Warning: There are spoilers ahead for the ending of “Pieces of Her.”
The Netflix thriller "Pieces of Her" opens with the worst day of Andy's (Bella Heathcote) life: She and her mother, Laura (Toni Collette), are caught up in a horrific shooting. And until "Pieces of Her's" conclusion arrives eight episodes later, the bad days just keep coming for Andy.
Laura's heroic actions in the show's first episode render her an internet celebrity, and also put her in immediate danger. Up to that point, Laura's adult life has been consumed by keeping her true identity a secret. Now, she's a public figure.
Many flashbacks later, "Pieces of Her" ends with Laura — or should we say Jane — and Andy finally reaching a place of shared understanding. Andy comes face-to-face with the secrets her withholding mother has been keeping and learns about the family she never knew she had. At last, there are no more lies between them.
In show's the final scene, the camera pans out to Andy and Laura walking on the beach, and into their own futures. Is this sunset stroll the last audiences will get from Andy and Laura? Perhaps. Here's what we know about the prospect of a second "Pieces of Her" season.
"Pieces of Her's" finale answers a major question about Martin Queller's death.
“Pieces of Her” builds to a few momentous revelations related to Laura’s past. The most important? Laura is actually Jane Queller, the youngest daughter of Martin Queller (Terry O’Quinn), a pharmaceutical billionaire killed onstage during a conference in Oslo.
The finale reveals Jane's direct involvement in her father's death. As a teenager, Jane (played by Jessica Barden) became involved with the Army for the Changing World along with her brother Andrew. The extremist political group is headed up Nick Harp (Aaron Jeffrey), a man nearly as controlling as Jane’s father.
The Army for the Changing World kidnapped Berkeley professor Alex Maplecroft, who was set to speak on the conference in Oslo, and replaced her with Grace Juno (Catherine McClements), a woman whose husband had killed himself and their children due to side effects from Quelcorp's drugs. Grace was originally supposed to pour red powder on Martin — but instead went rogue and shot him.
To the world, Nick appears to be responsible for Martin’s death. After Martin died, Jane testified against Nick in exchange for a lighter sentence and a life in the witness protection program.
In fact, Jane was the person who orchestrated Martin’s death, all in a bid to free herself from her controlling father and save her child's life. When Jane became pregnant with Nick's child, Martin attempted to terminate the pregnancy without Jane's consent. At a bar in Oslo ahead of the event, Jane shared her situation with Grace, playing to Grace's grief. She showed Grace her handbag, which contained a pistol. Grace understood Jane's intention, and switched pocketbooks. Grace carried out the murder before killing herself.
Long story short: Jane planned her father's murder, successfully framed Nick for the crime, and lived in fear of the truth getting out.
"Pieces of Her" hasn't been renewed, but a second season is possible.
While “Pieces of Her” wraps up many of the show's mysteries, the door to a second season remains open. "Pieces of Her" is not billed as a limited series, unlike other Netflix book-to-TV adaptations like “Behind Her Eyes” and “The Queen’s Gambit,” which means it could be renewed.
The stars are open about continuing their characters' stories. Collette wants to know what's next for her character, especially after that phone call from her brother Jasper in the finale. Jasper knows about Laura's involvement in the murder, and will keep quiet for a price. He tells Laura, "We'll be in touch."
"With Laura, toward the end of the story, she finally has some freedom to be her true self, and then she gets that call and it all gets taken away immediately. It’s a very short-lived period of freedom. I would love to see what happens there and how she does get that freedom back that she got to taste for literally three hours before it was taken away again,” Collette told PopSugar.
As for Andy? In season 2, she could explore her budding romance with Michael, which will be made complicated by their shared history.
Author Karin Slaughter applauded the show's conclusion.
Karin Slaughter, who wrote the book that inspired the series, complimented the show's open-ended final scene during a Q&A for journalists and fans the week of the premiere.
"I love to end books where not everything is tied up and you have questions about the emotional arc of a character. There's then mystery of character which you have to solve, and then there's (the question of,) 'Who is this person and what are they doing next?'" Slaughter said.
To answer Slaughter's question, we know, now, who "Laura Oliver" is. But unless Netflix renews the series of a second season, we may have to imagine what she does next.
For more "Pieces of Her," read the book it's based on — and spot the differences.
"Pieces of Her" is based on Slaughter's 2018 novel of the same name. Both works are about a woman with a fractured past and her daughter's quest to put it back together again, but there are enough differences to make the juicy thriller worth reading.
Among the differences? In the book, Nick is serving time in prison, and is not a fugitive. Andrew has a more prominent role. And, in a plot line completely eliminated in the show, one of the major characters is kidnapped — though we'll preserve the mystery in case you decide to pick up the book and spend more time with Laura and Andy.