Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley

Breaking Down the ‘Ripley’ Finale

Audiences and critics alike have fallen for Netflix’s Ripley, which has earned acclaim for its production value, cinematography, and Andrew Scott’s portrayal of the titular character. However, some viewers were left puzzled by the show’s ending, so let’s dive in.

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The final episode starts with a comparison between the events of the show and 17th-century Italy, when famed Italian painter Caravaggio killed a man by the name of Ranuccio Tommasoni. The incident draws parallels to Dickie Greenleaf’s (Johnny Flynn) murder by Tom Ripley, possibly alluding to the fact that the latter, like the Baroque artist, had feelings for the person he murdered (Tommasoni for Caravaggio and Dickie for Ripley). The scene then cuts to Tom enjoying some wine on his newly leased property in Venice, where he is hiding and has grown a beard to alter his appearance.

Ripley then throws off the detective agency by visiting them as they are in the process of connecting the dots between Dickie’s disappearance and Freddie Miles’ murder. This leads to the police leaking Tom’s whereabouts through a newspaper, which in turn sets up a meeting between Tom and Dickie’s girlfriend Marge (Dakota Fanning), as she now knows that he is alive. Marge arrives with a plethora of questions regarding Dickie, which Tom manages to fend off with dexterity. (This bit also includes a dream sequence where Tom thinks about killing Marge.) However, later, Marge’s rather clueless reasoning behind Dickie leaving his ring in Tom’s belongings does actually save her from Tom’s potential attack (using the same weapon he killed Freddie with).

It’s important to note that Dickie’s father visits Tom before Marge does, and Greenleaf Sr. is still unaware of Tom’s role in the two murders. After their interaction, Marge calls Dickie’s father (his second visit), who in turn calls the PI over from New York, and Tom cooks up a story about how Dickie actually loved him and not Marge, taking advantage of everyone being in the dark.

The group then discusses the last known whereabouts of Dickie, coming to the conclusion that he presumably died on the way to Tunisia (where he was headed as per the people who last spoke to him). Letters that Tom wrote as Dickie (settling his affairs) help them make their minds, as do the accounts regarding Dickie’s depression. After saying his goodbyes and obtaining a fake passport, Tom recalls Dickie’s Picasso painting, which he had sent to himself earlier, reveling inside as his plan comes to fruition.

The show does end on a cliffhanger, though, as it is shown that inspector Ravini (the Italian inspector investigating the Greenleaf disappearance and Miles’ murder) finds out what Dickie actually looked like, breaking his confusion between Tom and Dickie. This could potentially spell trouble for Tom, but there’s a great chance we will never find out, as the Netflix show is unfortunately a miniseries. Still, there are other books on Tom Ripley’s adventures, so who knows!

(featured image: Netflix)


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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.