Netflix’s ‘Women at War’ is a war drama that follows the story of four women from completely different worlds. Their lives take a drastic turn as the First World War starts to pick the pace and things get very dangerous very quickly in their small French town of Saint Paulin. Over the course of eight episodes, the story takes many twists and turns, as several secrets come to light and the women find themselves in situations that feel impossible to get out of. The ending leaves them as well as the town on very uncertain terms, making us wonder what happens to all of them. Here’s what the ending means. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Women at War Recap
Suzanne is a nurse on the run from a police officer, whose wife was killed during an abortion that went wrong. She arrives in Saint Paulin with the intent of fleeing to Switzerland, but when she arrives at the convent that has been changed into a military hospital, she realizes just how much she is needed. As the number of wounded soldiers increases, the pressure on the doctor, Joseph Duvernet increases. Even though staying in France is dangerous, Suzanne decides to stay in Saint Paulin and help the doctor.
In the same convent lives Mother Agnes, who is struggling to deal with the horror that the war has brought to her doorstep. She finds respite in a man whom she and Suzanne find on the side of the road. Agnes finds a purpose in saving the man’s life, but slowly, things start to change between them and the nun’s faith is tested. This is also when she discovers that the priest in their convent is abusing young girls and something needs to be done about him.
Meanwhile, Marguerite arrives in Saint Paulin to find her son, whom she’d given away when he was very young. She starts working at a local brothel, which gives her access to the soldiers. She has a surprise waiting for her when she runs into an old acquaintance, Caroline. She is now married to Victor who has recently left for the war. In his absence, the responsibility of the factory falls on her. She turns out to be rather good at the job, however, the arrival of her brother-in-law Charles makes things extremely complicated for her.
Women at War Ending: Does Saint Paulin Fall to the Germans?
‘Women at War’ takes place in 1914, just one month into the First World War. Saint Paulin becomes an important position for both France and Germany because it is a vantage point that will lead the path to Paris. For France, it is utterly important that the town doesn’t fall into the hands of the Germans, because it will make it very easy for them to mount an attack on Paris. For the same reason, the Germans want to invade it as soon as possible.
As the war intensifies, things get worse for the people in Saint Paulin. The sheer number of soldiers and the wounded increases as Joseph and Suzanne find themselves under intense pressure to care for them with barely any professional doctor or nurse to help them with the job. With every episode, the show also escalates the battle scenes. It started with more scenes of soldiers at the brothel, but gradually the war scenes increase to the extent that the final episode focuses entirely on the town on the verge of being attacked by German forces in large numbers.
Things get so dire that the town is evacuated in anticipation of the German forces. Only the essential people stay back, which includes everyone at the convent, and all the ambulance drivers. The last effort by the French forces to keep the town from being invaded ends miserably as most of the soldiers are either wounded or killed. This was mainly because the number of soldiers stationed there was considerably less, as compared to the German forces which not only had the numbers but were also equipped with the gas that made their job much easier. All of this points towards the fact that things are not going to get better anytime soon for the town, especially considering that the war is only going to worse from here, extending for four more years.
Still, the reinforcements are on the way. It is mentioned that it will take at least a day or two for more French troops to arrive, and by then, the soldiers will have to make do with what they have to keep the Germans at bay. As the hospital staff readies itself to handle wounded soldiers more efficiently, we find everyone remaining in the town bracing themselves for all that’s to come their way. By the end of the series, the war is not just knocking on the door of Saint Paulin. It is ready to break the door down, but there’s still hope for the people who are ready to do whatever it takes to save their town and their country.
Does Marguerite Die?
One of the main characters in ‘Women at War’ is Marguerite. She arrives in Saint Paulin with the hopes of reuniting with her son, Colin, to whom she gave birth when she was still a teenager and completely unfit for raising a child. After a lot of back and forth on the matter, she eventually meets her son and they strike up a good relationship until Colin discovers how they are related. He believes it’d be best if they forgot about each other and never crossed paths again. Still, that doesn’t stop Marguerite from marching into the battlefield to make sure that her son survived.
As the whole town receives the order to evacuate and the French troops take heavy fire on the battleground, Marguerite bids goodbye to Caroline. She gets in an ambulance and drives to the place where a battle is ongoing. Despite the danger of getting shot down or blown up, Marguerite walks into the heat of the battle. She wades through the wounded and dead soldiers and the puddles of blood, which is eerily like the dream she had at the beginning. Eventually, she finds Colin, who has been hit by a bullet, though it doesn’t look fatal. If he receives help in time, he will survive.
Marguerite is glad to see her son, who is shocked to see her there. She tries to reach him, but then, is hit by a bullet. As she and Colin hold hands, she passes out. At the same time, other women reach there. They get both Colin and Marguerite out of there, and while we see Colin wide awake, the question lingers on Marguerite’s fate. It looks like she has died because the smile on her face on being reunited with her son and seeing him alive looks a lot like acceptance of death. Still, there is no time to confirm that she is dead. Her friends are more focused on getting her out of there, which might mean that Marguerite fell unconscious and can still be saved.
While there is a good chance that she might be dead, we hope for a better ending for her. All she wanted was to see her son again. She came all the way to Saint Paulin for him, and all the risks that she takes throughout the series are for him. With all this in mind, we hope that she survived her wounds and finally got to have the relationship she always wanted with her son. It would also be a good ending for Colin, who is finally reunited with his mother and would finally have the chance to have her in his life.
What Happens to Caroline?
While Marguerite drives towards the battlefield, Caroline focuses on getting her family to safety. Since the beginning of the show, things always seemed to go wrong for her, no matter what she did. Charles had a lot to do with most of her misfortunes, but in the end, Caroline managed to get herself free from all of those troubles. Reunited with her daughter and her mother-in-law, who has finally come around to accepting her, Caroline decides to flee Saint Paulin, like almost every other civilian in the town.
With the entire town in chaos, Caroline says goodbye to Marguerite, making it clear that her daughter’s safety is her priority. She has already lost her husband to the war, and now, with the evacuation, she has lost the factory that she worked so hard to sustain even when it looked like she might lose it all. Now, she is forced to leave the home and the town where she’d built a life with her husband and her daughter. It is a huge blow to her, but at the moment, she has to think about her daughter’s safety. So, Caroline, her daughter, and her mother-in-law drive away to a relative’s place, when it’s still safe.