The Watcher’s Season 1 Ending, Explained


The following contains spoilers for The Watcher Season 1, now available on Netflix.

the new netflix series the vigilant centers on Bobby Cannavale’s Dean and Naomi Watt’s Nora Brannock in their Westfield mansion in New Jersey. Based on a true story, the pair are confronted by a mysterious stalker who sends them malicious and intrusive letters, and sometimes even sneaks in. These events cause much psychological torment for the family, though luckily, Dean hires Theodora to help investigate.

Unfortunately for the pair, they keep failing when it comes to framing suspects in the neighborhood. Dean just can’t get any concrete proof, forcing him to sell his dream house and move back to town. His life is also sadly in ruins as he lost his job due to obsession, while Nora is riding him to forget the drama. This leads to a vague but shocking ending to the first season, and one that shows just how broken the main cast really is.

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Theodora says that she is the vigilante

Throughout the season, Theodora has cancer, but manages to help Dean solve the case. However, in her last days, she calls him to her bedside to confess that she was the Watcher all along. She had to sell the house to pay for her treatment, but after receiving money when her ex passed away, she was now able to afford it again.

Therefore, he claims to have prepared everything: hiring actors, manipulating the investigation, and using the family’s information against him. It was all for Dean to sell, but now she wanted to clear things up, have a clear conscience, and give him peace of mind. Surprisingly, at her funeral, her daughter confirms that Theodora fabricated the story, just to give Dean some closure and get him to stop obsessing over the case.

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Karen gets karma on The Watcher

Ironically, the person who buys the house on the sly is Karen, the real estate agent who played Nora throughout the season. She has been plotting, squirming and fishing to get it at a lower price, which happens when the family rushes the sale, only to return to New York safe and sound. However, Nora somehow ends up at the house during the day, implying that she used the tunnels the Watcher used to terrorize them.

Nora leaves a creepy warning, promising Karen that one day she’ll get a taste of her own medicine. Eventually Karen’s dog dies and she is intimidated by a hooded figure in the night, apparently Nora, who snuck in to get revenge on her. She never comes clean, but Karen ends up selling the house cheaply, fearing for her life. This suggests that she is not the Watcher after all.

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Dean’s suspects are reduced to zero

Dean confesses earlier to writing one of the hurtful letters, not with malicious intent, but to get Nora to sell the place. It’s because he made bad investments, he ended up in debt and facing bankruptcy again. Losing his job has also made him feel inadequate as a provider and breadwinner, but in time, he would apologize to the neighbors for harassing them. Ironically, these neighbors meet to discuss preserving the area, leaving hints that the Watcher may be present at the meeting.

Mitch and Mo don’t seem likely, though their son pretending to kill people for insurance money might hint that they’re just as conniving. Pearl, however, still appears to be quite shady, as she appears to have helped John get into the house through the tunnels to harass Dean’s family from the start. Ironically, John, now disguised as William, was involved in the murder of his family in the house years ago. As such, he could have become the Watcher, just wanting a worthy family within. Seeing as Pearl hates Dean’s renovations, thinking they lack respect for history and culture, it is possible that she was John’s apprentice, as she knows the lay of the land.

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Dean may have become the vigilante

The other candidate, Dakota, also appears to be out of the running, having previously tried to help Dean. He is also in love with Dean’s daughter, Ellie. Instead of letting the sleeping dogs lie, though, Dean lies about going on an interview, only to end up stalking the new owners. He tells the boy that he lives in the area, and that in fact he will be watching him, being cold and jealous, like the neighbors he happened to meet when he moved in.

Dean gets in his car and watches the man to see if he takes a letter from the Post Box Watcher. It could be the real Watcher who is being targeted by this new family, or Dean who is trying to scare the man into selling cheap. After all, Dean knows how to mimic the style of the lyrics and how to carry out intimidation tactics. He would complete the story with the Watcher as an infectious curse that turns people into the very monsters they abhor. This is a lot like what happened with John, except Dean didn’t kill his family.

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Nora could also be an observer

The series ends with Dean lying to Nora on the phone, telling her that he is in town. But as he walks away from her, she follows him, clearly realizing that her therapy isn’t working. Nora now seems to be watching Dean, hoping that she can stay strong in the marriage. She’s making tons of money on her pottery and she’s already flirted with divorce, so this might be the last straw for her.

There’s even a chance that Nora is the new letter writer. She seems more calm and vicious, thus scaring the family. Buying the house back would be karma and, in her eyes, justice for what she endured. Of course, Nora could also be hanging around, secretly obsessed with the case as well. Since she’s a bit more stable, she could be trying to figure out what she eluded Dean in order to solve the mystery. Ultimately, the final shot of her shows her walking away from her, leaving fans curious if she’s going to stand up to Dean, try to take back the mansion, or keep chasing the original stalker.

See how Dean and Nora’s mission goes blank in The Watcher, now streaming on Netflix.

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