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'The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window' creators on twist ending & potential S2
All eight episodes are now stabbing... we mean streaming on Netflix.
Let's talk about The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. Whooo, boy, that's a mouthful to say. Cumbersome title aside, the Alfred Hitchcock-meets-Veronica Mars murder mystery is currently the No. 1 show on Netflix. If you haven't completed all eight episodes, we suggest turning back now. If you're all finished, then you're free to read ahead for some massive spoilers.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers for the The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window below!**
Episode 8 ends with suburban alcoholic Anna (Kristen Bell) discovering the killer's true identity. Her suspicions of Buell (Cameron Britton) are proved false when she finds the handyman on the brink of death. Neil (Tom Riley), on the other hand, isn't so lucky. The true murderer, it turns out, is actually Emma (Samsara Yett), Neil's 8-year-old daughter. This Mare of Easttown-style twist was one that co-creators/showrunners/executive producers Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf, and Hugh Davidson had in mind from the very beginning.
"It’s literally the most absurd person to [make] the killer, and in a series where we’re building the absurdity as each episode goes on, it felt very correct," Ramras said during an interview with TVLine. "We were lucky enough to find an actress like Samsara, who could pull it off, because you need to have [someone who can] play sinister as well as be adorable. And watching Kristen Bell fight a child is the funniest thing in the entire world."
"Working on the trope of the bad guy explaining what they did, their evil plan, and then a fight to the death — if you take that trope, and you insert an 8-year-old girl, that also seems shocking and funny," Dorf told Entertainment Weekly.
Davidson admitted that they played around with the idea of there being no killer at all. "Really everything was kind of on the table since this was gonna end comedically," he explained to EW. "It [came down to] what thing we thought we could wring the most genuine laughter out of, and that would make us laugh."
The idea of everything being in Anna's head wasn't left by the wayside, though. In fact, the final episode ends with the booze-loving protagonist discovering the dead body of a businesswoman (played by Glenn Close of all people) on a flight to New York. When she tells the crew about it, they claim there is no evidence of a corpse aboard the plane. However, Anna may very well be on Gaslight Airlines because upon returning to her seat, she discovers a compact mirror that belonged to the deceased woman. Could The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window return for a second season, despite being billed as a limited series?
"We meant that just to excite the viewer," Davidson continued with TVLine. "It was inspired, mostly, by novels like The Woman in Cabin 10 [where there is] an excerpt from the author’s next book at the end… Movies don’t generally do that, [so] we thought it was funny to do that in a show — to literally start us off on the next one in this one. So that was by design from the beginning, [but] there was a moment where Rachel, Larry and I spent, like, two days trying to figure out the plot to that ending. So we’ve got some pages somewhere."
When asked if a sophomore installment is in the cards, Ramras didn't rule anything out: "It could [happen]. We'll see if people like this first one."
All eight episodes of The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window are now streaming on Netflix.