Drama,  TV Shows

Inventing Anna Ending Badly (the first 2/3rds is better)

Inventing Anna
Editor's Rating:

For the longest time, I had no interest in watching Inventing Anna. I’m not a huge fan of biographical work. But then I saw that it was produced by Shonda Rhimes and I was like – well, what are we waiting for? Sign me up! 

So here we are, glad we watched it, but a bit disappointed with the plot arch of the series. I didn’t foresee Inventing Anna ending badly.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Disclaimer: I spoil things, so beware

inventing anna ending badly
Inventing Anna is based on a true story (except for all the parts that are total lies) about a puzzling, manipulative con artist named Anna, who scammed numerous people by pretending she was a very wealthy German heiress. 

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Inventing Anna Ending Badly Explained

Neglecting Your Newborn

Episodes 1-7 of this series are tantalizing. It’s fascinating trying to piece together the jigsaw that is Anna. But then we hit episodes 8 and 9 and the intrigue just falls off the rails completely. 

In the last two episodes, the story shifts into places not as magnetizing and compelling. 

After the reporter has her baby we start to think, what are we still doing here? 

Her baby gets no attention. The reporter is not present or interested in her baby, only obsessed with Anna and her story still. Even after releasing the article and the article receiving impressive feedback and reviews, still, she’s not satisfied. 

*cue “Satisfied” from the Hamilton soundtrack*

Still, she wants to pry into Anna’s life even more. Her obsession with Anna seems a bit much and a little unjustified. Like –  it doesn’t make sense to me. You got what you needed out of her. You restored your credibility in the journalism world. What else are you looking for?!

Taking a Pointless Trip to Germany

So, the reporter goes to Germany and hunts down Anna’s dad and mom. 

By the way, why is Anna’s mom such a negligible part of the story? Why don’t we talk about the impact of the mom in her life? 

Additionally, a new translator character is introduced to the story. The German translator lady is a minor friend of the reporter for a while and then she leaves. 

I mention all this to say – were these roles really necessary? 

The story couldn’t have survived, nay – thrived without the presence of half of these negligible characters. It feels like a waste of time and money to include so many unnecessary minor characters. 

The Germany narrative felt like a spin-off from what was established in episodes 1-7. It simply didn’t have to be there and didn’t add to the story at all IMO.

Falling Under Anna’s Spell

By the time I got to the end, I got disconnected and a bit confused because I felt like the focus was unclear. 

We were no longer learning more about Anna but rather how she affected the life of the journalist and the lawyer. It’s almost as if there was an “Anna spell” that they were falling under where they became so obsessed with her to the point where they were neglecting their own loving and patient families. 

We never really got a conclusion on the journalist’s family or the lawyer’s family. They were mostly accommodating and supportive the whole time while their loved one was fixated on Anna. Then the story ended without really concluding the damage done to the families. 

Also, the journalist and the reporter ended on quite a sour note as well. Overall, there were a lot of unresolved conflicts. 

Identifying Anna

One area of resolved conflict, the most important piece of resolved conflict, was the relationship between Anna and the reporter. 

Their last conversation was a bit bizarre and a master class in Anna’s manipulation techniques.

Anna says she never cared about the reporter and then switches back to her “real” self and whispers “please visit me” to her. 

Which part of her are we supposed to believe?

There’s this manipulative dual character within Anna. One is a cold-hearted biscuit and one is a benevolent, connection-seeking human being who is just trying to figure life out. 

The duality of her character is hypnotizing to people. 

The reporter was hurt by her but wanted her approval at the same time which is exactly what her friends mentioned was so charming about her at the beginning of the series. 

The very last scene where Anna is staring into the camera as the van takes her to prison was intense. So much pull, draw, and emotion in her eyes like she was casting a spell on the audience. And I think it worked on me because after I finished the show, I did research on Anna since she’s such a fascinating character. 

Anna’s Future

Anna is now out of jail and working on projects with celebrities now. It looks like she’s benefitting from the media attention pertaining to her story and her arrest.

It’s almost a shame that someone who has done terrible things and has the mind of a criminal is almost being rewarded for being as fascinating and manipulative as she is. 

Admittedly, I am interested in the documentaries to come about Anna’s life in prison and how she survived it. Maybe even scams she ran in there. The fact that I’m interested in seeing her character again confirms that she’s got me under her spell. 

Some Flowers for Julia Garner

I think that the actress who played Anna, Julia Garner, portrayed the character pretty well. 

The accent took some time to get used to ~ FOR SURE ~ but what I will say is that it was pretty consistent. It was unique and signature just like Anna. 

Garner portrayed a lot of emotional and dynamic range while embodying Anna which is vital for playing a character like her. To play a character like Anna, you’re not only acting out what she’s saying but her intent and that’s the most fickle aspect of this Anna character, we don’t know her intent. Is she evil, narcissistic, a sociopath, or all of the above? Why is she doing what she’s doing? Is she actually a good person who keeps falling short?

Garner did a great job maintaining the mystery of Anna which keeps viewers hooked. We’re trying to figure this character out as she’s inventing herself.

In Conclusion…

Overall, decent show, I just wish that it held together the focus, mystery, and intrigue a little bit longer and didn’t get off track in the last two episodes. I was loving it, it was up in the 8s for me, but after the last 2 episodes I was like dang, the focus is lost. What are we still doing here? What are we still trying to figure out and why? 

The ending completely neglects the first ⅔’s of the show. The loose ends are tied but the ends are frayed. Not a clean, well-rounded conclusion to everything. Definitely dragged out a bit too long. 

Left us wanting more of Anna’s story but not of this particular series. 

Rating: 7.3/10

What are your thoughts on the end of Inventing Anna? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,


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  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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