Horror series Red Rose has been soaring up Netflix's streaming charts with its harrowing plot centring around a bunch of teenagers and an insidious app that appears to drive them to increasingly dark acts.


The series, which comes from The Wheel of Time writers Michael and Paul Clarkson, was dubbed Black Mirror meets Derry Girls in reviews when it originally aired on BBC Three last year.

Twists and turns abound as the story unfolds, with the teenagers finally discovering the chilling truth behind the phone app plaguing their town in an epic finale.

If you’ve already binged the series and are wondering what does it all mean, who created the app and who is the Gardener in Red Rose, then read on to find out.

**Be warned: full spoilers to follow.**

Red Rose ending explained

The opening episode, Grim Up North, begins in Manchester with the premise of paranormal activity as one snowy night, the toxic Red Rose app drives Alyssa (Robyn Cara) to premature death.

Fast-forward to Bolton six months later, and we meet the show's heroine Rochelle (Isis Hainsworth). During a post-exam party on the moors, she receives a text from a popular girl at school and downloads the Red Rose app, and her psychological torment begins.

At first, the app starts by showering her with random acts of kindness like buying her a dress and putting money in her account.

But soon, it begins to blackmail her. One fateful night at a party, Red Rose demands that unless Roch kisses Noah (Harry Redding), her best mate Wren's (Amelia Clarkson) love interest, it will reveal a video of her visiting a food bank.

To perturb her, the app also brings Rochelle's dead mother back to life in a video.

What happens to Rochelle in Red Rose?

Amelia Clarkson as Wren in Red Rose
Amelia Clarkson as Wren in Red Rose. BBC/Eleven FIlm/Vishal Sharmer

In the second episode, The Garden, we witness a distressed Rochelle's untimely death. In a moving scene, her dad finds her lifeless body in the bath. It is thought to be suicide, like her mum before her.

However, best friend Wren isn't convinced and believes more sinner forces were at play. And in the final episode, we learn that it was what most viewers suspected all along - Murder.

Wren sees a video of Roch being attacked, followed by a harrowing scream.

Who created the app in Red Rose?

(L-R) Jaya, Antony, Wren, and Noah in Red Rose. BBC/Eleven Film/Sam Taylor

In the final episode, The Gardener, we discover that schoolboy Jacob is obsessed with Alyssa (whose death we witness in the first episode) and develops the Red Rose app to spy on her.

But he soon loses control after a plethora of sadists overtakes it on the dark web, and it begins spreading like wildfire through online tech.

These keyboard warriors enjoy watching people get tortured and murdered from behind their computer screens.

Who is The Gardener in Red Rose?

Harriet Hayes and Samuel Anderson in Red Rose
Harrie Hayes and Samuel Anderson star in Red Rose. BBC/Eleven Film/Sam Taylor

From the app, we know there is a user called The Gardener who is the main instigator of all the psychological torment and torture.

In the final episode, Wren believes it is the man holding her father Rick (Adam Nagaitis) hostage. But as Wren witnesses him stab her dad, she resorts to murder to protect him. And the teens believe The Gardener is dead.

Then Jaya (Ashna Rabheru) deletes Red Rose and all its evidence, and they are relieved their ordeal is finally over.

But the thriller offers one final twist, as Jaya is heading back to be reunited with the rest of the gang, she meets the real Gardener (Harrie Hayes), and it's a woman.

She explains to Jaya that she saw Wren's potential and wanted to keep pushing her to see how far she would go.

Would she kill? Jaya tells her she's deleted Red Rose, but The Gardener chilling says, "You can't delete an idea."

The teens believe their ordeal is over, but it's Wren's dad, Rick, who takes the fall, despite having nothing to do with Red Rose. He has a criminal record and is found next to a dead body with a murder weapon in his hand; as he is led away by the police, the gang head to Roch's grave for a poignant goodbye.

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But, suddenly, the show switches across the pacific ocean to a group of friends enjoying themselves on a night out in Toyko, Japan, and we hear the chilling beeps of the Red Rose app. And then you take heed of The Gardener's final words, "You can't delete an idea." Leaving the show wide open for a second season.

Red Rose is available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK and Netflix.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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