Jamie Dornan's The Tourist season 1 ending explained – What the final twist means

Jamie Dornan's The Tourist season 1 ending explained – What the final twist means

The Tourist season 1 episode 6 spoilers follow.

Twistier than Jamie Dornan's own curly locks, The Tourist really does "keep people guessing the whole way," just like Jamie himself said it would during a chat with Digital Spy.

What starts out as an intriguing thriller about a man suffering from amnesia soon becomes a far more unique treatise on morality and the cost of losing one's self entirely. That's not all, though. The Tourist jumps between genres too, scattered like The Man's erratic thoughts, and in doing so, the show proves itself to be so much more than just another BBC primetime thriller.

Co-star Danielle MacDonald wasn't kidding when she told us "to expect the unexpected". But even then, few could have expected that ending in the final moments of episode six.

The Tourist ending explained

shalom brune franklin, jamie dornan, the tourist

When we first meet Jamie Dornan's character, all we know is that he's a bad singer. Thankfully his rendition of 'Bette Davis Eyes' is soon cut short when a truck drives him off the road and in the crash that follows, The Man loses his memory, leaving him to try and fend for himself in the Australian Outback without even a name to call his own.

A woman named Luci quickly befriends The Man, but by the end of episode one, it becomes clear that she's not who she seems. Then there's also Helen, a local traffic cop who soon gets involved with the case.

Together, these three become embroiled in twist after twist until it's eventually revealed that The Man's real name is Elliot Stanley. But why are so many people after him? What could he have possibly done to warrant this mad chase?

Towards the end, we discover that Elliot worked as an accountant for a drug lord named Kostas, the mysterious figure played by Alex Dimitriades. Elliot went on the run after he fell in love with Kostas' fiancée, who turns out to be none other than Luci. And that's not all. The Man formerly known as "The Man" also stole a bag with over £1 million stashed inside. The pair were supposed to share this cash, but they kept breaking up.

Up to this point, you might have assumed that Elliot isn't such a bad guy, at least not compared to Kostas. But after he trips on LSD, the so-called accountant finally discovers the identity of the woman who keeps popping up in his flashbacks, Lena Pascal.

And when the two finally meet, Elliot realises that his past self used to force people to smuggle heroin for Kostas. This led to the tragic deaths of two women who were killed when the bags filled with drugs exploded inside of them.

If learning his true identity was hard for Elliot, it certainly wasn't easy for Dornan to film.

"It was crazy," the actor told Entertainment Weekly. "I felt very raw in that moment, I felt very exposed, and vulnerable and kind of awful and terrible about myself. She was doing such beautiful work in front of me and it was having the impact that I felt that it should have."

He added: "Sometimes you get yourself in a place where you feel so broken that you can't actually stop crying. [Laughs] I felt a bit like that that day in a good way, I guess. I felt very exposed, very vulnerable. You know, it's hard stuff to hear, the hardest stuff to hear, so a lot of that luckily was on the page for me in terms of the writing. But, yeah, not an easy day, that."

Wracked with overwhelming remorse, Elliot struggles to reconcile these past actions with the man he is now. And knowing that Helen no longer supports him either, everything suddenly becomes too much to bear.

warning embargoed for publication until 000001 on 23122021   programme name the tourist   tx na   episode episode 1 no 1   picture shows  the man jamie dornan   c two brothers pictures   photographer ian routledge
Ian Routledge - BBC

In The Tourist's final moments, Elliot tries to kill himself by crashing his car. When that doesn't work, he takes an overdose in the hospital, desperate to escape his all-consuming guilt. Without Helen, he sees no way out from the pain, except a text arrives from her all too late, one that suggests the pair could potentially reconcile, assuming of course that Elliot survives...

"After I finished the series, I called Shalom [Brune-Franklin] instantly," Danielle MacDonald told us before the finale aired. "And I was like, 'I can't talk to anyone about this, because no-one's read it, and I'm not allowed to say anything, so I need you to talk to me about it. We just need to talk about this whole situation.'"

Viewers felt the same, taking to Twitter to discuss what's turned out to be a rather divisive ending. While some loved the ambiguity that surrounds Elliot's fate, others lamented Helen's end, hoping to see her thrive more in her career.

Those who were left disappointed by the end probably wish that Dornan had been serious when he joked with us that "the whole series ends with Armageddon, so life doesn't exist anymore". Although, to be fair, he wasn't wrong exactly, at least when it comes to Elliot's fate...

Will The Tourist return for season 2?

Although at the end of The Tourist's first season, we didn't know for certain if Elliot actually dies or not – and the show felt like a one-and-done deal in many ways – it was soon confirmed by the BBC that The Tourist will return for season 2.

Before the official announcement, talk of a potential second season was raised with The Tourist creators Harry and Jack Williams (who were previously known for helming shows like Baptiste, Liar and The Missing).

ep2  stars shalom brune franklin

"I would love to make this show again with these people," Harry told Radio Times. "I'm not entirely sure it's possible. I love the tone, I love the world. It's been our lives for three years and we've been very, very involved with it, more so than any other show.

"We've loved every minute. Normally you're sick of it by this point having watched 900 cuts of one episode but I still love it and I'd love to do it again."

Jack chimed in too, saying that: "We are talking about how we could return to this world, aren’t we?" To which Harry added: "Yeah, this world and this tone. I feel like we're not done with that. In terms of the story, we'll see how it goes if people like it."

A second season of The Tourist could also star Jamie Dornan in the lead – which means that Elliot might have survived, after all. Before official word of the renewal, Dornan said that "conversations are being had" about a second run, and that he'd "love to" be involved.

"I read episode six later than Danielle Macdonald because she texted me going, 'Oh my God, have you read episode six?' Dornan said (via Collider). "And I was like, 'No.' She was like, 'Please read it and get back to me.' And I was like, 'Okay.'

"But then, it probably took me another week before I even got to reading it, to be honest. Just like every other episode, it was unexpected, but I loved it. We were only ever making one of these. It was like, 'Let’s just do one series.'"

"That remains the setup. But I know, certainly in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and anywhere that’s seen it, the reception has been so insane, that there’s definitely a demand and a want for more, so we’ll talk about that and we’ll see about that."

But then again, there are more than enough colourful characters who could propel this story forward without The Man, if necessary. And who wouldn't want to see more of Danielle MacDonald in the role of Helen? Even if we don't see Elliot again, a second season of The Tourist could still bring us another unforgettable storyline.

The Tourist is available on BBC iPlayer.

You Might Also Like