‘The Mire ‘97’ is the follow-up season of the dark Polish drama series ‘The Mire’ and takes us back to the Gronty Forest area and its sinister past. More than a decade has passed since the events of the previous mystery, but the ominous forest and its secrets still linger. Now, with an unexpected flood unearthing skeletons (both literal and figurative) that many of the town’s residents would rather keep hidden, the dogged journalists Piotr and Witold are once again thrown into a dark and twisted conspiracy.
The show’s jump from the ’80s to the ’90s has also led to significant changes in the distribution of power, meaning it’s a lot harder to keep explosive secrets buried. The melancholy season finale gives us a few answers, but much like the show’s protagonists, we will have to continue to dig for more clarity. Let’s take a closer look at ‘The Mire ‘97’ ending and see what we can find. SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Mire Season 2 Recap
‘The Mire ‘97’ opens in the midst of a devastating flood that inundates the lower levels of most buildings in the town near Gronty. The forest, which is discovered to be a mass World War 2 grave in the previous season, once again becomes the site of a major investigation when a recently dead body of a young boy is found amongst the skeletons of the war victims. Mika, an experienced but bitter local cop, is put on the case along with Anna, a Sergeant from Warsaw. The two soon discover a series of disturbing voice recordings made by the boy, which leads them to a junky named Raptor who confesses to the crime under pressure from Mika.
Anna, convinced the boy’s killer is still on the loose, continues to investigate. She also realizes that a new housing development in the area, known as the Oaza Estate, has remained untouched by the flood despite being in its path, while the forest has been flooded due to broken levees. Suspecting sabotage, she also begins to investigate the real estate developer who owns Oaza Estate and soon discovers that he was having an affair with the mother of the dead boy.
Piotr, meanwhile, having been promoted to the rank of Editor-in-Chief of The Courier, attempts to track down the missing son of one of his newspaper’s main beneficiaries— Kielak. His search lands him amidst the apparently kidnapped Waldek’s thuggish friends, who soon overpower Piotr and hold him hostage. One of Piotr’s employees, Kazik, is similarly held hostage by thugs for looking into the sabotaged levees in the forest. Soon, it begins to appear that the death of the boy and the broken levees, which flooded the forest and the town, have been perpetrated by the same group.
The Mire Season 2 Ending: Who Killed Daniel Gwitt?
Anna and Mika are finally able to track down the boy’s killer, who turns out to be none other than the town’s prosecutor, who also has a hand in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Kielak’s son Waldek. It is discovered that he colluded with the property developer and organized the destruction of the forest levees to keep Oaza Estate from being flooded. In return, the government official supposedly got a house in the estate, and the boy’s murder was an unfortunate side effect when he unwittingly found out about the plot.
In the closing scenes of the season, we see Piotr recovering in the hospital after he escapes from the kidnappers. When his wife Teresa and he finally talk, they realize that they are not happy with each other, and Teresa confesses that she is in love with someone on the police force. We also see Witold, who finally writes about the atrocities that occurred in the town right after World War 2, say that he is still missing a key witness to the events that he will continue to look for.
And just like that, the season closes, leaving us with a handful of hints about what actually happened. Fortunately, we get closure on the central mystery concerning the dead boy Daniel. As we see in the season finale, whilst hiding in the prosecutor’s house, the young boy overhears him and the property developer discussing a plot to blow up the levees. Thinking the two men have finally left, Daniel steps out of his hiding place but is immediately accosted in the dark by the prosecutor, who slams the helpless boy into the wall, knocking him unconscious.
Despite the prosecutor looking vaguely remorseful, his murderous intentions are confirmed when Daniel briefly regains consciousness but is forcefully and fatally held down by him in a tub of water. The fact that Daniel heard the prosecutor’s plans makes it quite clear that the latter would not have left the young boy alive under any circumstances. But why was Daniel in the prosecutor’s house in the first place, where he overheard the conversation that got him killed?
Daniel was in the prosecutor’s domicile, spying on the house next door, which happened to be Piotr’s. Though not expressly stated, we can say with near certainty that Piotr is Daniel’s father, something that the kid himself was able to figure out shortly before his death. The boy’s real mother, Helena, had a brief affair with Piotr in 1984, as we see in season 1.
