Three Pines season 1 ending explained – who killed Arthur Ellis?

December 23, 2022 (Last updated: December 28, 2022)
Adam Lock 17
Amazon Prime, Ending Explained, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
View all


Many twists in the season finale of Three Pines add an extra layer of tension to the proceedings. “The Hangman Part Two” will satisfy those that have stuck with the series, offering up stirring conclusions while still setting up further drama to come.

This recap of the Prime Video series Three Pines season 1, episode 8, “The Hangman Part Two,” contains spoilers and explains the ending. Who killed Arthur Ellis? Let’s find out.

The season finale of Three Pines is finally here, and it’s one filled with big twists and plenty of reveals. “The Hangman Part Two” explains exactly who killed Arthur Ellis and for what reason, as well as addresses the police cover-up behind Blue Two-Rivers and Tommy Kis’ deaths. Thankfully, the concluding chapter forgoes the artsy sensibilities and concentrates fully on the plot and the character’s emotions, working towards a satisfying conclusion.

Three Pines season 1, episode 8 recap

The finale begins with a flashback to Armand’s youth, where viewers are shown the tragic event that would change Armand’s life forever and end his parents’ lives. He was in the backseat as his parents sat in the front seats. He tickled his mother with a blue jay feather and then proceeded to do the same to his father, who was driving. This distracted his father, who then crashed. Armand’s parents died in that crash, and he would forever blame himself for their deaths.

Armand holds the Blue Jay feather in his hands in the present day. He’s at a game night with his wife, Pierre, and Pierre’s wife too. Armand knows that Pierre is involved in the police cover-up and may actually be a killer, but he can’t confront him on the matter just yet. Instead, he teases his knowledge of the case. Pierre has to ask how Armand figured it out, and the Chief Inspector explains the connection with the white pine needles. In a sense, this is a warning for Pierre, giving him time to cover his tracks further, but it is also one hell of a tense interaction.

The Chief Inspector confesses to his own wife later that night about his findings. He takes his evidence to the Police, who endeavor to pass this on to Internal Affairs. Armand needs to wrap up the Arthur Ellis/James Hill case before his life is taken over by the police corruption scandal that awaits him back home. He plans to solve the murder case in Three Pines by the end of the day. He needs it to be off his conscience for good.

He’s not the only one that wants this murder case wrapped up. The locals are worried as well. Myrna hosts a secret meeting, addressing just that. They all have their own secrets and reasons they fled to the sanctuary of Three Pines. They don’t need the police digging into their sordid pasts anymore. Myrna urges the gang to admit anything they know about the case, but no one steps forward.

Ruth then hands over James Hill’s wallet to Armand, stating that she found it on a bonfire. Inside the wallet is a list of four names. The initials seem insignificant, but GD stands out. Is this Gabri Dubeau? Jean Guy is convinced it’s a kill list. Hill had access to a lot of private information as he worked filing records; maybe he had tracked down his enemies to Three Pines.

They delve deeper into James’ past and discover that he was struck by tragedy fifteen years ago. His family died in a horrific car crash that involved four drunk teens. The teens got off without convictions due to being wealthy and having good lawyers. A ‘Gabri’ was one of the teens that caused the disaster. Maybe James was back in town to kill off the four involved. This triggers hard memories of Armand’s own childhood and another car accident.

Gabri is rightfully questioned next. He was seen arguing with James the day he died. Peter saw Gabri running through the woods, where the body was eventually found. And to top it all off, Gabri had James’ wallet in his possession. Armand interrogates the suspect. Gabri admits that he did discover James’ hanged corpse, but he wasn’t the killer. He was protecting the killers instead. These killers, Angela and Mike, are panicked after seeing Gabri being taken for questioning and pack to leave town.

Mike confesses James was going to kill them, he’d already killed two on his list, and he was obviously heading for them next. It was self-defense. The writers imply that Mike and Angela were two of the four teens involved in that car crash. They changed their names and ran.

Yvette returns to Three Pines after overhearing an important conversation at the station. Rumors are circulating; she thinks the police will arrest Armand in connection with Blue’s death. She goes to warn Armand in person. The Chief Inspector acts quickly. He calls Isabelle to go and arrest Mike and Angela, then starts to search for Pierre himself. Isabelle finds a tipsy Jean-Guy, and together they go to arrest the suspects. Mike and Angela escape in their car, and an intoxicated Jean-Guy gives chase. The fact that he’s been drinking adds an extra layer of tension to this car chase. Jean-Guy starts to speed and panics the suspects, who crash their car. They drive off a bridge and flip the vehicle, there are no survivors.

Three Pines season 1, episode 8 ending explained

Meanwhile, Armand tracks Pierre down to his cabin. Inside, Armand finds a messy scene. There’s blood on the floor and Chowski’s police badge thrown to one side.

Then, he sees a truck on fire outside. Pierre blames Chowski for everything. His story goes that they had pulled them over for a standard search and seizure. However, Tommy drew his gun, and Chowski reacted accordingly. Pierre argues it was a legitimate killing, but now Chowski is trying to frame him and Armand for the whole thing. The Chief doesn’t believe Pierre’s story. Then he notices a body inside the flaming truck, it must be Chowski.

