Payback ending explained: What happens to Lexie at the end of the ITV drama?

TV writer Jed Mercurio has viewers gripped once again with his latest crime drama - here's the Payback ending explained

Morven Christie as Lexi Noble in the Payback ending
(Image credit: ITV)

Morven Christie has viewers on the edge of their seats with this drama, so it's no wonder everyone wants the Payback ending explained. 

Payback follows mother Lexie Noble (Morven Christie) after her family life is plunged into jeopardy when her husband, Jared, is murdered in a seemingly random attack on the street. However, his death unravels the truth: Jared had been laundering money for organised crime gang leader Cal Morris - and it turns out he had stolen £27 million from Cal. Cal then threatens Lexie and her children in order to force her into helping him recover the missing money, which she does under the watchful eye of Cal's nephew Aaron. The story is full of twists and turns, and as well as wanting to know where Payback is filmed, viewers have queries about the plot too. 

Much like TV fans have also been asking to have the Reptile ending explained - a similar crime drama that has seen huge success on Netflix - now viewers have the same questions about ITV's Payback, following a gripping finale that saw the fate of Lexie and her family decided. Here's the Payback ending explained...

Payback ending explained

The ending of Payback reveals that Jared had used the money he stole from Cal to try and start a new life with Lexi and their children. Cal kidnaps the antique dealer who sold the jewellery that Jared had bought with the stolen money, and he reveals that the proceeds had been donated to charity.

In the final episode of Payback, Lexi lets the police know where they can find Aaron's missing shipment that she had discovered - which was made up of puffer jackets with their stuffing filled with money - setting off a chain of events that see the story come to an end. 

She finally gets an agreement from DCI Guthrie - who was involved in the case around Jared's murder - that the police will protect her and her children, on the condition that Lexie manages to get Cal to admit he knows what is in the shipping container while the police record the conversation.

Lexie succeeds, while also making Cal believe that Aaron knew the location all along, implying he was planning on stealing it for himself. She then lets Aaron know where the container is too, but waits to text the code word 'delivered' to the police, making sure they won't get there in time to arrest Aaron before Cal takes matters into his own hands. 

As Lexie speaks at Jared’s funeral, the police move in on the container and find a dead Aaron - shot by one of Cal's henchmen - while Guthrie’s team arrest Cal and charge him with money-laundering offences, meaning he'll be going to prison for a long time. 

Then, Jared’s dad reveals that Jared had set up a number of charitable trusts for his children before he died and that he had also posted his dad a parcel - a sapphire necklace meant for Lexie, to celebrate the new life he thought they were going to start together.

A still from Payback showing Lexie Noble and her daughter sat on a bed

(Image credit: ITV)

What happens at the end of Payback?

At the end of Payback, Cal is arrested and Lexi is able to start a new life with her children, thanks to the money that Jared had stolen from Cal. 

At the end of the penultimate episode, Lexie had discovered Aaron’s missing shipment. When she returns home after this find, she discovers Cal playing with her kids, and he asks her where she's been. 

The final episode then opens with Cal still in Lexie’s living room, and she tells him about Beaumont, the antique dealer who sold the jewellery for Jared, which is how Cal comes to kidnap the man and extract the information about what Cal did with the stolen money.

Meanwhile, DC Khan discovered an address in Washington DC during his own investigation that he thinks may be a house Jared bought. At the end of Payback, he goes to see Lexie, presumably to confront her about the money and the work she has been doing for Cal and Aaron.

However, when he arrives he watches her get into a taxi with her children. Instead of confronting her he throws the note with the address of the Washington house down the drain, clearly deciding to let Lexie and her family get their happy ending and depart for the new home Jared had planned for them all in America.

A close up of Lexie Noble driving a car

(Image credit: ITV)

Who killed Jared?

Aaron organised Jared's murder, because he believed that his girlfriend, Manda, was having an affair with him. 

When Lexie is forced to travel with Cal to the Isle of Eris - the island that he wants to buy - she realises that Manda is the mysterious woman Jared had been meeting in the weeks before his death. 

Manda is wearing a pair of sapphire earrings that Lexie knows her husband bought with some of the stolen money, but the pair are interrupted before Manda gets a chance to explain.

Back in Edinburgh, Manda reveals to Lexie that Jared had been protecting her from Aaron, who had been abusing her. Jared bought the earrings to replace one Aaron had bought her that she’d lost, and he also paid for her to stay in a hotel one night when she didn’t feel safe with Aaron.

It's for this reason that Lexie decides to let Cal find Aaron before the police do at the end of Payback, as personal revenge for Jared's death.

How many episodes of Payback are there?

There are six episodes of Payback in total. The first aired on ITV1 on Wednesday October 4 at 9pm, with episodes airing every Wednesday at the same time for the following five weeks. 

However, some eager viewers have already binged the series, as all six episodes are currently available to watch on the ITVX streaming service.

For more finale round ups, The Woman in The Wall ending provided closure but a lot of heartache. Also on the BBCThe Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies ending left the door well and truly open for a return. Over on Netflix, the Fair Play ending saw a dramatic conclusion. 

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.