Expats Finale Explained: Why Does Margaret Stay in Hong Kong?

Prime Video’s ‘Expats’ comes to an end with its sixth episode, bringing the riveting story of Margaret, Hillary, and Mercy to a conclusion that feels bittersweet. All three women had been dealing with some very complex issues at the heart of their stories that were so interlinked that it seemed impossible to understand one without looking at the other two. By the end of the show, the women make significant decisions in their lives, and things change quite drastically for all three of them. What does it mean for them going forward? SPOILERS AHEAD

Expats Episode 6 Recap

After all the heartbreak and the pain, ‘Expats’ end with Margaret, Hillary, and Mercy finally facing each other and confronting the complex situations and feelings between them. Margaret prepares to leave for the States with her family, but before leaving, she sets up a meeting with Mercy. It has been a few months since Mercy discovered she was pregnant, and she has decided to keep the child. However, it affects her relationship with her girlfriend, which is still in its early stages. For Hillary, going back home and meeting her father brings her to the point where she finally addresses the hatred she has for him for what he did to her and her mother all those years ago. The consequences of their feelings and actions finally catch up to them.

Expats Episode 6 Ending: Why Doesn’t Margaret Go to America With Her Family?

Losing a child is an unimaginable thing, but eventually, a person has to move on, if not for themselves, then for other people in their lives. For Margaret, the loss of her youngest son, Gus, is something that she can never get over. Had Gus died, perhaps she would have found the strength to move on. The closure would have allowed her to break out of the shell she’d created for herself. But it is the not-knowing that gets to her. She constantly thinks about where Gus could be and hopes, against all hope, that she might find him someday. It is this hope that keeps her in Hong Kong, even when the rest of her family has decided to move on.

Margaret’s family moved to Hong Kong when her husband, Clarke, got a promotion, but this move was temporary. They were not supposed to stay there for more than a few years. In fact, they were supposed to move back soon, but then Gus went missing, and the whole thing came crumbling down on Margaret. Whenever Clarke talked about leaving for the States, she would vehemently refuse, saying that leaving Hong Kong would mean abandoning Gus.

Eventually, however, Margaret is forced to consider what is right in front of her. When Gus disappeared, she lost her one child, but her other two children lost their mother. She was never fully there again, and this started to affect her family. After giving it much thought, she decided to leave Hong Kong, if not for herself, then for her children, but just as she was to board the plane, her feet failed her. She realized she couldn’t leave Hong Kong just yet, even if her daughter hated her for it and even if it might mean the end of her marriage.

In the end, it isn’t Margaret’s hope that keeps her in Hong Kong; it is the simple fact that Gus is still there. She feels he is still somewhere in the streets of Hong Kong, and if she leaves, he will forever be lost in this foreign country, abandoned by his mother. Being in the same country as him gives Margaret a sense of comfort that she and Gus are still close. If she leaves, then she would effectively be telling herself and the world that she is ready to forget about Gus, which is impossible for her.

Does Margaret Forgive Mercy?

There are several things Margaret needs to make peace with. While she struggles to accept that Gus is gone for good and she might never get him back, she finds it easier to accept that Mercy’s fault in the matter doesn’t necessarily make her a bad person. Mercy never intended for Gus to be lost. Yes, she was inattentive and should have been more careful, but this doesn’t mean she intentionally lost the child. There was no malice in her heart, no evil thoughts about harming the boy. What happened was an accident, and by the end, Margaret accepts that.

After she discovers that Mercy is pregnant, Margaret reaches out to her, and the two of them have a chat where they come clean about their feelings. Margaret reveals that her family is leaving the States, while Mercy apologizes to her, stating how much she has hated herself since what happened with Gus. By now, Margaret has had a lot of time to think. She has considered different scenarios and even tracked down what she thought of as suspects in trying to get some clue about what happened to her son.

In all this, she has also had time for self-reflection and come to the conclusion that Mercy isn’t entirely to blame for Gus’ disappearance. Now that Mercy is to be a mother herself, Margaret feels more compassionate for the girl. She knows that Mercy must be haunted by the events of that day, and she doesn’t want Mercy to take that forward when her child comes into the world. While she cannot do much for her son, Margaret can at least give Mercy’s child this— a mother who is not bogged down by guilt and can freely love them without thinking about how she messed things up for someone else’s child. In the end, Margaret’s first act of letting go comes with forgiving Mercy.

Does Mercy Give Her Child to Hillary or Margaret?

Feeling responsible for losing Gus, Mercy feels like she owes something to Margaret for taking away such an important part of her life. She feels the guilt of wrecking someone’s life, and with no sign of Gus, she doesn’t know how to make up to Margaret, no matter how much she wants to. Similarly, she also impacts Hillary’s life, though things are a bit complicated in this matter. Even though she knew David was married to Hillary, Mercy had an affair with him. Her pregnancy put a stop to any chance of Hillary and David making up.

At one point, Mercy offers to give up her child (though it’s unclear who she is talking to as the conversation keeps revolving between her, Margaret, and Hillary). If she wants to give it to Margaret, it is because she feels it would balance things between them. A child for a child— while it won’t bring Gus back, perhaps it would help fill that hole in Margaret’s life while giving Mercy the same pain, though in a completely different context. Margaret refuses this offer, knowing Mercy’s state of mind and also knowing that nothing, not even her own children, can fill the space left behind by Gus. It wouldn’t be a fair trade by miles, and Mercy’s offer doesn’t make sense to her.

Perhaps Mercy extends this offer to Hillary, seeing that she broke up her marriage and, at the root of it was Hillary’s inability to bear a child. But then, Hillary never really wanted a child. Even if she was trying to have one with David, it was because a child was expected of her. Her parents expected it, her husband expected it, and at one point, Hillary convinced herself that she wanted it too. But when, after everything, it doesn’t happen to her, she decides to let go of this thought. Though Mercy offers her her child, Hillary knows how impossible it would be for both parties.

While Mercy may feel like giving up the child now, she’ll probably change her mind later. As for Hillary, the child would be a constant reminder of her husband’s betrayal, and she couldn’t live with that. So, while she forgives Mercy for having an affair with her husband and supports her new life as a mother, she is unlikely to take up Mercy’s offer to keep her child as her own.

Read More: Expats: Is the TV Show Based on a True Story or a Book?