Pierre says that Chowski was running a scam. Kevin had a truckload of tobacco, and they pulled them over to take a cut. Kevin panicked and ran, then Blue started filming the altercation. Chowski went to grab the phone, but Tommy got in the way and was shot. Blue had to go next. Armand believes it was Pierre’s scam, not Chowski’s, and that Pierre shot Blue. Pierre states that he isn’t going to jail for this, although Armand has all the evidence.

Armand wants to arrest him and bring him in. It looks like Pierre has accepted his fate, but then he shoots Armand and runs. Jean-Guy and Isabelle arrive on the scene, but Pierre has already disappeared. Will Armand survive the bullet wound? Will Pierre go on the run? Fans will be eager to find out these answers and much more in a possible second season.

What did you think of Three Pines season 1, episode 8, and the ending? Comment below.

More Stories

Find where to watch this and more with our Discovery Tool

Explore Now
View all

17 thoughts on “Three Pines season 1 ending explained – who killed Arthur Ellis?

  • December 23, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    Really enjoyed this series, especially because of the many Indigenous characters and related situations. The cliff hanger needs to be resolved. Can’t leave viewers hanging like this.
    I havent read the series, but I can understand why some may be disappointed. I would bet this is fairly common for purists, but without this knoledge I am simply enjoying the entertainment value. SEASON 2, PLEASE !

  • December 24, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    I really love this series! I loved the indigenous storylines also! The cliffhanger is horrible. I love Armand and his wife so much! I have had tragedies in my life also and I really appreciate the way they explain how he is haunted and has PTSD. And how his suffering has deepened his empathy and instinct for fighting for justice. I guess that’s angst maybe? Its very effective and makes me identify with his character so much. Also he’s like everybody’s dad and everybody’s husband….he’s the perfect hero. In the books he gets to retire from the police. I cried when I saw this finale’. It looks like he died but I hope and pray he didn’t. I love this series so much I immediately got the first book to read.

  • December 26, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    Armand is the main protagonist here, but I really enjoyed the Jean-Guy and Isabelle characters as well
    Both have their own demons they are facing but they press on and help get the job done.
    Very good series.

  • December 28, 2022 at 2:10 am

    You have to have a series two because you CANNOT leave Gamache to die. If you do, I will never trust an Amazon production again.

  • December 28, 2022 at 9:50 am

    I hope there will be a Season 2! I loved shedding light on how Native American People are treated poorly. This information must come out to the public so something can be done to help them. I hope there are police like the kindly Gamache and his female Native officer. I liked the mysticism a lot. She was great too in her depth of empathy. Gamache was too believing in his lifelong friend Pierre after he knew he was a killer of Blue and Pierre’s police partner. I hope the show returns. Somehow I think it will!

  • December 29, 2022 at 6:38 am

    I hate it when they leave the ending up in the air with a chance it will not have a second season. Hate it.

  • December 30, 2022 at 4:44 am

    Gamache was shot in the right side so with quick medical attention he will survive ,.so lets have a season two .

  • December 30, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    Great series. If a Season 2 is not in the cards, how about a Season 1 Episode 9 to wrap things up?

  • December 30, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    I loved this series. I can’t wait for season 2.

  • January 2, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    Ending was so dumb. Just because they known each other for 40 years and been really close friends, makes him think he will be ok with letting him bring him in for multiple murders lmao. To the point he shows up unarmed and doesn’t even throw cuffs on him when taking him in? Ahahahaha. When we walked in front of him I knew he was going to get shot. What an unrealistic and stupid ending to a rather pretty good season.

  • January 6, 2023 at 12:40 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Gamache is brilliant and the love he shares with his wife is rarely seen in TV

  • January 6, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    GREAT series!!! I am looking forward to season 2!! Come on, let’s make it happen!

  • January 6, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    Hoping for season two. In the meantime, read all the Three Pines/Gamache books by Louise Penny, starting with the first one. You can find a list for the whole series of books on order of

  • January 7, 2023 at 4:36 am

    The end of the last episode answered some key questions but grieved me. Please give us Season 2! I love the compassion of Armand and how he shows it to his wife and his staff … and how his respect for the town folks makes seems to make them want to crack the shells hiding their secrets and fears. How Armand deals with his own nightmares and his caring wife is well-written and well-played. I love the camaraderie among Armand and his associates and how they care for each other like family while they work together for truth and justice surrounded by beautiful scenery. Season 1: Intriguing. Intense. Worthy of a Season 2.

  • January 19, 2023 at 3:51 am

    Disappointing if you’ve read the books. I think the producers tried to make Three Pines and it’s inhabitants mysterious and sinister which is the complete opposite of the books where Three Pines is a hidden oasis and safe haven with quirky welcoming and eccentric characters. Also think the actors are wooden, especially Jean-Guy. Even Molina who should be better. The relationship between Gamache and his wife gets better as the series goes along but initially there was no warmth. Clara and Peter? Awful casting/acting. Ruth, however, is great as is the duck.

  • January 30, 2023 at 12:13 am

    At the very end of the episode, when Armand tells Pierre that he knows he shot Blue and Tommy and has the evidence, Armand is being either very foolishly trusting of Pierre (an old friend and colleague), or else, he is so guilt-ridden about his role in the long-ago accidental deaths of his parents, that he is setting himself up for martyrdom, as he knows in his heart that Pierre will not surrender willingly and will kill rather than come quietly. That is probably why he turned his back on Pierre and allowed Pierre to shot him.

  • February 3, 2023 at 11:09 am

    enjoyed the series. I hope Armand does not die. will there be another season?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.