Alias Grace, the 2017 miniseries from Netflix, is a lush and exquisite period drama that explores a character we don’t often see on television: the female murderer. Additionally, the murderess, as Grace Marks loves to be referred to, was motivated by real events.
The six-episode miniseries can feel a little slow and sometimes long despite all of these intriguing tiny details, especially in comparison to Hulu’sHandmaid’s Tale, another Margaret Atwood streaming adaption that moves along quickly. However, the major highlight in Grace’s final episode, “Part 6,” in which our titular antiheroine, Grace, gets hypnotized by Jeremiah-turned-Jerome, is anything but slow.
We go deep into Alias Grace’s Ending Explanation and talk about all the things that are confusing you after finishing the miniseries. We will talk about “why Grace acts strangely throughout the series. Did she have a split personality disorder, or was she possessed by Mary’s ghost? We will talk about the “Jeremiah hypnotizing Grace” scene and if it was real hypnosis or if it was staged by the two characters. And finally, we will also talk about the open-ended Alias Grace’s ending.
Alias Grace Ending
At the Alias Grace series’s end, we see Jeremiah hypnotizing Grace. We expect to learn for sure if Grace killed Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery or if, as her Spiritualist followers so desperately want, she is innocent as Jeremiah starts hypnotizing her deeply.
Grace is waiting for trial
That is not precisely what we find. Instead, Jerome seems to bring out a completely new side of Grace—that of her late closest friend Mary Whitney. Grace-As-Mary has been keeping her memories and agenda from the main personality, but the alter-ego has its own plans and desires. Grace, as Mary, even has a really ominous voice of her own.
Grace-As-Mary keeps going on for several minutes about James McDermott, Grace’s co-murderer, and the duplicity of Dr. Simon Jordan, who is attempting to help Grace recover her memories of the murder. “You’ve lied to yourself. I’m not Grace. Grace was unaware of it,” Grace-As-Mary claims from behind a black veil. “James was instructed to carry out my instructions. I was present the entire time. In Grace, where I am at the moment.”
Alias Grace Ending Explained: Did Grace Killed The Two People?
For those of you who have watched Alias Grace Ending, I think one of the biggest questions is about “Whether Alias Grace did it or she didn’t do it?”. And within these questions, there is the fact of knowing who she actually was. There are those who think she was completely innocent, those who think that she was completely guilty, and then there is the theory of her having split personalities. The more mystical theory of her being either possessed by spirits or just her being completely crazy (which is the worst theory ever).
The theory is that she had a split personality, which is an actual dessert that we know about today, and we know that one person can be split between multiple personalities. Well, obviously, she is she has been abused over lives. We see the fact that she’s abused by her father; she’s obviously faced a lot of hardship.
But I think that the focal point is when Mary dies. Mary becomes her best friend; she is incredibly important to her, she’s basically a point of reference, and she loves her. I actually thought, in the beginning, there was some sort of sexual tension between the two.
Grace-Mary Split Personality
So obviously, we see her we actually see her going into shock, severe shock, when Mary dies, and then when she starts hearing the famous whisper, the famous voice, and the famous “let me in.” I actually don’t think it’s a mystical or spiritual thing, and I think it’s actually her buried personality that asks her to let her in and to take upon the pain for herself. Because the dominant personality, which obviously can be Grace in this instance, takes upon the hardships for the weaker personalities, which in this case is Mary.
So the moment Mary dies, something snaps into Grace and her other personality, which obviously she translates as Mary – because, as she often says, Mary’s much more direct and aggressive than she is. She’s much more open than Grace is – she takes upon the pain for her. And from now on, from that moment on, I think we have Grace, and we have the moment in which her demeanor is gentler, and her moral code is very strict, and the moment when we see Mary’s side when she is much more aggressive, outspoken, vulgar and obviously downright violent.
In fact, after she hears the famous whisper, “Let me in,” she faints after a while, and when she wakes up, she thinks she’s Mary. And it’s’ not because Mary is in her body or because she’s still in shock; it’s because her personality is now Mary.
Grace-Mary Split Personality
And then she faints again, and she’s Grace again. In fact, when she comes back as Grace, she doesn’t remember what she said or did while she was Mary. And that’s a very common situation in split personalities, especially once the dominant personality takes over; the other personalities don’t remember or don’t know what the other personality said or did. The memories are completely separate for each personality.
So I do believe that she killed Nancy and Thomas and that she led McDermott and that she has played them. And that time, her personality was Mary; I think you see the differences in demeanor between Grace and Mary. They’re just so obvious.
Especially during the murder, we see in what situation she is leading McDermott, and she takes her handkerchief off, and she strangles the woman together with McDermott. In another version, McDermott asks her for the handkerchief, and she gives it to him. And you can see that she’s completely terrified, she’s scared, and she asks him to stop; she doesn’t want him to kill anyone.
The series plays really well into making you believe that this is just the binary view of whether she is guilty or innocent, and that’s exactly what I think happens during the hypnosis session with Jeremiah, which by the way, is the only loose end of the series.
