Developed from JP Pomare’s 2019 novel ‘In the Clearing,’ the Hulu and Disney+ psychological thriller series ‘The Clearing’ tells the story of Freya (Teresa Palmer), who has spent her entire life struggling with the trauma she suffered as part of a cult. When a young girl goes missing in her locality, she starts to wonder whether the cult is making a comeback. The narrative is split into two primary timelines. One of them is set in the past, where Freya, who is known as Amy at the time, deals with the shock of the sudden disappearance of the girl the cult earlier kidnapped. In the present, Freya attempts to piece her life together, but it becomes increasingly difficult as her trauma resurfaces.
In ‘The Clearing’ finale, titled ‘Island,’ Freya begins a desperate search for her missing son, Billy. Joe (Hazem Shammas) seeks redemption while making the final attempt to arrest Adrienne (Miranda Otto). Henrik (Erroll Shand) tells Freya the truth about himself and Hannah, and Adrienne’s big plan is revealed. Here is everything you might want to know about the ending of ‘The Clearing.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Clearing Episode 8 Recap
When the final episode begins, we learn that Freya has managed to call the police while navigating through her shock and trauma. As the authorities begin searching for Billy, Freya discovers that her dog is barking at Billy’s tree house. She rushes in, hoping that her son is there but finds Henrik’s belonging instead, making her realize that the man has been staying there after he left the guest house. Freya has spent a lifetime hiding Adrienne’s secret because the Kindred threatened that they would take her son otherwise. Concluding that either Henrik or Anton took her son on behalf of Adrienne, she pleads to the police to look for them, but they focus their investigation on her and Wayne (Mark Coles Smith) because of their history.
Freya also finds out that Adrienne, Latham (Guy Pearce), Anton, and all other members of the Kindred have suddenly disappeared. She encounters Henrik, who finally admits to her that she is his and Hannah’s biological daughter. When Henrik states that everything he did was to protect her, Freya remembers the horrors she endured at Blackmarsh and tells him that he did nothing to keep her safe, adding that he should have been put away for life. Struggling under a lifetime of guilt, Henrik can only agree.
As Freya leaves the property, which was sold like the rest, she finds a telephone bill in the mailbox. As she goes through it, she discovers there have been multiple calls to and from an island named Corella. Recalling an earlier conversation with Adrienne’s caregiver, Freya deduces that this is where Adrienne has taken her son. When she finally reaches the island, she discovers that Adrienne and Latham have restarted the Kindred away from the prying eyes of the authorities. There are recruits and their children. Adrienne has even convinced Tamsin (Kate Mulvany) to return. Freya eventually encounters Adrienne, who denies that Billy is there and even infers that he is dead and Freya has something to do with it.
Meanwhile, Wayne is arrested and questioned for his son’s disappearance and Joe and Colin look into Adrienne’s finances. They discover that Adrienne began moving her money out of the country after the mistrial and storing it in various dummy bank accounts. She has sold all her properties and gotten 80 million in return. Joe is absolutely on point when he remarks that money is the only thing Adrienne has ever cared about, no matter what her followers, including Latham, believe. This is when Joe notices Henrik has come to speak to him.
The Clearing Episode 8 Ending: What Happened to Sara/Asha?
One of the first sequences of ‘The Clearing’ depicts the kidnapping of a young girl named Sara. Although the Kindred has been a cult since its inception, Adrienne and Latham know that all their work will come undone if the authorities link the kidnapping with their organization. As a result, they rename her Asha and try to indoctrinate Sara into the Kindred ideology. However, even though she is extremely young, Sara proves to be made of stronger stuff than many adults. After Tamshin, who instigated the kidnapping, fails to turn the girl, Adrienne tasks Amy with the job.
It is revealed in the finale that after Amy also failed, Adrienne tasked her to punish Sara by dunking the other girl’s head in the water. Shocked and terrified as she was, Amy complied, with Adrienne shouting at her to do it time and again. When Adrienne realized Sara was dead, she dragged Amy to the study, where a camera was already rolling. As an inconsolable Amy said she killed Sara, she inadvertently gave Adrienne a weapon against her parents. When the police came for Adrienne, she forced Henrik to accept the blame for Sara’s death and spend 22 years of his life in prison. This videotape was what Henrik was looking for when Freya encounters her earlier in the episode.
Who is Henrik and Hannah’s Son?
The episode that explores Adrienne’s past reveals that Freya is Henrik and Hannah’s biological son. Hannah is pregnant with her second child when Adrienne arrives at their home with Latham and convinces them to turn it into what Blackmarsh was. In the season finale, right after Anton drugs Freya to prevent her from leaving the island, the latter reveals to him that Adrienne isn’t their mother and that Henrik and Hannah gave them up.
Refusing to believe this, Anton repeatedly asks her not to say it. But even though he is one of the most fanatic followers of Adrienne, obeying her with unquestionable loyalty, a part of him likely knows that Freya is telling the truth. This is effectively confirmed when Anton opens Henrik’s ‘Atlas of the World’ and brushes his fingers on the name of the man who is supposed to be his father.
What Happened to Billy?
Sara’s death gave Freya such a massive trauma that she completely forgot about it. In the finale, she begins to recall bits and pieces of the past as she wanders through the new headquarters of the Kindred. But it isn’t until she watches the videotape that she recalls what happened to Sara. This is when Adrienne appears and asks Freya has forgotten this, what else she has forgotten, making her believe that her son drowned, and she doesn’t remember it happening.
When Anton drugs Freya, he brags about how he brought Freya’s daughter Max to Adrienne. He wants Freya to know that he and the Kindred have won. Despite her best efforts, they have succeeded in brainwashing one of her children to join their cult. Ironically, this has an adverse effect. From his words, Freya realizes that Max has Anton’s van and deduces that Billy is with Max, who likely took her brother to keep him safe from the Kindred.
When Freya regains consciousness, she runs, with Anton hot in her tail. She jumps into the ocean after discovering that her boat is gone. The latter tries to shoot her but misses. Eventually, the authorities arrive, and Freya is picked up by Joe. Toward the end of the episode, she and Wayne reunite with their children. Max observes that Billy doesn’t belong with the Kindred, prompting Freya to gently correct her that none of them do.
Is Henrik Dead? What Will Happen to the Kindred?
When Joe brings Freya onto the boat heading toward the island, she claims she killed Sara. Having learned about what happened from Henrik, Joe accurately tells her that Adrienne killed Sara.
Yes, Henrik is dead. Before hanging himself from the tree under which he buried Sara years ago, he carves out her name and that of Amy on the tree bark. The authorities later find his body and Sara’s remains. Adrienne is arrested, but before that happens, Latham finally realizes exactly who he has been following all this while. With Adrienne’s arrest and Latham’s disillusionment, it’s safe to assume that the Kindred is gone for good.