Major spoilers for Made For Love are ahead. Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti) spends HBO Max’s Made For Love season 1 desperately trying to cut ties with her supervillain -level controlling husband, tech baron Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). Or, should we call him Greg Benson? As viewers learn in Made For Love’s finale, “Let’s Meet,” Byron has been using a fake name during his entire marriage. In the lead up to the finale, Hazel flees the Gogol Hub, attempts (and fails) to get a divorce lawyer, and goes so far as to watch a strange man pleasure until completion just to piss Byron off. Hazel rightly hates Byron. He did have her drugged and implanted with a 24/7 monitoring system in her brain.
Still, in the final shot of the Made For Love season 1, we watch Hazel walk hand-in-hand with Byron into the Gogol home in the Gogol Hub. Hazel lets Byron wrap an arm around her as Zelda the also-chipped dolphin chirps from the Gogol pool. Both of Byron’s pet projects are safely trapped inside of his domain once again.
It would be easy for Made For Love to categorize Hazel as a damsel in distress, recaptured by the toxic brute in her life. But Made For Love isn’t an easy show. Hazel is the begrudging architect of her new reality — placing her in a fresh moral gray zone. Because, Hazel has now tricked her father, Herbert (Ray Romano), into a lifetime stay at The Hub against his knowledge. As Made for Love looks towards a possible second season (HBO Max has yet to order more episodes), the series has set Hazel on her own complicated path toward villainy.
For just a few moments, Made For Love suggests a happy ending is ahead in “Let’s Meet.” After a fraught conversation in a gas station diner, Hazel and Byron both sign their divorce papers. At this point Hazel knows more about Byron (or, well, Greg) than she did ever during their 10-year relationship. Byron is from Montana, his estranged father is a mailman, Byron’s mother and brother left during his childhood, and Byron has since had to pay his mystery sibling hush money to maintain the Gogol charade. Byron is also apparently so turned on by truth telling he can orgasm from it. Hazel is not charmed by this new side of Byron and refuses to go back to The Hub with him — even when he reveals that her dad has terminal pancreatic cancer. Byron offers to help save Herb if Hazel agrees to come “home.”
“I’d rather let him die,” Hazel admits. Herb hears this cutting comment. Unbeknownst to Hazel, her dad and his private investigator ex-girlfriend Judiff (Kym Whitley) are monitoring the conversation through a bugged ketchup bottle. Hurt by the pragmatism of Hazel’s stance — and ultimately respectful of it — Herb turns off the volume on the live recording. Herb and Judiff drive away, oblivious to Hazel and Byron’s parting words. So, when Hazen returns home, it appears she and Herb are able to celebrate the simple win that is the signing of her divorce papers.
Yet, the scene of Hazel and Herb’s post-diner reunion isn’t actually that straightforward. When Hazel arrives back at the Green house, her father is disoriented and passed out on the couch. After hearing about his medical condition from Byron — and likely seeing the files back in the diner — Hazel finally recognizes the pressing issue that is her father’s health. In the heat of the moment, she puts a drugging agent in Herb’s beer. A flashback towards the end of the finale shows that Byron gave Hazel the drugs in the diner “in case” she changed her mind about bringing Herb to The Hub for care. Once Herb is out, she calls Byron to do just that. A fleet of workers are dispatched to the Green’s house to pack up every item — including Herb’s “synthetic partner” Diane — to recreate this world in The Hub.
Judiff puts all of this together after it’s too late. Since Judiff placed bugs throughout the Greens’ place, she hears the recording of Hazel telling Byron she’s “ready” to go back to The Hub and correctly assumes the worst. By the time Judiff gets to the Green home, it’s completely empty. Hazel, Herb, and Diane are all in The Hub. For now, the latter two have no idea, although the broken panel in the corner of the Green cube may make that fact obvious.
Hazel has abducted her dad for his medical benefit.
Over the course of an episode, Hazel went from battling Byron to working from his playbook. One the one hand, Hazel’s reason for trapping Herb in The Hub is altruistic: She wants to save her dad from a deadly disease he refused to treat for years. It’s Hazel’s decision to enact her savior plan without giving her father a say in the matter — or even informing him of its occurrence once he’s in The Hub — that turns something almost-sweet into something definitely dark. Hazel at least knew she was at The Hub during her marriage. Herb has no such freedom.
“I’m jealous of Diane. She’s got flawless skin. No weight fluctuations. She never has to cook. She never has to worry about money. She’s got a pretty easy life,” Hazel tells her dad during their final conversation of Made for Love season 1. Herb points out how those same words could apply to her relationship with Byron. Yet, in reality, this is the building block for Hazel’s defense of her action — at least now her dad has “an easy life.” And a life at all.
At least we know Hazel won’t be able to hide her secret forever. Either guilt, or Judiff, is bound to drag the truth into the light, should Made For Love season 2 arise.