‘Marcella’ reached a gripping, if not disturbing, ending on Monday (9 April) night, as viewers not only discovered the identity of the serial killer, but finally got answers about the lead character’s past.
There were shocking scenes including a lobotomy, self-mutilation, attempted suicide and the death of a baby in the series two finale, which revealed Jane Colletti was responsible for the deaths of the 17 murdered children.
Following on from the conclusion of last week’s episode, that saw Edward fall unconscious in Jane’s kitchen, police discovered she was the perpetrator after questioning Eric about his confrontation with Dr Lewis.
In the interview, he revealed his sister Gail had gone missing after getting involved in Joel’s case, prompting them to look into his background.
When Marcella went to visit him at the care home, she was alarmed to find he had the same scar across his chest as many of the other victims, before it was then revealed he was Jane’s brother.
As the police swung into action, they visited Jane’s house, where Marcella found her son Edward’s bag and mobile phone, leading her to believe he was Jane’s next victim.
She then entered one of her fugue states, and took Jane’s daughter and drove to the abandoned house belonging to Jane’s mother.
Inside, she found case files relating to each of the 17 murders, and an extra one containing details about Edward.
As the hunt for Jane continued, she headed to a disused warehouse owned by her ex-husband. There, she found Edward pinned to an operating table, as Jane prepared to perform a lobotomy on him to rid him of the evil she believed was inside of him.
After Marcella took a knife Jane’s daughter’s throat and threatened to kill her unless she let Edward go, a showdown across the warehouse ensued.
Marcella eventually won and Jane was taken into custody. She admitted to all her crimes, but expressed no remorse, explaining she had tried to save these - what she believed were - abused children from turning into abusers.
The second half of the episode then served to explain how Marcella ended up on the roof of the police station preparing to take her own life, in a flash-forward in episode one.
After it was established Edward was going to be OK, Marcella decided to confront her demons about the night her daughter Juliette died, heading to her hypnotherapist to get definitive answers.
After she was sent under, it was revealed Marcella was actually the one responsible for her daughter’s death, having accidentally smothered her while trying to pacify her.
Distraught by this news, she headed back to the hospital to deliver legal papers to Becky that granted her ex-husband Jason sole custody of their children. She then went back to the police station, making her way up to the roof where she prepared to take her own life.
However, Marcella’s colleague Rav managed to talk her down, and she then told him the truth about Juliette’s death before knocking him unconscious with a toilet cistern lid and handcuffing him to a cubicle door.
Realising that she no longer identified with the person she had become, Marcella sought a way to escape herself and cut off her hair. In shocking scenes, she then took the same pair of scissors to her mouth and gave herself a Chelsea smile. Abandoning her ‘M’ necklace in sink full of hair and blood, she then staggered out into the night.
The action then cut to nine days later, when a police officer found her sleeping rough and told her about a fire at an abandoned house that had killed three homeless people - including her.
He told her: “The bodies were so badly burned, they had to use DNA to identify them. Couldn’t match two of them, but they were able to identify the third. Marcella Backland. DS Marcella Backland.
“For some reason there’s been a mixup with the DNA. So now, you’re dead. The department I work for could use a dead police officer to go undercover. What do you say?”
Viewers may have questioned how the DNA was mixed up, but long-term fans of the show will remember back in series one, when she paid a homeless woman to use her DNA. Marcella needed it because the police required every officer to give their DNA to rule them out of the investigation of Grace Gibson’s death. But as she knew it was her blood as the scene of the crime, Marcella had to fake the sample.
The homeless woman was really the one killed in the fire, meaning Marcella is now believed to be dead, setting a potential third series up where she could work as a shadow officer.
While many will question why some of the loose ends relating to characters including the lesbian couple and the charity boss were not tied up, writer Hans Rosenfeldt explained why there was not a neat ending.
Speaking to HuffPost UK, he said: “People get a little bit like, ‘What happened to that? What happened to this?’ but there’s really no answer. They were in the show for a couple of episodes and once we had no use for them, we don’t really try to wrap it up for them. That’s like real life where you don’t really know what happened to them.
“The episode was very emotional, so hopefully that will take away any element of disappointment. We are very happy with it, and we think it is really, really good.”
‘Marcella’ is available to watch again in full on the ITV Hub.