The ambiguous ending The Replacement posed more questions than it may have answered throughout the three-part mini series
After watching the series finale this morning i got confused about some of it’s finer details and upon looking at reactions from twitter, I seem not to be the only one.
The finale saw architect Ellen reunited with her kidnapped baby daughter and her ‘evil’ maternity cover Paula finally placed in handcuffs.
The show’s creator Joe Ahearne has now attempted to clear up fans’ confusion in the wake of the ending – and revealed that in early drafts Paula’s daughter was the villain of the piece, not Vicky McClure’s character.
“In a very, very, very early version of the story, we flirted with Paula’s daughter being the one who did the deed,” he told the .
“Then the explanation for Paula’s behaviour would be she’s trying to protect her child and she’s fighting for her child.”
Instead, the decision was made to keep the drama focused between the “two women”.
He confirmed that Paula, played by Vicky McClure, did murder her boss Kay by deliberately pushing her off the roof, and said Ellen (played by Morven Christie) managed to guess where her daughter was thanks to a ‘hallucination’ brought on by the cocktail of sleeping pills her nemesis forced her to swallow.
And he said the final scene, in which bereaved David, played by Dougray Scott, is seen approaching Ellen as she reads to her little girl, was intended only to imply there was ‘hope’ for their friendship.
Paula is last seen being taken away in handcuffs but her ultimate fate was not made clear, though Ahearne has now implied she would have received ‘professional help’ to solve her issues.
As for Ellen, one question that loomed after she refused to take back her husband Ian (Richard Rankin), was whether she turned to David, her former business partner and her friend Kay’s widow.
‘David sinned against her less. All I’m intending with that ending is to say that there could be hope for them as friends.’
In a scene two years after the incident, Ellen visited her slain friend Kay’s grave with her daughter, who was now a toddler.
The mother was heard reading a story to Lia, while Kay’s widower David (Dougray Scott) loomed in the background.
One social media user asked: “Did she have another baby on her lap? #soconfused…. Just watched ending back twice. Did I see a baby boy as well as Lia? Were both kids David’s?”
“In #TheReplacement was Ellen holding another baby at the very end of it when she was reading the book?” another echoed.
But others argued that the figure was in fact a teddy bear, which was resting against Ellen’s knee.
One person explained: “Thought Ellen had 2 kids on her lap at the end until bf pointed out that the one that wasn’t Lia was a stuffed toy #TheReplacement.”
“For anyone else confused by the random extra baby at the end of #TheReplacement, I just rewound and it’s actually just a large teddy bear…” another added.
Meanwhile, Ahearne also discussed speculation from viewers that a follow-up series could be on the way – and fans will be disappointed.
“It’s very much a self-contained drama. I am very much a fan of beginning, middle and end, and quite a lot of drama on telly both here and in America, they want it to be all middle,” he said
“They like it to go on forever. When I am a viewer I don’t necessarily want to commit 20 hours of myself to something.”
He explained that the series felt “complete”, and it was better to have fans asked for more than thinking it went on too long.
He added: “And also, I think it would be quite difficult to get those two characters together without either amnesia or plastic surgery.”
The Replacement is available to watch on BBC iPlayer