The Sister on ITV ending explained – what really happened

Abby Robinson
·4 min read
Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

The Sister spoilers follow.

The following article contains discussion of suicide which some readers may find upsetting.

In the penultimate episode of The Sister, Bob dropped a bomb on Nathan: Elise's death wasn't a tragic accident. He had planned the whole thing.

Russell Tovey's character was aghast as he learned that Bob saw the young woman as nothing more than an "opportunity" to make a ghost. If she died in that place under those circumstances, a haunting would occur, according to the literature and the tradition.

The drugs Bob gave Elise contained cyanide that he had been carrying around for years in case he wanted to use it on himself.

She took it, thinking it was cocaine, and it finished her off, with Bob allowing Nathan to believe that he was responsible.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

But his plan didn't pan out as it should have. Bob made multiple trips to the forest to see the fruits of his labour, but there was nothing to be found.

Instead, Elise wouldn't leave him, standing at the foot of his bed, following him around, growing more and more enraged.

To remedy that, Bob explained, the pair would need to admit what they had done, returning Elise to her family so that they could bury her and say goodbye properly.

If Nathan refused, warned Bob, Elise would never forgive him and she'd never go away. She would always be there.

But telling Holly and her parents what had really happened that fateful night was never going to happen if Nathan had his way.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

After his conversation with Bob, he went to the police station where he told Jacki, the police detective and Holly's best friend, that he was suspicious of him.

Nathan changed his police statement, telling her that he saw Bob driving back to the party, rather than away from it on the night Elise disappeared. When the pair met for a drink recently, all Bob wanted to talk about was the missing girl, according to Nathan.

"There's something wrong with him," he said. "I swear to God, he's not right. He gives me the creeps."

With that, Nathan's own plan was in motion: to ensure that the police were purely focused on Bob as the prime suspect, and not him.

The second part of his scheme was to kill Bob, but make it look like he had died by suicide, ensuring that he was totally in the clear.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Nathan used some of his sleeping pills to spike Bob's whisky, before shoving the rest of them down his gullet after he collapsed.

When it looked like that wasn't doing the trick, Nathan pressed a pillow over Bob's face, but the paramedics arrived before he could finish the job.

We later discovered that he wasn't dead, but barely alive, trapped in a coma.

Nathan managed to retrieve Elise's dress from Bob's freezer, eliminating the evidence that linked him to her death. He also pointed Jacki in the direction of the safe, where she found Elise's skull in a wooden box.

The detective later called on Nathan, where she made it known that she knew he had killed Bob. She also made it clear that she wasn't going to say anything to anyone. As for Elise, Jacki didn't suspect him of playing any part in her death.


Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Fast-forward nine months or so and Holly and Nathan are not only back on track after a brief wobble, they now have a daughter of their own.

But just when you think their lives are about to settle down, there's a moment right at the end which suggests that this isn't over.

You see Nathan looking in his rearview mirror while he's out driving. He turns around briefly, as if he can feel a presence behind him, but he can't see anything.

A few seconds later, Elise appears in the back of his car, her eyes wide, her body unmoving.

Was Bob right? Do ghosts exist? Is Elise haunting Nathan, and will she continue to do so until his dying day?

Or is it simply his guilt continuing to weigh down on him? Will his secret ever become too great to bear?

We're not given an answer. Instead, it's up to you, the viewer, to form your own opinion. But one thing's for certain, we'll be sleeping with the bedside lamp on tonight.

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