Obsession Season 1 Episode 4 Recap and Ending Explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 13, 2023 (Last updated: January 10, 2024)
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Obsession Season 1 Episode 4 Recap and Ending Explained

This article contains major spoilers for the ending of Obsession (2023) Season 1 on Netflix, particularly the events depicted in Obsession Season 1 Episode 4. 

Obsession is a four-part Netflix adaptation of Josephine Hart’s 1991 novel Damage and will be likely to get tongues wagging after its debut thanks to the unintentional hilarity of its premise, which revolves around a respected surgeon getting into an ill-advised BDSM relationship with his son’s fiancé, Anna.

It’s only four episodes long, and a lot of that runtime is taken up by sex scenes supposedly overseen by an intimacy coordinator. However, the final episode takes some sharp turns into newly fatal territory, so let’s take a look at how the whole thing pans out for our own amusement.

Obsession (2023) Season 1 Ending Explained

How does Jay die?

In the finale of Obsession, Jay dies by falling over the banister outside of Anna’s friend Peggy’s apartment. But the circumstances of that are, predictably, hilarious.

At Jay’s stag do William tries to not-so-subtly warn him off Anna but accidentally quotes something that she had said to him privately. Jay recognizes the expression, which sets some alarm bells off.

Eventually, Jay goes to confront Anna about the affair he knows she’s having and walks in on his own father having sex with his blindfolded and bound fiancé. Staggering back in shock and disgust, he topples over the balcony to his death.

William, stunned and ashamed, rushes down the stairs completely naked to cradle his son’s lifeless body while Anna, who got dressed remarkably quickly, leaves and says nothing.

Do William and Ingrid stay together?

William and Ingrid absolutely do not stay together.

When news of the affair gets out, Ingrid is appalled at the damage that William has done to the family. She directly, and rightly blames him for Jay’s death.

Despite being present at the funeral, all William is thinking about is Anna’s absence, and the obviousness of this makes Ingrid utterly furious.

Still, all William cares about is finding Anna.

Why did Anna run away?

Anna’s mother implies at Jay’s funeral that Anna has a habit of running away from difficult situations, especially those involving men. This was also implied earlier when Anna’s mother first met Jay and William.

Anna feels a tremendous amount of guilt over Jay’s death. She knows it is hers and William’s fault. However, she can’t seem to change her nature, and it’s strongly suggested this stems back to her relationship with her brother, Aston, who eventually committed suicide when she rejected his sexual advances.

In the finale we learn that Anna’s mother was privy to this relationship and never intervened, but coming so late in the story, and being approached with such little depth and sensitivity, it’s a risible attempt at justifying Anna’s behavior.

Anna leaves the country to go on her honeymoon, alone. While it looks like she may seduce a married man by the hotel pool, she eventually confesses why she’s there and leaves. When she goes out clubbing and almost has a brief tryst with a stranger, he’s a little too aggressive, so she slaps him and leaves.

When she gets back to the hotel, William is waiting for her, having tracked her down.

Why does William buy the apartment?

William, unbelievably, wants to start a relationship with Anna so that everything they’ve been through wasn’t for nothing. This guy is so obsessed that his own son’s death has barely slowed down his pursuit of this woman.

Anna turns him down and tells him not to find her again. So William does the next best thing and – it’s implied, anyway – purchases Peggy’s apartment, where he digs out one of Anna’s old journals and reads it alone.

In the final scene of the series, Anna seems to be in therapy. When her (male, crucially) therapist suggests setting some rules, her ears perk up, implying that the cycle may be beginning to repeat itself once again.

You can stream Obsession (2023) Season 1 Episode 4 exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the ending of Obsession Season 1? Let us know in the comments.

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