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The Ending Of The Snow Girl Explained

"The Snow Girl" is Netflix's latest installment in the true crime genre, but it differs from the norm in two ways: It's a drama rather than a docuseries, and it's not based on true events. Even though it's a fictional show, it has an eerily realistic atmosphere that is reminiscent of David Fincher's stomach-churning "Zodiac." "The Snow Child" conjures the same sense of obsession, dread, and tension as it follows Miren (Milena Smit), an investigative journalist, on her decade-long investigation into the kidnapping of a 6-year-old girl in Málaga.

Netflix has taken some criticism for its wide array of true-crime shows. Everyone has offered their input on why these shows are not necessarily ethical, from critics to victims' relatives. It is also indisputable that these shows draw sizable crowds and occasionally even win awards for their creative teams. Finding an approach to accommodate all of these factions is tough. Fortunately, in "The Snow Girl," Netflix appears to have achieved that elusive balance.

There are a lot of tense moments near the end of the show that might easily divert the audience's attention away from the details that tie everything up for a satisfying finale. So let's go over everything that happened, including the cliffhanger. Here's an explanation of the finale of "The Snow Girl."

King Solomon's Judgement

The audience finally learns who kidnapped Amaya in the penultimate episode. It flashes back to Ana's workplace as a fertility specialist, where she explains to her patient Iris that her fertility treatments aren't working. Later, Iris attends a parade in Málaga, where she encounters Ana, her husband, and her daughter Amaya. In a bizarre sequence of circumstances, Iris witnesses Amaya being separated from her parents and decides to abduct her.

Miren's investigation continues unabated over the years, which frustrates Iris, who now realizes that Miren will never forget what happened to Amaya's family. So when Iris finds out they will get evicted and must relocate, she worries that other people will recognize Amaya.

Amaya's two mothers exhibit their actual selves during this period of tremendous stress. Ana admits to the TV cameras that she has lost hope in the search, telling them that whoever kidnapped Amaya can keep her as long as she is not harmed. Iris, on the other hand, tells her husband that if they try to separate her and Amaya, she will kill them both. This motif puts the audience in the same situation as Solomon in the biblical account when he must choose between two moms fighting over custody of one child. Solomon suggests cutting the child in half and giving one part to each of the mothers. One woman is satisfied with her half of the child, while the other gives up her claim in order to save the child, which proves to Solomon that she is in fact the baby's real mother.

Miren's Vendetta

Miren's past is nearly as tragic as Amaya's. The show gives audiences incremental glimpses of the trauma Miren endured before the events of the show through flashbacks. Miren was drugged after a night out and sexually abused by a gang of men, who subsequently took a video and uploaded it to an illegal website. Miren still bears the emotional scars of her ordeal.

Miren distrusts law enforcement because the crime went unsolved, and there was no hint of the police following up on the case. When she discovers that one of the users of the website where the video of her assault was posted has faced no consequences for his actions, she begins her vengeance plot. To rub salt in the wound, one of the suspects in Miren's kidnapping is also a user of the same website, and he has recently been released.

The final episode begins with the two convicted pedophiles being executed in cold blood. Miren has quickly been deemed a prominent suspect due to a minor connection to one of the pedophiles. However, because there is no evidence, she is immediately released. Later in the show, the audience learns that Miren set up the two with the higher-ups of that website, accusing them of cooperating with the police.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Miren figures out Iris has Amaya

It has been nine years since Amaya was abducted when she is ultimately found in the last episode. Only Miren and Inspector Millán managed to keep the case alive during the search. However, while the restrictions of Inspector Millán's ethics routinely stop her from doing what's truly necessary to find Amaya, Miren makes it clear from the start that she would never prioritize her career over locating Amaya.

Miren's approach occasionally led to her taking life-threatening risks. Fortunately, she didn't have to take a substantial risk to discover Amaya's location. Watching the tapes sent by Iris over and over again, she notices that one clip is clearer than the previous one. She reasons that because the camera is vintage, there could only be a few businesses able to service it. Miren is correct in her supposition, but the store's attendant refuses to cooperate, so she steals his book of records.

The book leads her to Iris, the person who repaired the exact camera used to film Amaya. Miren has a tense and unsettling interaction with Iris, but Iris eventually lets Miren go. As she walks away, she notices a child's bicycle on the porch, which proves Amaya's presence at Iris's property. Milena Smit's performance in the sequence is outstanding. For those familiar with her work in "Parallel Mothers," this is no surprise: Smit is without a doubt one of Europe's most promising young talents right now.

