‘Landscapers,’ created by Ed Sinclair for HBO, revolves around the 1998 murder of William and Patricia Wycherley. At the crux of the show are Susan and Christopher Edwards; as the police investigate this mild-mannered British couple, horrifying facts about the Mansfield murders come to light. Starring Olivia Colman, David Thewlis, Kate O’Flynn, Samuel Anderson, and Dipo Ola in central roles, the true-crime show is directed by Will Sharpe.
Throughout the series, we see how the Edwardses passionately stick to their story even as the police unearth damning evidence against them. As Susan and Christopher get ready for their trial, we know that things are going to become quite difficult for the couple. So, are you curious about the outcome of their legal battle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Landscapers’ season 1 ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Landscapers Finale Recap
In France, we see the reticent Susan and Christopher Edwards living in squalor. It soon becomes apparent that, despite their poverty, Susan is unable to stop spending on old Hollywood souvenirs. Later, after getting rejected in a job interview, Christopher calls his stepmother, Dr. Tabitha Edwards, to ask for financial assistance. However, he also ends up confessing to his crimes and reveals the reason why they are hiding abroad.
Immediately, Tabitha calls the police and mentions that the bodies of William and Patricia Wycherley are buried in the back garden of their former Mansfield home. Thus, DC Emma and DC Paul go to the Mansfield house and gather enough suspicious information to order an excavation. After the back garden is dug up, the police find two skeletal bodies wrapped in a duvet.
Eventually, the Edwardses return to England to face the authorities and defend their innocence. Through black-and-white flashbacks and police interrogations, strange facts about Susan and Christopher are revealed. Whilst Susan chooses to use a solicitor, Douglas Hylton, Christopher goes without one during the interrogations. Soon, Douglas realizes that Susan and Christopher are madly in love.
Later, the authorities find out that the Edwardses started taking the Wycherleys’ savings and pensions right after their murder. They are also surprised to find letters from Gérard Depardieu to Christopher. Soon, as DC Emma and DC Paul put the heat on the couple — separately — we find out about Christopher’s expertise with guns and Susan’s difficult relationship with her parents.
Susan claims that Patricia shot William after an argument; the mother then “provoked” the daughter. Susan insists that she shot her mother because Patricia was aware of how William used to sexually abuse her. She also claims that Christopher found out about the murders a week later when they visited the Mansfield house. Apparently, he then dug a hole in the garden and buried the bodies.
Soon, the police find out that Susan and Christopher think that the Wycherleys “stole” from the former. Susan’s inheritance from her grandfather was used to buy the Wycherleys’ old house in Edgware. However, soon, Patricia forced Susan to sign over the rights to the house to her parents. The Wycherleys then sold then their Edgware home for a profit and bought the Mansfield house without returning any money to Susan. The police department thus concludes that the Edwardses killed the Wycherleys for money and celebrates the solving of the Mansfield murders. Meanwhile, Susan and Christopher get ready to face a judge and a jury in court.
Throughout the show, we see surreal, fourth-wall-breaking visuals that explore the Edwardses’ and the police’s differing interpretations of the murder. The final episode is even more bizarre and opens with visuals of the cells, cameras, and green rooms. Then, we see the Edwardses being escorted to court. Briefly, we cut away to a flashback of a young Susan with a white horse.
As the press takes pictures of the Edwardses, a voiceover reads out a letter Susan wrote to Christopher. In it, Susan admits that whilst she “never cared about being shut out from the real world,” her husband did have a place in it. Then, we shift to an old Hollywood/Western-style scene wherein Susan and Christopher — dressed in clothes from a bygone era — dump the bodies of the Wycherleys’ in the back of a horse-drawn carriage. Christopher fixes a letter to Tabitha’s door with a knife before the Edwardses flee.
In court, the prosecutor talks about how Susan and Christopher are “audacious and unrepentant liars” and “cold-blooded killers.” We cut to the old Western and see that Tabitha has gone to the police (DCI Collier, DC Emma, and DC Paul) with the letter; the police then begin tracking the Edwardses. Back in court, a doctor explains how bodies decay and smell, implying that there is no way that the Edwardses didn’t notice the stench of rotting bodies when they visited the Mansfield house almost a week after the murder.
