, and he knew Harry was his ticket to fame and glory. But Troy didn’t like Harry, and during a match, they had a heated argument where Troy accused Harry of cheating. Stan had to intervene and slap Troy in front of Harry. From that day on, the son and the father never talked eye-to-eye, and even after years, they were not able to bridge that gap between them. After that incident in Apples Never Fall, Harry’s father took him out of the academy, and that became the biggest disappointment of Stan’s life. Years later, when Savannah provoked the family members, Joy finally accepted that it was she who had called Harry’s father and told him to take his kid out if he wanted him to become a star. Stan couldn’t believe his ears when he heard that, and even Troy was disappointed in her mother, as for his entire life, his father had blamed him for Harry leaving the academy. The kids stopped talking to their mother after that, as they didn’t understand why their mother did something that sabotaged their father’s entire career. Joy tried reaching out to them, but for weeks, they didn’t pick up her call, and that probably pushed Joy to the edge. 

What was Savannah’s real identity?

The police found a blood-soaked jacket at Stan’s neighbor’s house, and the DNA report confirmed that it was Joy’s blood. Logan found CCTV camera footage where he saw his father getting on a boat with a huge bag, and he presumed that he was probably going to dispose of the dead boy of their mother. Stan used to record podcasts, and one time, he left the recorder on when he and Joy had a heated argument. The recording made the police officers presume that Stan had been violent towards his wife and probably assaulted her, which would have resulted in her death. The detectives were able to procure an arrest warrant, and that’s when they took Stan into their custody and initiated legal proceedings against him. 

In Apples Never Fall, the siblings found an old picture where they saw Savannah sitting right next to Harry. They went to meet the star, Harry Haddard, and that’s when they got to know that Savannah’s real name was Lindsey, and she was actually Harry’s sister. Lindsey used to extort money from Harry, and one day, she pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him. Luckily, Harry had his bodyguards with him, and after that day, he never heard from her. Troy knew that Savannah could have been behind his mother’s disappearance, but his hatred for his father blinded him, and he just couldn’t accept that he was innocent. 

What Had Happened To Joy?

During Apples Never Fall‘s ending, we came to know that Joy was still alive and that she had left the house because she felt that she wasn’t valued by her husband and by her children. Just before having that argument, the recording of which became the reason why Stan was behind bars, Joy had come to know that her husband knew all along that Harry cheated during matches. She was angry at him, and as always, Stan left the house in the middle of the argument. Frustrated and angry by her husband’s constant escapist attitude, Joy, for once, decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. She went away and then called Savannah, aka Lindsey, who, unlike her children, picked up her call and took her to her mountain house. Savannah was dealing with a lot of mental health issues, and she had a fear of abandonment. She always felt that her brother and father abandoned her and that her mother never loved her.

After staying for over a week at Savannah’s, Joy got to know that her hometown was struck by a hurricane, and she got all paranoid and decided to reach out to her husband and kids. Savannah didn’t want Joy to leave, so she drove her under the pretense of leaving her back home and then intentionally crashed her car. Luckily, Joy survived the crash, as did Savannah, and once the former reached back home, Stan was released from police custody, and all charges against him were quashed. The reason Joy took that step was that she was sick and tired of being taken for granted. She had given her entire life to cater for her family, and in return, they didn’t even show gratitude for what she had done for them. Back in the day, she saw how obsessive her husband had become with Harry, and in the process, he was really neglecting his son, Troy. She called Harry’s father and asked him to take his son out of her academy, as she believed that it would allow Troy to get the attention he craved for. She did all of that for her family, but in the end, it all backfired and widened the rifts that already existed. Joy’s disappearance made the family realize that they had drifted apart, and they understood where each of them had gone wrong. Stan apologized to Troy and asked for his forgiveness. In the end, the Delaneys decided to let bygones be bygones and make a fresh start.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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