Black Bird season 1, episode 6 recap – the finale and ending explained

By Adam Lock
Published: August 5, 2022
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A heart-breaking performance from Ray Liotta brings this crime drama to an end in fine form. This emotionally draining, frustratingly tense finale packs a real punch—a stunning conclusion.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1, episode 6, “You Promised,” — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.

Read the season 1 review of Black Bird.

The final episode of Black Bird is finally upon us, and what a finale it is. Jimmy and Larry’s tale comes to a fitting conclusion with no stone left unturned. Fans will be happy to hear that the crime saga is fully resolved in episode six, “You Promised.” It’s an emotional ending that packs a real punch as Jimmy Keene tries to confirm that all-important confession from assumed killer Larry Hall, as the team hopes to find the locations of those buried bodies once and for all.

Black Bird season 1, episode 6 recap – the finale and ending explained

Jimmy wakes from a horrific nightmare in his cell, with Larry asking if his stories are to blame. In last week’s installment, Larry confessed in grim detail to the murder of Jessica Roach, but now he’s changed tactic, stating that it was all just a story. Jimmy is furious and plays Larry, calling him a liar and a fraud. This works wonders, winding him up no end. Jimmy says Larry’s details are vague and the fact he never dug a grave for Jessica Roach proves his innocence. The would-be killer falls for this ploy and swears to Jimmy that he is telling the truth, now pleading that he did commit those terrible acts. Larry ends their conversation by asking Jimmy to meet with him at the wood shop later that day, so he can fully prove his guilt.

The drug dealer has worked his magic on Larry, reeling him in, hook, line, and sinker. But Jimmy eats alone at lunch time. The other felons natter about the snitch, giving him evils from across the canteen. Jimmy wastes no time in preparing for battle, exercising in his cell. He’s fast running out of time and has no way at all of contacting the outside world with his phone credit being frozen. Crooked guard Carter asks to assist Jimmy with his many dilemmas, but wants to know who he’s working for first. Jimmy even receives death threats from the mob boss to add to his woes. He needs to act now.

What follows is an ingenious if highly frustrating sequence of events that elevate this finale into five star territory. Jimmy meets with Larry and instantly spies a map on the wood shop table. This map simply has to contain the whereabouts of Larry’s victims, with a border of carved birds around the edge. Larry explains how he’s made twenty-one birds, one for each of his victims. The birds are sent home for Gary to paint black, hence the show’s title, and these mementos work as guards watching over the dead. Larry says he was sick to his stomach when Jimmy called him a liar, because he cares about the dead. He remembers each victim and takes his hobby very seriously, unlike Jimmy with his eighty flings.

The confession is there right in front of Jimmy’s eyes, but you just know he won’t be swiping that map and marching to his shrink’s office with that proof anytime soon. The series loves to tease and torture its audience first. Larry talks about Tricia Reitler and elaborates on the circumstances around her death too. He reflects on his actions, saying everyone wants to be seen, a celebrity. Jimmy can’t fight it any longer, he lets his emotions rise to the surface and pleads with Larry to reveal the locations, so the parents can finally grieve their children and stop hurting. Larry just laughs it off. Jimmy screams at Larry, calling him a monster and the killer attacks. The guards are on hand to stop the fight, but that incriminating map remains unaccounted for.

Jimmy is dragged off to confinement where his hell is only just beginning. In the most frustrating of moments, none of the prison guards will believe Jimmy’s story and as he begs for a pencil, the map slowly slips from his memory. Jimmy is left with no other option but to draw the map on his prison wall in his own blood and spends what feels like an eternity awaiting freedom. Larry’s map is posted to Gary and the evidence is obviously burned. Lauren and Brian pay the brother a visit and he admits that the brothers once raped a hitchhiker, but he won’t accept Larry’s killer disposition.

The ending

In a spine-tingling moment, Jimmy is released from confinement and draws the map on a table for Lauren to see. He recounts some of Larry’s confessions as well, providing details about the two belts used to strangle Jessica Roach and how he folded Tricia’s clothes up. Lauren says that this evidence will be enough, they’ve got him now. Jimmy is subsequently released, free from his entire sentencing. Jimmy breaks down as the judge delivers this verdict and Taron Egerton shines as the broken drug dealer.

Jimmy is then reunited with his father and Ray Liotta provides a career highlight, crying at his son’s return. Give this man all the awards! We’re informed that Jimmy’s dad died five years after his release and that Larry tried to commit suicide after his appeal was denied. Gary meets his brother in jail and finally accepts the reality that Larry is a murderer, which upsets Larry more than anything. Further text explains how Gary managed to convince Larry to confess to 15 of the murders, although the burial sites remain unearthed. Jimmy started a successful business after the debacle and Larry remained in prison for life. We’re then shown stills of both real life inmates as the series comes to an end. It’s a riotous finale that provokes real emotions and perfectly concludes this crime drama.

What did you think of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1, episode 6 (finale), and the ending? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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