The Stranger ending explained: Was Henry Teague arrested and what happened at the end of the Netflix show?

The Stranger ending was a harrowing watch, but viewers are still left with questions about the true crime film from Netflix

Netflix The Stranger show banner
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's The Stranger had viewers gripped across the world. The thriller show is loosely adapted from an incident that took place in Australia in the early 2000s, following a man with a troubled past as he tries to seek redemption.

The plot of The Stranger sees actors Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris star as two strangers who seemingly serendipitously meet on a bus ride on the way to Western Australia. In reality, the two men are undercover cop Mark Frame (Joel Edgerton) and suspected murderer Henry Teague (Sean Harris). The pair form a bond while the former tries to earn the latter's trust in order to uncover the truth about his past.

There's no shortage of Netflix thriller and horror series available at the moment, which is especially apt in the run-up to Halloween. The Midnight Club, devised by Mike Flanagan, follows a group of terminally ill teenagers on their journey to the afterworld. And with the news just in that The White Lotus is set to return in October, that's our autumn TV schedule sorted. 

The Stranger has proved to be a hit with critics and viewers alike, but what exactly does The Stranger ending mean, and does anti-hero Henry Teague ultimately pay for his crimes? 

*Warning, The Stranger ending spoilers ahead*

What is Netflix's The Stranger about?

The Stranger

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Stranger plot begins with Mark, an undercover police officer who is trying to obtain a confession from suspected killer Henry Teague. The pair first meet on an overnight bus that's traveling to Western Australia. 

Though the pair are wary of each other initially, they eventually strike up a friendship and by the end of the film, it's clear that there's a bond and level of trust between the two men. 

Having said this, it's clear that Mark is still left feeling on edge throughout the exchange, fearing for his own safety and the safety of his son, in light of Henry being a suspected child killer. 

The Stranger ending explained

The Stranger

(Image credit: Netflix)

Mark and Henry's unlikely friendship eventually leads to them carrying out some work together for an underground drug gang, who are promising to clear Henry's name from any past crimes. Little to Henry's knowledge, however, the gang is headed up by another undercover police officer. 

Ultimately, Henry admits his crimes, unveiling his identity as Peter Morely, a man accused of killing seven-year-old James Lister. Henry tells both Mark and the gang that he did kidnap a young boy eight years ago and killed him shortly afterward. This is still a shocking admission for Mark, who has grown close to killer Henry. 

Was Henry Teague arrested?

After Henry confesses his crimes, Mark and undercover cop-turned-gang leader John ask Henry to take them to the location where the body has been disposed of, where the two reveal their true motives and arrest Henry for the murder. The boy's remains are discovered, providing the last piece of the puzzle to officially charge Henry.

The last scene of The Stranger sees a distraught Mark break down to his knees, grieving not only the murdered child but also the unlikely friendship he built with Henry.

When was The Stranger released?

The Stranger was first released in cinemas in Australia in early October and then on Netflix on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.