In the old Western scenes, we see the police chasing the Edwardses. Meanwhile, in court, it is pointed out that the .38 caliber commando gun used to kill the elderly couple requires effort to pull the trigger and thus cannot be used in haste. The court believes that the same person shot both the Wycherleys.
Christopher is asked about Gary Cooper and he explains that it is Susan who is his fan. Later, he is made to talk about his expertise with guns and his relationship with Susan. Next, Susan is asked to speak about the murder. Then, the prosecutor notices a discrepancy in Susan’s story; she starts crying. She explains how horrible her relationship with her parents was and that her mother used to say that she was impossible to love.
“I’m not fragile. I’m broken. So, you can’t hurt me,” she weeps. Then, we see Susan talking to Douglas in her holding cell. Susan then reveals the truth about Gérard Depardieu’s letters. Douglas realizes how lucky he is when he sees Susan’s misfortune; he tells her that her parents should have treated her better. Susan and Douglas bond with each other and shake hands.
Landscapers Ending: Who Shot the Wycherleys — Susan or Christopher?
The court then comes to the decision that the Edwardses acted together and thus will get the same sentence for the murder of the Wycherleys. Later, we see DC Emma talking to DC Paul about her own father; she reveals that she threatened to chop off her father’s head with an ax when she was 12 because he used to abuse her mother. She explains that he left after that. After Paul expresses pity towards her, the two police officers start flirting and walk away. Then, after we see scenes from Susan’s fantasies, the title card states: “In 2014 Susan & Christopher Edwards were convicted of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison. To this day they maintain their innocence.”
During the trial, the Edwardses’ carefully constructed story about the Wycherleys’ murders comes apart. We see how the doctor concludes that the Edwardses must have buried the Wycherleys within three days of the murder, as the couple claims that the bodies had been stiff and the stiffness caused by rigor mortis persists for around three days.
Immediately afterward, during her turn, Susan says that she bought 20 cans of air freshener to get rid of the smell of decay, smoke, and nicotine from her parents’ house. The prosecutor notes that she has never mentioned this detail before; it becomes obvious that Susan added the information after she heard the doctor’s conclusions.
Susan is also asked to explain how she got rid of the murder weapon and its traces. She thus talks about how she picked up the bullet casings and wrapped them up in cloth along with the gun; she threw everything into an empty bin somewhere in town. The prosecutor then notes that the .38 revolver used to kill the Wycherleys does not discharge casings; it is made apparent that Susan forgot to check the details of the gun with her husband. Susan’s immediate panic simply confirms the prosecutor’s judgment.
We also see how the court decides who actually shot the Wycherleys. We see that Christopher is questioned about his experience with guns. He denies that he shot the Wycherleys and claims that although he did own a .38 gun, he sold it in September 1995. The prosecutor notes that Christopher himself stated on record that his wife is terrified of guns (making her unlikely to be the actual shooter).
Christopher then talks about his interest in military history and guns. He says he used to go for shooting practice but stopped shortly after he got married. When asked about the reason, Christopher explains that the shooting range was far from home; he had to change two trains in order to get to the place. After Susan started living with him, she didn’t like him being away from home (and from her) for too long. Thus, it’s obvious that he gave up his hobby for his wife.
When the prosecutor asks him if the decision to stop the shooting was made by him or Susan, Christopher says that it was mutual. When the judge asks him whose decision it was to bury the Wycherleys, Christopher pauses for a moment before saying that it was a mutual decision. It becomes clear that Christopher is trying to protect Susan at all costs, even as his resolve is crumbling.
The final straw is when the prosecutor notes that Christopher chose to call Tabitha knowing that Susan would not be okay with it and observes that he must have been suffering in France. Indirectly, the prosecutor implies that Christopher called his stepmother because he knew that she would reach out to the police and put an end to his quasi-fugitive life with Susan abroad which was making him miserable.
