Woman in the Window ending explained: What happened to Jane Russell?

Woman in the Window (2021), Amy Adams as Anna Fox
Woman in the Window (2021), Amy Adams as Anna Fox /

Warning: The following post contains spoilers for The Woman in the Window ending!

Netflix has finally released The Woman in the Window, a film that underwent a long, troubled production to finally become a movie featuring an A-list cast including Amy Adams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie and Julianne Moore. Yet the star power couldn’t save a meandering, aimless and downright boring mess.

Nonetheless, the film, based on the book of the same name by A.J. Finn (a story that has its own twisted background, one that might even be juicier than the film!), delivers on its promise of plot twists and thrills.

The story focuses on Dr. Anna Fox (Adams) a therapist and agoraphobe who spends her days watching her new neighbors across the street while drinking wine and popping anxiety pills. The only regular social interaction she has is with her basement tenant David (Wyatt Russell), her therapist and phone calls to her estranged husband (Mackie) and daughter.

Anna eventually meets her new neighbors, the Russell family, including stern, overbearing husband and father Alistair (Oldman), his wife Jane (Moore) and his nervous young son Ethan (Fred Hechinger).

Jane visits Anna at home on Halloween night and the two end up drinking and gossiping. Anna takes an instant liking to her, the same way she did to her son, Ethan, who clearly needs a friend. But it soon becomes apparent that the combination of pills and anxiety is making Anna see things and she has a hard time discerning fantasy from reality.

A few days after meeting Jane, Anna believes she witnesses Alistair brutally murdering her in their apartment across the street. She immediately calls the police. But when they arrive, they tell Anna that Jane is just fine and nothing happened to her. Then Jane herself comes into the room to reassure Anna that she’s okay. But this Jane is played by Leigh, not Moore. Anna is obviously confused, this isn’t the woman she met a few nights ago.

Woman in the Window
Woman in the Window (2021), L to R: Jennifer Jason Leigh as Jane Russell, Brian Tyree Henry as Detective Little, Amy Adams as Anna Fox, Gary Oldman as Alistair Russell, and Wyatt Russell as David. /

Woman in the Window ending explained: What happened to Anna’s family?

Despite the fact we’re led to believe that Anna’s family is alive, just living separately. We eventually find out that Anna has been hallucinating those phone calls. In reality, her husband and daughter are dead. They were driving together on an icy road one snowy night on the way to a family vacation when Anna and her husband, Ed, got into an argument that led to Anna veering off the road. The crash resulted in her family dying.

Woman in the Window ending explained: Who is Jane Russell?

It turns out that Moore’s version of “Jane” is actually another woman entirely named Katie. She’s Ethan’s birth mother. So Leigh is the real Jane and the woman Anna met was Katie, who just let Anna think she was Jane.

It’s actually David who ends up revealing Katie’s identity because Anna captures her reflection in a photograph of her wine glass (and cat). He had a one-night stand with her and tells Anna everything she told him about how Katie left abruptly during her pregnancy and Alistair had to track her down.

She wound up in a meth commune in Oregon and later went to prison while Alistair took Ethan in. Then he married Jane and the Russells tried to keep hidden from Katie. She managed to find them and continually visited their apartment until someone killed her.

Woman in the Window
Woman in the Window (2021), L to R: Amy Adams as Anna Fox and Julianne Moore as Jane – Courtesy of Melinda Sue Gordon / Netflix Inc /

Woman in the Window ending explained: Who killed Katie?

Ethan Russell is not the naive, sweet boy we’re led to believe he is! Instead, he’s a stone-cold teenage killer who killed his mom because he felt like she never took care of her family. He also intends to kill Anna because he thinks she failed her family, too. We find out that Ethan has a troubled history and previously killed Alistair’s assistant, a woman named Pamela, by pushing her out of a sixth-floor terrace.

After that, Alistair covered up the incident and moved his family to New York. So it seems like all the Russells are complicit in Ethan’s murderous ways and might have helped him cover up Katie’s death. In the final moments of the movie, Anna and Ethan get into a vicious fight as Ethan tries to kill her.

Ultimately, Anna ends up pushing Ethan through her brownstone’s skylight, resulting in his death. After a time jump, we see a newly refreshed Anna who has seemingly recovered from her agoraphobia and is moving out of her brownstone, ready to start a new phase in her life.

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What did you think about the Woman in the Window ending? Were you shocked? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Woman in the Window is now available to stream on Netflix.