Tell Me Your Secrets ending explained, and how it sets up season 2

Laura Jane Turner
·6-min read
Photo credit: Amazon Studios
Photo credit: Amazon Studios

From Digital Spy

Tell Me Your Secrets spoilers follow – including episode 10's ending.

Amazon's amped new thriller, starring American Horror Story's Lily Rabe and The Leftovers' Amy Brenneman, taps into audience's fascination with serial killers. But from its opening scene, Tell Me Your Secrets underlines a different focus – two women, vastly different, but whose lives were completely destroyed by the actions of a murderer.

While the series initially set the tone of being something quite clever and complex, Tell Me Your Secrets actually took viewers in a million different directions (not all of them good) in what became a heavy-handed and twisted mystery. But whether you loved it or hated it, if you're here, we're sure you want to find out a little bit more about that cliffhanger ending.

We first met Karen Miller (Lily Rabe) behind the glass of a prison visitor's room, with a distraught Mary Barlow (Amy Brenneman) trying to tease out information about her missing teenage daughter Theresa (Stella Baker).

Karen had been in a romantic relationship with a man named Kit Parker (Xavier Samuel); he had a nasty habit of abducting, torturing and murdering women. What isn't clear – and wouldn't be for much of the show's 10 episode run – was whether Karen had knowledge of his extra curricular activities or, worse still, if she had been in on it too.

Theresa Barlow was presumed dead and, although not officially linked to Parker's string of victims, it was believed she could have got caught up with Kit and Karen.

Photo credit: Amazon Studios
Photo credit: Amazon Studios

The authorities were ready to pronounce Theresa legally dead, but Mary Barlow was determined to find her daughter. She was willing to lose almost everything to get to the answers, and the show played with the question of how far over the line Mary would cross.

Having served her own prison sentence, Karen was released into the care of creepy psychologist Pete Guillory (Enrique Murciano). She was given a new home and identity – Emma Hall – along with a new look, which included a hair colour change and some contact lenses.

But it quickly became very clear that Karen was plagued by her traumatic past. Not only did she still harbour some complex feelings towards her ex (despite cutting ties with him in a letter), but she had blocked out certain memories from their time together.

We did however find out, fairly early, that Karen had come into contact with Theresa before she disappeared. In flashback scenes, we discovered that Theresa had befriended Karen in the hair salon where she had worked, and the pair had gone for drinks afterwards. They then hung out in the home that Karen shared with her then-boyfriend Kit, and Theresa had been there when he came home.

While the puzzle of what happened to Theresa Barlow next was very slowly being pieced together, Tell Me Your Secrets also incorporated a fairly baffling side plot. Emma had been trying her best to fit into her new small town home, but she soon got sucked into some strange happenings; teenage girls were going missing from local children's home St Jerome’s House. But more on that later.

By the final episode, Mary and Emma/Karen came face to face once again – but this time, each armed with more to say. Mary was convinced that Karen was somehow involved in the new spate of missing girls as well as the disappearance of her own daughter, whereas Karen had recalled some shocking memories about Theresa.

Karen was able to tell Mary exactly what happened all those years ago. Theresa had been in a relationship with Kit, and the pair of them had acted out the murders together. But when Karen and Kit got romantically involved, and she fell pregnant with his child, Theresa had then tried to get her – and the baby – out of the picture.

Mary did not want to believe any of it, but some of Karen's words planted a seed in her mind and she went home to try and uncover the truth. Digging up a box of Theresa's belongings from their back garden, Mary discovered disturbing love letters that Kit had written for her daughter. But despite being faced with the harsh truth, Mary called a press conference to once again point the finger at Karen – while announcing her new identity as Emma in the process.

Karen's own daughter Freya had been placed with carers while she was in prison. Karen had been wanting to reconnect with her, and decided in the final episode that she didn't want to wait any longer – particularly now she had her memories back, and knew that she'd not been involved in any of the crimes.

But when she showed up on the doorstep, she was informed that "Karen" had already collected her daughter.

We then saw Theresa, alive and well, with Karen and Kit's daughter in the passenger seat.

Tell Me Your Secrets season 2: What could happen next?

Photo credit: Amazon Studios
Photo credit: Amazon Studios

This cliffhanger leaves the story open for a possible second season, although it's worth noting at this point that we've not had any official confirmation that Tell Me Your Secrets will return for any more episodes.

But if it does, we'd expect to see Karen going after Theresa to get her daughter back. And if the sight of Theresa's car boot is anything to go by, she's clearly not given up her murderous streak...

Karen is also in a position of having to clear her name again, and Mary will surely need to face some consequences for her actions, so we'd expect those to be running themes in any continuation of the story too.

And remember that baffling sub plot we mentioned earlier? Well, it never really got resolved...

We learned that the missing girls had been groomed and abused at St Jerome's House, as part of a program to pump them with hormones and take their eggs. Why? We're not exactly sure.

We do know that the father of the town's most powerful family was behind it and, by the end, it was revealed that Karen's therapist was also involved in some way. You may remember that he had once worked at St Jerome's House, but was apparently fired when he tried to help one of the girls escape. He later married her, and was very controlling over keeping tabs on her. Was this something to do with what she'd seen, all those years before?

As you can see, season one left a lot unexplained. We guess we'll have to wait and see whether a second run will be on the cards, to finally get some answers – we just don't know whether we'll have the energy to dive back in.

Tell Me Your Secrets is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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