The reason Iris doesn't kill Miren

Even before Miren arrives at Iris's ranch, the audience is well aware that if Iris's position in Amaya's life is threatened, Iris will not hesitate to kill. This is established earlier in the season when Iris shoots a bank employee named Raul at close range because he seems to know too much. When viewers see Miren questioning Iris, their anxiety logically escalates, because Iris could shoot her at any point.

Miren understands more than most people exactly how dangerous those who perpetrate such horrible acts can be, but she always trusts her instincts. She feels she has to go because everyone else is too distracted by the media circus generated by Amaya's kidnapping.

When Miren arrives at Iris' ranch, she is wise enough not to share all of the information she has and frighten Iris. But Iris obviously knows everything there is to know about Miren. Even though Iris considers killing Miren because her presence signals that she knows where Amaya is, Iris believes that if she murders Miren, doing so would alert everyone in Miren's office, and she would be found out. So Iris decides to wait until Miren departs before packing all their belongings and leaving the ranch.

Eduardo is Miren's guardian angel

Miren's trauma has made it difficult for her to form connections, especially because she finds it difficult to trust others. She doesn't trust her boss's leadership at the newspaper, her mother has to continually ask her to open up, and she doesn't regard the police as allies. Miren is constantly seen to be isolating herself.

Eduardo is an exception to Miren's way of life. He's a well-known veteran journalist who also serves as Miren's mentor. Eduardo doesn't think twice to defend Miren at the very beginning of the series when her boldness nearly gets her fired from her job. After Miren had recently experienced yet another traumatic tragedy, Eduardo is once again there to provide her with emotional support at a pivotal time. When Miren makes a romantic move on him, he gently gestures to her that he is not interested. This emphasizes to both the audience and Miren that he has no ulterior motives aside from caring for Miren.

However, even by Miren's standards, she goes too far by manipulating the mob into murdering two convicted pedophiles. As a result, Miren is the police's primary suspect. Fortunately for her, despite his disagreement with Miren's methods, Eduardo destroys the most incriminating evidence left behind by Miren.

Inspector Belén Millán is still suspicious of Miren

Throughout the entire season, Miren is often hard on Inspector Belén Millán, accusing her of not taking the Amaya case seriously enough. However, the audience knows that this could not be any further from the truth: Inspector Millán cares just as much as Miren, but she's limited by the police force. When the case was six years old and the force had lost its momentum, Inspector Millán leveraged the new evidence found to convince the police force to give her more officers on the case.

The conflict between Miren and Inspector Millán about how they handled the Amaya investigation frequently flares up. Miren believes the cops are unreliable, whilst Inspector Millán believes that Miren is allowing her emotions to get the best of her. Inspector Millán's patience begins to fray as Miren continues to visit suspects without informing the police. 

Miren, of course, eventually takes matters into her own hands with the two pedophiles, and Inspector Millán immediately arrests her as her first suspect. There is no solid proof linking Miren to the crime, but she is still suspicious. Later, Inspector Millán's partner discovers Miren's camera, but the evidence had already been removed by Eduardo. As the show concludes and Amaya is discovered, Inspector Millán casts a stern look at Miren, implying that she still suspects her.

Amaya's Stockholm syndrome

When Amaya was kidnapped, she was just six years old. Iris struggled to persuade Amaya to accept her and her husband as her new family. In pursuit of this goal, Iris takes extraordinary steps to persuade Amaya to accept her new normal. She first changes Amaya's name to Julia, then isolates and alienates her from the outside world, finally convincing Amaya that everyone is out to hurt her. After nearly a decade of this worldview being reinforced, Amaya has lost her grasp of reality.

Amaya is suffering from Stockholm syndrome by the time Miren eventually tracks her down. The condition proposes that a hostage's good feelings towards the captor are occasionally caused by a power imbalance. So, when Miren finally traces Amaya, she is willing to hide in her room and be silent to avoid being discovered. It's unclear whether Amaya has any recollections of her life before Iris.

What is clear is that she no longer perceives herself as Amaya but as Julia. As the finale comes to a close, Amaya finds herself in a very strange circumstance in which the woman she believes is her mother tries to kill them both, and now Miren is standing in front of her calling her a name she no longer recognizes. Because she is afraid, she decides to shoot Miren, believing that's what Iris would have wanted.

