Wilderness ending explained: Everything that happened in the finale of the thriller

Here's what went down...

Wilderness ending explained as illustrated by Jenna Coleman as Liv in Wilderness
(Image credit: Prime Video/Future)

Wilderness ending explained: We break down everything that happened in the finale of the Prime Video thriller that has viewers talking.

Those tuning in to Prime Video's Wilderness, have been captivated both by the unfolding drama, and the locations - Wilderness filmed in a variety of beautiful spots, some of which are instantly recognisable. Based on the book of the same name by B. E Jones, some viewers familiar with the story thought they might know which way the ending of the dramatization was going to go, but were there any spectacular twists and turns? Find out what happened to Liv and Will, as we break down the Wilderness ending.

On Netflix, the Fair Play ending left those tuning in to the erotic thriller satisfied with the outcome. Elsewhere on the streamer, the Reptile ending revealed the killer, and unravelled the mysteries surrounding the show. The Following Events are Based on A Pack of Lies ending brought some closure to the BBC thriller, but left some questions unanswered. 

Wilderness ending explained

The Wilderness finale opens with Liv being questioned by police over the death of Garth, whom she killed after he confronted her and Will over Cara's death.

Insisting she was acting in self-defence, Liv is later released and returns to her apartment to clean and rid it of reminders of what she did. Will later returns from work to tell Liv he's secured compassionate leave, and they can leave New York and return to London. He wants them to live in a flat owned by his parents while they house hunt, and find a home big enough for them to start a family. 

Liv doesn't want to talk about the future, because she's already decided to ask Will for a divorce. On a night out with Ash that evening, the pair return to her apartment and sleep together. Returning to her own apartment the following morning, Liv delivers the news to Will she wants a divorce, and tells him what she's just been up to with Ash.

Not to be discouraged, Will still wants to give their marriage a try, insisting he'll change. When Liv makes it clear the marriage is over for her, Will turns nasty, hinting he'll reveal the truth of Garth's death to the police. The following day, the couple's belongings are being packed up in readiness for the move to London, and Will suggests they go for a final meal in New York before they depart. 

In the meantime, an anonymous person invites Liv to Will's surprise leaving party, organised by work colleague Marissa. Deciding to go along, Liv embarrasses Will by getting up on a table to make a speech about him. She later chats to Marissa, who is apologetic for sleeping with Will. Liv is unphased however, reminding herself and Marissa that it's likely Will has cheated with a plethora of women. 

Leaving the party alone, Liv calls at Cara's grave on her way back to the apartment, casting her eye upon it with a steely glare. Once home, she notes Will passed out from too much alcohol, and uses this opportunity to upload something from his laptop to a memory stick. The following morning, she sets her phone to record, and hides it near herself and Will as they engage in conversation.

They talk about their shared history and what they've experienced together, appearing amicable at last. An emotional Will admits Garth's death was self-defence, thereby inadvertently securing an alibi for Liv. However, as they arrive at the airport, they are pulled aside by security, who have some questions. Detectives Rawlins and Wiseman arrive to play a video they say was sent to them the night before - it's the one Liv once found of Will sleeping with Cara. However, although viewers know Liv has seen the footage already, in front of the detectives she feigns surprise and horror. 

While Liv smirks, Will is arrested for Cara's murder - the detectives assert the video is vital evidence of his guilt as he's kept evidence of his involvement with her secret when previously questioned, therefore obstructing justice. When Liv is questioned, she offers up further fake evidence to incriminate Will. The officers tell Will he looks even more guilty because Cara was wearing his red coat when she died, alluding to a lengthy prison sentence for what he's done. Detective Rawlins voices suspicions about Liv, but there is no evidence she had anything to do with the killing. 

Jenna Coleman as Liv in Wilderness

(Image credit: Prime Video)

What happened to Liv at the end of Wilderness?

Liv is still a free woman at the end of Wilderness, despite having murdered both Cara and Garth.

She is seen strolling through Central Park with Ash, as they discuss whether Liv will stay in New York or return to London. She hints that she could be pregnant, but this stays unconfirmed and could be another of her lies. She decides to recreate the road trip of a lifetime she embarked upon at the beginning of the series, but this time alone.

