The Woods Ending, Explained

‘The Woods’ is a Polish mini-series that not only blows you away with its stunning production value but also keeps you captivated with its stirring mystery drama. Its storyline unravels itself using two parallel timelines that develop its characters while upping the stakes of its multi-layered mysteries. Even so, as the show answers all of its underlying questions in its final moments, there are times when you might find it hard to wrap your head around its revelations. So here’s the ending of ‘The Woods’, explained.

Plot Summary

‘The Woods’ centers around prosecutor Paweł Kopiński, who still struggles to get over the events that took place at a summer camp 25 years ago. He looks back and grieves the presumed death of his sister who went missing at the camp along with three other kids. While the bodies of two of those teens were later found, Pawel’s sister, Kamilla, and a boy named Artur were never found. But one day, Pawel is questioned by a few police officers who find Artur’s body with Pawel’s address in his pocket. Realizing that Artur was alive all this while, Pawel starts hoping that even sister could be somewhere out there. With this, he starts investigating the case of his missing sister while confronting his tragic past.

What Happened at the Camp that Night?

A flashback reveals that when Pawel’s t-shirt was found in the woods, he was being considered the prime suspect of the case. But then he decided to become an amateur teenage sleuth to find out who killed his friends and his sister. With his eyes set on Wojtek, the older camp chaperone, Pawel gathered enough evidence to prove that he was the one who murdered all four of his friends. This is the reason why, in the present timeline, Wojtek can still be seen in prison. But when Pawel visits him in prison and confronts him, Wojtek pleads guilty for his actions but denies murdering his sister. Moreover, since Wojtek has been in prison all this while, how could he have possibly killed Artur?

So, here’s what actually happened that night at the camp. Wojtek, for some weird reason, was obsessed with the love lives of the teens at his camp. So when he found Monika and Daniel making out with another, he took Kamilla and Artur to their cabin to show them how they’re being cheated on. After pitting the two teens against their own friends, he suggested a revenge plot. He took all of them for a swim at the camp’s lake. When Monika and Daniel entered the lake for skinny dipping, Wojtek encouraged Kamilla and Artur to steal the clothes of the cheating couple just to humiliate them. But this whole scheme backfired on them when Monika started relentlessly abusing Kamilla. In the heat of the moment, Kamilla almost choked Monika but stopped.

That’s when Wojtek stepped up with his knife and set his final pawn on the board by slashing Monika’s throat. He then threatened all of them that they were all now involved in this murder. While the other three teens panicked and rushed into the woods, Wojtek chased them to wipe out all witnesses of his crime. Artur, who was blinded by the darkness of the night forest, stabbed Daniel after assuming that he was Wojtek. The whole tragedy made Kamilla and Artur the prime perpetrators of the murders despite being well-intentioned. Just to save them from having a tainted life, their mothers sent them into hiding and pretended that they knew nothing about their whereabouts. This explains how the bodies of only Monika and Daniel were found that night.

What Happened to Pawel’s Mother?

Midway through the show’s runtime, the remains of a woman are discovered in the woods where the tragic incident took place. At first, Pawel assumes that it could be his sister’s bones but his suspicion is dropped when his forensic expert claims that the pelvic bones of the remains belong to someone who has given birth to a child. A DNA-test then confirms that those bones actually belong to Pawel’s mother who, according to his father, had abandoned him. However, the truth was that after she decided to hide Kamilla, she wanted to leave Pawel’s father, and start a new life with Pawel and Kamilla. But before she could do that, Pawel’s father killed her and buried in the same forest where Kamilla went missing.

The Ending: Is Pawel’s Sister Alive?

In the closing moments of the series, Pawel learns that Dawid, Laura’s father, killed Artur. Several hints dropped throughout its runtime suggest this. There’s a scene where Pawel gets access to CCTV footage in which a man emerges from Dawid’s car and then drags it inside a warehouse. Later in the series, there’s another scene where Laura finds bloody prints in the backseat of Dawid’s car. All of this evidence not only reveals the identity of Artur’s murder but also suggests that Kamilla is probably still out there.

In the end, Pawel gets to know that before dying, his mother had taken Kamilla to a convent where she’s possible a nun now. Pawel heads over to the convent and starts calling out for his sister. He then comes across a woman who, for some reason, reminds him of his sister. He calls out her name but before she turns her face towards him, the credits start to roll. Despite its ambiguous ending, it becomes pretty obvious that the woman he meets in the closing scene is his sister, Kamilla. None of the evidence acquired by Pawel suggests that Kamilla could be dead. Moreover, other than his dead mother, no one else knew about Kamilla’s existence, which kept her safe all these years. So we don’t really have to wait for a second season to deduce if Kamilla’s dead or alive.

Read More: The Woods Review