Warning: This article contains spoilers for Deadline.


Channel 5 thriller Deadline enthralled fans when it first aired back in April 2022, telling the gripping story of Natalie Varge, a woman who stands accused of murdering her husband.

And now the drama has landed on Netflix, so if you haven't already binged the episodes, now is the time!

The thriller features plenty of twists and turns as Varge (Peaky Blinders star Charlie Murphy) employs James Alden, an investigative journalist, to get to the bottom of the mystery and clear her name, leading to a shocking and explosive finale.

"I just couldn't quite place where it was going to go next," said Alden actor James D'Arcy of the drama during an interview with RadioTimes.com.

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So, who killed George Varga? Read on for everything you need to know about the ending of the thriller.

Deadline ending explained: Who killed George Varga?

In the penultimate episode, Natalie confessed to James that she had killed her husband. She claimed that he was an emotionally abusive man who subjected her to "daily degradations", monitored her every move and cut her off from her friends.

She also said that she'd asked George to pay off her brother Oliver's drug debt, but he refused, instead choosing to laugh in her face.

By that point, Oliver had been "dead" for four years – he'd fabricated his own demise to avoid meeting a grisly end and changed his name to Elliot Strand. Without George's financial assistance, he'd have no choice but to remain out of sight, unable to live a happy life free from threat with his partner Shona and their daughter Leila.

Charlie Murphy in Deadline
Charlie Murphy as Natalie Varga in Deadline. Channel 5

Natalie, unable to stomach George's cruelty any longer, killed him without hesitation.

Who was Natalie and Oliver's biological father in Deadline?

Natalie and Oliver were placed under the care of an adoptive mother following a turbulent childhood, which continued to impact both of them into adulthood.

Oliver has addiction issues and an explosive temper – he pushed a man off a roof during one of his episodes.

Contrary to her non-threatening, calm exterior, Natalie also has a dark side. Their adoptive mother told James that Oliver wasn't just running from the thugs who had threatened to kill him, he was also desperate to put some distance between himself and his sister.

James D'Arcy in Deadline
James D'Arcy in Deadline. Channel 5

Initially, little information is given as to what the pair experienced when they were younger, but in the finale we finally learned what type of environment they had grown up in.

Their father was a man called Kurt Duvall. He had raped and murdered one of Natalie's friends, 13-year-old Lucy Gallagher, 20 years ago.

James, who was investigating the case, suspected Kurt was guilty and broke into his lock-up, where he hoped he would find Lucy alive. But the damage had been done.

In a devastating turn of events, Kurt was not convicted of his crime. James arrived at the lock-up before the police and accidentally destroyed key evidence that would have put Natalie's father behind bars, leaving him "free to rape and murder again".

What happened to Kurt in Deadline?

With her father managing to evade justice due to James's careless behaviour, Natalie took it upon herself to stop him once and for all. She shot him while he was passed out after a heavy drinking session and he died from his injuries.

Had he remained alive, Kurt would have gone on to harm another, but Natalie ensured that Lucy was his final victim.

Deadline cast
The cast of Deadline. Channel 5

Natalie was just 13 years old when she murdered her father.

Why is James in prison in Deadline?

James claimed that he entered Kurt's lock-up because he thought he might discover Lucy alive and be able to rescue her, but Natalie asserted that he was just chasing a story.

"It's all about your needs to be the best, the first," she said, disdain splashed all over her face, before drawing parallels between James and her father. "You can't stop anymore than he could."

When Natalie offered James an exclusive interview with her following the death of her husband, it was all part of her plan to destroy his life as punishment for his negligence. In her eyes, she was forced to kill Kurt because of James's dogged need to snap up the biggest exclusives – and if he hurts anyone in the process, so be it.

With the help of Mrs Molnar, Natalie planted breadcrumbs that she knew James wouldn't be able to resist to make it look like he had been obsessed with her from the moment he set eyes on her two decades ago.

All of the evidence that the pair had orchestrated – the video footage of Natalie uncovered in his flat; the repeated attempts to be close to her, even following Natalie all the way to Budapest; the case containing items including Rohypnol, cable ties and gaffer tape – all pointed to one thing: James was planning to abduct, rape and murder her, just as he had planned to all those years ago.

Natalie was the one he had wanted all along but he had to "make do" with Lucy instead, according to the detective, and he had purposefully contaminated the evidence in the Gallagher case because he was the one responsible for her murder.

Natalie also accused James of murdering her father and her brother, ensuring that he was painted as a monster that should spend his days locked in a cell.

"After everything he'd done, he wormed his way back into my life and convinced me to share my pain on camera so that he could enjoy it all over again," she said in her final interview. "It's like he wanted to turn me into some kind of living trophy."

We watched James wriggle out of plenty of tight spots across the four episodes but by the end, he really was done for.

Deadline is now available to watch on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out the rest of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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