Why does Ana call Amaya by her fake name?

Ana, as previously established, is willing to let go of her idealized vision of the bond she hoped to share with her child. The show indirectly examines parenting, specifically how a parent's love should enable them to accept their child as they are.

When Ana and her husband finally reunite with Amaya after nine years, the doctors encourage them to be gentle when reacquainting Amaya with her former life. They've now been relegated to making daily visits to see Amaya. However, when Ana addresses Amaya by name, she does not answer. Ana eventually decides to call her Julia, and that's when her daughter responds.

Some fans may have been perplexed as to why Ana was referring to Amaya by the name Iris gave her. Ana, unlike Iris, was more concerned with making Amaya feel safe and loved than with preserving her relationship with Amaya. By addressing her as Julia, Ana is expressing that she is willing to rebuild her relationship with Amaya and meet her daughter where she is.

Miren's methods are more beneficial than harmful

Miren constantly takes unnecessary risks, which caused some fans to question whether her tactics were justified. When Inspector Millán explains to Miren that the path she's on will eventually lead her to a point of no return, Miren elects to ignore her and go investigate Iris on her own.

Miren's investigation was unconventional from the outset. On the first day of Amaya's kidnapping, she gets into conflict with Luque, the father of Amaya's schoolmate, for attempting to interview Ana. From a distance, Miren appears to be simply another predatory journalist looking for a cover story to boost her career without regard for the victims. However, that's simply how Miren carried herself: She was always upfront and straightforward in pursuit of additional information to find Amaya, not merely to write a story.

Miren's candor and boldness are ultimately responsible for the police closing so many cases, from the illegal porn ring led by Luque to Iris's growing frustration until she began making mistakes.

Alvaro's book is not exploitative

Family strife is something that tragedies always seem to aggravate. So, it's not shocking that Ana and her husband Alvaro eventually get divorced as a result of the nine-year search for Amaya. Early on, the two were already caving into the stress and arguing about who was the worst parent to Amaya.

Alvaro decides to relieve his stress by shutting himself in a room and drawing. Later, the audience discovers that he has converted these drawings into books about Amaya, selling them to the public. This inevitably becomes another point of friction between Ana and Alvaro because Ana believes he is profiting from the thing that destroyed their family. When Ana accuses Alvaro of doing this, he remains silent.

However, nothing about Alvaro suggests he would ever do something like that. He has only ever exhibited concern for his family and simple uses the book as a coping mechanism. Understandably, Ana is concerned, but everyone deals with tragedy in their own way.

Is Miren ready to take on the new case?

Miren does not make the mistake of publishing her book about the search before Amaya is found. When the investigation is finally closed, Miren writes and publishes a book named "La chica de nieve" ("The Snow Girl" in English), and she visits a bookstore with her mentor Eduardo to read an excerpt to a gathering of her fans.

There's a sense of triumph in the air at the reading: Miren has finally mastered her pain and made peace with it, while simultaneously finding a lost child. For the first time in the series, Miren feels a sense of accomplishment, and that's when she discovers a message about another missing girl, this time presumably from a copycat kidnapper who wants to play a cat-and-mouse game with Miren to earn notoriety.

It remains to be seen whether Miren will accept the case, especially given that it is bait and might lead anywhere. Miren is concerned about victims of crimes that render them powerless, and she has previously demonstrated her ability to handle herself in unthinkable circumstances. If the show gets a second season, Miren will almost certainly take up the case.

Will there be a second season?

The show is well-written and has certainly captivated fans to the extent that it made it to the top 10 of Netflix's most-watched shows. However, Netflix hasn't confirmed yet if the show will come back for another season, but the news should be released soon enough.

Because the series is based on a novel, if it gets another season, the writers will have to go beyond the book. That may seem like a scary concept because the quality may suffer, but when shows like "Justified" and "The Leftovers" were released, just the first seasons were based on a book. The rest were developed after the fact, and these shows still became some of the best of the 2010s.

Since the first season eventually caught up with the outside world's timeline, the second season will most probably take place in a shorter time frame. They might, however, extensively rely on flashbacks, as they did in the first season. If it's confirmed that the show will return for a second season, the only thing viewers can count on is another thrilling ride.