Netflix’s The One: Ending Explained

Netflix DNA love match thriller The One leaves us with more than one cliff-hanger. With major spoilers, here’s how it all went down in the finale

The One Hannah Ware as Rebecca
Photo: Netflix

Netflix thriller The One is bookended by the same line. It starts and ends with Rebecca Webb, CEO of the genetics-based dating service central to the series, standing on stage saying: “I have a secret I want to share with you.” 

Both times, Rebecca’s talking to a crowd of receptive clients eager to hear that her company is going to find them scientifically approved, DNA-based true love. In episode one, the ‘secret’ is all part of a spiel about her having grown up with parents who didn’t love each other and how, thanks to her company, that won’t ever have to happen again. 

By the finale though, the audience knows that Rebecca really does have a secret. She has several in fact, starting with the deeply shady origins of her billion pound company. By the end of the series, is Rebecca about to make a public confession? Join us as we delve into that and the other cliff-hanger questions left by the finale…

Will Rebecca confess?

To three murders? We don’t know but it’s not likely is it? That one’s pure corporate shark, from her expensively styled quiff to her designer shoes. The finale leaves us with the suggestion that Rebecca – now with no company, no Matheus and, in her own words, nothing left to lose – might be about to tell all, but a confession would be a massive leap for a character so conscience-free who’s gone to such extreme lengths to protect herself until now. 

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What happened to Ben on the night of the party?

First Rebecca pushed him off the rooftop of the Millionth Match party venue during an argument, then she pressured James into helping her cover up Ben’s death and dump his body in the Thames. Before Ben went into the water though, Rebecca realised that he was still alive and that she could try to save him. Instead, she rolled him into the river, killing him – a secret she’d kept even from James. 

Why did she do it? Because Ben had realised that Rebecca was behind the data breach that got him fired from his job. He confronted her on the rooftop, threatening to go public with what he knew and send her to prison. When Matheus and Fabio showed up at Rebecca’s place on the day of the Millionth Match party, Ben realised that Matheus had previously taken part in a medical trial for his old company. That’s how he knew that, if Rebecca and Matheus had matched, she must have stolen the database that gave her access to Matheus’ genetic profile. 

Who stabbed Matheus?

David Cooper, the man who’d been protesting outside The One headquarters all series, holding a placard reading ‘A Match Made in Hell’. When Cooper’s wife had used The One to find her match, she’d left him and taken their two young children with her. Enraged, Cooper had attacked his ex-wife’s new partner and lost custody of the kids. He then channelled his frustration and anger into a campaign against Rebecca, eventually stalking her to her home address. He followed her to the new headquarters of her medical research lab, where she was secretly meeting Matheus. Cooper lunged at Rebecca with a knife, but Matheus saw the attack, span Rebecca around and saved her life, taking the knife and dying in the process. Rebecca later had Cooper stabbed to death in prison.

Why didn’t Rebecca save Fabio?

For the same reason that she killed Ben – because he was threatening to send her to prison for a past crime. Unlike Ben though, Fabio could be paid off and was blackmailing Rebecca for cash. Having spoken to Ben on the day he disappeared, Fabio knew that Rebecca had reason to kill him, and so when he saw the news report about Ben’s body being dredged up from the Thames, he demanded two million euros in exchange for not telling the police what he knew. Hence, when she found him passed out, she chose not to try to save him. 

Megan, Hannah, Mark and the baby

This is messy. When Hannah went to apologise in person to Megan – the woman she’d befriended after discovering that she was her husband Mark’s genetic match – during a hug, Megan stole a strand of Hannah’s hair. We later saw her use the strand to send to The One and find Hannah’s match. Although Megan told everybody she was planning to move back to Australia, she may be hoping that once Hannah meets her match, she’ll leave Mark and then he and Megan can be together. Mark lied to Hannah about having seen Megan while they were separated, so she doesn’t know that they had sex. Megan, on the other hand, doesn’t know that Hannah is currently pregnant with Mark’s baby. Like I said – a messy business.

Kate’s sibling love triangle with Sophia and Sebastien

After Kate and Sophia were matched, Sophia’s brother Sebastian told Kate he was strongly drawn to her, as if they were also matched. Kate, who’s bisexual, felt a similar pull towards both siblings. The last we saw her she was looking at Sebastien’s social media profile, which included photographs of his fiancée. She closed the tablet and kissed Sophia, perhaps indicating that she’d made her decision, but we also know that Sophia and Kate were both invited to Sebastien’s approaching wedding… In short then, she seemed to choose Sophia but the jury’s out. 

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James and Yasmin: a happy ending?

It looked like it. Strangely, even after she had Connor beat him up, James ended the series still friends with Rebecca and likely heading up the scientific arm of her new charitable medical research facility. We saw his match Yasmin, a Somalian refugee and IT worker with a young daughter, get his information and the two of them meet up and get along, suggesting that his lonely, guilt-ridden days are over.

Is The One all a lie?

It very much seems like it. As Kate discovered, despite the company line that there’s only one genetic match for everybody out there, it is possible to be matched with more than one person. Rebecca told James that the company was getting a few cases of people reporting feeling matched to two different people, “mostly between siblings with a high degree of chromosome recombination.” The entire premise, therefore, that there’s one true match out there for everybody, is false – the kind of news that could bring the company to its knees. Good job Rebecca got out when she could, eh?

The One is available to stream now on Netflix