White Lines reaches a satisfying and satisfactory enough conclusion as we finally learn who killed Axel — and why.
This recap of White Lines season 1, episode 10, contains spoilers for the White Lines ending. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
White Lines Episode 10, the season finale, immediately treats us to a topless, bleeding Axel clambering out of Oriol’s red car. He’s promptly hit by another screeching vehicle, and we rewind to five hours earlier, back at the birthday boy’s shindig. This is it, folks. The end. Will this be the rare Netflix Original series that actually has a proper conclusion? Let’s unpack the White Lines ending.
Axel, covered in blood and wielding a firebrand, leads his reveling fans through the street like he’s leading a revolution — or like the Pied Piper, I suppose. Everyone assembles around a wooden simulacrum of Christ the Redeemer, and Axel recounts his entire life story for the baying crowd. He gets honest and introspective to a rather uncomfortable extent, before symbolically setting Christ alight. Everyone is, I assume, on a lot of drugs.
Cut to an awful close-up of Clint’s smashed-up face. Ouch. Boxer gives Oriol a needed sponge bath — cue obvious jokes about Conchita here — and Boxer gives the camper van a spring clean. He borrows the phone of a passing couple to report the accident. Zoe gets to hear about it and arrives at the scene, crouching over her dad’s mangled face before mercifully covering it up.
White Lines Episode 10 immediately cuts to Conchita trying to excite Andreu’s determinedly floppy member, which is what we in the business call juxtaposition, I guess. Oriol arrives having presumably sensed his mother in her underwear, and he reports that the Martinez family was responsible for his kidnapping. He says he killed the man who came for him, for their family, as a pathetic attempt to finally impress his father. He just about manages it, but the bar is pretty low at this point. All-out war, meanwhile, looks likely.
Miguel reveals to Zoe that the camper van was thoroughly and professionally cleaned before the police arrived. It was Boxer, obviously. He explains how, when the police were getting close to pinning Axel’s murder on Oriol, Boxer threw him off the island. He advises she leave the island, gets away from the Calafat family. Anna chooses that moment to call and invite her to the wedding. Couldn’t have timed it worse.
Gotta say Anna’s wedding is looking like a bit of a write-off. While he’s getting ready to go and finally coming to terms with moving on from her, Marcus is dealt a bit of a bombshell by Kika — Anna slept with Axel, which he confessed to Kika while begging her to run away with him. Not the best negotiation tactic. But there’s no time for Marcus to dwell on it since the wives of Yuri and Grigor turn up out of nowhere asking after their husbands. They take his phone and lead him to a truck of rather unsavory-looking Romanian gangsters. Also inside is Johannes, who is apparently the number one suspect in Yuri and Grigor’s murder. Marcus is number two. Either way, the wives plan on getting to the bottom of the matter.
Since very unfortunate timing seems to be a running theme of White Lines at this point, Zoe runs Boxer over just as he’s calling Andreu to resign. She and Anna drag his unconscious body into the car. As Zoe is telling her to open the boot, Anna has a minor recollection. Seems she was involved in Axel’s death. Another flashback of her telling Marcus to go the bay where Oriol keeps his boat. She has an idea. It seems, in the present-day, she has another.
Zoe has Boxer strung up on some scaffolding and tortures him with a jetwash, insisting he knew what he was doing all along and ran her father off the road. She demands the truth and he gives it to her — everything he did was because he liked her. She really was the closest he’s ever been to love. He didn’t kill her father or Axel — and neither did Oriol. Oriol got what he wanted from Axel. He bought all his clubs, his properties, the rights to his music, for next to nothing. But the money wasn’t just Axel’s. It was all his friends’, too. What did they do with it?
Anna claims they burned it. Axel lost his mind and burnt every penny. All of their money on a bonfire. We see a flashback of him telling Anna this, insisting that they didn’t come here for the money, but to be free. This was their chance to start again. Their charred profits rain all around Anna. I think we can see where this is going. David calls, and Zoe asks him outright if he killed her brother.
These revelations are probably just as well since things aren’t looking great for Marcus. The Romanians leave him alive since they can’t find Yuri and Grigor’s corpses, but he now owes significantly more money than he can afford. The only person who seems to be doing okay is, weirdly, David, who has a pretty solid alibi for the night of Axel’s murder: He was getting high and having sex with Oriol. This he explains to Zoe and justifies keeping it quiet by explaining that he couldn’t exactly reveal he got the most powerful man on the island’s son high on smack. Fair enough.
This isn’t going particularly well for Zoe, is it? She lets Boxer go after he promises that neither he nor Oriol killed her father — he’s technically lying about that, but you can see his argument — leaving Zoe alone with Anna, who quite readily admits the thing that tipped her over the edge enough to kill Axel: the thought of losing Marcus. See, Axel, thoroughly disillusioned with the party-hard techno messiah lifestyle, was threatening to reveal their affair. But when he takes one last cheeky line he ODs, and Anna takes the opportunity to drown him. She doesn’t do a great job of this.
Rather inexplicably, we cut to Anna’s wedding, where Anna, having been apparently let go by Zoe, is confronted by Marcus. He has had, by his own admission, a rather complicated day. But he’s particularly and understandably annoyed by the fact that Anna was sleeping with Axel on the night they killed him. This was crossing the line in his book. In flashback, we see Anna trying to justify what happened to Marcus, and we see Axel, still alive, climb out of the car. Marcus reverses over him. Anna hits him with a wrench. Neither of these things has the intended effect, and it’s quite horrifying to watch as a result, the kind of pathetic, useless nature of it all. Eventually, she takes his screwdriver and stabs him through the back of his neck.
We see Anna confess all this to Zoe, pre-wedding again now — what is going on with the timeline?! — as her marrying George is interspersed with Zoe walking out into the ocean and Matilda, rather tragically, eating her feelings. It’s sad. There’s nobody there. Anna has lost everyone in her life besides this awful man who doesn’t care about her in the least. And she deserves it.
Zoe’s narration closes White Lines Season 1, Episode 10. She talks about life only just beginning as she scatters her brother’s and father’s ashes on an idyllic bluff. Poignant!
I lie, actually. White Lines ends with a final scene of Marcus pledging his services to Andreu as Boxer’s replacement. They both laugh.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.