You Don’t Know Me: Ending explained and will there be a season 2?

*Contains spoilers for You Don't Know Me season 1*

a still from You Don't Know Me showing Hero in the courtroom
(Image credit: BBC)

BBC thriller You Don't Know Me has landed on Netflix. The gripping story centres on a young man called Hero who stands trial for the murder of a man named Jamil.

Netflix has been the source of all entertainment needs at present. Be it the documentary about FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (opens in new tab), or the tales of sexploiter Ryan Vallee (opens in new tab) and swatter Tyler Barriss (opens in new tab) in Web of Make Believe - the streaming giant has had us glued to screens. And this includes the release of You Don't Know Me, which dropped in June. 

We're introduced to suspect Hero in court telling his version of events following the murder of gangster Jamil. But as the episodes unfold, viewers come to realise that Hero account isn't exactly 100% truthful, which begs the question; is he really capable of murder? The inconclusive ending has left many viewers with questions about what actually happened and whether there will be a second season. Here’s everything you need to know.

 You Don’t Know Me: Season 1 ending explained

Season 1 of You Don’t Know Me ends with the two divergent outcomes – guilty and not guilty – both being played out, and it's never confirmed whether Hero walks free.

Firstly, the jury is seen passing a verdict of guilty, with a big celebration by Jamil’s parents, while Hero remains in prison for the rest of his life. 

We then see the next possibility play out, with the jury finding Hero not guilty. Hero then flees to Europe to reunite with his girlfriend Kyra and restart their lives together.

But when the judge is heard asking the foreman of the jury whether they have made a verdict, to which the foreman replies: “Yes,” the series comes to an abrupt end, meaning we don’t know which way the verdict went.

Who killed Jamil?

While we don’t find out the jury’s verdict, we do find out who shot Jamil dead and it wasn’t Hero. It was Hero's little sister Bless that shot him, though Kyra is the one who takes the blame. 

Jamil had already been shot once, after a plan set out by Hero and his friend Curt to rob him had spiralled out of control. But Jamil made a full recovery in hospital.

Bless had gone over to the hospital to keep a check on Jamil, disguising herself as a volunteer. But her plan didn't work as he recognised her, taking her hostage at their club. Jamil then called Hero, threatening to kill Bless if he didn't bring his money and Kyra immediately to him. Ready to do everything to protect his sister, Hero and Kyra raced to the club.

Kyra had been carrying Hero’s gun and when the situation heightened, she was ready to pull the trigger. But at the last minute, Bless picked up the gun and shot Jamil dead.

Hero quickly came up with a plan to take the blame to protect his sister. But Kyra convinced him to frame the whole thing on her, so it seemed he had been set up by his lover. Kyra left the country and gave an anonymous tip to the police, while Hero set all the evidence in his house that would prove the tragic story of being framed and betrayed by his girlfriend.

What happened to Hero’s girlfriend Kyra?

After coming up with their plan to protect Hero’s sister Bless, Kyra travelled abroad to lay low

The plan was for her to remain there until Hero joined her and they could restart their lives together. However, thanks to the cliffhanger ending, we never discover if Hero and Kyra were reunited.

Characters Kyra and Hero from BBC's You Don't Know Me

(Image credit: BBC)

 You Don’t Know Me: Ending reaction

Following the unclear ending, many fans branded the ending of You Don’t Know Me “awful” and a “let down” after bingeing the series.

One viewer said: “What a truly awful ending to a brilliant series. Why ruin it? It was so good.”

Another commented on the lack of closure: “Was it just me who thought the ending was an utter letdown to a great TV show? I need closure.”

A third wrote on Twitter: “I hated the ending of You don't know me.”

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Viewers also took to social media to complain that the show was not following exact court protocols. One viewer said: "Defendant for murder marches down with no security, after refusing to give evidence, to give his evidence by making a closing speech which he can’t be examined on.” 

While another added: “Seems an improbable legal set up on You Don’t Know Me."

 Is You Don’t Know Me based on a true story?

You Don’t Know Me is not a true story, but is instead based on a novel of the same name by Imran Mahmood. The author is a criminal law barrister with more than 25 years in the industry.

The BBC series was adapted by Tom Edge, the man behind Vigil (opens in new tab). Speaking to The Guardian (opens in new tab) at the time of the book's release back in 2017, author Mahmood explained: "It's an alloy, an amalgam of the people I speak to. There is this urgent quality to their dialogue and I've always had an ear for it, an interest in it."

He added to the BBC: “You Don’t Know Me is a story told by a defendant in a dock, giving a speech to the jury.

“He is one of the thousands of young men, strangers to privilege and opportunity, who are caught in the net of the criminal justice system each year. For those young men, the court is a system designed to deal with them but not to communicate with them. Not to understand them.”

You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood (Paperback) - £7.37 | Amazon (opens in new tab)

"Superb character-driven fiction. Masterful", says The Guardian. Read the original story that inspired the BBC series.

 Will there be a season 2 of You Don’t Know Me?

While the novel doesn’t have a sequel, the ambiguous ending of season 1 means a season 2 could be very likely - though this hasn’t been confirmed. 

If the show is renewed in the following few months, viewers can likely expect You Don’t Know Me season 2 to come out sometime in 2023.

Author Imran Mamood also has other books which they could base future series on, including All I Said Was True or I Know What I Saw.

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Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.