‘Pieces of Her’ follows a young woman named Andy, whose world is turned upside down after she narrowly survives a gunman’s attack. What truly makes Andy suspicious is her mother’s uncharacteristically swift reaction to the attack, making the daughter begin to wonder just how well she knows her own parents.
Based on the 2018 novel by Karin Slaughter, the Netflix series slowly pieces together the mother and daughter’s astonishing past through a twisting journey. The reveals come hard and fast near the end, making the season climax quite explosive. If you were left wondering about some of the finer details of what goes down, we’re here to take a closer look at the ending of ‘Pieces of Her.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
Pieces of Her Recap
The show opens with Andy and Laura at lunch, where a gunman enters and worldlessly kills two women. Andy, a rookie employee at the local police department (where she answers phones), is stunned by the event and even more surprised when her mother, Laura, deftly slits the attacker’s throat. Soon after, Laura begins acting strange and implores Andy not to return home. After an intruder attacks the mother at night, the confused daughter finally leaves their dwelling.
Andy follows her mother’s instructions and discovers a suitcase full of cash. Increasingly suspicious, she looks up an old family friend named Charlie Bass but realizes that he is also lying to her. Followed by mysterious men, she finally begins to uncover that her mother is related to the wealthy Queller family. Realizing her mother’s real name is Jane, Andy tracks down Jasper, who is revealed to be Jane’s brother. Unfortunately, Jasper, who is a vice-president candidate, also seems to have ulterior motives and tries to steal Andy’s suitcase of money.
Meanwhile, through flashbacks, it is revealed that Laura (as Jane) and her daughter entered into the witness protection program years ago and that Charlie was their handler. As a young woman, Jane became part of a radical group known as the Army of the Changing World while also having an affair with its leader, Nick Harp. The latter, believing Jane’s family’s pharmaceutical company Quellcorp is behind the spread of dangerous opioid medications, planned an elaborate public attack in 1988 on her father and head of the company, Martin Queller.
As the truth begins to dawn on Andy, she is finally reunited with Laura. The mother and daughter have a heart-to-heart, and the former reveals that Andy’s father is actually Nick Harp, who has been a fugitive for the last thirty years. Nick is wanted for the murder of Martin Queller, and as the season finale nears, the wanted criminal and Jane’s former lover finally makes an appearance.
Pieces of Her Ending: Who Killed Martin Queller? What Happened in Oslo?
Alone in a cabin in the woods, Nick finally confronts Jane (now called Laura) and their daughter Andy. He takes possession of the suitcase full of cash, but Andy causes a diversion, allowing her and Laura to take on Nick. In the midst of the ensuing scuffle, the authorities arrive, and Nick is finally arrested after being on the run for thirty years.
As things begin to return to normal, Andy is unable to shake the thought of what exactly happened on the fateful day her grandfather, Martin Queller, was shot. She digs further and learns that Nick’s guilt is based solely on her mother’s testimony. Realizing that Nick might be innocent and possibly framed by her mother, Andy runs to find Laura. She spots the latter standing by the edge of the sea, and not revealing that she knows the truth, the daughter gently asks her mother if she’d like to go for a walk down the beach.
And so, some last-minute twists and revelations turn the story on its head and strongly hint that Nick, who is the antagonist for most of the narrative, might just be innocent of the murder he is arrested for. The final episode reveals that the fugitive was not the one that supplied the murder weapon to Grace Juno — the woman who actually shot Martin. Instead, it is shockingly revealed through a flashback in the finale’s closing moments that Jane gave Grace the gun by switching their handbags.
And so, though the fact remains that it is Grace who pulls the fatal trigger (before turning the gun on herself and committing suicide), the person behind the plot to kill Martin Queller is, in fact, his young daughter. During the 1988 Oslo International Economic Forum, Jane finds Grace just before the latter has a panel session with Martin. Saying that her father controls everything, Jane reveals that she is pregnant and that Martin has tried to forcefully abort her child. As it turns out, killing him is the only way Jane says she can ensure the safety of her unborn child. The child in question, as you might have guessed, is Andy.
Grace, who has lost her husband and three children in a tragedy she believes is precipitated by the effects of a Quellcorp drug, is easily convinced by Jane and accepts the gun, subsequently using it to carry out the murder. Nick, blamed for supplying the weapon, remains ignorant of the gun’s presence until he actually sees Grace use it. His plan all along is to detonate an ink bomb onstage to embarrass Martin, and the fugitive, it seems, never planned to kill the wealthy pharma company head.
What Happens to Nick Harp?
Nick Harp is arrested in the final episode while he and Laura are in a standoff in the forest. Authorities surround the two, and the fugitive, who has been on the run for thirty years (since Martin Queller’s murder), is finally brought to justice. Of course, as we later find out, Nick is not guilty of Martin’s murder (though he does kill a kidnapped professor).
However, since Laura (and later Andy) seem to be the only ones that know the truth, it appears Nick will take the fall for Martin’s murder. Thus, Nick is likely to face the harshest legal sentence due to his alleged crimes. Though his exact sentence is not revealed, an unnamed government official reveals that he will be sent to a supermax facility, likely to serve a life sentence in prison.
What is On the Tape in the Suitcase?
The suitcase, which is full of money and is discovered by Andy on her mother’s instructions, remains a constant point of intrigue. The source of the money raises all kinds of questions until it is revealed that the cash is actually the ransom payment for the professor kidnapped by Nick all those years ago. When Nick goes into hiding after Martin’s murder, Jane keeps the suitcase for herself, realizing she and her unborn daughter might need the funds someday since she expects Nick to track her down and confront her (which is what essentially happens).
However, it is not the money, but something else entirely that is hidden in the suitcase and is of utmost importance. When Nick finally gets his hands on it, he brushes the money aside and quickly finds a small tape hidden in the suitcase’s lining. The tape holds a voice recording proving that Jasper Queller, who succeeded Martin, collaborated with Nick in the planned (ink bomb) attack on his father. Since Jasper is in the running for Vice President, the tape is essentially the key to blackmailing one of the most powerful men in the country. This also explains why Jasper tries to steal the suitcase from Andy but is eventually thwarted.
Ultimately, it appears the tape is destroyed since Jasper seems to be firmly in control of the situation at the end and doesn’t seem to fear being blackmailed anymore. Of course, if the story does continue, we could find out that Laura or Andy actually picked up the tape at the last moment, which would once again turn the tables in the mother and daughter’s favor. However, it seems unlikely they will use it to blackmail Jasper.