Based on the 2019 novel ‘In the Clearing’ by JP Pomare, the Hulu and Disney+ series ‘The Clearing’ tells the story of a cult called the Kindred, which was primarily active over two decades earlier in rural Victoria. Portrayed by Erroll Shand, Henrik Wilczek is an important supporting character in ‘The Clearing.’ In the episode that explores the past of Adrienne Beaufort / Maitreya (Miranda Otto), we learn that Adrienne first met Henrik’s eventual wife, Hannah, who was already in a relationship with Henrik at the time. But as Henrik was a foreigner, her parents were against the relationship. Hannah found what she thought was a kind and considerate supporter in Adrienne and later introduced her to Henrik. They initially moved to rural Victoria to raise their children, but Adrienne convinced them to hand over the property to the Kindred so a group of children could be raised there by a community. If the events of The Clearing’ finale have made you wonder whether Henrik is dead in the series, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Henrik Dead?
Yes, Henrik is dead in ‘The Clearing.’ The series begins with the kidnapping of a young girl named Sara by members of the Kindred. When the higher-ups of the cult learned about this, they correctly concluded that they would have police at their doorsteps soon. So they tried brainwashing Sara to assimilate her into the cult, but nothing worked. Eventually, Adrienne ordered Freya/Amy to punish Sara by dunking her head into the water repeatedly. The girl couldn’t take the torture and died. Clever and ruthless as ever, Adrienne got a confession out of Freya in front of a camera and threatened Henrik, who was Freya’s biological father, with it, prompting the man to take responsibility for Sara’s death.
Henrik spent the following 22 years in prison, never once revealing the truth about what happened, knowing that both the authorities and the Kindred would target Freya if he did. By the time he is released, Hannah is dead, and it is heavily implied that the cause was cancer. After it is revealed that Adrienne has been faking dementia all this time, Henrik becomes concerned about Freya, knowing how ruthless Adrienne can be. He secretly starts living in the tree house on Freya’s property to keep her and her son Billy safe. Despite this, Billy disappears, as do Adrienne, Dr. Latham, and other cult members. Freya encounters Henrik while looking for her son and learns the truth about her parentage. She also learns that Anton is her biological brother.
With nothing else to hide, Henrik speaks to Joe and Colin, two police officers investigating the Kindred for years, and tells them the truth. This leads the authorities to locate Adrienne on an island, looking to restart her cult. As she is arrested for Sara’s death, people close to her realize that all she ever wanted was money.
How Did Henrik Die?
Toward the end of the series, Henrik makes his way to the tree where he buried Sara’s body all those years ago. Once he reaches there, he draws his knife and carves Amy and Sara’s names before hanging himself from one of the branches. When the authorities find his body, they discover Sara’s remains on the ground. With his final action, Henrik not only gives closure to Sara’s family but also frees his daughter from her guilt.