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'The Pale Horse' Ending Explained: Mark finds out that [Spoiler] killed his wife in a shocking twist

The rendition not only presents the plotline differently but also adds a surprising and rather confusing supernatural twist
UPDATED MAR 20, 2020
Rufus Sewell as Mark Easterbrook (Amazon Prime Video)
Rufus Sewell as Mark Easterbrook (Amazon Prime Video)

Spoiler alert for Amazon Prime Video's 'The Pale Horse' 

'The Pale Horse' has its high and low points dictated by a rewrite on Agatha Christie's original story by Sarah Phelps. For one, Rufus Sewell breathes a sinister air to an otherwise whodunnit mystery — the actor is perhaps the only part about two miniseries that will not leave you disappointed. 

It is, however, common to misunderstand the conclusion Phelps created for the series. The rendition not only presents the plotline differently but it also adds a surprising and rather confusing supernatural twist. 

The first episode sets the premise for the series. Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell) cannot figure out why and how his name is on the list.

He is unwilling to believe that the witches are responsible for the murders and knows that there is a reasonable explanation for what is happening. His investigations lead him to the village of Much Deeping and the witches at The Pale Horse. 

By the second episode, however, he is convinced that the witches indeed have supernatural powers that enable them to kill people without even having to leave their house.

Sheila Atim as Thyrza Grey, Kathy Kiera Clarke as Sybil Stamfordis and Rita Tushingham as Bella Webb on 'The Pale Horse' (Amazon Prime Video)

Meanwhile, Zachariah Osborne (Bertie Carvel) continues creeping in on him badgering him with the constant threat to their lives. 

Believing that the witches have put a curse on him, Mark drives to Much Deeping in a bid to ask them to clear his name and gives the contract for his wife Hermia (Kaya Scodelario) and Inspector Stanley Lejeune (Sean Pertwee).

It is then revealed that the people visited the witches to read their fortunes. Osborne had sent out letters to those who would like to rid themselves of "obstacles" — like Yvonne Tuckerton (Claire Skinner) wanting to get rid of her daughter Thomasina Tuckerton (Poppy Gilbert), David Ardingly (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) wishing to get rid of Clemency Ardingly (Sarah Woodward). 

The handyman then used thallium — a chemical that makes the death appear natural — to murder the people on the list.

What was Jessie's role?

That brings us to the origins of the list in the first place. Why did Jessie Davis (Madeleine Bowyer) make the list even when she knew her life was in danger? 

Jessie was working with Ardingly to extract information for The Pale Horse. At first, the witches were completely clueless about how they were being roped in on this murderous scheme — they were just fortune tellers.

Jessie's job was to listen out for hints, talk to the witches about these "obstacles" and report back to Osborne, who would poison the victims. 

However, once Osborne figured out that he cannot rely on Jessie, he poisons her with the same thallium. But she happens to make the list and place it in her shoe just in time before her death. 

Rufus Sewell as Mark Easterbrook and Bertie Carvel as Zachariah Osborne on 'The Pale Horse' (Amazon Prime Video)

It then becomes clear that Delphine Easterbrook (Georgina Campbell) had visited The Pale Horse without any idea about the killer behind the scenes — all she wanted to do was know her fortune.

Who killed Mark? 

Based on Mark's request to kill Hermia and Stanley, Osborne kills them by poisoning them. By now Mark has also killed Osborne. However, Hermia survives and when she wakes up, the witches are by her side. They tell her that Mark wanted her dead after assuming that it was Hermia who put a contract on him. 

However, when we see Mark next, he is getting into his flat reading the paper's headline announcing his death. He then recounts Delphine's death and how he murdered her in a jealous rage. 

Chances are that it was Osborne's poison that killed Mark — he had started hallucinating and getting increasingly paranoid. At the same time, one could believe that the witches really had supernatural powers and they had a role to play in Mark's death.

All episodes of 'The Pale Horse' are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.