Who Is Erin Carter? Ending Explained

Get to the bottom of all the mysteries in Netflix's latest hit series, Who Is Erin Carter?

Who Is Erin Carter Cast
Photo: Netflix

This article contains spoilers

Netflix has a new hit show on its hands with Who Is Erin Carter?. The series, about a beautiful British teacher dealing with some serious fallout after she’s caught up in robbery in Spain, is certainly filled with intriguing mysteries, most of which slowly unravel over the first season. But if you have some lingering questions about what exactly was going on in Who Is Erin Carter? (or didn’t make it to the end but need to know!) we’re here to help.

So, who is Erin Carter?

Erin Carter’s backstory was revealed in episode four of this seven-episode mini-series, making it the spine of the series as a whole. She was an orphan found by the police after her mother went out one night and disappeared. Her father was not in the picture. She was raised in foster homes and orphanages in England before joining the police as a trainee. She clearly feels ongoing trauma from her childhood and upbringing, and her strongest motivation throughout the series is making sure other children do not suffer the same. This is probably also what motivated her to become a schoolteacher.

Is she a career criminal, is she a spy, what?

After an incident with a creep of a fellow trainee put an end to her police career, she was recruited by DI Jim Armstrong for the fictional Centralized Intelligence and Operations agency to work undercover operations.

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Taking the name Kate Jones from a list of deceased children who were born around the same time as her, she was sent to work for a criminal gang run by Thomas Ramsey as a mole. Her faith in Armstrong was shaken when he refused to pull her out even after the gang realised they had been compromised. When the police ambush of a heist the gang pulled in Harwich resulted in her friend Lena being shot (and nearly got herself and Lena’s young daughter Harper shot as well), she went on the run with Lena’s daughter and some of the loot and took a new name from the list, Erin Carter.

But who is she? What was her birth name? What happened to her parents?

We don’t know. She was found abandoned at the age of six. She was wearing a T-shirt that read “NYC Brooklyn”, but those are sold all over the world so that means nothing. Actor Evin Ahmad who plays her is Swedish – which is the hint of an accent that can be heard in her dialogue – and her parents are Kurdish. Ahmad’s slight accent adds to the deliberately obscure background of her character, who could really be from almost anywhere. We have no idea what her birth name was, whether she was born in Britain, or what happened to her parents. Although the show is a limited series, it is possible it might get a second limited series as a follow-up, judging by the tease of more peril to come at the end, so the writers might be saving those answers for a later date.

Who were the robbers holding up the supermarket who recognised Erin?

Both were former members of Thomas Ramsey’s gang. After Erin killed one of them, the other – a woman called Margot Müller who was once close with Erin – came after her and Erin killed her too. Her cop friend Emilio helped her bury the body, but it was found not long afterwards.

What happened to Emilio?

Jordi’s best friend Emilio was a cop who was investigating a corrupt lawyer, Benecio Agustín. He forced Erin to break into Agustín’s home in episode 2, looking for evidence against him, but the evidence was useless because it was obtained illegally. Later, he killed Agustín to save Erin. But Agustín was part of a much larger crime ring, and when Emilio refused to stop pursuing its leaders even though he had no admissible evidence, the real leader, Daniel Lang, tracked him down and killed him.

Who is Harper Carter?

Harper is Lena’s daughter. Kate/Erin became close to both of them while she was undercover in Ramsey’s gang. Harper witnessed the police raid on the gang and the resulting shoot-out. When Erin thought her mother Lena had been killed, she took Harper herself in order to spare the child her own traumatic upbringing without a stable home. Harper was almost the same age Erin had been when she was found by the police, and she probably saw herself in the young girl. Harper also has a degenerative eye condition that was passed down genetically, presumably from her birth father, as Lena’s vision is excellent.

What was going on with Lena and Daniel Lang? Was he the bad guy?

Lena recovered from her gunshot wound and was arrested and found guilty of armed robbery. She was serving out her sentence, working in a household as a cleaner and wearing an electronic tag, when she found out that Margot Müller had been killed, which put her on Erin’s trail. She escaped from prison and came after Erin because she wanted her daughter back, and she was also angry with Erin for betraying the gang to the police.

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Daniel Lang was the father of a boy at Harper’s school, Dylan, whom Erin had been tutoring. He was also the leader and financial backer of both Thomas Ramsey’s criminal gang in England, and the leader of the organised crime ring that Agustín was a part of in Spain.

By the way, where have I seen those two before?

Lena is played by Denise Gough, who recently put in a memorable performance as Deedra Meero in Andor. Douglas Henshall, who plays Daniel Lang, had leading roles on the other side of the law as DI Jimmy Perez in Shetland, and in Primeval as Nick Cutter, and Outlander fans might recognise him as Taran MacQuarrie, an outlaw who was imprisoned with Jamie in Wentworth Prison. Other familiar faces include Susannah Fielding as Oliva, who played Jennie Gresham in This Time With Alan Partridge, and the ill-fated second mole Scotty-Mick is played by Josef Altin, otherwise known as Jon Snow’s friend Pyp from Game of Thrones. DI Jim Armstrong is played by Jamie Bamber, who is best known as Major Lee Adama in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica.

What happened to Lena and Daniel?

Lena and Daniel were both killed in the final confrontation in episode seven. Lena drew the gang’s fire so that Erin, Jordi, and Harper can escape. Both women realised that if one of them drew fire, the other might be able to get away, and presumably Lena decided that Harper had a better chance at happiness with the people she now considers to be her parents, rather than going on the run with her biological mother.

Erin killed Daniel at her second opportunity. She had refused to shoot him dead in Episode 6 because he told her his son Dylan would come and find his dead body, leaving him orphaned and traumatised. In episode seven, however, Lang threatened Erin’s family one too many times, and Dylan was nowhere around, so she shot him in the head.

Are Olivia and Penelope just regular other mums? What about Jordi? Anything sinister about him?

Yes, Olivia and Penelope really are characters taken straight out of Motherland and dropped into this web of crime and punishment.

Olivia did metaphorically stab Erin in the back when she did not recommend her for promotion, though her defence that Erin had turned up late, in a beach T-shirt, after she tried really hard to help her get the promotion is pretty solid. She also gave away Erin’s location to Lena, but that was because Lena threatened her children and she called Erin to warn her afterwards, so all in all, we’re going to cut Oliva some slack.

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Penelope is an absolutely typical unhappy rich bottle blonde wife who is in her own separate story about finding the courage to divorce her husband, but manages to mend metaphorical fences with Erin and help her out along the way.

And Jordi is just an incredibly understanding, extremely skilled, very handsome nurse.

Are they all going to live happily ever after now?

Well, Jordi and Harper have forgiven Erin for keeping things from them, though Erin still hasn’t told either of them her birth name. They all seem pretty content for now – but it looks like DI Jim Armstrong is about to drag Erin back into some more dodgy shenanigans, so who knows how long that will last!