Grace And Jeremiah’s Relationship Explained
The only thing that I really didn’t like was how they dealt with the older Jeremiah character and especially Jeremiah and Grace together. They make the relationship really ambiguous; for example, when he tells her to run off with him, and she accepts at the beginning, and then she thinks back about Mary and how Mary told her not to trust men’s promises until they have actually given her something.
Grace And Jeremiah’s Relationship
Never understand whether it’s because it’s actually just another man taking advantage of her or women in general and Mary’s completely right or if it’s just because it’s just a guy who doesn’t want to get married doesn’t like the deal marriage and just wants to be big with her and it will actually be with her not necessarily betray her. This sort of ambiguity would have been fine by itself if it wasn’t fueled with so many other ambiguous reactions that they’re just not understandable.
For example, oh well, after 15 years that she’s been imprisoned, Jeremiah suddenly appears out of nowhere. And it’s pretty obvious by his reaction to how he is trying to make her understand during the scene in which she meets him again that he wants to help her. Why did you wait 15 years to come and help her? Second of all, why the hell didn’t you talk and agree on what to actually do? And third of all, he was not an actual hypnotist. It was just he just plays people.
Which is pretty convenient, Jeremiah, but I like you anyway. Because it works his hypnosis works because I believe during that scene, it’s’ Mary speaking. I mean, it’s pretty clear when he hypnotizes her that Mary takes over, and she tells the truth. So she tells him exactly, or she thinks about the doctor to his face, and she talks about having killed them. She also says that she’s married and that Grace was there but was also not there, and Grace has different memories.
And we see a flashback until we see Grace being Grace having a really out of touch look, being in the garden while supposedly we know about the timeline that we’ve been shown before that McDermott was inside the killing of Nancy. That was Grace, that was Grace’s memory, and then she doesn’t remember anything anymore.
Did Jeremiah Hypnotize Grace?
But I was talking about Jeremiah. If he was there to help her, why didn’t they discuss it before going into the session? Why didn’t he say tell her what to say? Why didn’t they agree on what to say? What didn’t get me like, “oh, let’s put on a show and pretend I’m innocent even though I don’t know if I’m innocent or not, so they will release me,” and Jeremiah will be like, “yeah, I’m here to help.”
Did Jeremiah Hypnotize Grace
But that didn’t happen, and we saw them together before any discussion. So supposedly, they had some private time together beforehand. They could possibly be discussed how to make Grace appear innocent, but they didn’t.
Honestly, at first, as soon as I watched that, I actually thought that they would show us in the end as a sort of flashback. I was like, oh, now they’re going to play them together and have lots of sex, but no. Do you think that maybe she’s pretending to be hypnotized? Obviously, I mean, that’s a possible theory. Well, if Jeremiah actually cannot hypnotize anyone and it’s obvious we were surprised by what is happening, we may obviously think that Grace is playing and Grace is pretending to be hypnotized. But what she says and how she behaves really don’t further a cause.
To mention Jeremiah once again in the end, why was she seized on the newspaper, some sort of odd about him, and she smiles, and she looks fondly at him, and you don’t know what the hell happened. The relationship between the two of them was just really not well developed. I don’t know, especially because Jeremiah, from my point of view, was one of the most interesting characters.
The Open Ended Ending
The end’s really depressing because you can clearly see how in the end you have Jamie, which was the boy, the one who had this innocent and Noble affection for her. He’s the one who actually screwed her most, if you want. To emphasize throughout the series that he is the reason her conviction is based on his testimony,
She not only accepts to live with him, to have a life with him, to forgive them for everything that is done without even having a conversation about it. They literally just went, “oh, hi, you’re the reason why I’ve been in jail for the past 30 years. Can you forgive me? Yes, you’re forgiven. F no, even if you’re not particularly revengeful, which Grace is not, she doesn’t even think about it.
So after everything that Jaime has cost Grace, he asks her to relieve her suffering over and over again for his own enjoyment because it is pretty much implicitly said that he has some sort of sexual gratification in feeling that she has suffered and let her tell him what she had suffered, he wants the details, and then he wants to be forgiven over and over again. And if you ask me, that’s one of the rawest and most incredibly painful and terrifying things I have watched lately in any TV series.
At the very, very end, we see something which I found quite interesting. We see a shot of Grace and her expression. It’s kind of cryptic, but at the same time, there is a very clear change in her demeanor. And I think that’s Mary; that’s how I read it. I read it as Mary resurfacing and maybe plotting again. I think even though I know it’s a miniseries, and I think it left open the possibility of using Mary’s revenge once more against Jamie and against the people who wronged her. And I think if done well, it can be quite interesting, and it can be prolonged a little bit more over the first season alone.
If you breathe the series as I told it, you will understand why I think it’s really depressing. If you don’t, that’s all fine; the series, as I’ll be sleeping, is designed to be open to interpretation and to be analyzed in different ways.
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