The Essex Serpent Finale Recap and Ending, Explained

The Essex Serpent‘ episode 6, titled ‘Surfacing,’ brings the tumultuous stories of Cora, Martha, Luke, and Will to a conclusion with the characters finally rising above the inhibitions holding them back. After Martha leaves Cora to work for a greater cause, Cora struggles to find a sense of comfort. However, Stella’s worsening condition changes the dynamics between the friends leading to a satisfying ending. Meanwhile, Cora’s search for the mythical serpent also comes to an end. If you wish to learn more about the finale’s events, here is everything you need to know about ‘The Essex Serpent’ episode 6! SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Essex Serpent Episode 6 Recap

‘The Essex Serpent’ finale, titled ‘Surfacing,’ opens with Cora waking up after wrecking her room the previous night. She writes a letter to Stella, having learned of her friend’s tuberculosis from Luke. However, Cora is skeptical about returning to Aldwinter to meet Stella. She is interrupted by Frankie, who informs Cora that Martha is gone. Meanwhile, Stella asks Will to get Cora to return to Aldwinter. After cleaning up her home, Cora receives a letter from Will. He explains Stella’s declining health and her desire to meet Cora.

Elsewhere, Spencer looks after Luke after the latter was mugged and stabbed in an alley. However, Luke behaves ungratefully and asks Spencer to leave. Luke is uncertain whether he will be able to perform surgeries again. Meanwhile, Martha visits the slums and speaks with Sati and Nev. She learns that Spencer has offered to fix the issues of the siblings’ building. However, Martha explains that they must bring reforms to the entire slum and not just themselves.

Spencer informs Cora about Luke’s state, and she visits her friend to cheer him up. Cora offers Luke to move in with her as a friend. However, Luke refuses as he loves Cora and doesn’t want to be in a difficult situation. Thus, their conversation ends on a sour note. Later, Martha visits Cora, and the two hash out their differences. Martha encourages Cora to find some companionship. Cora decides to see Stella in Aldwinter. Cora and Will have a walk and discuss their views on love. Will’s affection for Stella is holding him back from uniting with Cora.

Meanwhile, Stella asks Frankie to push her into the sea so she can peacefully pass away. However, after learning of the situation, Will jumps into the sea and saves Stella. While underwater, Stella and Will witness a strange creature that resembles the serpent. Soon after, Stella passes away, leaving Will heartbroken. Cora closes the chapter of Aldwinter and decides to move on in her life. The episode’s final moments give a glimpse at Cora’s life six months after Stella’s death.

The Essex Serpent Finale Ending: Do Will and Cora End Up Together?

Six months after Stella’s death, we see Cora working on another excavation. She has left London and become a paleontology professor in Essex. She receives a letter from Luke, who admits that he misses Cora. Luke reveals that he has finally found happiness with his work again and has become a professor at the medical school. Luke’s letter ends with him asking whether Cora has heard back from Will.

Meanwhile, Will continues to live in Aldwinter, taking care of his two children. He receives a letter from Cora and is touched by it. However, he adds the letter to the stack of letters Cora has sent him. Thus, it is evident that Will is still grieving the loss of Stella and hasn’t moved on yet. In the final moments, Cora finishes her work and returns home. She is surprised to see Will walk toward her. In the end, Will and Cora reunite and share a passionate kiss.

The series ends with Will and Cora walking into the distance together. Their longing eyes and warm embrace confirms that the two have made peace with their past. Cora has moved on from her abusive marriage, and Will has finally made peace with Stella’s death. Thus, Will and Cora are finally ready to chart their futures together.

Is The Essex Serpent Real? Does Cora Find the Serpent?

The mystery about the mythical serpent plaguing the town of Aldwinter leads Cora to the small village in Essex. As the episodes progress, the mystery deepens, and the presence of a sinister force is felt in the village. With the deaths of Gracie and Cracknell, the villagers grow certain that the serpent is attacking them and Cora is attracting the creature. The events lead to Cora leaving the village. However, on her return to Aldwinter to meet Stella, Cora finally learns the truth about the serpent.

After Stella seemingly witnesses the serpent, a giant whale washes onto the shore. The villagers see the dead whale and celebrate the beast’s death as they believe that the serpent is no more. Thus, it is evident that the Essex serpent was nothing but a myth. The strange patterns in the sea’s currents were caused by the presence of the whale. The villagers mistook the whale for the serpent and blamed it for the misfortunate events in the town, which were merely coincidental.

Ultimately, with the truth of the serpent finally out in the open, Stella ends her quest and moves into other things. Meanwhile, peace is restored to Aldwinter, and the villagers return to their daily lives. Through the hysteria surrounding the myth of the serpent, the series deals with the fear of the unknown as the villagers simply do not possess the knowledge to draw a rational conclusion from the unfortunate deaths in the town. In the end, the serpent is nothing more than a myth.

Read More: What Year Is The Essex Serpent Set? Is Aldwinter a Real Place?