A Nearly Normal Family Season 1 Ending Explained – Who killed Chris?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 25, 2023
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A Nearly Normal Family Season 1 Ending Explained
A Nearly Normal Family | Image via Netflix


It might not be a “happy” ending, per se, but it is one in which justice is served and the truth is revealed, delivering a strong payoff to the previous five episodes.

A Nearly Normal Family is a murder mystery, so the ending of Season 1 – which will almost certainly be its only season – is about revealing the identity of the killer. But it’s also about a little bit more besides that, concerned as it is with the idea of justice, both explicitly through the concept of an actual trial and implicitly through the idea that the “victim” ultimately deserved their fate. Episode 6 deals with these two things simultaneously, and well, building to a meaningful and worthwhile conclusion.

First, a bit of backstory though, since these details will be important in unpacking the ending. The plot, adapted from the same-titled novel by M.T. Edvardsson, revolves around the murder of Christoffer Olsen (Christian Fandango Sundgren) and the arrest of his girlfriend, 19-year-old Stella Sandell (Alexandra Karlsson Tyrefors), for the crime. Stella is the daughter of pastor Adam (Björn Bengtsson) and attorney Ulrika (Lo Kauppi), and she has previously been a victim of sexual assault, being molested by an older counselor at a handball camp. Crucially, when she reported this to her parents, they decided against taking it to the police, believing that the case wouldn’t pan out and Stella would be harmed even further. Needless to say, this has deeply affected both Stella specifically and the family generally in the four years since.

A Nearly Normal Family Season 1 Episode 6 Recap

Throughout the season, Ulrika and Adam defend Stella to the hilt while reckoning with their own personal failures. The season culminates in a trial, and the finale is interspersed with flashbacks revealing the truth about what happened on the night Chris died.

Is Stella convicted?

At the end of A Nearly Normal Family, Stella is not convicted of murdering Chris and goes free.

This outcome is thanks to some particularly deft legal maneuvering on the part of Ulrika. Earlier in the season, Ulrika had a conversation with Stella’s best friend Amina in which the latter revealed that she was drugged and raped by Chris on the night of his murder. However, Ulrika had advised her to keep this to herself until the trial, during which she stands to testify as a character witness for Stella and reveals all.

Ulrika instructed her to wait since revealing this information ahead of time would have implicated both Stella and Amina in a calculated murder plot. However, revealing it on the stand presents Amina as a viable suspect, which means that, by extension, Stella’s guilt cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s clever, and it works.

Who killed Chris?

It’s also a little ironic since Stella did kill Chris. She stabbed him to death in defense of both Amina and herself, which is revealed in flashbacks throughout the episode.

After realizing that Chris had drugged Anima, Stella broke into his apartment to save her friend. Chris pursued them both with a knife, fell over, and Stella stabbed him to death. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

How does A Nearly Normal Family Season 1 end?

The first season of A Nearly Normal Family ends with Stella going free, the truth being revealed, and some minor matters being wrapped up.

For one thing, Adam and Ulrika stay together to work on their marriage, with Ulrika ending her affair and getting help for her alcoholism, and Adam choosing to stop being a pastor though not leave the church.

Stella goes travelling. It can be intuited that in killing Chris, she also in some way exorcised the demons of her own abuse, and in helping her get off with it, her parents managed to find some redemption for not going to bat for her the first time around.

You can hardly say that a story about a rapist being stabbed to death by a sexual assault survivor had a “happy ending”, but it’s the next best thing.

What did you think of A Nearly Normal Family Season 1 Episode 6 and the ending? Let us know in the comments. 

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