Unorthodox: Season 1 Episode 4 “Part 4” (Series Finale) – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

Esty looking over her shoulder.

In the series finale, both Moishe and Yanky confront Esty, and after her audition, a decision is made.

In the series finale, both Moishe and Yanky confront Esty, and after her audition, a decision is made.

Directed By Maria Schrader
Written By Alexa Karolinski, Anna Winger
Aired (Netflix) 3/26/2020

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

The Reason She Left – Esty, Yanky

What was the final straw? Why did Esty leave Williamsburg and fly off to Berlin? Well, because Yanky asked for a divorce and made it sound as if he and his mother were already talking to a matchmaker. With that revealed, that was the final straw for Esty. She was in a loveless marriage, felt replaceable, so why not leave? Apparently, she was always the problem, she was unwanted, so why not eliminate herself and go on her own accord?

Moishe’s Confrontation/ A Mother & Daughter Reunite – Moishe, Esty, Leah

But, with a kid, that complicates things and leads to Moishe chasing her down and presenting the idea that she can either leave or possibly kill herself. An idea which isn’t an option but with hitting rock bottom comes Esty finally running to her mother and learning the truth. Leah did not abandon Esty, Esty was taken away from her by the courts.

Leah talking to Esty about what happened when Esty was a child.

Mind you, when Leah first left Mordecai, she wasn’t prepped to live with him, and between the drinking and expectations, it was too much. So she actually left and made a life with Esty, and for a few months, they were fine. However, a Moishe type showed up, and they went from calling to showing up to lawyers and Leah, at 17 or 18, she was overwhelmed. After all, what resourced did she have to fight back?

Thus, for the next 15 years, the only way Leah got to speak to Esty was if a chaperone was around and due to that, since she was 3, Esty was led to believe her mom abandoned her. But now, in present-day, she wants to be there for her and help raise her baby.

One Last Try – Esty, Robert, Yanky, Moishe, Leah

And with the support of Robert, Esty auditions, and while her first song, “An die Musik” by Schubert, doesn’t necessarily lead to a round of applause, her Yiddish song does bring many to tears. But, we aren’t told if she got the scholarship. All we know is that, despite Yanky’s gifts and pleas, even cutting his curls, Esty has no desire to return with him or to him. She is free now.

Leaving us not knowing what’s next for Esty besides hanging out with Robert and his friends, likely living with Leah, and probably having to prep for the court battle to come.

What Must Also Be Noted

  1. Esty’s grandmother dies.


It Was A Beautiful Ending

There are times when you listen to music and, even if you don’t know the words, you know what feeling is meant behind them. As Esty sang in Yiddish, with no subtitles to translate, you could imagine her treating that song as a showing she is free. Yet, also addressing that while her future has limitless joy, mourning the time spent getting to this point.

And another reason she can sing so beautifully is that she knows the truth now. Her mother did love her, but it was one young woman, with minimal education, vs. a large and well-financed community. One which owns buildings, can easily afford the nicest of jewelry and would make squashing a 19-year-old girl like killing a lame spider. Which might very well be a story that may repeat as Esty faces what Leah once did. Thus fully allowing Esty to understand her mother’s position but, hopefully together, they can rewrite history.

On The Fence

Wanting An Epilogue

Moishe telling Esty that this isn't the last they've seen of them.
Moishe: You haven’t seen the last of us.

A lot goes unanswered or unclear. We don’t learn if Esty beat the odds and not only got in but also got in on a scholarship. Whether Esty would skip her grandmother’s funeral to avoid being trapped isn’t answered either. On top of that, whether Miriam and Yanky’s family, with the whole community, forced Esty to the states to face a custody hearing, and whether she won or lost is omitted. Thus leaving us on what feels like a high note, but could be the beginning of the end for Esty’s joy.

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