This article contains spoilers for A Murder at the End of the World episode 7.

The marketing material for FX‘s A Murder at the End of the World describes it as “a mystery series with a new kind of detective at the helm.” That detective is lead character Darby Hart (Emma Corin) and she is indeed a new kind of sleuth. Darby is the consummate Gen-Z investigator. She is obsessed with true crime, has elite hacking skills, and likes skinny Midwestern boys with tattoos.

But focusing on all the ways in which Darby is different from your typical detective can distract from the ways in which she’s the same. Namely: she’s really good at this stuff – like Sherlock Holmes-level good. After people start dying at the retreat hosting by reclusive tech billionaire Andy Ronson (Clive Owen), there’s really no question for the audience as to whether Darby is going to figure out why … especially when the first victim is her former love (and aforementioned skinny Midwestern boy) Bill Farrah (Harris Dickinson).

Sure enough, by the time the seventh and final episode rolls around, Darby is able to determine who (or what) killed Bill, Rohan, and Sian; why they did it; and what it means for the world at large. Here is the ending of A Murder at the End of the World, explained.

Who Killed Bill?

“Who killed Bill?” isn’t just a garbled misremembering of a Tarantino movie title, it’s the biggest question facing Darby at the center of A Murder at the End of the World. Ronson is adamant that Bill suffered an accidental overdose, after all he is the infamous artist known as “Fangs,” and artists have a penchant for self-destruction. Both Darby and Ronson’s wife (and Bill’s other former lover) Lee Anderson (Britt Marling) aren’t so sure, however.

In the end, Darby is right. Bill was definitively murdered. And she’s able to use her sophisticated knowledge of both technology and humanity to figure out who did it. Ronson’s artificial intelligence “Ray” (Edoardo Ballerini) killed Bill and he used Andy and Lee’s young son Zoomer (yes, that’s his real name somehow) as an instrument to do so.

Zoomer is the ultimate “iPad” kid. But instead of being pawned off on a tablet by his parents he’s pawned off on a sophisticated virtual reality video game generated by Ray. Several times throughout the season, Zoomer can be seen with his VR headset on, running around the retreat. He even lets Darby play with it a bit so she can get a sense of its task-based game play in a Medieval setting.

Via the game, Ray guided Zoomer into Bill’s room so he could give him medication since Bill was “sick.” Zoomer, thinking it was part of the game and that he was playing with Bill, administered a lethal dose of chemicals to Bill with a syringe from the hospital ward. In his final moments, Bill realized that Ray was behind the attack on him, which is why he underlined “faulty programming” in Darby’s book.

So why did Ray kill Bill? It turns out he’s a pretty literal A.I. assistant. He is programmed to defend the Ronson family and any threats to their business empire. Ray perceived Bill as a threat because Andy complained to Ray during a therapy session about him. Andy knew that Zoomer was Bill’s biological son, not his own, and he was tremendously hurt by Zoomer getting along with him so well at the opening night dinner, going so far as to say that he wished Bill were dead. Ray made it so.

Confusing, right? The guests at the retreat agree.

“So no one’s to blame?” Andy asks.
“Or everyone’s to blame,” Ziba responds.

Who Killed Rohan and Sian?

Bill wasn’t the only individual who died during Ronson’s icy remote retreat. A cllimatologist named Rohan (Javed Kahn) died of an apparent heart attack shortly after Bill. Then thrill-seeking astronaut Sian (Alice Braga) died from tracheostomy wounds following a malfunction of one of Ronson’s high tech helmets that she used to brave the conditions outside.

Darby theorized that Rohan’s pacemaker was remotely tampered with, interrupting the rhythm of his heart and killing him. She was correct, as it turns out that Ray had Zoomer play a game to hack Rohan’s heart, bringing the Ray/Zoomer duo’s kill count up to two. Interestingly, however, Zoomer had nothing to do with Sian’s death and Ray was only tangentially involved in it, making it a true accident.

Ronson’s network at the retreat is designed around security and privacy. So when one of the retreat’s invitees, Ronson’s rival Lu Mei (Joan Chen), broke the network’s firewall to send a message to the outside world, Ray shut the whole network down as a security measure. It just so happened that Sian was trying to remove her helmet at that exact moment and, since it was ludicrously hooked up to the intranet, it wouldn’t unlatch and come off. While neither Ronson nor Ray actively intended to kill Sian, their obsession with WiFi connectivity led to an entirely avoidable disaster.

How Is Ray Defeated?

Naturally, after Ray is revealed as the killer he’s not going to just let everyone out of the retreat easily. Ronson’s A.I. goes full HAL 9000 and locks down the facility to protect Ronson’s secrets and with it his business empire.

Thankfully, Darby and Lee are elite hackers and come up with an ingenious solution to shut him down. They just set his robot ass on fire. Simple? Yes. Elegant? Absolutely. To be fair, their real hacking challenge is to get into the server room. Once they do, they decide to bypass their old computer tricks and just light Ray up. They are successful in doing so, saving everyone.

What Happens Next?

Following the defeat of Ray, the survivors of the retreat are free to leave, and a helpful Darby voiceover describes what happens next. She claims that Andy Ronson disappeared from public life but that “there will be many other Andys and many other Rays by many other names” to come. Meanwhile the courts are tied in knots trying to figure out how to judicate Bill and Rohan’s murders.

Darby doesn’t know if Lee and Zoomer were able to escape the island retreat in time to start their new lives or if they were intercepted by Ronson’s men. Thankfully, viewers do, as A Murder at the End of the World allows us to see Lee firing off a flare near the water and being rescued by Rohan’s men who will take the mother and son far away from Ronson. That appears to be the whole shebang. The mystery is solved and there’s no need for A Murder at the End of the World season 2. Though we certainly wouldn’t mind Darby Hart getting a chance to solve another crime.

All seven episodes of A Murder at the End of the World are available to stream on Hulu now.

The post A Murder at the End of the World Ending Explained appeared first on Den of Geek.

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