Though the prosecutor also had an affair with her, he confesses to Anna that he is impotent, meaning that the father of the dead boy is Piotr. We also find out that Helena died at childbirth, meaning she was never able to tell Piotr about the boy. Significantly, the letter from Helena that makes Piotr come back to the town after being away for more than a decade is actually written by his illegitimate son Daniel, who Piotr knows nothing about.
What Happened to Waldek?
Piotr is involved in investigating the mysterious disappearance of the newspaper’s benefactor Kielak’s son Waldek. He eventually finds that the scheming son, who, in a bid to run away with his lover but also have his wealthy father continue to support him, fakes his own kidnapping and forces his father to pay the astronomical ransom which he intends to keep. Unfortunately, to execute his plans, Waldek enlists the help of the prosecutor and his thuggish helpers, who betray and brutally murder him, keeping the money for themselves. We see the sinister prosecutor smile when asked whether he kept all the ransom money.
It is most likely that the murder of Waldek also indirectly led to the murder of Daniel. After killing Waldek, the prosecutor hid his body in the cement foundation of his newly constructed house in Oaza Estate. As the property developer explains, if the estate got flooded, the foundation would have to be dug up, leading to the discovery of the body and the prosecutor’s crime. Therefore, the government official also had a strong motive to avoid flooding the estate, which led him to organize the destruction of the flood levees in Gronty forest, which diverted the water away from the estate.
Will Piotr and Teresa Get a Divorce?
The last that we see of Piotr and Teresa, they seem to have unanimously called it quits on their relationship. Whereas Piotr, while being held hostage and facing near-certain death, realizes that he is not happy in the marriage, Teresa rediscovers a facet of herself that she had kept locked away since her college days. When she mentions to Piotr that she is involved with someone in the police force, she means Sergeant Anna, with whom she’s been having a steamy affair. Though initially repulsed by the idea of leaving her teenage daughter and moving to the city with Anna, Teresa changes her mind when Witold tells her about how, in his younger days, he took the wrong decision out of fear and has regretted it ever since.
Of course, the old journalist is most likely talking about the time (in 1945) when he decided to stay back in Poland instead of following Else and the other German prisoners when they were being taken away by the Russians. Teresa also mentions in passing that she’d rather live in a “shithole” in the city than in luxury in a small town like the one she finds herself in, something that Anna reminds her of. The cop also seems deeply in love with Teresa. It, therefore, looks almost certain that Anna will end up divorcing Piotr and moving to Warsaw with Anna.
Does Witold Find Else Koepke?
Witold last saw his girlfriend Else in 1945 whilst she was being loaded onto a truck along with other German prisoners of war and being taken out of Poland. He did not get on to the crowded vehicle with her and stayed back but was unable to forget about her. The Witold that we see, for the most part, is the old and graying version of the man who is now obsessed with finding Else. After finding her sketches of the Gronty Forest in her prison camp bunk, he has scoured German art magazines, looking for hints of her drawing style.
In season 1, he finally finds a painting that shows the forest in the same ominous, supernatural fashion as Else depicted it all those years ago. Convinced that she is alive, Witold plans to go to Berlin and begin looking for her but is interrupted. In season 2, he again decides to go and find Else and even borrows money from Nadia, a former prostitute with who he shares an affectionate relationship.
However, he is once again interrupted by the case of the dead boy and broken levees and is unable to leave. Having now seen his heart-wrenching love story with Else, we know more than ever how deeply he loves her and how guilty he still feels about letting her go. Though Witold is once again interrupted from leaving to go look for her, there is one big difference from his previous thwarted attempt.
After adamantly refusing to do so for many years, he has finally written down the account of what happened in the Gronty area soon after the war and has included Else’s story in it. As he tells an employee of the newspaper when he shows him a draft of his article, he still needs to find a key eye witness before he can submit the article. This witness is none other than Else, who (most likely) features heavily in Witold’s writing.
Therefore, it looks like the old reporter is finally making peace with his past and is also opening up about his relationship with Else. The fact that he shares his story with Nadia and that she supports his decision also strongly points to Witold finally embarking on his journey to Germany to look for his long-lost love. Of course, whether he will succeed in finding Else after more than 50 years apart (from 1945 to 1997) remains to be seen.
Read More: Is The Mire a True Story?