Note: The following contains spoilers for the “Daisy Jones & the Six” finale.
“Daisy Jones & the Six” has taken its final bow both within the show and on the small screen.
The Prime Video limited series, adapted from the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, follows the rise and fall of the titular rock and roll band — lead by vocalists Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin) and rounded out by guitarist Graham Dunne (Will Harrison), drummer Warren Rojas (Sebastian Chacon) bassist Eddie Roundtree (Joshua Whitehouse) and keyboardist Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse). Relationship dynamics evolve and change throughout the success of their album “Aurora,” and it all barrels to a finale in which the band breaks up for good.
“A lot of the best things in life don’t last, and that doesn’t mean that they didn’t matter,” executive producer Will Graham told TheWrap in an interview. “Everyone comes into this episode with a huge choice. They’ve come to understand or are coming to understand something about themselves better, but they’re also they’ve gotten to know each other really deeply.”
The final two episodes see the fictional rock band unravel almost just as chaotically as it comes together. It wasn’t exactly planned that their show at Chicago’s Soldier Field on October 4, 1977 would be their last, but there were many signs that things were coming undone.
Daisy and Billy’s push and pull chemistry gets to Billy after Camilla realizes that he loves Daisy. When Camila says she’s done with Billy, he gives into his old demons of addiction, getting on Daisy’s level of drugs and alcohol for the final show. Billy kisses Daisy backstage, and she notices he’s drinking, but he tries to convince her that they can be together now that they’re both “broken.”
“That’s one of the things that sort of pushes her into the moment when she has this epiphany that she doesn’t want to be broken,” executive producer and president of film and TV at Hello Sunshine Lauren Neustadter told TheWrap. “She has carried around this weight of not being loved in the way that she deserved to be loved, even going back to her most formative relationship with her mother, clearly she carries so much pain for the wounds of childhood, and it’s undeserved. A huge part of her character evolution is really learning to love and respect herself and command the respect that she deserves and step into all that she deserves.”
One of those things is becoming a mother, which Camilla foresaw for Daisy even when Daisy didn’t believe in herself. Riley Neustadter, daughter of Lauren and showrunner Scott Neustadter, played Daisy’s ballerina daughter in the finale, and their son Michael appears as Graham’s son.
“Daisy loves Billy, but in [those] moments of the concert, she can also see the version of not just who she’s gonna become if she’s with him at this moment, but also who he’s going to become. If he’s with her, and it’s not the version of him that she’s in love with,” Graham told TheWrap. “I think part of what that is saying is, these people are right for each other and they might be right for each other in a different moment, but why you come to someone is just as important as who you’re coming to.”
Graham applied this concept to Karen and Graham’s relationship and how it fizzles out. Graham moves on from Karen after they have a moment of their own offstage in which he promises to devote himself to her even after she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want kids and wants to stay on the road as a musician.
“Graham agrees to put his own feelings and desires aside in order to be with Karen, but Karen sees or thinks she sees what that’s going to do to him and doesn’t want to be with a version of Graham that has given up those things,” Graham said.
Graham credits Karen’s brutal honesty in helping him move on from someone who didn’t love him the way he loved her, but in one of the final doc shots she admits she wasn’t being totally honest.
“What you can tell is that Karen made a huge sacrifice for Graham. Karen could have had everything, she could have had the love of her life, she could have had a music career, she could have had everything that you see in the finale, and they’re standing there in the wings and they’re having this conversation and he’s saying, ‘I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll do anything for you, you’re the love of my life.’ And when she lets him go, it’s the most generous thing she could ever do,” Neustadter said. “She was mature enough to really see that and and to see his life and all the things that he would dream of, from such a mature perspective, and I think it was such an incredibly generous and selfless thing that she let him go.”
In agreeing to tell their individual stories with years in between to look back on the emotions and substance abuse happening within the band, the now older band members reflect on the breakup of the band with wisdom that Graham summed up in a song lyric.
“Everyone has a big choice that is a choice that they need to make for themselves, but it’s also made out of love for the other people in the band,” Graham said. “There’s a beautiful line in the song ‘You Are Gone’ that Blake Mills wrote for the show that is ‘Every story has an ending and it’s not our job to stay.’ I think that resonates a lot in this episode.”
All 10 episodes of “Daisy Jones & the Six” are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.