After this, Christopher’s resolve crumbles. “I’ve been living Susan’s life with her,” he says, as his wife cries. It thus becomes sadly apparent that Christopher pushed aside his own dreams and opinions after getting married to Susan; he blindly did whatever was needed in order to protect her. This brings to mind an old conversation between DC Emma and DC Paul, wherein the former states that the “fragile” one in the relationship is also the one who is in power. Additionally, one also remembers Tabitha talking about Christopher’s tendency to go to extreme lengths to be the savior of the weak.
Then, Christopher is asked to demonstrate how to use a .38 gun. Immediately, his demeanor becomes calm as he is familiar with firearms. He explains that his training was in precision target shooting and raises an arm to point at the judge. Naturally, later, the court concludes that it was Christopher who shot the Wycherleys even though both the Edwardses planned the murder together.
Additionally, the post mortem report revealed that the Wycherleys had been shot in a precise manner; the authorities believe that all four bullets had been discharged by someone comfortable with guns. Considering Susan’s fear of firearms, glaring lack of gun knowledge, and the fact that the .38 is too stiff to be used in a hurry, it isn’t surprising that the court declares that it was Christopher who shot the Wycherleys.
What Do the Black and White Scenes Mean? What Do the Old Western Scenes With Color Mean?
In the first three episodes of the show, the present is shown in color whilst Susan’s old Hollywood fantasies and flashbacks are shown in black and white. In the fourth and final episode, however, we see that the present is shown in black and white whilst Susan’s fantasies are shown in color. Thus, it becomes apparent that we are now seeing the world through Susan’s eyes.
In Susan’s fantasy, she and Christopher are on the run from the police. The era is distinctly different as the Edwardses are dressed in gowns, breeches, and hats and are using a horse-drawn carriage to move the Wycherleys’ bodies. Additionally, the police are on horseback. We realize that it is too traumatic for Susan to remember the murders as they actually took place; thus, she uses the protection of an old Western film format to shield her mind.
We also know that Susan is obsessed with Gary Cooper and John Wayne; so, she imagines Christopher as a heroic cowboy whilst she is his fair maiden. Additionally, we don’t see the murders actually taking place — this is in line with the Edwardses’ insistence, even after being sentenced to life in prison, upon their innocence. Plus, the Edwardses also burn the Wycherleys’ bodies, which Susan now realizes would have been the better option.
We also note that Susan feeds information from the present into her fantasy, which plays out like a film. When the doctor talks about the smell of decaying bodies, we immediately see that the carriage in the fantasy gets suddenly covered in flies, with Susan wrinkling her nose in disgust. However, previously, in the fantasy, Susan showed no outward reaction to any bad smell as she was dragging her parents’ bodies out of their house.
When Susan looks at her lawyer in court, we see Douglas in her fantasy scrutinizing the police through a long, old-fashioned telescope. Thus, as she makes new observations and gets novel information, she adds it to her fantasy in order to process them better. When Christopher talks about he has given up his life for Susan, we see that he inexplicably disappears from Susan’s fantasy for some time; she cries out and searches for him.
Towards the end, we see Susan alone in her cell. She reads a letter from Christopher in which he tells her that he blames himself for feeling “trapped” and agrees that he might have told Tabitha the truth because he wanted “help.” He also mentions that Susan made the world feel real to him and that he will always love her. Immediately, in Susan’s fantasy, the dead police officers get up and disappear. Christopher returns to Susan — who is no more injured — and removes his wig. Then Susan, imagines that her cell opens up to a film set where a white horse awaits along with a crew.
Christopher takes her by the hand and the two climb onto the horse. As the cameras start rolling, the Edwardses ride away into the wind — the scene shifts to black and white again as the original Western movies did not feature color. We are reminded of a previous scene where Susan talks to Christopher about a horse she named after herself and her daydream about them riding away. It becomes apparent that although the Edwardses will spend the rest of their lives away from each other in separate jails, their love will never fade.
Additionally, they still believe that they are innocent. Moreover, Susan will simply use her fantasies to while away her time in jail because she never liked the real world. She’s also at peace because her husband seems to have forgiven her for faking Depardieu’s letters (he signs his own letter to her as ‘Gerard Depardieu’); Christopher knows that she lied only to make him happy.
Read More: Is Landscapers Based on a True Story?