Netflix’s ‘Gone for Good’ is a French miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Harlan Coben. The taught thriller drama follows Guillaume, whose girlfriend mysteriously disappears soon after he proposes to her. An investigation into her whereabouts leads our hero into the dark crevices of his own disturbing family history and uncovers some dark secrets about the woman he was about to marry. The show balances intrigue and emotion well, with each episode focussing on the backstory of a particular character. If it got you invested in the fates of those involved, then you must be wondering how it all turned out for them. And whatever happened to the ominous bald man following Guillaume? Let’s take a closer look at the ending of ‘Gone for Good.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
Gone for Good Recap
The show opens with Guillaume thinking about the night his brother Fred and ex-girlfriend Sonia were killed. In a flashback, we see Fred wrestling with a bald man, who chases him with a gun. The two reach a cliffside where the bald man lets off multiple rounds, and Fred falls into the water. Guillaume then goes to his neighbor’s house, where he finds Inès, Sonia’s younger sister, staring at the corpse of her older sibling floating in the swimming pool. Soon after, we see young Inès bury Sonia’s phone in her garden.
Back in the present, Guillaume attends his mother’s funeral and proposes to his girlfriend Judith soon after. She accepts but then, under the pretext of work, rushes off. When Guillaume gets home, he notices all her things gone and is unable to get in touch with her. As he begins to retrace her steps with the help of his friend and colleague Daco, he finds that Judith might have had a daughter named Alice. Soon after, he is informed by the police that Judith has been found murdered in an apartment in Ivry. He attends her funeral, only to realize that the woman in the casket is not his girlfriend.
In a parallel flashback, we see that Guillaume’s girlfriend is actually named Nora and had an abusive husband before she met our hero. When the husband came looking for her at the shelter she was taking refuge in, he was killed by Fred, who, it turns out, is still alive and in hiding. It is slowly revealed that Fred escaped his killer and then moved to Italy, where he married a woman named Judith (the one in the casket). To help Nora escape, he gives her Judith’s passport and tells her to flee to France, where she meets Guillaume. Back in the present, the distraught boyfriend slowly begins to realize that his girlfriend has multiple identities and finally tracks her down to a hotel, where she’s waiting to catch a flight. However, Nora (for that is Guillaume’s girlfriend’s real name) gets kidnapped by the sinister bald man who is seen firing at Fred at the beginning of the show.
Gone for Good Ending: Is Fred Still Alive?
The climactic final episode delves into Fred’s backstory. Long thought to be dead, it is revealed that he had a troubled childhood due to his overbearing father, who forced him to excel at tennis. Through repeated beatings and arguments, we are shown how a young Fred grows increasingly distant from his family and begins to deal drugs with his high school friends Kessler and Ostertag. The kids are involved in the murder of a bully, for which Ostertag goes to prison for many years and is only released once he’s reached adulthood. In the meantime, Fred and Kessler have built a drug smuggling business, in which they’ve employed Sonia as well. However, when the police capture Fred, he turns in his colleagues, which explains why Kessler and Ostertag are after him.
Back in the present, Fred finally returns to Guillaume’s side and helps him track down the kidnapped Nora. They find her in Kessler’s car lot, and Kessler is killed in the process. Ostertag then appears and informs Guillaume that it was, in fact, his brother Fred that murdered Sonia, and it is revealed that Ostertag and Sonia loved each other, which is why the man tried to kill Fred after Fred drowned Sonia in the pool. In the heat of the moment, Guillaume shoots his brother, and the season finale closes with our hero and Nora meeting Alice and informing her that her mother and father are now together.
The closing scenes confirm that Fred is dead. His wife Judith is killed earlier on by Kesseler’s men, and therefore, when Guillaume tells young Alice that her parents are together, he means that her father, like her mother, has also passed away. Ironically, after believing for most of his life that his older brother is dead and then being briefly reunited with him, Guillaume ends up killing Fred instead of the men who were actually after his life. Even more poetic is the fact that Guillaume has never fired a gun before, and the fatal bullet he puts into his brother is the first (and perhaps last) bullet he will ever fire. On multiple occasions, the hero has been referred to as a gentle “saint” for his perpetual need to help others.
Guillaume kills his brother in the spur of the moment when Fred attempts to shoot Ostertag. Though it is difficult to guess if he’d kill his brother in any other situation, this seems to be the only solution to the standoff between him, Fred, and Ostertag. Had he left Fred alive, there would likely be a battle to the death between the school friends turned enemies, and in the chaos, both Guillaume and Nora could have been shot as well. At a deeper level, once he realizes that his brother is, in fact, a self-serving monster who killed Sonia and threw his associates under the bus to save his own skin, Guillaume probably realizes that Fred is not who he thought he was, which possibly helps him justify his actions.
Do Guillaume and Nora End Up Together?
Against all odds, Guillaume and Nora do end up together. More importantly, as we see the police arrive at the scene of the climax, it looks like after years of being on the run, Nora will now be able to lead a relatively normal life under her real identity. With Fred dead, she no longer has to keep secret how he helped her. Additionally, Nora was on the run for being a possible accessory in the murder of her husband, which Fred committed. Once again, with Fred’s crimes now out in the open, Nora’s name is likely cleared.
With Guillaume and Nora pictured together in the closing scenes, it looks like the two are possibly going to build a life together. Our hero’s experience as a social worker helping troubled youngsters also seemingly makes him an ideal partner for Nora, who has had a traumatic life for many years, first with her abusive husband and then being on the run under a false identity. It also looks like they might adopt Fred’s daughter Alice, who is now an orphan but is very attached to Nora, who used to babysit her in the shelter in Italy.
Who is the Real Judith? Is Alice Her Daughter?
For the first half of the show, we know Guillaume’s girlfriend as Judith. However, it is revealed that her real name is Nora, and the real Judith, whose funeral Daco and Guillaume attend, is Fred’s wife. It is tantalizingly revealed how Judith was a prostitute who Fred rescued with the help of his violent associates. The two subsequently had a daughter named Alice and were hiding from the French authorities at a shelter in Italy where they met Nora, who was hiding from her violent husband.
After killing Nora’s husband when he comes looking for her, Fred gives her Judith’s passport and tells her to flee to France, where Nora (under Judith’s identity) meets Guillaume, and the two fall in love. Therefore, the real Judith is Fred’s late wife, who Kessler’s men killed as revenge for Fred selling Kessler and Ostertag to the cops. Alice, who grew close to Nora in their time together in the shelter, is Fred and Judith’s daughter and Guillaume’s niece.
What Happens to Ostertag?
Ostertag is shown to have a troubled childhood during which he is bullied at school and neglected by his alcoholic father. Fred and Kessler, in an attempt to help him, murder his bully, for which Ostertag is sent to prison for many years, and Fred’s wealthy father financially compensates the poor boy’s father. Therefore, upon being released from prison, the now grown-up Ostertag promptly heads to his father’s trailer (where he sees a BMW parked outside, obviously a gift from Fred’s father in lieu of “compensation” for giving up his son) and promptly kills the aging alcoholic.
The show’s climax reveals that Ostertag loved Sonia, who seemingly reciprocated the feeling. Therefore, when Fred killed her, Ostertag attempted to shoot him but failed. We are not shown what happens to the tragic man after the climactic standoff between him, Fred, and Guillaume. However, being the shadowy figure that he is, it is most likely that he escapes before the police arrive and successfully avoids capture. Now that Guillaume has done what Ostertag was trying to do (kill Fred), it is unlikely that any rivalry will continue. Therefore, Ostertag will likely remain at large but will no longer bother Guillaume and Nora.
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