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The End Of The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window Explained

Warning: major spoilers for "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" ahead.

If you're a sucker for cozy mysteries and sharp satire, look no further than the Netflix series "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window." The series is an obvious riff on popular mystery titles such as "The Girl on the Train" and "The Woman in the Window," a reference that is made even more apparent by the fact that the main character is often seen reading books with titles like "The Woman Across the Lake" and "The Girl on the Cruise." "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" follows Anna, who channels a grief-stricken Veronica Mars as she investigates a supposed murder she thinks she witnessed in the house across the street.

While "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" has a lot of fun playing with well-worn mystery tropes, embracing each one with gusto and taking it to its most absurd extreme, it still functions as its own legitimate mystery, with all the twists and turns that implies. So if you're still left with some questions after watching the eight wine-infused episodes of the limited series, read on for the answers.

What did Anna see in her window?

Throughout the series, Anna's  (Kristen Bell) perception of what she witnessed in the window of Neil's (Tom Riley) house in Episode 2 is called into question. Anna is certain she sees Lisa (Shelley Hennig) bleeding from a severe neck wound, which prompts her to call 911, but by the time the police arrive, there is no sign of an attack or murder. Since "Lisa" continues texting with Neil and others throughout the series (presumably while traveling as a flight attendant), everyone assumes that she is fine, and Anna has imagined the whole thing.

However, in the finale, the truth finally comes out. Anna did indeed see exactly what she thought she did. Lisa was murdered by being stabbed in the neck. By the time the police arrive, the murderer (more on that in a second) has already cleaned up the crime scene, and Lisa has conveniently "left for the airport,' so no one has any reason to suspect that anything was awry. It turns out that even though Anna doubts herself at many points during the series, she is right about Lisa the whole time.

What really happened to Lisa?

Although Lisa turns out to be a con artist who is only after Neil's money, she is ultimately killed over something much simpler — chocolate. A (seemingly) minor subplot throughout the season is that Neil's daughter, Emma (Samsara Leela Yett), is selling chocolate bars for her school fundraiser and trying to sell the most to make friends. In hindsight, this should probably be a clue into Emma's calculating nature. While Anna buys boxes of chocolate to try to help Emma reach her goal, Lisa refuses to purchase any, telling Emma that chocolate is "the worst thing you can put in your body."

Angry that Lisa isn't helping her accomplish her goal, Emma shoots back that chocolate isn't actually the worst thing you can put in your body. She then proves it by stabbing Lisa in the neck while her dad practices his ventriloquist act in the bathroom. Emma cleans up the scene before she disposes of Lisa's body by cutting her up and stashing her under a tarp in her little red wagon — which, ironically, she has been using to tote around her boxes of chocolate bars. Emma later uses the wagon to dump Lisa's body in the woods, where it is later discovered by the police.

Who was Lisa?

After being tracked down by Rex (Benjamin Levy Aguilar), Anna learns that Lisa's real name is Chastity and that she's not a flight attendant after all but rather a bartender in a strip club. It turns out that when she's not mixing drinks, Chastity is a con artist who specializes in getting close to rich men and manipulating them out of large sums of money. She recruits Rex, a male stripper who works at the club, to partner with her on cons by playing her brother, who is dying from a rare form of blood cancer and in need of an experimental treatment not covered by insurance that costs $60,000.

After Chastity gets her wealthy boyfriends to put up the cash for Rex's phony procedure, she starts picking fights, ultimately leading to the men breaking up with her and believing it is their idea. Neil is merely the latest in a long string of cons pulled by Lisa and Rex. While it doesn't seem as though Lisa has asked her new boyfriend for any money yet, it is surely only a matter of time before she does.

What happened to Neil's wife?

Anna learns early on in "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" that Neil is a widower who lost his wife, Meredith (Janina Gavankar), in a drowning accident just a few months before moving in across the street. Later, she discovers that Neil was questioned as a person of interest in his wife's death before it was ultimately ruled an accident by the police. This casts doubts on Neil's character for much of the series, as Anna suspects him of also murdering Lisa. However, by the end of the series, he's convinced her that he didn't have anything to do with it.

That turns out to be true! That said, while Neil didn't have anything to do with Meredith's death, it also wasn't an accident. What the reporting fails to include was that Meredith was several months pregnant at the time of her death. Emma is not keen on the idea of becoming an older sibling and decides to remedy the situation by arranging for her mother's untimely demise. Emma spends her summer vacation at her family's lake house sawing through the underwater supports of their dock. At the end of summer, her mother — who conveniently could not swim — walks to the end of the dock, causing it to collapse and dumping her into the lake, eliminating Meredith and her unborn child for good.

