Back in the first episode, the Gemstones were introduced in the middle of an argument, bickering as they baptized new believers in a malfunctioning wave pool in China. From the first insults, taunts, and eyerolls, it was apparent that Dr. Eli Gemstone (John Goodman) could no longer control his flock. If something was unclear in that first episode, it was why exactly the younger Gemstones, who had the great success and financial stability that often eludes McBride's more economically at-risk protagonists, would be quite so angry and so cruel to each other. Eastbound's Kenny Powers was a washed-up egomaniac chasing his glory days; Vice Principals' Neal Gamby was a thwarted authoritarian pursuing the scraps of power available to him. On the surface, Jesse and his siblings lived in relative comfort and prosperity.
Why are the Gemstones so fundamentally broken? Over the course of the season, particularly in the brilliant flashback episode "Interlude," McBride expanded the scope of the series and revealed that each character was still reeling from the loss of their mother Aimee-Leigh, the kind-hearted matriarch who held the family together. Played with startling humanity by real-life country singer Jennifer Nettles, she embodied the decency that all the other characters are capable of but rarely choose to act on. In its own vulgar, ridiculous way, The Righteous Gemstones slowly revealed itself to be a series about grieving and letting go.
So, it made sense that the season finale opened with Aimee-Leigh's death. As a bee buzzed around the hospital after she passes, Eli and his children immediately lost their shit, unable to control their destructive impulses to squash the bee. From there, the finale followed the fallout of the previous episode's Easter mass robbery and the subsequent disownment of the kids by Eli: Jesse, having blown up his marriage, continued to alienate his son while trying to make amends; Kelvin, sipping wine on the edge of his pool, spiraled into depression upon realizing he's "not Jesus" and might just be a normal guy; and Judy, spurned by Uncle "Baby" Billy, attempts to rebuild the relationship she destroyed by oversharing. Like the diabolically catchy song goes, they went on misbehavin'.