All 6 episodes of Anatomy of a Scandal, Netflix’s newest limited series, were released on April 15. The final episode of the season was a jaw-dropping conclusion to James Whitehouse’s trial, the Holly Berry mystery, and more. The Anatomy of a Scandal ending featured one last twist where James finally got what was coming to him. Let’s break it all down:
The finale episode begins where the penultimate episode ended. Sophie wonders if she’s met Kate before and starts asking questions about Holly Berry, her roommate at university. Kate dances around Sophie’s question, but Sophie gets the answer she’s looking for when she notices Kate’s color-coded tabs are just like the ones Holly used in school. Kate knows that Sophie knows that she’s Holly, but she doesn’t want to lose her career.
James Confesses About The Libertine Party
At the Whitehouse home, James and Sophie talk. He is the one to actually bring up Holly Berry. He asks what she looked like and when is the last time Sophie saw her. Sophie, not mentioning her conversation with Kate/Holly, tells James that she thought she saw Holly in the street today.
James decides to confess to Sophie that he was with Holly on the night of the Libertine party all those years ago. In James’ story, they were both drunk and had consensual, “spontaneous” sex. However, he does admit that Holly “seemed shaken” afterward and believes it was because she was a virgin at the time.
Sophie, after standing by James through this trial, is stunned by James’ confession. “It was certainly, one hundred percent, not rape,” James swears. He tells her that he’s just being “honest” with himself and her, but you can tell by the look on his face that he’s beginning to question his own words.
James’ confession isn’t over just yet. He also brings up Alec, the man who “jumped” to his death the night of the Libertine party. He reveals to Sophie that Tom and Alec were doing heroin together, and James disposed of the evidence after Alec fell to his death. Sophie is furious since James used her as his alibi that night.
James Is Found Not Guilty
The next day, the trial continues. After only 4 hours of deliberations, a verdict has been reached. As everyone heads back to court, Kate crosses paths with James. James seems to possibly recognize Kate as Holly, but he doesn’t address it. James is found not guilty of raping Olivia Lytton. Everyone is shocked, even Sophie. As she walks out of the courtroom, James looks at Kate again but doesn’t put two-and-two together.
While James wants to celebrate his victory, Sophie has a few more questions. She asks him if he said, “Don’t be such a pricktease?” James replies, “What do you think?” Sophie continues on and says that she thinks it’s possible Olivia asked him to stop and he responded with the pricktease line. James hesitates but ultimately admits that he did say it, which means he committed perjury on the stand.
“I told the core truth, that she wanted it,” James tells Sophie. Sophie leaves their home and shows up on Alison’s doorstep. She wants to find Holly Berry. Alison lies and claims she doesn’t know where Holly is. Sophie sees right through Alison’s lying and says that she knows that Holly is Kate Woodcroft. After Alison gives her a heads up about Sophie, Kate thinks her career is screwed.
Sophie doesn’t waste any time telling James that she’s leaving him after his multitude of lies. “I have always let you curate the truth,” Sophie says. James gets on his knees and begs her to stay. “If I stay, who will our children become?” Sophie says. James asks what they’ll tell the children. Sophie simply replies, “The core truth.”
Sophie Exposes James For Alec’s Death
Sophie meets up with Kate and admits that her “left-handed scribbling and color-coded notes” gave her away as Holly Berry. However, Sophie notes that Kate is virtually unrecognizable now. Sophie wants to talk about James. “He assaulted me,” Kate says with conviction. Sophie brings up that James claims their hookup was consensual and the fact that Kate never reported James. Kate knows that no one would have believed her at the time. “It was rape,” she swears to Sophie.
Sophie tells Kate that she had no idea about the assault back then. Kate doesn’t think Sophie is going to do anything about it. Sophie is fed up with everyone underestimating her. She’s already made a call to the press about what happened the night of the Libertine party. Not about Holly’s rape, but Alec’s death. Tom and James’ involvement in Alec’s death is something that can definitely still be prosecuted in court.
When Kate asks why Sophie has decided to do this now, Sophie says, “Course correction, perhaps.” James and Tom are arrested in connection with Alec’s death on the night of the Libertine party. Sophie takes her children out of the city to the countryside, while Kate/Holly continues to take down criminals in court. With James behind bars, justice has been served.