A Nearly Normal Family Ending, Explained: Did Stella Kill Chris?

Netflix’s mystery series ‘A Nearly Normal Family’ ends with Stella Sandell’s trial. The prosecution tries their best to get her convicted for the murder of Christoffer “Chris” Olsen with inadequate evidence. When the defense tries to focus on the prosecution’s inability to conclusively prove that Stella is the killer, her mother Ulrika Sandell guides Amina Besic to provide a shocking testimony to save her daughter’s life. Amina’s bravery not only influences the judge’s verdict but also helps her move forward from a personal tragedy. The Swedish series ends with startling revelations, unanswered questions, and much-needed explanations concerning the fates of the main characters! SPOILERS AHEAD.

A Nearly Normal Family Recap

‘A Nearly Normal Family’ begins with Stella, at the age of fifteen, going out for a swim with Robin, her assistant handball coach. After the swim, they get into a boathouse and start to kiss, only for Robin to eventually rape her. Since there isn’t any significant evidence to incriminate him, Stella’s parents Adam and Ulrika Sandell decide to not press charges against the rapist, hoping that it is the best decision for safeguarding their daughter from further harm. Years later, Stella is celebrating her nineteenth birthday alone, especially after her best friend Amina leaves her to spend time with other friends.

Stella strikes up a conversation with a boy she likes and together, they decide to leave for Copenhagen to spend the night visiting an art exhibition and partying in nightclubs. After returning, the boy, named Christoffer “Chris” Olsen, follows Stella on Instagram, only for them to form a connection. Meanwhile, Adam correctly suspects that his wife Ulrika is having an affair. After Ulrika leaves home in the name of an emergency work assignment, Adam checks on Stella, who hasn’t come home yet. Adam then encounters his daughter, who takes a shower after one at night. The next day, Stella gets arrested for murdering Chris.

After Stella’s arrest, Adam and Ulrika go to extreme lengths to protect their daughter. Ulrika discovers blood-soaked clothes under Stella’s bed and hides the same in the elderly home where her father lives. Adam, on the other hand, lies to a police officer that his daughter came home at 11:55 the night the murder happened to invalidate the authorities’ theory that the girl killed Chris past midnight. Ulrika asks her secret lover Mikael Blomberg to be Stella’s lawyer. Flashback sequences reveal that Stella got together with Chris after getting convinced that he is an ideal partner who listens to her and respects her decisions.

While Stella was dating Chris, his ex-girlfriend Linda showed up one day at the former’s workplace to warn her about sharing her life with the entrepreneur. Linda asked Stella to open his cupboards and upon doing so, the latter discovered a large quantity of drugs that can make one unconscious. Linda showed up once again, this time to reveal that she was raped by Chris while they were together. Chris’ ex-girlfriend added that he can be controlling and Stella experienced the same after not responding to his calls.

A Nearly Normal Family Ending: Who Kills Chris? How Does He Die?

Stella kills Chris. After learning that Chris raped Linda, Stella becomes cautious about him. The trauma of getting raped by Robin stops her from trusting her new partner blindly, especially after seeing several drugs in his cupboard. When Stella starts to keep a distance from Chris, the latter gets provoked. He starts to feel that he is not in control of his partner’s actions anymore, which infuriates him. Unfortunately, he connects the change in Stella’s behavior to Amina’s presence in his girlfriend’s life. Chris starts to think that Stella is prioritizing her best friend over him, which makes him resent the latter. Thus, Chris targets Amina.

After pretending to unexpectedly meet her at a nightclub, Chris drugs Amina and takes her to his apartment. He then rapes her as a punishment, believing that she is coming in between his authority over his girlfriend. Stella, meanwhile, looks for Amina after planning to meet her. Her search for her best friend takes her to Chris’ apartment. After getting into the same, she sees him raping Amina. Stella intervenes, saves her best friend, and runs away with her. Chris then chases the two girls. Although Stella could have run away with Amina, she decides to retaliate by killing Chris.