What happened to Emma's teacher?

We learn early in "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" that before moving into 407 Canterbury Hill, Neil and Emma dealt with two back-to-back tragedies. First, Emma's mother dies, and then, just a few weeks later, Emma's teacher dies while on a class field trip. Somehow, she falls from the top of the lighthouse the class was visiting. Although it has been deemed an accident, Anna suspects foul play, and it turns out she was right.

We never learn exactly what circumstances lead to Emma's teacher calling her student "crazy," but that is all it takes for Emma to decide she has to die. The two are alone at the top of the lighthouse when this happens, and Emma is the one who pushes her to her death. Of course, being a young child, Emma is never a suspect in the death, which would have remained officially "accidental" had Emma not confessed her crime to Anna.

Why was Emma killing people?

In "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window," we never get much of an explanation for Emma's homicidal rampage other than the idea that she is a "monster." She seems willing to kill people for even the most modest perceived slight or weakness. For instance, the fact that her father's ventriloquist act does not live up to her standards is enough of a reason to commit murder, in her eyes. Beyond that, she feels no remorse for her actions or empathy for the people who care the most for her.

In real life, this would likely indicate severe mental illness, possibly related to some form of trauma in Emma's past we don't yet know about. However, the series seems uninterested in unpacking any of those real-world implications. Instead, Emma's unmasking as the killer appears to be mostly because she was the least likely suspect, playing into the tropes of red herrings and unlikely killers that are so popular in the mystery stories the series is satirizing. 

Everything about Anna's final confrontation with Emma, from the diabolical monologuing to their brutal fight, is the type of showdown we've come to expect from the heroes and villains in small-town mysteries. Everything, that is, except for the fact that the villain is a nine-year-old girl, heightening the absurdity of a story that is already having a lot of fun ramping all of the tried-and-true mystery tropes up to 11.

How did Emma frame Anna?

Forensic science doesn't seem to be much of a thing in "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" because it doesn't take much work for Emma to frame Anna for Lisa's murder. All that Emma needs to do is steal one of the palette knives that Anna uses to paint while Anna retrieves her checkbook to buy more of Emma's fundraiser cookies. She uses a tissue to pick up the knife, keeping her fingerprints off of it, and then plants the knife in the woods with Lisa's dismembered body, leading the police to arrest Anna.

Of course, a palette knife wasn't the actual murder weapon — Lisa was killed with a butcher's knife from Neil's kitchen — which one might assume would show up in the forensic analysis, but never does. Instead, Anna's fingerprints on the palette knife are all it takes for the police to pin Lisa's murder on her, while Emma looks on in smug satisfaction.

Who was Buell?

Throughout the series, Anna's handyman Buell (Cameron Britton) exists mostly in the background, coming across as a polite gentle giant with a protective streak for "Miss Anna." However, in the penultimate episode of the series, we learn that there is more to Buell than we thought. It turns out that Buell is Anna's ex-husband Douglas' (Michael Ealy) first patient — a rather important detail when you consider that Douglas worked as a forensic psychiatrist for the F.B.I. specializing in serial killers.

Douglas never reveals the truth of Buell's background to Anna while they are married, correctly assuming that she wouldn't hire him as their handyman if she knew the details of his past. Eventually, however, Douglas comes clean that Buell was convicted of murdering his entire family with a claw hammer and declared criminally insane. Douglas rehabilitates him and arranges for an early release, at which point he decides to hire him because "we needed someone to fix the mailbox." 

Despite his violent past and Anna's discovery that he has been squatting in her attic, it turns out that Douglas is right about Buell after all, and he is indeed no longer a threat to society. The season ends with Buell now a welcome tenant in Anna's attic, teaching himself taxidermy through books.

Who was texting as Lisa?

Throughout the six episodes that follow Anna witnessing Lisa's murder, other characters refuse to believe that Anna's story could be real, mostly because Neil (and later, Rex) continue receiving texts from Lisa's phone. Later, of course, it is revealed that Lisa was, in fact, murdered, which means that the texts were fabricated. Although she never mentions the text messages specifically, it's safe to assume that Emma was the one sending them.

Presumably, after Emma kills Lisa she takes her phone to throw her father and the police off the scent for a while longer. It works, as, against all odds, a murderous nine-year-old manages to convincingly impersonate an adult con artist to both her boyfriend and her partner in crime. Detective Lane (Christina Anthony) never mentions recovering the phone when investigating 407 Canterbury Hill following Neil's murder and Emma and Anna's showdown. However, it's safe to assume that it was retrieved among Emma's things, corroborating Anna's story that Emma was the real killer.

