“Last Judgement” leaves plenty unresolved in case there’s a second season, but what’s here really does qualify as a thematically fitting ending for these six episodes, which is more than you can say for most Netflix Originals.
This recap of Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood episode 6, “Last Judgement“, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Check out our spoiler-free season review.
“Last Judgement” at least begins more positively than the penultimate episode, and that becomes something of a theme in the first season finale. It’s an episode about adjusting to uneasy alliances and making the best of a bad job – something that all of these characters can get on board with after the traumas they’ve experienced throughout these six episodes.
We see a glimmer of success and progression with Roman and Clara opening the doors to Ludwig’s brewery, and Glogauer finally gets his comeuppance at the hands of Prank, who fatally stabs him for conspiring against him with Stifter. This is a long-awaited, cathartic moment of violence, and one of surprisingly few in this final episode.
Maria, meanwhile, is institutionalized, leaving Roman in charge of the family name – she’s not happy about it, but at least she’s not roaming the streets hallucinating. The women certainly seem to have come off a bit worse in “Last Judgement”. Colina, especially, is trapped by an extremely toxic relationship with Rupp, who blithely feeds their son booze to settle him to the extent that he’s passed out on the bed covered in vomit when she comes home from work. She has, understandably, had enough, and leads the women in revolt for better arrangements, understanding their importance to the money-making brewing industry. After all, who else is going to serve the beer?
Even Clara stands up for herself to her father, whom she asks outright about his involvement in the various tragedies that have befallen the Hoflinger family, though one in particular. He doesn’t say much either way, which is obvious in itself and is all she needs to hear.
The rise of Roman and Clara is a particular theme of the finale. After Inspektor Eder informs Roman that it was Glogauer and his dog rather than the South Sea Samoan cannibals who were responsible for Ignatz’s death, Roman goes to see Prank, who as usual has a business proposition for him. He reckons they should join forces to keep Stifter out of the way, and while it’s a proposal Roman will have to think about, we quickly see where his mind’s at when he pays off Maria’s doctor to keep her institutionalized long-term. This makes Roman legally in charge of the family brewery. He and Prank are in business.
This is one of two big team-ups in “Last Judgement”. The other is Colina and Clara, who form a useful tag-team to shank up the very deserving Rupp, though we don’t see any repercussions of his death. This is probably for the best, though – there’s no sense in seeing well-liked characters face justice for offing despicable ones.
It’s also satisfying to see Stifter get taken down by Roman, though in a less physical way, and Prank receives something resembling payback for his father’s death. These are small moments of catharsis in a show that has built up its conflicts over six episodes and taken them in some truly interesting directions. In the end, as Clara and Roman get married and the Prank and Hoflinger families remain in tentative alliance, there’s a particular house of cards feeling that could easily be toppled by a second season. “Last Judgement”, though, qualifies as an ending, which is more than you can say for most Netflix originals, and it’s an ending that feels right by the show’s themes. Business, after all, must come first.
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