The sight of Chris raping Amina must have triggered Stella’s traumas severely. After getting raped by Robin, all she is able to do is suffer silently. She likely feels failed by her parents, who decide to not report the crime to the police due to a lack of evidence. The helplessness Stella feels at the age of fifteen, in addition to the absence of repercussions as far as Robin is concerned, must have made her take the matter into her own hands. She must have decided to kill Chris because she may not want him to escape from the predicament, just like Robin, without any consequences.

As someone who knows the weight of helplessness, it is understandable that Stella doesn’t want Amina to deal with the same by seeing Chris leading his life normally after hurting her best friend. Since Chris was able to do the same after raping Linda, Stella must have felt that letting him live will be a way of allowing him to hurt more people. Stella most likely kills Chris not only for her and Amina but also to stop him from hurting anyone in the future. By killing him, Stella does what Linda and Amina couldn’t do to him and what she couldn’t do to Robin.

Does Stella Get Convicted or Released From Prison?

Stella gets released from prison. When their daughter gets arrested, Adam and Ulrika try their best to protect her in any way they can. While Adam does the same by lying to officers about the time Stella came home the night Chris got killed, Ulrika does it by digging deep into the case against the girl. She gets into prosecutor Jenny Jansdotter’s office and finds the case files, only to discover that Amina’s DNA traces were found in Chris’ apartment. Since Amina hasn’t told anyone about being in Chris’ apartment, Ulrika gets suspicious about the same and confronts her daughter’s best friend.

Although Amina initially doesn’t open up about how she ended up in Chris’ apartment and how the same paved the way for Stella’s arrest, she later changes her mind. Amina must have started to feel guilty about seeing Stella in prison for killing her rapist, which explains why the former eventually reveals what really happened on that tragic night to Ulrika. Upon knowing all the details about Chris’ murder and Stella’s involvement in the same, Ulrika devices a plan to get her daughter released. She stops Amina from going to the police to report getting raped by Chris and asks her to wait till the murder trial.

Ulrika knows that Amina’s revelation will only lead the police to involve her in the case as another suspect. As a lawyer, Ulrika is familiar with the tactics the prosecution will use if they are given time to investigate Amina’s presence in Chris’ apartment the night he got killed. She doesn’t want the police to transform Amina from a witness to an accomplice. Therefore, Ulrika makes sure that Amina reveals the truth about getting raped only during the trial. When she does the same, the prosecution gets stuck without a move forward. Since Stella wasn’t the only one who was in the vicinity of the crime scene the night the same occurred, Jenny fails to pin the murder on her, which paves the way for her release.

Do Adam and Ulrika Break Up?

Adam realizes that his wife Ulrika has been cheating on him when he gets convinced that the latter is lying to him. Still, he tries to believe that he is wrong for a while but when he sees Michael kissing his wife at the hospital, Adam tells Ulrika that he had enough. He asks for a divorce to put an end to their marital relationship. The couple, however, prioritizes standing beside Stella over their separation. By the time the trial ends and their daughter gets released, Adam seems to have a change of heart. The series ends with the couple still together, seemingly trying to strengthen their relationship.

Adam must have understood that he played a part in pushing Ulrika to seek happiness from elsewhere. As a pastor, he has been forcing his interest and obsession with the Bible and his religion on his wife irrespective of the latter’s disinterest. Ulrika must have started having an extramarital affair after getting tired of Adam’s passion and beliefs dictating their lives. After talking to his wife about the affair, Adam confronts the mistakes he committed. That can be the reason why he stays with Ulrika despite wanting separation.

Adam then puts an end to his time as a pastor to focus on his family as an act of correcting his wrongs. Considering his decision to leave the church, it is safe to say that Adam and Ulrika want to be together and they are willing to give their best shot to make their relationship work.

Read More: Is Netflix’s A Nearly Normal Family Based on Real-Life Occurrences?