The Radio Times logo
We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Conversations with Friends ending explained: Stars break down finale

The cast of the Sally Rooney drama spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the final episode's "messiness".

Conversations with Friends cast shot
BBC/Element Pictures/Enda Bowe
Published: Tuesday, 17th May 2022 at 4:26 pm
Subscribe to Radio Times magazine and get 12 issues for £1

*Warning: spoilers ahead for the Conversations with Friends finale*

Advertisement

The Conversations with Friends finale ended with a twist, as Frances – who split from married actor Nick earlier in the season – appeared on the precipice of reuniting with him in the final seconds of the series.

In the final episode (adapted from Sally Rooney's book), we saw Frances adjusting to her endometriosis diagnosis, and apologising to both Melissa – Nick's wife – and to Bobbi, her best friend and former lover who was the unwitting subject of Frances' essay, published in a prestigious literary magazine.

Frances sent Bobbi a long email apologising for not telling her about the essay, before explaining that she never got over their break-up in school, and that she was still in love with her.

The pair reunited, sleeping together and later becoming a "committed" couple (although with the unspoken potential to see other people).

Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn in Conversations with Friends
Alison Oliver plays Frances and Joe Alwyn plays Nick in Conversations with Friends BBC

However, in the final scenes of the episode, Nick accidentally called Frances (mistaking her number for his wife's), and they got talking.

They discussed their break-up, which occurred straight after Frances returned from her doctor's appointment – and was hit with a double-blow when she learnt that Nick had begun sleeping with Melissa again.

Over the phone, Frances revealed to Nick her diagnosis ("I wish you had told me," he said, beginning to cry), and he in turn confessed he still had feelings for her.

"Nick?" she said, in the final seconds of the episode. "Come and get me."

Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Joe Alwyn – who plays Nick – praised the "messiness" of the finale.

“I hope that the messiness of the whole series and the way that Sally doesn't tie things up at the end, I hope people respond to it well. But I hope it provokes discussion as well, just like it did for the book," he said.

Jemima Kirke and Sasha Lane in Conversations with Friends
Jemima Kirke and Sasha Lane in Conversations with Friends Element Pictures/Enda Bowe,Enda Bowe

Sasha Lane – who plays Bobbi in the series – teased ahead of the series that she believed viewers' opinions on Frances and Bobbi's relationship would "shift".

“I think their opinion will change. I think they'll start off with an opinion in the first couple episodes of how they feel about all these different types of relationships and the messiness of it. And by the end of it, they might be like, ‘OK, well…’ I think it'll just shift," she said.

Jemima Kirke, who plays Melissa, agreed with her co-star.

“I think that's true," she said. "I think that the book might start out with clear rights and wrongs, goods and bads, and then at the end I think what we really find out is how little we know, how few answers we have and how blurry everything is, which is frustrating. I just know that from reading the book. I don't know how it came across in the series."

Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

Join Conversations with Friends stars Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn, alongside the show's director Lenny Abrahamson and executive producer Emma Norton, for a special Q&A at this year's BFI & Radio Times Television Festival – book your tickets here.

Conversations with Friends is available now on BBC iPlayer. Viewers based in the US can watch the 12-part series on Hulu.

You can order the novel on Amazon. Looking for something to watch in the meantime? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Drama hub for the latest news.

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content