Anthracite Ending, Explained: What Happens to Claude?

Netflix’s ‘Anthracite: Secrets of the Sect‘ is a French-language mystery thriller mini-series set in the fictional skiing town of Levionna. Co-created by Fanny Robert, the show is an exhilarating and intriguing dive into the past and present happenings of the alluring town, featuring some incredible performances by Camille Lou, Noémie Schmidt, and Hatik. At its core, the show intertwines plotlines, resulting in unexpected outcomes many would never anticipate.

Robert, previously known for her work in crime dramas such as ‘Profiling Paris’ in 2009 and ‘Vise Le Coeur’ in 2022, administers the tropes of the mystery thriller genre and presents it in a neat container bearing minute hints of horror as well. The show’s interlaced and sometimes complex narrative, along with the introduction of adjacent storylines that eventually converge, could birth several queries about the film. SPOILERS AHEAD

Anthracite: Secrets of the Sect Plot Synopsis

Set in a fictional town, the series follows leads Ida and Jaro, who are introduced to each other under strange circumstances. Ida is looking for her missing father, while Jaro, an ex-convict, is trying to start afresh in the skiing town. They are dragged into a world of incredible and terrible truths about town after a woman’s bizarre death gets linked to a cult’s despicable activities that happened 30 years ago. The duo sets out to unearth deep and dark revelations while finding out some much-needed truths about themselves and their loved ones. Intwined plotlines and unexpected outcomes lead to a crescendo of exhilarating moments stretched out throughout its runtime.

Why Did Claude Kill Roxane and the Others?

Image Credit: Christine Tamalet/Netflix

Towards the end of the show and with what seems to be its resolution, the town is engulfed by dust from the explosions inside the mine as Ida, Jaro, and Malia are safely found by rescuers. However, one daunting and unaddressed question still remains, “who killed Roxanne Vial?” With things slowly getting back to normal, Ida and Solal decide to head back to the city while Jaro continues to live on his uncle’s farm. In the following sequence, Ida is clearing up her father’s old storeroom full of VHS tapes and documents when Jaro walks in to give her the news that their bone marrow is compatible, which could allow him to donate to her.

Along with this news, Salol, who is now able to walk with support, also comes to greet his daughter. The two are reunited as they apologize to each other for all that has happened. On the other end, Jaro meets his uncle at the cemetery where his aunty lies, and the two share a moment at her grave. He welcomes him back to the family while Ida and Solal make their way out of the town. In the following scene, Jaro is seen helping his uncle with a newly born sheep, symbolizing new beginnings for them.

It seems like a fresh start for Jaro here until he stumbles upon a completely unexpected find. In his mother’s room lay a walkman with a recording of her practicing her music. Jaro’s uncle had mentioned earlier that he had a band, and his mother really wanted to be a part of it. Hence, Claude told her to practice and record herself in a collection of tapes. In one of the recordings, Jaro hears an argument between Roxanne and his mother, Juliette, who reveals that Claude is sexually abusing Juliette, his own sister.

Shocked by his find, he notices Claude standing at the door. Claude, who knows Jaro heard the tape, heads down to load his gun. Jaro, who is distraught and angered at the news, also heads down to confront him. While this is happening, people from Ida’s online sleuth forum are actively trying to reach out to her with some crucial information since her phone isn’t available. They finally get through when Ida and Solal stop at a gas station. Over the phone, Ida is told that Caleb Johansson could not have ever been compatible to donate bone marrow because the two aren’t genetically related.

Hearing this news, the two make an about-turn and head back to the Levionna. At Claude’s farm, Jaro confronts his uncle, who reveals several things. He admits that he raped his own sister. To cope with all the trauma, Juliette began therapy, and she started remembering incidences from her past, especially from the time Claude raped her. To hide the truth, it was Claude who set Juliette’s house on fire, while everyone else thought she did it to kill herself.

Claude would do anything to keep this secret buried, so when he found out that Roxanne knew about it, he sought to kill her. He murdered her and put anthracite on her face to point the authorities in the direction of the cult. Eventually, when a journalist came knocking on the door asking many questions, he sought to hurt him and keep him hidden away. And finally, when his own wife Marie got to know the truth after listening to the recording, he killed her as well.

