The Shillelagh
S2 episode 7 Aired on July 7, 2020

In “The Shillelagh,” episode 207 of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story, Betty manages to make it through Dan and Linda’s wedding day. But no matter how much her friends try to help her, Betty still can’t fully let go and ultimately resorts to very drastic measures…changing her and her family’s lives forever.

The Golden Goose

Betty keeps her new gun in the pocket of her robe and ends up showing it to her son. Upon hearing the details of Dan and Linda’s upcoming nuptials, Betty is convinced that Dan has made certain plans to hurt her, including wearing a morning coat when he refused to the first time around. In retaliation, she swipes their guest list and calls the people who aren’t invited to let them know. After Ryan tells Dan that Betty has a gun, Dan hires security guards on the wedding day for peace of mind. “She’s not going to kill the golden goose,” Dan tells Richard. On the day itself, however, with Karen’s help, Betty steers clear of the event and is able to share a joyful moment with her friend.

“Get Them Home”

Betty’s therapist tells her that her kids are in crisis. But because she exhibits immaturity and poor judgment under pressure, no matter how bright, rational and loving she is, she’s not doing her fight for shared custody any favors. The hits keep coming from Dan, though, who has arranged for people other than Betty to take care of the kids while he and Linda go to Greece, making it hard for Betty not to lash out. Through a letter from his lawyer, Dan declines Betty’s request to care for the kids and threatens another turn in jail if Betty continues leaving obscene messages on his machine. The letter goes on to state that they find Betty’s actions completely inconsistent with Betty’s therapist’s contentions that her “emotional disturbances and mental diseases are improving.” Bereft and beaten down, Betty takes to her bed.  

The Keys, The Gun and Superman

When Tracy is over for a visit, Betty secretly slips her daughter’s keys to Dan’s house out of her purse. Then on the night of November 4, 1989, after Betty weeps in front of her son because she hates being the reason that he’s missing out on other things, Betty drives over to Dan’s house. Like Superman did when he flew around the earth, Betty feels like screaming so loud that it wakes up the whole world and makes them ask, “What’s that?” “It’s Betty Broderick going over the edge,” she says in voiceover. But since “nice girls don’t do that,” she kept the scream inside herself. Until now. She pulls her daughter’s set of keys and her gun out of her purse and approaches the house. 

Calls for Help

Afterwards, Betty makes a series of calls to friends and family, seemingly unsure of what just happened. All she seems to know is that she went into Dan’s house and fired a gun. Samantha, her friend from HALT, helps her quickly find a criminal lawyer, Matt, who confirms that they’re “both” dead. At the arraignment, Betty is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Her lawyer enters a not guilty plea and a request for a jury trial. But because of the seriousness of the charges, there’s no bail set. Betty is sent to jail until her trial.