The Talented Mr Ripley, Patricia Highsmith’s iconic novel, has been given the big screen and small screen treatment many times.


And now we've been treated to another retelling of Highsmith’s story in the form of Ripley on Netflix, which stars All of Us Strangers' Andrew Scott as the dapper con artist.

The stylish black-and-white miniseries comes from The Night Of and Schindler's List screenwriter Steven Zaillian, retelling the classic tale of an enigmatic loner who becomes firm friends with the wealthy Dickie Greenleaf (played by Johnny Flynn).

The relationship isn't entirely as it seems, however, with Dickie's lover Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning) among the first to suspect an ulterior motive fuelling Tom Ripley's behaviour.

By the end of the season, the walls have begun closing in Mr Ripley, but does he manage to get away with it all?

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If you’re still trying to get your head around what happened at the end of the series, read on for everything you need to know about the finale and how it paves the way for a second season. But be warned: spoilers obviously follow.

*Spoiler warning for the end of Netflix's Ripley*

Ripley ending explained: Netflix thriller leaves door open for lots more to come

Who dies in Netflix's Ripley?

Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf sat in black in an armchair in a black-and-white still from Ripley.
Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf in Ripley. Courtesy of Netflix

Dickie Greenleaf is bludgeoned to death with an oar aboard a small motorboat by Tom Ripley in the third episode of the series. After this, Tom leads a dual life as himself and Dickie to achieve his goals.

This deception is discovered, however, by an old friend of Dickie's, Freddie Miles, who is then bludgeoned to death with a thick glass ashtray in the fifth episode of the series at the hands of Tom Ripley.

In regards to both murders, Tom Ripley goes unpunished by the end of the eight episodes.

Does Mr Ripley get away with it?

Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood boarding a train in a black-and-white still from Ripley.
Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood Ripley. Courtesy of Netflix

Not until the final scene does anyone still alive in the show stumble across the true actions of Tom Ripley.

Having avoided the authorities or any of Dickie's loved ones realising that no one saw the real Dickie following his brief holiday with Tom and then in Rome and beyond, Tom successfully alternated between impersonating Dickie and being himself.

Tom even performs well enough as both Dickie and then, later, a much hairier version of himself to Inspector Ravini that the police officer is convinced they are indeed two separate people.

In a very tense scene in the final episode, it appears that Marge Sherwood may be about to stumble across the truth when she finds Dickie's signet ring in Tom's possessions.

However, having learned to somewhat trust Tom, Marge believes this furthers his narrative that Dickie was suicidal and not intent on returning after the murder of Freddie Miles.

Margherita Buy as Signora Buffi in a black-and-white still from Ripley.
Margherita Buy as Signora Buffi in Ripley. Lorenzo Sisti/NETFLIX

Once this happens, the police and the Greenleaf family also come into possession of a letter written to Dickie's Roman landlady Signora Buffi (Margherita Buy) which indicates his desire to part from his belongings and says he now feels those and his passion of painting are now "worthless".

As everyone appears to believe Dickie murdered Freddie and has now likely committed suicide, Tom is believed by everyone and is free to live his new life of luxury, now buoyed by his criminal connections to criminal art dealer Reeves Minot (John Malkovich).

The show ends with Minot providing Tom with a fake passport for a Timothy Fanshaw and he is last seen using the alias and unpackaging a Picasso painting with it – the same piece that once hung in Dickie's Atrani apartment.

Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley and John Malkovich as Reeves Minot in Episode 108 of RIPLEY.
(L to R) Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley and John Malkovich as Reeves Minot in Ripley. Stefano C. Montesi/NETFLIX

Yet, in the final scene, Inspector Ravini is pleased to receive a present in the form of Marge's now-published photographic book on Atrani, which is dedicated to Dickie and includes a photo of the real man.

Ravini is then shocked to realise that he never met and interviewed the real Dickie and even vocalises the name of Tom Ripley, suggesting he now realises he was tricked.

Is the ending the same as the novel The Talented Mr Ripley?

Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley with police in the background in a black-and-white still from Ripley.
Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley. Lorenzo Sisti/Netflix

Not exactly. Unlike the novel by Patricia Highsmith, the Ripley series ends with the fraudulent identity of Dickie Greenleaf being discovered by Inspector Pietro Ravini when he sees an image of the real Dickie Greenleaf in a copy of Marge Sherwood's book.

However, in the novel, Ripley's actions go undiscovered by everyone who suspected him, and his biggest threats are either dead or neutralised.

The book sees Ripley left the fortune of Dickie Greenleaf and he will inherit the family fortune when Dickie's parents both die. This sets him up to live a life of luxury as Tom Ripely in the future.

However, given Tom seizes a new identity in the series, it means Ravini will be unlikely to catch him quickly, at least if he now assumes it was him impersonating Dickie.

Should the series return, this question would certainly need addressing.

Will there be more Ripley?

Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley on a stone staircase in Atrani.
Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley. Lorenzo Sisti/NETFLIX

Of course, that's the question on everyone's lips.

There are four more novels to adapt and we have some more thoughts on that too should there be a Ripley season 2.

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Ripley arrived on Netflix on Thursday 4th April. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


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