Phenomena Ending, Explained: Who is Sarmiento? What Happened in Vergara Palace?

Netflix’s ‘Phenomena’ is a horror drama that follows three middle-aged women who work as paranormal investigators. They bring different talents to the table, making them an efficient team that has made a name for itself. At the beginning of the film, they prepare to tackle the case of an antique shop where strange things have been happening. Their leader, Father Pilón, visits the shop alone and is mysteriously injured. As the women get to the bottom of the truth, things get more dangerous, and a strange connection to their previous case emerges. Here’s what happens at the end of the movie. SPOILERS AHEAD

Phenomena Plot Synopsis

Gloria, Paz, and Sagrario are part of the Hepta Group, a paranormal investigation task force brought together by Father Pilón. Sagrario is the psychic, Paz records the events, and Gloria handles the research and finds the source of trouble. Father Pilón identifies the potential cases, one of which leads him to an antique shop. Gloria doesn’t show up the night they were supposed to visit the place together. Because there is no point in visiting a haunted site without a psychic, they decide to postpone it to the next day.

Father Pilón goes there alone to get a sense of the place. He is attacked by something and is seriously injured. The group believes it must have been something powerful to do so much damage, so the next night, they visit the shop to find out what is haunting it. At first, they believe the place is haunted by a poltergeist, which manifests a person’s troubled state of mind. However, Gloria senses something more sinister in the place.

Phenomena Ending: Who is Sarmiento? What Happened in Vergara Palace?

Gloria, Paz, and Sagrario’s first visit to the shop is rather eventful. The entity proves to be very powerful and attacks them, almost killing the shop’s owners, Enrique and Marisa, and Sagraraio. Because Enrique is very anxious, the group believes that his feelings might be the trigger, creating a poltergeist that is causing all the trouble. Later, when Paz and Sagrario return to the place, the latter makes a strange connection with the neighbors.

A woman and her daughter live next door. Paz had left the camera on in the shop, and while she goes to collect it, Sagrario meets the daughter. They’d found a doll’s head in the shop, whose body was inside the girl’s room. Sagrario realizes that the poltergeist was not because of Enrique’s emotions but the girl’s. Her mother is abusive and beats her very brutally. This trauma and rage led to the creation of the poltergeist. This also explains why they got the name “Quimi” on the Ouija board. It is the name of the actor whom the girl watches every night from her window in the theatre across the street.

After a tussle with the woman, who almost kills Sagrario, the group rescues the girl, who is taken to safety. The mother, on the other hand, is very disoriented. This, along with the fact that Gloria had felt something else inside the shop, leads her to go back in. When Paz and Sagrario hear her scream, they enter the shop and discover an opening behind the cupboard. There is a secret basement where they find Gloria, but it’s not really her.

Gloria is possessed by some entity that had previously shown itself to the group when it possessed Enrique. It told Gloria that they would be judged, and it was also the one whose voice they heard in the video, demanding three more people. This entity controlled the woman next door and made her beat up her daughter. It enjoyed the girl’s suffering, which made it stronger. This is why the woman was disoriented when she was arrested. She didn’t remember what she’d done.

Paz and Sagrario also notice many skeletons and skulls around the place, which means that the entity has been around for a long time and has claimed many lives. Now, it wants Gloria as well as Paz and Sagrario. They discover that the entity is someone named Sarmiento. The women knew from the place’s history that it was a rectory that burned down five hundred years ago. Sarmiento lived there, and he was passionate about finding and killing witches. His dream was to surpass the number of witches killed by Pierre de Lancre, who had the record of judging the most women and sending them to their doom for being witches.

Sarmiento almost got there, with only three more women left to kill. Before it could happen, he died in the fire. Since then, he haunted the place, waiting for any witches to come around, so he could kill them and break Lancre’s record. Due to the haunted nature of the place, many people investigated it over the years, but none of them actually had any psychic powers. Sarmiento killed them, their bodies buried in the basement all these years, but he kept waiting for the three witches to come.

When Gloria, Paz, and Sagrario arrived, he knew they were the real deal. By killing them, he could achieve his centuries-old dream. He recognizes Gloria from Vergara Palace, the only case where her powers didn’t work. Sarmiento had lived there and killed many women before he moved to the rectory. Gloria tried to find him at the Palace, as his evil had left a mark there, but she couldn’t identify him until she arrived at the shop.

Is Father Pilón Dead?

At the beginning of the film, Father Pilón is attacked by Sarmiento, and he sustains severe injuries. This sends him into a coma, leaving the group to discover the truth themselves. When Sarmiento possesses Gloria, she is trapped inside her own mind. Sagrario realizes she is not the first one the entity has attacked. Father Pilón has crossed paths with it, too, meaning he must be trapped with Gloria. Sagrario tells Gloria to find Father Pilón and defeat Sarmiento with his help.

While the witch hunter tries to kill Sagrario and Paz, Gloria finds Father Pilón. Because they are all inside Gloria’s mind, he tells her to bring Sarmiento to her. This means she must take control of her mind and body and force Sarmiento into a corner. It is a huge task, and Gloria is weak, but she gives her all to overpower the evil inside her. This is her only chance to save herself and her friends, and after a massive struggle, she succeeds in getting control of her mind and brings Sarmiento face-to-face with Father Pilón.

Following his injuries, Father Pilón was close to death. He hadn’t crossed the line yet, and when he did, he would leave the world of the living for good. He had been holding on, lingering around long enough to get hold of Sarmiento. When he does, the priest pulls Sarmiento into the afterlife with him, forcing the ghost to cross the threshold and exit the world of the living. With Sarmiento gone, Gloria gets back her mind and body.

When the women reach home, Gerardo tells them Father Pilón passed away the previous night. Gloria is not surprised because she knew what happened the last night. The priest had saved their lives by taking the evil away with him. His body was incapacitated, and his mind was still trapped with Sarmiento. When Gloria saw Father Pilón take Sarmiento away, she realized their leader was gone too. Sagrario realizes this connection when she finds that Gloria was aware of Pilón’s death even before Gerardo told them. Gloria tells Paz that Father Pilón asked her to bid them goodbye, which means he had made his peace with death, and killing Sarmiento was the last thing he wanted to do before leaving the world.

Read More: Is Netflix’s Phenomena Based on a True Story?