Devil in Ohio: Ending explained and will there be a season 2?

The show that begins and ends with plenty of twists

Devil in Ohio cast members Emily Deschanel as Suzanne Mathis and Madeleine Arthur as Mae Dodd in a still from the show
(Image credit: Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix/Future)

Well, that was an unsettling end to the series.

Netflix series Devil in Ohio sees Emily Deschanel play psychiatrist Dr. Suzanne Mathis, who takes in a cult escapee called Mae. When Mae is found running from a mystery assailant and seriously injured - Suzanne is the only person who can connect with her. Bringing her to live with her failing property developer husband and 3 children, puts Suzanne’s entire family in danger. Mystery, horror, and satanic imagery abound, as the family’s world is turned upside down. Here, we dissect the season ending, as well as uncover everything we know about a possible season 2.

There’s another mystery thriller making a splash on our screens, as we also jump into the Echoes on Netflix ending explained, and answer the question of where is Echoes is filmed - the plot may be terrifying, but the scenery is stunning. Viewers have also been watching new Netflix film I Came By in their millions too - which also makes for similar edge-of-your-seat viewing.

Devil in Ohio: Ending explained 

The finale begins with Mae returning to the Amontown cult that she had been born and raised in, and eventually escaped from. She has returned to sacrifice herself, much to the praise of the cult. When Suzanne finds out where she’s gone, she immediately gives chase to save Mae before it’s too late. Disguising herself as a cult member, Suzanne watches the ceremony unfold in horror. 

Mae is saved from her fate when the church catches fire, and the cult members flee before finishing the ceremony. Suzanne grabs Mae in the chaos, while Mae tries to encourage her lifelong cult member mother to go with them. She refuses to go, instead sacrificing herself into the flames instead of Mae. 

Madeleine Arthur as Mae Dodd, Xaria Dotson as Jules Mathis in episode 104 of Devil in Ohio.

(Image credit: Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix)

Back at home, there's still a huge rift between Suzanne and her family - Mae has torn them apart from the inside. Suzanne and Mae end up celebrating Thanksgiving alone, when Detective Lopez arrives to tell Suzanne Mae had bought herself the white roses - Suzanne had been led to believe the cult bought them for Mae, to trigger her into returning. Mae had planned the entire sacrificial pretence to trick Suzanne into running to save her. 

A horrified and terrified Suzanne realises she really doesn’t know Mae at all, and appears frightened of her. Mae has gone to any lengths not to be separated from Suzanne, and has shown she will do anything to have her for herself. As Suzanne gazes at her and sees her in a new light, Mae - gratified at achieving exactly what she wanted, simply says “we deserve this" before the credits roll.

Is Mae actually evil in Devil in Ohio?

The general consensus is that Mae isn't evil at the end of the series - she is the victim of an unfortunate upbringing

It's been theorised that she was trying to trap Suzanne all along, to bring her into the cult and sacrifice her. Although buying herself the white roses and tricking everyone she knew into thinking she'd been triggered appeared an evil thing to do, it could have been the plan of a girl who simply didn't know the right way to get the attention she wanted. 

Her obsession with Suzanne and wanting her purely for herself was likely not born of evil motives, but because she'd never felt safe or had an appropriate mother figure. However, one fan refuted this theory and took to Twitter to say "I'm on ep. 2 of Devil in Ohio on . I predict Mae is pretending to be a victim but is really the head of the Satanic cult. Like the movie "Satanic" where a girl escapes a cult but was actually kicked out for being more evil then the cult members".

What is Devil in Ohio based on? 

The series is based on the book of the same name by Daria Polatin, which is loosely inspired by a true story. Therefore, it is based both on a real story and a book. 

Daria Polatin released the book Devil in Ohio in 2017. The author also served as showrunner on the Netflix series, and told Netflix Tudum “the book was inspired by true events from a story that our executive producer, Rachel Miller, heard, which actually took place in Ohio”. She continued “In the series, we get to lean into Suzanne and her backstory. Why does Suzanne take Mae home? Why is she so drawn to her? And why does she go so far to help her?” 

Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin | £16.68 - Amazon

Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin | £16.68 - Amazon

Read the book inspired by true events, now a major Netflix series starring Emily Deschanel and Madeleine Arthur.

Apart from revealing the story is based on true events and actually took place in Ohio, Polatin has kept tight-lipped about the details of the real story. In interviews, she has refused to give any further detail other than that it was inspired by true events. 

She also entirely changed the cult and the details of it, to add more depth to the story. She built the cult’s lore, even writing their own bible, which included hymns and prayers to be as specific as possible.

How many episodes of Devil in Ohio?

  1. Broken Fall (41 minutes)
  2. Sanctuary (47 minutes)
  3. Mother's Keeper (44 minutes)
  4. Rely-upon (43 minutes)
  5. Alight (47 minutes)
  6. My Love and I (45 minutes)
  7. By Blood (40 minutes)
  8. The Dawning (49 minutes)

Where is Devil in Ohio filmed?

Some viewers may be surprised to learn that Devil in Ohio was not actually filmed in Ohio but rather Vancouver in Canada. Filming began on September 8, 2021, and wrapped on December 15, 2021.

The city of Vancouver and it's surrounding areas made up the filming locations of the hit Netflix show. Production also used the Northbrook Studios in Burnaby to film interior scenes. 

Vancouver has proven to be a popular place to film a number of hit shows of late. The Canadian city is where Virgin River is filmed and where Keep Breathing was filmed too. It was also where Maid was filmed - starring Margaret Qualley - one of Netflix's most watched series of 2021.

Will there be a season 2 of Devil in Ohio on Netflix? 

There has been no official announcement about a season 2 of Devil in Ohio and it seems unlikely as the series is billed as limited, which usually means there's no follow up

However this isn't always the case, and previous limited series have been renewed for a season 2. There's also the fact the show closed on a pretty major cliffhanger, leaving many questions unanswered. The cult is still at large, we still don't know Mae's motives, and Suzanne's once happy family are still torn apart. With the excellent viewing figures the show is enjoying, Netflix could well renew for season 2.

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Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.