*WARNING: Contains full spoilers for all three episodes of The Way, available now on BBC iPlayer.*


Michael Sheen's directorial debut, The Way, is now available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer, and it follows a Welsh family who flee their hometown of Port Talbot following a civil uprising.

The series features a star-studded cast including Steffan Rhodri, Mali Harries, Sophie Melville, Callum Scott Howells and Maja Laskowska, and across three episodes charts the journey of the family, the Driscolls, as they escape a sealed off Wales and head to the English coast.

Throughout the series, it delves into timely themes surrounding technology, history and our modern society, intercutting scenes with archive footage in the style of Adam Curtis's documentaries. It's perhaps unsurprising, as Curtis is a co-creator on the series, alongside Sheen and writer James Graham.

But how does the series come to an end and what big reveals occur in the third and final episode? Read on for everything you need to know about the ending of The Way.

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The Way ending explained: What's going on with the screens?

Mark Lewis Jones as Glynn in The Way, using his phone as a camera and looking on, shocked
Mark Lewis Jones as Glynn in The Way. BBC/Red Seam/Jon Pountney

After the Driscolls flee unrest in Wales, they start to see nostalgic archive footage appearing on screens across the country, cutting in and replacing whatever was previously visible.

Akela, the head of a Welsh refugee camp, explains that when the internet in Wales was shut down briefly, something glitched. This meant that the internet started "scanning its own memory banks". After this, everything became about the past and nostalgia.

Akela explained that it was different in different parts of the country, but each region was being offered a view of the past specific to them. He said that there was only one thing trending the day he left Wales: "I want things back the way things were."

He suggested that, like us, the internet has only been fed information from the past. It is unable to create or offer up anything original, so it reverts to the past. He explained that the current state of the country was because of our failure to imagine a different future.

Do the Driscolls make it out of England?

The cast of The Way standing by a wooden building, looking confused
The cast of The Way. BBC

Having got to the English coast, the Driscolls find a community of Welsh refugees living there, all of whom have fled the country which has now been sealed off.

There, they find Geoff's old colleague Glynn, who is not too pleased to see the family. Not only are they considered to be the cause of the civil unrest, after a video was doctored to suggest Owen burned down a shop, but Glynn explains that Geoff had been spilling the details of union meetings to the management of the steelworks.

Geoff explains that he was just trying to reach a deal, and had come to believe strikes and threats of strikes were futile.

After they begin to settle their differences, the community is approached by the Welsh Catcher, a figure who has been hunting down escaped Welsh people and turning them in. He himself, it turns out, is Welsh.

The Welsh Catcher explains that his firm has been using a predictive policing formula for years, using algorithms to address threats. The coding has identified Owen as someone who has the capacity to do something of note. The Welsh Catcher says that people no longer know the reason for what the algorithm suggests, but they must follow it.

He offers Geoff a deal – turn over Owen, a symbol of the rebellion, and the settlement and the rest of the community can stay safely.

Glynn, Akela and Geoff convince the settlement that they can't give up on Owen, with the former two suggesting Geoff, Owen and the Driscolls take a boat out of there, a boat which is being arranged by Thea's husband Dan.

They get on the boat to head to Europe, but Owen refuses, and stays behind. He says it feels like giving up, and he has to defend the settlement. He is convinced by a vision of his father and his grandfather, the latter of whom passes him a flame to carry.

The rest of the Driscolls head out of the boat to cross the Channel, but find they are too heavy and are sinking. To save the rest of the family, Geoff throws himself overboard.

The family scream at having lost Geoff, as the boat goes onwards. The rest of them manage to make it to France, where they find Dan surrounded by armed police. He pleads with them to let him join his family and for them to be safe, but we don't find out how this stand-off ends.

Who was the original red monk?

Steffan Rhodri as Geoff in The Way, looking at the camera and stood in front of a manakin wearing a red monk's robe
Steffan Rhodri as Geoff in The Way BBC/Red Seam/Jon Pountney

When at the refugee camp, Geoff spots people wearing the red monk outfit from Port Talbot. Akela explains that people are keeping the symbol alive, as it's a symbol of hope.

Akela at one point suggests that Owen is considered to be the original monk - he doesn't himself believe it, but thinks the people in control, the state, do.

Everyone argues about who was the original monk, but no one comes to a conclusion. In the end, when Geoff throws himself overboard from the boat the Driscolls are leaving on, it is revealed he was the original red monk, the one who started dressing like that to inspire hope in the people of Port Talbot.

What happens to Owen and Anna?

Callum Scott Howells as Owen in The Way
Callum Scott Howells as Owen in The Way BBC

While the family continue their journey, Owen and Anna stay at the Welsh settlement on the coast of England. The settlers confuse the Welsh Catcher by all dressing as the red monk, while the pair of them escape along the coast and back to Port Talbot.

A voiceover from Owen explains that he is going back to where he began, but that this isn't the same old story – it's a brand new, "brilliant" story. He explains that, with a bit of help, they will find the way back to what is truly important.

The Way is available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer now. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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