She finishes writing her novel, and mails a draft of it to her mother back at home - when Caryl opens it, she sees her daughter has dedicated the manuscript to her. Liv then makes the journey to the place she murdered Cara, and is approached by a mystery man who tells the story of a "silly girl" who fell there. Angered by his presence and use of wording, Liv lashes out at him. 

Alluding to women being forced to put up with so much from the men in their lives, and being pushed to the limits by what they endure, she shouts "It would have to be her fault, wouldn't it? Too much makeup, too flirty, too available. No walking home without a man to protect her. Of course she was asking for trouble, haven't we always been?"

She further hurls the words "Does is ever occur to you, where any of this ends? It ends with us reaching the end, the end of our tether. And where does that leave us? We become the thing to be scared of." She ends her monologue with the phrase: "We become the f****** wolves." 

Jenna Coleman as Liv and Morgana Van Peebles as Ash, in Wilderness

(Image credit: Prime Video)

What happened to Will at the end of Wilderness?

Will is in prison for Cara's murder at the end of Wilderness, despite not being guilty.

Liv visits him in prison, and he asks if they can still be together once he's released. Surprisingly, he admits to working out it must have been Liv who killed Cara - he'd worked it out fairly early on. Liv then reveals she'd seen the video of him and Cara together, before the road trip took place. It dawns on a horrified Will that Liv had been spinning a web of lies for quite some time, and he soon switches from wanting her to wait for him, to wanting to throw money at top lawyers to get her imprisoned in his place. 

Teasing him with a possible pregnancy enrages Will further, as he doesn't know whether she's lying. Their story comes to a close with him asking her why she killed Cara, and Liv admitted it was a case of mistaken identity - because Cara was wearing Will's red coat, she thought it was her philandering husband she'd pushed. Will had previously been told to expect to stay in prison for 25 years to life, and that's where we leave him. 

Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Will in Wilderness

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Will there be a Wilderness season 2?

There are no current plans for a Wilderness season 2. The show is billed as a limited series, meaning it is unlikely to have a continuation. There is no book sequel either, further fuelling the unlikely nature of season 2.

However, the cast and crew evidently enjoyed working together, with Ashley Benson hoping to work with director So Yong Kim again. "So is lovely, she’s just amazing and so calming to be around, especially in stressful situations," the Cara actress said.

Benson added "She has an amazing presence. She’s a strong independent woman. She’s very easy to relate to, and you can talk to her about anything you’re not comfortable with and want to change. She’s super talented, and I hope to work with her again." Although whether the pair work together on a Wilderness sequel, remains to be seen. 

Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen in Wilderness

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness ending: Audience reaction

Audiences watching Wilderness shared their thoughts about the series ending to social media, and appeared particularly enthralled with the feminist themes that accounted for Liv's actions.

One viewer wrote on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) "Finished the season & it was definitely one of the best dramas that came out this year. Jenna Coleman was outstanding and Liv’s character being a multi-layered character made her so much more fascinating to watch. PLEASE GIVE US A SEASON 2!!" 

Another viewer added "#Wilderness is the new #GoneGirl. They both have exposed what it is like being a woman in a man's world. Not to say all men are heartless. There are more good people than bad in this world, but #Wilderness & #GoneGirl show what happens when you mess with a strong woman."

Not quite so sure the show had the correct moral compass, but still enjoying it immensely, one fan's conclusion was "Wilderness, a thriller series I binge watched over the weekend and while the morality of the show is a sensitively debatable topic, from the start to end, I was hooked as to what will happen next, Jenna Coleman is a gem!!" 

A lot of viewer sentiment was wrapped up when a viewer wrote "Just finished watching #Wilderness...I must admit I only started watching it because I loved #JennaColeman in Dr. Who and Victoria. However, I finished watching the series because the story, dialogue, and acting were stellar. AND, what a great ending!! Kudos to all involved." 

A lot of viewers tuning in to Netflix's Erin Carter wanted the ending explained - you asked, and we delivered. Over on Apple+ TV, the Silo ending left a huge amount of viewers with questions, while the Hijack ending left many with pounding hearts - and hoping for another season.

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 moms.com. 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.