Episode 7 : End Game

The beginning

Beth with her biological mother opens the finale. They go together to her father’s new house? The woman begs him for some help, but he doesn’t and tells them to leave. They go away and her mother says that they need to solve a problem: Beth.

The last episode of The Queen’s Gambit shows off Beth’s final demons — it is an episode where she decides whether she overcomes them or not and decides to do her possible for her goals.

Beth needs a drink

Back to the present day, Jolene visits her house — she informs Beth of Mr Shaibel’s death and invites her to his funeral. Jolene says that she is willing to become a paralegal — she tends to have put her life in order and is going to become a lawyer. Jolene verifies her bathroom cabinet and notices the tranquillizers. Beth admits that if she doesn’t go to Russia, she will drink. She admits that she needs to train, but now she only wants a drink.

Come back at the orphanage

Episode 7 shows a Beth who only turns around — it seems that the character needs this experience so that she can live back her last life where she belongs to.

Beth wanders herself how it might be in her blood now that her biological mother runs mad. Jolene informs her she could dig herself out and give her a present; it’s the book “Modern Openings” that she stole from the orphanage. Beth and Jolene go to their orphanage; Beth lets her get in alone but both go to the funeral.

Once it’s over, Beth makes up her mind and finally goes in. She walks around the place and feels nostalgic. She goes to the basement and notices loads of newspaper cuttings that Mr Shaibel keeps from all her achievements and headline stories. Beth shows to Jolene a photo of her with Mr Shaibel and sobs.

At that precise time, the character recognizes that many people love and admire life during her entire life. She’s not alone, not like she always thought she is.

Very attached to her values

Christian Crusade arrives into Beth’s house, and they want her to make a statement against communism as they feel that it punctures atheism. Beth is not at ease with the statement, she also does not feel that she is really a Christian. The organization officials are not pleased to realize that they will not comply, particularly now that she gets stable basement from them; — Beth pays them back. After, she calls Benny, and he thinks she is not normal. Beth questions Benny if he can borrow her some money for her help, but he maintains that he doesn’t have— she is also reticent at the idea of going to Russia by herself. Benny reproaches her to never come back to New York.

Jolene’s caring offer

Beth really needs money. She then decides to call for authorities and banks ‘help. When she plays squash with Jolene, she confesses that she should have never bought the house. It is a bad idea. Jolene suggests then that she pays Beth’s trip and admits to following her career as well. She is willing to be there for Beth, like family do.

1968 in Moscow

The Netflix series always go back to one point — Russia. Beth still has to fight against Russians, always.

The State Department provides Beth a security during her whole trip.  Her security imposes the rules on the plane — she must report anything doubtful, and she must stay sober. Beth is indifferent to the complex rules because she thinks that some connotes a lack common sense.

The Russians like chess very much

The tournament is deeply set up. So the Russians hang on it very seriously. Ironically, the audience includes a Russian female champion who’s never been against men. The first round remains simple for Beth. She’s stressed to bend to the culture — in fact; it is definitely far from Paris where she can shop, drink and waste money. She is also a bit impressed on the way people in Russia play chess — very seriously. As she wins the rounds, her popularity increases among the locals who run to get some Beth’s autographs.

Beating notorious grandmasters

Beth lingers beating tough grandmasters — in one of the games, they ask for adjournment because it’s getting late. Before joining her room, she notices her latest rival with Borgov building up strategies to plan her downfall. Beth returns to her room and trains. At the end of the game, Beth hits him. The rival admits then that she’s the best chess player he’s ever played and tells it to her.

Getting rid of her demons

One night, Beth is preparing to sleep and remembers suddenly that her biological mother names her the problem. This last tells her to close her eyes while speeding up the car. Beth throws all her tranquillisers down the toilet.

This marks a decisive time for Beth as she’s starting to be aware of her past and how it leds her to her addiction. The Queen’s Gambit finish is finding a light at the end of the tunnel for the character.

An old love

Borgov is still her opponent in the final.  They are surrounded by a delirious crowd. She’s replaying Borgov alongside his own style, but the match is very tight — Borgov unexpectedly suspends it. In her way to the hotel room, journalists put to Beth some questions and then Townes comes in and attracts all her attention and they share a kiss.

Time to build up plans

Townes throws to Beth that she broke his heart. They decide to let the past to the past and to get through the confusion that they both lived. Beth states Townes that she lies on the pills and alcohol to triumph — she expresses it in such a confuse way that she even herself really knows it but Townes asks if that is really the case. The following morning, Benny and Harry and her friends give her a well-thought plan to defeat Borgov. Beth is delighted that her friends call her — she feels loved. They offer her a beakdown of disparities.

Beth VS Borgov : round 3

The finale is back on, and the atmosphere is very tense. Borgov plays a very different pawn that definitely takes Beth by surprise. She breathes deeply, glances at the ceiling and plays in her minds the rest of the chess games. Everyone seems to wander what she’s doing looking up — actually, she searches her move. Borgov rapidly seems nervous and takes a look of loss on his face. He gives a draw even if he’s not really used to. Beth declines it. This is how the final game ends. She executes her final move, and she looks stunned at the time she realizes that she has done it.  Borgov lets a slight smile stretch his face and exclaims “It’s your game” before resigning. He shows up a fair play behavior faced to his defeat gracefully. He even gives her a hug. The whole assembly congrat Beth with strong applause. Her friends back at home get the news and burst into celebrations.

This feels like a festive moment as the Netflix series has done well to crash out to this precise moment — Borgov has always been Beth’s rival who she  desperately wanted to beat, and she finally achieves her goal in the harshest place: Russia.

The ending

Beth’s victory overjoyed her — her security guard informs her that she is conveyed at the White House by the President as it’s a real event that she beat the Soviets at their own game. She replies that they will give her talking points for the White House dinner. Beth wonders her security guard if she can get out walking for a while— he then warms that it may lead her to miss the plane. She walks through Moscow and sees many older people playing chess that all stand up and shake her hand. She then plays chess with one of them. The series ends here.

This scene shows up that Beth had finally found where she belongs — all episodes she felt out of place in Moscow, but the ending of The Queen’s Gambit displays her amongst people she can walk between. Strikingly all over the final episode, Beth tends to walk away from politics and religion. Her neutral view detonates volumes in the story — she did not want to be recognized as a “pawn” for political or religious matter — she wanted to gain fame and only be known as the best chess player of the world. It makes a link to the start of the episodes where Beth’s interviews were related to the fact that she’s a woman, which peeved her.

The Queen’s Gambit episode 7 remains a well-paced, edgy and fascinating ending as the main character has to face the demons that haunt her before finding her place in the world.