What was causing Anna's blackouts?

It turns out that Anna's excessive drinking isn't the only reason for her blackouts in "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window." Her ex-husband, who was also questionably doubling as her therapist, had prescribed her a 50-gram dose of class 4 psychotropic when he "probably should've just had you on a prescription for Wellbutrin or Zoloft." Although Douglas doesn't clarify precisely which psychotropic drug he had prescribed, it's likely that it was an antipsychotic medication, similar to what he would've likely prescribed to his serial killer patients.

Further, Douglas' admission that he had prescribed a "50-gram dose" is worrying, considering that dosage is significantly higher than the recommended daily dosage for most if not all antipsychotic medications, which tend to be measured in milligrams, not grams. Combined with Anna's tendency to mix her medication with alcohol (which Douglas explicitly instructed her not to do), it's a wonder she was even functional (or alive) at all.

Who was the woman in Douglas' Instagram photo?

Early in "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window," Anna is stunned when her ex-husband Douglas updates his Instagram with a photo of him and a woman in a restaurant. Later, that same woman is in Douglas' car when he checks on Anna following a bizarre text message, confirming Anna's assumption that he and the woman are now dating. This upsets Anna because it communicates that Douglas has moved on from their marriage and their daughter's death, while she has not.

However, in the finale, the woman with Douglas is revealed to be his coworker Claire (Nicole Pulliam), who is assigned to work with him as a forensic psychiatrist. That said, why he's posting a context-less photo of his coworker on an account that previously just held four photos — his wedding to Anna, a slice of pizza, a selfie, and a picture of him, Anna, and Elizabeth — is anyone's guess. As we find out in the final episode, Douglas hasn't moved on either and is still just as hung up on Anna as she is on him.

What happened between Anna and Douglas?

While it's implied that Anna and Douglas' marriage falls apart due to their grief following the death of their daughter, we get more insight into what happened during their conversation in the penultimate episode of the series. Anna admits that, in her grief, she shut Douglas out, but he tells her that "you can't shut out someone whose door is already closed." He admits that after their daughter's murder, he didn't know how to love anymore, making him just as guilty in the crumbling of their marriage as Anna.

In the finale, though, after Douglas rushes to Anna's aid after she confronts the murderer once and for all, the two reconcile. Later, Douglas buys her painting at Sloane's (Mary Holland) art show, and the two kiss in the rain, showing that Anna has learned to deal with the rain-induced PTSD that she began experiencing following her daughter's death. Finally, the show skips ahead a year to reveal that Anna and Douglas remarry and have another daughter. Furthermore, Anna has quit drinking wine, although she still drinks vodka, and is now on a much more reasonable prescription for Xanax, which she takes as needed. It is unclear whether Douglas is still her therapist.

What does Anna find in seat 2A?

During Anna's flight to New York to visit Sloane at her new job, she is seated next to a mysterious woman (played Glenn Close, in a surprise cameo) who tells Anna only that she's traveling to New York for "business." A few vodkas later, Anna awakens to the call of nature. However, when she heads to the bathroom, she finds her seatmate slumped on the toilet, seemingly dead, blood dripping from her ear. She closes the bathroom door and finds a flight attendant, but when she convinces him to check the bathroom, the body is gone. Even more bafflingly, when Anna insists that the woman in Seat 2A has been killed, the flight attendant tells her, "there was no one in seat 2A."

Is Anna hallucinating again? She seems to consider the possibility as she sinks into her seat but then notices a gold compact wedged into the back of seat 2A. This is the same compact the woman had used to check her appearance when she first sat down next to Anna. Anna opens it and looks inside, then proclaims "bingo," showing that she's found what she believes to be an essential clue. We never see what Anna sees inside the compact. Is it just a mirror? Or is there something else that will prove the woman in seat 2A existed? Still, we can assume that Anna thinks she's found a piece of evidence that will blow the case wide open.

What could happen in Season 2?

While "The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window" is billed by Netflix as a limited series, plenty of other series on the streaming service have received a second season after racking up enough views. Beyond that, the series sets up the possibility for another mystery for Anna to solve since the finale opens the door for Anna to investigate the disappearance of the woman in seat 2A during her flight to New York.

Casting an iconic actress like Glenn Close as the murder victim is sure to indicate a juicy backstory and plenty of intrigue. Also, the New York setting would allow Anna to stretch her investigative muscles in a brand new environment. Sloane's presence in New York, as well as Douglas' renewed role as Anna's husband and the father of her new daughter, would mean that we'd hopefully get to see some familiar faces in addition to what would likely be a mostly new cast.