Writer/director/star Ricky Gervais admits he made up his series After Life as it went along, as he was never sure if there would be a second season, let alone a third, which is perfectly in keeping with the show’s themes of uncertainty and living in the moment. But as the third season premieres on Netflix, and Gervais has promised that season three will certainly be the last, there is an expectation of some sort of conclusion, a better sense of closure at the end of season three than there were at the ends of seasons one and two.
When we left Tony, the widower played by Gervais, at the end of season two, he seemed to have stepped off his perpetual grieving cycle for his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman), who had died of cancer, until his father passes away, which seemed to plunge him back into the darkness. But his friendship with his father’s nurse, Emma (Ashley Jensen), seemed to shine a light into his dark world and, at the end of season two, we see how that friendship and possibly burgeoning romance literally saves Tony from the darkness consuming him as Emma ringing his doorbell is the thing that stops Tony from swallowing a handful of pills. Despite the relief for the audience in that moment, the ending was still quite somber and ambiguous, as we were left to wonder how long Tony can hold off the demons.