Netflix’s Ripley Ending Explained: Did Ripley Get Away With It?

4 April 2024, 17:14

Netflix's Ripley aired on April 4th 2024
Netflix's Ripley aired on April 4th 2024. Picture: Alamy

By Tiasha Debray

Netflix’s Ripley is officially out and the dark psychological thriller has so many twists and turns that we’ve decided to explain the ending to you. Did Tom Ripley get away with his crimes?

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Netflix’s Ripley has officially dropped and whether you’re going to pace yourself or you plan to binge the entire show in one sitting, one thing is for sure. The thriller mini-series will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, the main one being, confusion.

The 8-episode series is based on the novel 'The Talented Mr Ripley' originally written by Patricia Highsmith in 1955. The hit movie by the same name saw huge success in 1999, however, the 2024 show starring Andrew Scott, Dakota Fanning and Johnny Flynn planned to take a much darker route.

With the story being filmed in Italy, in black and white, it followed Tom Ripley and his sick obsession with wealthy heir Dickie Greenleaf. An obsession that went too far, in a plot that involved deception, fraud and murder.

For those who didn’t understand or those who simply can’t focus long enough to make it through, we’ve decided to explain the ending of Ripley to you. What happened at the end of Tom Ripley and did he get away with it? Here’s what we know.

Andrew Scott will star in Netflix's Ripley as Tom Ripley
Andrew Scott will star in Netflix's Ripley as Tom Ripley. Picture: Alamy

What happened at the end of Ripley? The ending is explained.

Warning: Major show spoilers ahead!

Whilst Netflix’s Ripley went through a series of twists and turns along the way, three characters remained at the centre of the plot. Tom Ripley played by Andrew Scott, Dickie Greenleaf played by Johnny Flynn and Marge Sherwood played by Dakota Fanning.

Sadly Dickie was killed by Tom in just the third episode of the series and the second half of the show followed Tom leading a sick dual life as both himself and Dickie as he began to impersonate him.

Tom’s sick fascination with wealth, power and status led him to impersonate Dickie for his benefit but eventually, the deception was unveiled by the character Freddie Miles, an old friend of Dickies.

Once he figured out what Tom had been up to, his number was up and he too was bludgeoned to death like his old friend but this time, instead of an oar, Tom used a glass ashtray.

Netflix's Ripley will be based off the 1955 novel of the same name
Netflix's Ripley will be based off the 1955 novel of the same name. Picture: Alamy

Two murders for the sake of one lie and yet somehow, Tom got away with it… almost. It’s not until the very last scene of the entire series that any doubt is cast upon him for the murder of Dickie or Freddie.

After he killed Dickie, Tom managed to avoid the authorities and the heir's loved ones before he realised in Rome, he could physically impersonate the man, as the local authorities had not seen Dickie before.

Never doubt Andrew Scotts acting for he did an incredible job as he played Tom Ripley and then proceeded to play Tom Ripley playing Dickie Greenleaf.

In the show, Tom disguised himself when he was not pretending to be Dickie and did such a great job that even Inspector Ravini was convinced that Dickie and Tom were two different people.

Dakota Fanning will star in Netflix's Ripley as Marge Sherwood
Dakota Fanning will star in Netflix's Ripley as Marge Sherwood. Picture: Alamy

For a single moment in the final episode, it seemed that Tom had been found out after Marge Sherwood found Dickie’s signet ring amongst Tom’s belongings.

She was suspicious of his character earlier on in the show, but it seemed like with time, Marge began to trust Tom.

Because despite finding the ring, Marge somehow believed it further proved the narrative Tom had cunningly weaved after Dickie’s death; that he was suicidal after he murdered his own childhood friend Freddie.

After this, the police and Dickie’s family found a letter addressed from Dickie to his Roman landlady, Signora Buffi.

In the letter ‘Dickie’ write somewhat existentially about wanting to part from his earthly belongings, feeling his priceless art collection was suddenly ‘worthless’ to him.

Dakota Fanning, Johnny Flynn & Andrew Scott will lead in their roles in Netflix's Ripley
Dakota Fanning, Johnny Flynn & Andrew Scott will lead in their roles in Netflix's Ripley. Picture: Alamy

The sentiments of the letter worked perfectly as Tom planned it to, as it convinced everyone that there had been something wrong with Dickie before he died and it was most likely a suicide.

After he convinced everyone of his lies and tidied up any loose ends, the world was suddenly Tom’s oyster. Living a life of luxury, Tom received a fake passport from his criminal friend Reeves Minot (played by John Malkovich). Reeves was a black market art dealer and in Tom's final scene, he's seen with Dickie’s real Picasso painting that once hung in his apartment.

Tom was finally living the life he believed he deserved. But had Tom Ripley gotten away with it? It seemed not quite.

Watch the trailer for Ripley

Inspector Ravini after being convinced Dickie and Tom were different people, received a copy of Marge Sherwood's published book that contained images of the real Dickie.

Immediately the inspector realised that Dickie’s face was an unfamiliar one and as he said Tom Ripley’s name out loud, the show implied he had made the connection that he’d been conned.

The show left it open-ended as to whether Ravini would follow this revelation up with any action in season two.

However as the show is based on the novels, book two didn't include Inspector Ravini and was set six years in the future, where Tom has a whole new life with a whole new set of cons.

Listen live to Capital, and catch up on any shows you missed, on Global Player.