'The Chestnut Man' Ending Explained: Will Kristine survive the serial killer?

Danish crime thriller TV series 'The Chestnut Man' is both thrilling as it's horrific, and keeps us captivated till the very end!


                            'The Chestnut Man' Ending Explained: Will Kristine survive the serial killer?
'The Chestnut Man' is a perfect nail-biting Nordic noir (IMDb)

'The Chestnut Man' really is a perfect nail-biting thriller series. The series creates a compelling atmosphere throughout. The crime scenes are gruesome and the mystery, tight. Although each of the six episodes is an hour-long, you won't realize the time fly by. From the first episode itself, 'The Chestnut Man' does a good job at keeping its viewers guessing. As always with genres like this, every episode ends with a cliffhanger and thus you’re compelled to keep watching in order to understand more. The cases and situations are also quite bloody so there is absolutely no room or time to get bored!

The Danish TV show starts with a shocking grisly murder. This is followed by quite a few. The crime scene is usually left with a severely wounded woman (bludgeoned eye, cut-out hand, and foot). We also see plenty of “chestnut man" figurines all over the place. Our protagonist steps in, Naia Thulin (played by Danica Curcic), who has a young daughter. She’s a detective who wishes to shift to cybercrime so that she can spend more time with her little girl. But before that can happen, she is given a complicated task; to look into a murder of a woman in Husum. When Thulin finds the dead woman in the playground, she also finds a tiny chestnut man on the ground, beside her. Thulin's first lead is the woman's fiance but the investigation goes nowhere with him.

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A still from 'The Chestnut Man' (Netflix)

Before we know it, Kristine Hartung’s fingerprint comes up on the chestnut man; two entirely separate cases that couldn’t be any more different. Even then, they somehow seem to be connected. Kristine is a missing girl and the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung (played by Iben Dorner). The chestnut men further link the murders to Kristine's case which is considered by the police as solved. A man named Linus Bekker confessed to her murder.

As the series goes on and more bodies of women come into the light, 'The Chestnut Man' becomes more and more complicated and even begins to seem like a dead end. It also goes without saying that it's become insanely difficult to understand who is committing these heinous crimes and why. You must also be thinking what does any of this have to do with Kristine? All we know is that the violence and complexity with which the perpetrator picks their victims make you wonder. 

We have no idea whether Kristine really is important or not, apart from the fact that her fingerprints show up time and again at crime scenes. This query is something that retains and has the viewers hooked, right from the start. Kristine is the connecting link of the sprawling thriller story and though she has been declared missing by the police, Sheen Hartung (played by Esben Dalgaard Andersen) and Rosa assume that their daughter should still be alive. These are good causes for all pondering that approach since Kristine’s body was by no means found.

When the viewers had given up all hope, we discover the whereabouts of Kristine (like finally!) Simon Genz (played by David Dencik) lures Rosa into his captive for a devastating and horrifying finale, promising to provide her news about Kristine. While he doesn’t say anything about Kristine earlier other than having passed away, the police raid Astrid's house and uncover Kristina, who is still very much alive, much to the shock of her parents!

Genz being the serial killer is overly smart, since his place within the police would work as an ideal decoy for his perfectly planned crimes. He works as the police’s forensics division’s head and comes off as the sole, central villain within the thriller. 

After nabbing Genz, we hear his story from a long time ago. He talks about how two troubled foster siblings had been initially taken in by Rosa’s mother and father, Paul and Kristine Peterson, during the year 1985. However, Rosa’s deceitful nature to both her parents resulted in the foster children being sent away to a couple who turned out to become a perverted set of oldsters, lacking any real parenting. This incident seemingly has a long-lasting impact on Genz and thus, he holds a grudge against Rosa (particularly moms) who neglect their children. We are thankful that he doesn’t kill Kristine, mainly because she doesn’t match the demography of his victims.

'The Chestnut Man' is currently streaming on Netflix. 'The Chestnut Man' was directed by Mikkel Serup and Kasper Barfoed, and co-written for the screen by Søren Sveistrup, Dorte W. Høgh and David Sandreuter.

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