‘Franklin’ Finale Recap & Ending Explained: Did Franklin And Madame Helvetius End Up Together?


Years of diplomacy, years of hard work, and strategic alliances led Benjamin Franklin to a point where he was very close to laying the foundation of America. Franklin had fought valiantly for the cause of his country, and he achieved what nobody else believed to be possible. It was a roller coaster ride, and at times Franklin felt that the outcome wouldn’t be in his favor, but he kept on going, and he never lost hope. Franklin stood on the precipice of making a breakthrough, and he knew that one wrong move, one bad decision, and everything that he had worked so hard for would be ruined. So, let’s find out the kind of tough choice Franklin had to make and the challenges he had to face along the way. 

Spoiler Alert

Did Franklin and Oswald come to terms?

Franklin was not sure if he wanted to sign the deal with Great Britain and agree to the terms and conditions that Oswald kept on the table. Franklin made it very clear that the Britishers would have to forgo all the reparations, in addition to giving Canada and the fishing rights of the Newfoundland coast. Oswald was not sure if he wanted to give them all that, but the fact that France would get leverage over them really worried him. Franklin also knew that if he signed a treaty with the English regime, then his relations with his French counterpart would be affected. Oswald made it very clear that he didn’t want anything to do with the first minister, Vergennes, and that if the British regime and the American Congress had to come to terms, then Franklin would have to make sure that his decision did not get affected by his sense of allegiance towards the French.

At the end of Franklin season 1, we saw that even Mr. Adams got sick and tired of fighting against Franklin, and for once, he wanted to let go of his preconceived notions and give the American polymath a real chance to explain his point of view. Mr. Jay was totally against it, and he wanted Adams to use the letter that Bancroft had given him as leverage. Adams might have been driven by his strong sense of judgment and his prejudices for a very long time, but he was a true patriot, just like Mr. Benjamin. He knew that he would have to reconcile with the old statesmen so that America could prosper. Quite magnanimously, Adams came to meet Mr. Benjamin, and he told him about the letter that Bancroft had given him. Franklin told Adams that he didn’t want to defend himself, as the latter had already made his judgment. Adams decided that it was about time he put his faith in the old man and trusted his instincts. Adams told Mr. Jay that Franklin’s decision would be paramount because he trusted him and the love he had for his country. Adams tore the letter, on which Bancroft had fraudulently obtained Temple’s signature. Adams looked at the bigger picture, and he didn’t want his personal agendas to come in between America’s interests. Benjamin Franklin signed the Treaty of Paris with the British Regime in 1783, and in that historic moment, he laid the foundation of the United States of America. 

Did Franklin know about Bancroft’s betrayal?

It was a truly overwhelming moment for all those present in that room as Benjamin Franklin signed the treaty, though he knew that the battle was only half done. Franklin knew that he would have to talk to Vergennes, as he felt that it was not fair for him. Franklin met Vergennes, and the latter told him that he realized that he was outplayed and outsmarted by the former. Vergennes and Franklin’s relationship didn’t get spoiled, as both understood that it was all part of the game and that, at the end of the day, they wanted the best for their respective nations. Both the accomplished diplomats had mutual respect, and they knew that their association would go on for long and they would cross paths with each other once again. 

The most shocking revelation that was made at the end of the series was that Franklin, from the very beginning, knew about Bancroft and his allegiance to the British Empire. Still, Franklin chose to be friends with him, and Adams just couldn’t understand why anybody would do so. But Franklin was that kind of a man. He liked Bancroft as a human being and as a friend, and so he just maintained a healthy relationship with him even when he knew that he was plotting behind his back. When Bancroft realized that his hidden agendas were visible in plain sight, he got embarrassed. He told Franklin that he was a generous man, and the latter just asked him to have a drink with him and celebrate what he had achieved. 

What happened to Temple?

Temple was working in the French court under Artois, and he really liked the job that he did. He became quite close to the king’s brother after he assisted him in the game of chess. Temple decided that he would stay back in France and not go abroad with his grandfather. Temple had a lot of respect for Franklin, and he knew that, despite the conflicts he had with him in the past, Benjamin Franklin was a great man. Franklin used the services of his grandson to convey a message to Vergennes, and the former made it known to the French diplomat about the Treaty of Paris. Temple’s life had changed since he had come to France, and over the course of time, he had become more mature and understanding. There was a time when Temple felt lost, and he felt as if he didn’t have any purpose in his life. Time and again, he had some serious conflicts with his grandfather, but they reconciled in the end, and Temple not only respected the man but also valued the kind of sacrifices he made for his country. 

Did Franklin and Madame Helvetius end up together? 

Franklin was a gentleman, and he was quite open about his relationships and his feelings. Franklin was quite close to Madame Brillon for the longest time, and then, at the end of the season, he started liking Madame Helvetius’s company. We saw that Franklin made a marriage proposal to her, but I don’t believe that he was serious or that he was thinking through his decision. He was fond of the woman, and she, too, was smitten by his charming aura. They had a great time until Franklin was in France, and both of them created a lot of memories that they knew they would cherish for a lifetime. 

Diplomacy, strategic alliances, and statesmanship never assure that everybody who is involved in the talks will end up benefiting. It is known that if you make one wrong move, you could end up on the losing side. Something similar happened with Chaumont, as he incurred a lot of losses and somewhere regretted the fact that he gave so much monetary assistance to the cause of American independence. He knew that he had nobody to blame for it but himself. At the end of Franklin season 1, the American polymath returned to his homeland, though he didn’t know where fate would take him or even if he would be comfortable living in a country where he hadn’t been for the last two decades. 

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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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