The Undoing: Sylvia theories.

The Undoing finale: why did we find it so hard to believe Sylvia was just being a good BFF?

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Why were we so ready to accept that Sylvia murdered Elena in The Undoing? This is why fans are apologising to her character on Twitter.

Warning: this article contains spoilers for episode six of The Undoing.

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant’s tense psychological thriller, The Undoing, reached its conclusion yesterday (10 November). Following the story of a high-profile murder among New York’s elite, it’s been a tense whodunnit ride. After plenty of twists and turns, endless theories and paranoia (in both the characters and viewers), it turned out that Elena’s murderer was… Jonathan. 

Ah yes, it was the person we were led to believe it was from the start. 

Quite understandably, this was an underwhelming ending for a lot of fans. What was the point in all those clever theories? Was it all a waste of our time? Have we been cheated out of a great surprise twist? Not even Kidman’s iconic big and bouncy red hair could save many people’s disappointment. 

But there is one storyline that people want to talk anout, and it involves Grace’s best friend, Sylvia.

Since episode one, Sylvia has been Grace’s straight-talking, successful, ambitious and smart best friend who likes a glass of wine and a bit of a gossip. And many theorists (myself included) believed she wasn’t to be trusted, with some suggesting that she had an affair with Jonathan and killed Elena out of jealousy.

But Sylvia was being very supportive to Grace. She was speaking with her lawyer friends to find out details about the case. She had previously helped Grace’s husband when he desperately needed it to help his family. She told go and take some time for herself and find a good lawyer. 

And for some reason, it was easier to believe that Sylvia was a bad person rather than a very good friend, which is exactly what she turned out the be in the final scenes.

Lily Rabe as Sylvia in The Undoing.
Lily Rabe as Sylvia in The Undoing.

After a late-night conversation with Grace before the last day of the trial, Sylvia gave the prosecution a tip-off that would help prove Jonathan’s guilt. Without Sylvia’s help, Jonathan would probably have gotten away with it.

Sure, pretty much everyone was a suspect in this paranoid world of the rich and powerful. But why were we so keen to find out it wasn’t Jonathan – the man who had an affair with Elena, lied multiple times to Grace and even ran away? Why did we ever mistrust Sylvia just for being a very supportive friend? 

People on Twitter have been asking the same question, sharing their apologies with Sylvia, and praising her #BFFgoals. 

One fan celebrated Sylvia with a montage of her best bits, captioning it: “She was a good friend and we ALL just assumed it was due to guilt and not genuine care for Grace. The internalised misogyny phew.”

Another viewer reminded us that Sylvia rightly said “It’s always the fucking husband” back in episode one, saying: “Sylvia told us in the first episode and I still blamed her.”

This fan admitted: “Where can I send an edible arrangement to Sylvia? Cause I was ready to call myself to the stand and say it was her.”

And a viewer spoke on behalf of all great friendships out there: “If you don’t ride for me like Sylvia rides for Grace then we can’t be friends.”

You can catch up with The Undoing on Now TV.

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Images: HBO

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…