Amrita Acharia, star of The Sister, has spoken about the ITV drama’s “creepy” conclusion – and how the script originally had a much more violent ending.
It goes without saying, but HUGE spoilers ahead for The Sister episode four – don’t say we didn’t warn you!
What happened at the end of The Sister?
In the series (based on Luther creator Neil Cross’ Burial) Acharia plays Holly, whose sister Elise (Simone Ashley) went missing in 2009, three years before Holly met her future husband, Nathan (Russell Tovey).
However, in the present day Nathan is grappling with a huge secret: his involvement in Elise’s death.
Having believed she had died accidentally, at the end of episode three we learnt that Nathan’s accidental co-conspirator Bob (Bertie Carvel) had deliberately poisoned Elise – to “create” a ghost – and had originally intended to kill Nathan, too.
In episode four, Nathan tried to kill Bob, spiking his drink with sleeping pills before smothering him. When the police arrive, Elise’s skull is found locked away in a safe in Bob’s flat.
It later turns out that Bob is still alive, but in a seemingly permanent coma – meaning that Nathan’s involvement in Elise’s death (and the fact that he slept with her) is never discovered by the police or Holly.
The couple finally get pregnant following fertility struggles, and we skip ahead to the birth of their baby girl. Nathan drives away from the hospital, intending to prepare the house for his wife and daughter’s arrival.
However, in the final seconds of the episode we see Elise’s ghost lying curled up on the back seat of Nathan’s car, before she opens her eyes, breaking the fourth wall and leaving viewers guessing as to whether or not she’s about to cause the car to crash.
The Sister car scene explained
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Acharia explained that there were originally “a few different versions” of the end scene, and in one of them there was a car crash.
“That ending – talk about an open end,” she said. “I found it really creepy [the ending] because I think there were a few different versions of it, I think there was a version with a [car] crash. I loved it because it’s ambiguous, I think an ambitious end is a really great way to go.”
Speaking about the final shot of Elise’s ghost, she added: “It was really creepy, her eyes were so creepy. I was watching her going, ‘wow she looks really dead but not’. I liked it. I think loads of different endings could have worked, but I was quite interested to see how they would end it in the edit.”
Acharia also spoke about the significance of Holly and Nathan finally conceiving a child, and the connection to Elise’s ghost.
She said: “I love a bit of symbolism. I sort of saw the whole fact that Nathan and Holly couldn’t conceive as kind of… I kind of felt like, maybe [Elise] has cursed them or haunted them to such an extent that they can’t conceive because ultimately Elise doesn’t want Nathan to make Holly happy… I think she was responsible for the fact that they couldn’t conceive.
“[Nathan has] kind of done the right thing but not really, and you sort of feel like the haunting is over because they’ve had this baby, but then [there’s] this plot twist at the end, where she’s in the back of the car, so maybe it’s just not enough, or maybe she’s angry at someone else, who knows?”
You can order Neil Cross’ Burial from Amazon. The Sister is available to watch on ITV Hub.