ysIn the very last scene of “Devil In Ohio”, the Netflix series takes a surprising twist and leaves its viewers in the dark as to what will happen next. An open ending that will probably never be completely resolved, especially since “Devil In Ohio” is designed as a mini-series, is based on a completed book and therefore will probably not get a second season – despite the great Netflix success. But we are not satisfied with this: Here is a possible explanation of the ending. Also, find out how Devil In Ohio star Emily Deschanel feels about Suzanne and Mae’s future.
To recap the main plot points, in Devil In Ohio, psychiatrist Dr. Suzanne Mathis (Emily Deschanel) picks up the teenage Mae (Madeleine Arthur) after she escapes from a satanic cult. As the series progresses, the traumatized teenager drives a wedge between Suzanne and her family.
Despite this, Suzanne manages to integrate Mae into the normal community. She even gets named prom queen at her high school. But then she gets her hands on a bouquet of white roses, the mere sight of which reminds her of her cult and apparently triggers her so psychologically that she can’t help but return to the clutches of the satanists and offer herself as a human sacrifice. She does so, but Suzanne is able to free her from the clutches of the sect, also because Mae’s mother Abigail takes her place at the stake at the end.
At the end of “Devil In Ohio” it’s Thanksgiving dinner. Mae and Suzanne spend the evening just the two of them, as Suzanne’s husband Peter (Sam Jaeger) no longer wants the teenager around his daughters. Even though the psychiatrist’s family relationships have suffered badly as a result of the preceding events, there are signs of at least a partial happy ending. But then comes the revelation:
Detective Lopez (Gerardo Celasco) calls Suzanne and tells her that Mae sent the roses to herself. So she wasn’t psychologically manipulated by The Devil’s Own cult, she just made it look like it and volunteered to go back! The shock is deep with Suzanne, who falls silent at first and doesn’t react at all when Mae wants to talk to her. The camera pans away and we see a shrine in the middle of the forest – with a photo of Suzanne in which Mae put a picture of herself in the place where Suzanne’s husband Peter should be.
The twist in the finale, and especially the image in the forest shrine, suggests that Mae planned from the start to tear up Suzanne’s family in order to have her new “mother” all to herself. In her desperate struggle for attention, every means was obviously right for her and so she even put herself in the greatest danger in order to bind Suzanne even closer to her. At the end of “Devil In Ohio” she has achieved her goal. Suzanne and Mae spend Thanksgiving together while Suzanne’s family celebrates separately.
The message of this twist could be that you should take care of healing your psychological wounds early before they ruin your life. On the surface, Suzanne has it all: a good job, a loving husband, three amazing kids. But her traumatic past won’t let her go, and when she meets a girl in Mae who reminds her of what she was like as a teenager, she allows herself to be emotionally manipulated by it. She ends up losing her family and being left with an opaque surrogate daughter who has been duping her all along.
In an interview with colliders Suzanne actress Emily Deschanel also addresses this topic: “Even though she tries to address her own trauma and psychological wounds, she has never been able to heal them completely. She can’t help but have this drive to protect and save Mae because she somehow thinks it can be used to heal herself. […] Every person has blind spots. Even those who work in the mental health field. […] It’s easy for us to see, but she’s so caught up in her own psyche that she can’t see past this desperate need to save the girl.”
But how things will continue with Suzanne and Mae, Emily Deschanel does not have a clear answer either: “Will Suzanne forgive her? That’s quite possible. She doesn’t see the whole picture. […] When will Suzanne call her therapist or her husband? How soon will she make excuses for Mae because of her trauma and try to understand her?” The actress asks herself all these questions, as do the viewers.
But as already mentioned, a second season of the Netflix series and thus a clear resolution of the open end is rather unlikely.