Furious with the monster that his uncle is, Jaro tackles him to the ground, grabs his gun, and beats him to near death, just as Ida arrives at the farm. The series comes to a close here, resting on the fact that Jaro’s uncle Claude is the least expected but most sinister among all the people who committed crimes in that town. To keep such an enormous secret under the sheet, he got rid of anyone who even knew his actions. From Juliette to Roxanne, to Marie and Solal, Claude did the unthinkable to keep his secret buried. Driven by a murderous guilt and shame, Claude made sure he didn’t leave a trace until Jaro found out from an unexpected source.

In the end, the truth catches up to him, and he has no other option but to fall to the final judgment. His actions were a domino effect to the incredible incidents that took place in the town 30 years ago and the tragedies that took place during the events of the series. While the series does not confirm what happens to Claude in the end, we can firmly believe that Claude will be put through a lengthy trial for the murders of Juliette, Roxanne, and Marie and the assault on Solal, which he is bound to lose. Despite trying to get rid of all the evidence against him, Jaro, Ida, and the entire town would finally be able to know the truth.

With Solal’s account of Claude’s assault and the recording found by Jaro, Claude would get a lengthy sentence for his actions. However, not much evidence is found on the murders of Roxanne and Juliette. A second thorough investigation would be required to unearth information on those cases. If he denies murdering Roxanne and Juliette, or if no evidence is found, he would still be charged with the murder of Marie and the assault on Claude. Considering he was a teenager 30 years back, Claude would be in his 50s, and a sentence of a few decades would result in his death behind bars.

Is Claude Ida’s Father?

When Ida and Solal are on their way back home, they are informed that it is nearly impossible for Caleb to be a compatible donor for Ida. This is because Caleb is not Ida’s biological father. When Jaro finds out about his mother through the cassette tapes, he also finds out several gruesome facts about his uncle Claude. Claude raped Juliette, and to cover it up, he killed everyone who knew about his secret.

In a previous episode, Solal reveals to Jaro that Juliette completely rejected her baby while giving birth. Solal, who was there when Juliette’s water broke, took the child into his own care. The show here confirms that Juliette had rejected the child, Ida, because of the newborn’s association with a person she didn’t want anything to do with. Solal was under the impression that this person was Caleb, but considering there is a 50 percent chance that a biological parent can donate their bone marrow, Caleb should have been compatible with Ida. The tests that he performed on Caleb turned out to be negative. Here, the series indirectly indicates that Ida’s father is someone else.

Solal was unaware of Juliette’s any other connections apart from Caleb. However, at the end of the last episode, we learn about Claude’s terrible deeds. In a grand twist, it is revealed that Claude’s sexual assault on Juliette conceived Ida. She is the child of Claude and Juliette. While Ida’s biological father may be Claude, the person she is the fondest of and the person who has brought her up is Solal. Ida may been born from incredibly horrific circumstances, but Solal has remained the pillar of her life.

When Solal reveals what really happened when he found Ida, he mentions that he and his wife were struggling to have a child, and right then, Ida walked into their lives. Since then he has only taken care of her and even came to the wretched town to find help for his daughter. While Claude may be Ida’s biological father, it doesn’t take away the fact that Solal is Ida’s true father in every sense of the word. He brought her up and has taken care of her, and his investigative journalism has rubbed off on her. While answering the question “Is Claude Ida’s Father?” the answer is “yes” only in one aspect: biologically. In every other aspect, Solal is Ida’s true father.

Who is Enola?

When Jaro finds out about his uncle Claude’s terrible deeds, he also finds out about who Enola is and why Juliette had dreams of the “Black Virgin” every night. It was Claude all along. Claude had mentioned to Jaro that when he was younger, he played in a band. He would wear a t-shirt that spelled out “Enola” on the front and had a picture of a Black virgin on the back. This insight is featured on one of Solal’s video tapes when he captures a band playing at the local high school where Claude and Juliette were both students.

In the tape, Solal records a horrible incident where Juliette is found stabbed in the bathroom when the band is playing. Later, it is revealed that the person blamed for stabbing her was actually trying to help, and it was Juliette who did it to herself. Juliette, who was psychologically unstable at the time, did that to herself because she was unbearably traumatized by her brother. He donned the same “Enola” t-shirt that he wore when he raped her. When Jaro finds out he is wearing the same t-shirt, the truth suddenly becomes clear.

When Juliette said that the Black Virgin would visit her in the night, she was referring to none other than her own brother. When Ida and Jaro first come across Enola, they do not even have the slightest clue who it could be, but it is Juliette’s cryptic way of telling the truth about her brother. In the end, Jaro finds out how horrid his uncle truly is and how Ida has to psychologically deal with the fact that her birth was a result of one man’s atrocious actions.

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