Warning: Spoilers about Netflix's The Stranger finale ahead.
Netflix’s The Stranger has a lot to worry about. First, there is the titular Stranger (Hannah John-Kamen) — real name Christine Killane — running around the series’ suburban England, spilling characters’ worst secrets. Then, there is the disappearance of Corrine Price (Dervla Kirwan), confirmed pregnancy faker and wife of protagonist Adam Price (Richard Armitage, without the usual Hobbit makeup). Corrine goes missing by the end of The Stranger’s premiere episode, pushing her husband into a series-long harried investigation into his wife’s whereabouts.
The streaming series’ 2020 finale, “Episode 8,” however, reveals Adam’s search was for naught all long. Corrine is dead, and has been since the end of “Episode 1.” Yet, Christine isn’t the culprit — The Stranger has been tricking us by trying to convince us otherwise.
Instead, Corrine’s murder connects two of The Stranger’s biggest mysteries: Christine’s backstory and the case of the soccer team’s missing cash.
The beginning of “Episode 3” adds a new knot to the drama, beyond Corinne's disappearance. We learn a small fortune has been stolen from the boys’ football club that the Prices’ son Ryan (Misha Handley) currently attends. Since Corrine has been the treasurer of the club for 10 years, people believe she is the thief and the crime is the reason she vanished. The Prices’ family friend Tripp (creepy The Witcher king Shaun Dooley) confirms this story to Adam, saying he knew about the misdeed and recently told Corrine she had to come clean.
The Stranger’s finale explains it was all a lie. Tripp is the one who took the money.
Soccer coach Bob (Clinton Blake) tips Adam off. Bob, who lost his job weeks prior to the events of The Stranger, relays to Adam that Tripp told him Corrine stole the money and was planning to pin the crime on Bob following his shady business dealings.
“You asked Corrine for more time. Not the other way around,” Adam correctly accuses Trip. “Then you used that time to set her up. You altered the books, you hid the money and then you turned everyone against her.”
Although Tripp initially denies the allegations, he admits everything once he and Adam are in the woods, far away from the Tripp family home. There, the events leading up to Corinne’s murder are fully untangled. After Adam outed Corrine’s fake pregnancy, she called Tripp, believing he orchestrated the reveal of her darkest secret. Later that day, Tripp and Corrine met in the Price's garage. Corrine, believing Tripp threatened her family, said she had to tell people about Tripp stealing the money if he didn’t fix the issue immediately. Corrine then went to leave the garage. Tripp bludgeoned Corrine as she walked out of the room, killing her. He then buried her body in the forest, and sent Adam a fake text message from Corrine's phone about needing time.
A part of “Corrine’s” final text to Adam, where she wrote “You take care of the kids,” matches Tripp’s line early in the premiere to Adam. He said, “When it comes to looking after ourselves and our kids, then… we’re all corrupt.”
Despite Tripp’s villainy, he wasn't the one to start all of this mayhem by enlisting The Stranger to find dirt on Corrine. That was unemployed Bob, who was pushed to the edge when he learned “Corrine” was going to frame him for the stolen football money. Bob hired Christine to protect himself.
However, things changed during The Stranger's search into the Prices. At the beginning of the finale, Christine tells Adam that her sleuthing led her to a shocking revelation: she is Adam’s biological sister (through many tragic twists and scandalous turns). Once Christine learned of that unexpected relation, she decided she had to help Adam rid his family of their worst secrets. That explains why she told Adam about Corinne’s faked pregnancy but did not extort him like most of her other victims.
Unfortunately for the Prices, Corrine took the news as proof she had to turn in Tripp. Adam realizes that is the reason Corrine never truly denies the pregnancy scam and is focused on figuring out how her husband ever learned about it. Her repeated explanation to Adam, “There’s more to this,” is referencing the entire hidden football club backstory.
Although Adam, Christine, and Bob are all cogs in the wheel towards Corrine's death, none of them are to blame directly. That guilt belongs to her murderer Tripp — and that's why Adam kills him in the penultimate scene of The Stranger, starting a brand new set of lies.
The Stranger didn't set her brother free of secrets. She only created much bloodier ones for him.