Well, just call Liv Taylor Annalise Keating because she got away with murder.
Actually, Analise never killed anyone, so that’s not a great comparison, but you get the point! She outsmarted the system! She outsmarted her husband! She spit in the name of authority! And blah, blah, blah.
Will succeeded in finally breaking Liv beyond repair during Wilderness Season 1 Episode 6, and she decided the only way out was to frame him for the crime she committed.
Wilderness was filled with terrible people from top to bottom.
People who weren’t afraid to hurt others, showed little remorse, and doubled down on their terribleness when given the chance.
I was a little surprised Cara’s death was blamed on Garth, but his unhinged jaunt to the Taylor residence did him no favors. Putting the guilty verdict on him really meant that Liv and Will had the chance to move forward.
But that meant two very different things to them.
It was comical seeing Will STILL fight to stay married to a woman who actively despised him and stopped pretending otherwise long ago. His refusal to give up on her was rooted in his fear of failure, but cry me a river, man.
Liv: A person can only take so much.
Rawlins: Yeah, a person can.
He did everything in his power to ruin what they had, and he was only ever trying to change because he got caught. And the thing was, his “changing” was buying her clothes and fancy dinners, but was that any different from what he was doing before?
He seemed to treat Liv like gold when he was with her, but he wasn’t a truthful and faithful person. He didn’t adhere to his vows, and thus, he made a mockery of their relationship.
And Liv was well within her rights to sever ties.
I’m glad Liv admitted that she wished she’d left him when she first found out. So many things that have happened could be traced back to those weeks right after she found out Will was an awful human being.
If she’d left on Christmas Eve, or even after she found all of Cara’s emails, that trip out west would never have happened, and Cara and Garth are both still alive.
But god help her, she loved Will. And then it became too complicated to leave.
Now, the complications were null, and she finally found the strength to move on, no doubt buoyed somewhat by finally having it out with her mother during Wilderness Season 1 Episode 5.
She was always terrified of being like her mother, but she had to realize now that she wasn’t like Caryl by leaving on her own terms.
Will should have just let Liv go, but his pride wouldn’t let him. And no matter how much he saw his wife morph into a shell of who she used to be, he couldn’t stop himself from pushing one last time and threatening her freedom.
I still marvel at how well Liv could quickly turn her emotions on and off and make people believe her, even when all prior evidence said they shouldn’t.
Will was so conceited that he expected Liv to fall in line and somehow found himself stunned when she did what she wanted instead.
Liv linking up with Marissa was the energy I wished Liv had the whole time. She officially reached her I don’t give a you know what era, and she didn’t care if she embarrassed Will or herself in the process.
She was so done with him at that moment, yet he STILL allowed himself to be tricked by her one last time.
The main reason why Liv was so keen to lie for Will in the first place was because she was helping herself. Everything she did under the guise of helping him was to protect herself from anyone looking too long in her direction.
And to be fair, in the immediate aftermath of the murder, I don’t think she wanted Will to go to jail. But once he threatened her peace, she went into full sabotage mode.
Everything fell perfectly into place for Liv since she could get the cop’s evidence of Will and Cara’s affair and also plausibly deny his whereabouts during the night Cara was injured.
It helped that Wiseman was a little bit obsessed with painting her into the box of sad, manipulated wife who just wanted to please her husband. Rawlins didn’t seem nearly as convinced, but even she couldn’t deny that the evidence was there.
And that forgotten raincoat finally came around to stick it to Will one last time.
We still never saw what happened after Will ran into Cara that night, but he must have given her the jacket at some point, and now he’ll be at Rikers for the next thirty years partly because of it.
This wasn’t really a traditional story about heroes and villains because no one was heroic in the slightest. Everybody, from Liv to Will to Cara to even Caryl, was driven by their selfishness.
It was just a story of bad people doing bad things, with some facing consequences and others simply not.
Will was the literal definition of a scoundrel. He ruined his marriage and had no one to blame but himself. But he wasn’t a murderer. He didn’t deserve to go down for a crime he didn’t commit.
Liv, on the other hand, was a good wife who found out her life was a lie and chose violence to settle the score.
I can’t possibly imagine sitting through this entire series and actively rooting for any of these people, but if there were someone to understand at all, it’d be Liv. Was there badness in her all along, like Caryl pointed out so callously when she was just a child?
Or was she a product of others turning her into the woman she became?
Will: Who are you?
Liv: I’m who you made me.
Wilderness makes you think about how much others impact who we are and our decisions. And how much can be blamed on those who do wrong versus those who seemingly drove them to feel like they had no other choice?
In Liv’s case, there were other choices. But the minute she decided Will’s death was the answer, there was no turning back.
Will putting the pieces together that Liv set him up to take the fall for Cara‘s murder was an excellent gotcha moment that was completely undone by the fact that even knowing that, he still wanted her to wait for him.
There aren’t enough words to drive home how delusional Will was throughout this whole thing, but never more so than when he was sitting there in handcuffs, staring at the woman he embarrassed.
Liv can’t be pregnant, right? Of course she could be, but it all felt too convenient. Though, when she was walking around Yosemite at the end of the hour, I kept expecting her to touch her belly.
Will would never touch her if he knew she was having his baby, his twisted sense of family still pervading his depraved soul even while looking at a lifetime behind bars.
Liv ending up back at the exact place she killed Cara and using it as a moment to berate a ‘get off my lawn’ man was an on-the-nose way of summing up Wilderness in a nutshell.
You box someone in long enough, and eventually, they snap. Suddenly, the hunted becomes the hunter, and things will never be the same.
Odds and Ends
Jenna Coleman was the star of this show, and perhaps her best moment was in that closing frame with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes as she stood in the exact spot she pushed Cara.
Given Ash’s comments about Liv leaving, I can’t tell if she meant leaving New York for her trip back west or if she was leaving permanently. But she really should get out of that city.
Liv wrote up her story! And Caryl being the one to read it was a nice touch.
I just know Rawlins knew the truth but had zero evidence to back it up.
Wilderness was certainly a ride! While it started strong, things hit a snag in the middle before coming back together in the end.
The actors put their hearts into these flawed characters and carried this show on their backs, even when the material was so-so at times.
Now that this story is all wrapped up, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the season overall.
What worked for you? And what didn’t?
Were you rooting for Liv?
Did any of your questions go unanswered?
Thanks for hanging with me this season, fanatics!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.