‘The Woman In The Window’s’ Shock Ending Will Make You Never Want To Hear The Name ‘Jane’ Again

Labyrinth-level confusing

Warning: This article contains spoilers to Netflix’s The Woman In The Window. Read at your own risk.

Ever since the beginning of the year, fans of suspense-riddled thrillers à la Gone Girl have been waiting with bated breath for the release of The Woman In The Window

Come May 14 and the long-awaited thriller made its Netflix debut, garnering a plethora of fans—and sceptics—who were itching to know two things: whether it’s based on a true story and exactly what they witnessed in *that* twist ending.

One of which has already been answered, but the confusion regarding the latter is still lingering, which is where we come in. 

Based on controversial author A.J. Finn’s 2018 novel of the same name, The Woman In The Window follows Anna Fox (played by Amy Adams), a doctor who lives with agoraphobia—a fear that leaves her terrified of what lies outside her New York city townhouse.

After striking up an unlikely friendship with her neighbour, Jane Russell, Anna witnesses Jane’s murder through her window, presumably at the hands of her husband, Alistair—Rear Window, anyone? But the fun is far from over, after informing the police of what she saw, Jane’s husband introduces a distraught Anna to a completely different woman claiming to be Jane. Confused? So were we.

While we continue to mentally digest what took place on-screen—and the mystery of the Jane’s—The Woman In The Window’s intense twists and turns saw a rather perplexing ending that still has us scratching our heads.

The Woman In The Window
(Credit: Netflix)

What *Really* Happens At The End Of The Woman In The Window?

While the duration of The Woman In The Window was filled with twists and turns, it wasn’t until the last 20 minutes of the film where some serious questions were answered. After discovering the truth behind the original Jane that Anna met and bonded with, she learns that Ethan, the Russell’s 15-year-old son, plans to forge a career in serial killing and confesses to the murder of the original Jane—but more on that later.

Moving onto Anna, Ethan breaks into her house and reveals his plans to murder her as he has done others, forcing her to smash a wine bottle over his head during her attempt to escape. However, what ensues is a mammoth fight between the two that sees Anna discover a downtrodden David and leaves her forced to defend her life out in a storm, outside of the comforts of her home. After coming to physical blows, Anna manages to kill Ethan by pushing him through the skylight of her home, watching as he falls several floors to his death.

The Woman In The Window
(Credit: Netflix)

Recovering in hospital post-fight, Detective Little pays a visit to Anna’s bedside and apologises for not believing her claims about the original Jane. He also informs her that the Russell’s have been arrested and while Alistair chose to keep the truth to himself, the real Jane decided otherwise. In one final act of kindness, Detective Little—who previously saw Anna’s suicide video on her phone—hints that he’ll be back in one hour for the device, giving her the chance to erase the content.

The film then jumps to nine months later, showing Anna in her home that she was once psychologically bound to. She has made an amazing recovery, has sold the house, and before she takes her last steps back into the outside world, she says goodbye to the spirits of her husband and daughter who kept her company while she battled agoraphobia.

Who Is Katie In The Woman In The Window?

As for the deal with the Jane duo, turns out, there was really only one of them—the second (and real) Jane Russell. The original Jane, played by Moore, was named Katie and was actually Ethan’s biological mother who was determined to be a part of Ethan’s life again.

But who killed Katie? A vital part of the film’s main plot line, Anna witnessed Katie (née Jane) fighting for her life from a figure who we all assumed was Alistair, but was actually her own son, Ethan. Sadly, he successfully murders his own mother as he later confesses in the film.

The Woman In The Window
(Credit: Netflix)

As for who Katie was all along, viewers learn that she abandoned Alistair when she was eight months pregnant, running away with a then-unborn Ethan. After spending two years searching for his family, Alistair discovers Katie in a “meth commune”, where he takes Ethan and sends Katie to prison. From there, Alistair has been hiding from Katie, paying her to stay away from their son—which is where David comes in.

One night, Katie stayed with Anna’s tenant, David, who accuses her of being “a nightmare”, leaving him to go and stay with a friend as a way to avoid her. However, viewers were quick to point out how once she and Anna meet, Anna assumes that Katie is Jane to which Katie doesn’t protest, allowing her to inch closer to the family she’s been hunting for.

What Happened To David In The Woman In The Window?

Initially, David is merely Anna’s tenant and a budding musician who works any job he can to make ends meet. However, as the film progresses, he played a much more vital role in how events unfolded.

Through a series of concerning moments, some of which may have been hallucinations by Anna who was drinking on new medication, David not only mocks her agoraphobia but becomes aggressive with her after she discovers that he is in violation of parole for a bar fight. During her medication-fuelled spiral, Anna accuses him of the murder, blaming his history of violence as the reason.

The Woman In The Window
(Credit: Netflix)

Following her accusation against him, David chooses to move out. Following his departure, Anna plans to take her own life, leaving a suicide note where she clears his name from the murder of Jane/Katie. However, before he arrives to collect the remainder of his belongings, Anna discovers a photo that David took with Katie’s reflection in the wine glass, and despite explaining Katie’s true identity to Anna, he refuses to go with her to the police, thanks to his parole violation.

And as viewers saw, David met his unfortunate end at the hands of Ethan, during his attempt at killing Anna.

Of course, any film with an ending like that deserves a re-watch to make visual sense of it all. You can check out The Woman In The Window on Netflix here.

Related stories