The Serpent hit BBC One and iPlayer on January 1st but the ending of episode 8 led to questions about Charles Sobhraj’s fate and needs to be explained.

*Spoilers ahead for The Serpent episode 8*

To welcome in the new year, BBC One has introduced viewers to the chilling case of Charles Sobhraj.

The series began airing on BBC One on January 1st but fans have also been binging their way through all eight episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Those who have made it to episode 8 have been left with questions and the ending of The Serpent needs to be explained.

Just what did happen to Charles Sobhraj?

The Serpent: Trailer | BBC Trailers

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The Serpent: Trailer | BBC Trailers
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The Serpent on BBC One

The Serpent arrived on BBC One and iPlayer on January 1st, 2021 and has been airing on Sundays since.

The eight-episode drama tells the chilling story of the thief and serial killer Charles Sobhraj who alongside Marie-Andrée Leclerc was prolific in several Asian countries throughout the mid-1970s.

On their trail is Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg who is tasked with investigating the disappearance of a young Dutch couple.

BBC

The Serpent episode 8

The eighth and final episode of The Serpent begins in India in June 1976 as the net around Charles Sobhraj closes in.

He has taken up a role as a tour guide to a group of French tourists and explains how he supposedly uses an anti-bacterial drug to avoid falling ill on his travels and promises to give some to the tour group.

However, Charles has other ideas and actually poisons the pills but the drugs take effect quicker than anticipated and members of the group start feeling unwell and collapsing while he’s still present.

Unsurprisingly, the police are called and Charles is arrested.

Meanwhile, Marie-Andrée is captured by police at the same time after Jean Huygens gave the police information about her and Sobhraj.

We then flash-forward several years to 1983 when Leclerc began to suffer from the effects of uterine cancer when she was allowed to return home to Canada for treatment, ending her association with Sobhraj.

Another 14 years pass and we meet Sobhraj in France as a free man as he has served his sentence in India but wasn’t extradited to Thailand, meaning he avoided the death sentence.

And finally, the last jump in time takes us to 2003 when Charles Sobhraj returned to Kathmandu in Nepal where he provokingly poses for photos, leading to his arrest shortly afterwards.

Sobhraj is on the verge of walking free when Herman Knippenberg manages to fax some key evidence to the police at the last moment, Marie-Andrée’s statement to upon her arrest, which incriminates Charles Sobhraj in the deaths of Dutch travellers Bloem and Dekker back in 1975 (real names  Henk Bintanja and his fiancée Cornelia Hemker).

BBC

The Serpent ending explained: What happened to Charles Sobhraj?

  • At the time of writing, 76-year-old Charles Sobhraj remains in prison in Nepal.

The fate of Charles Sobhraj is explored in several paragraphs of text that appear on-screen before the credits roll.

In 2004, Charles Sobhraj was sentenced to life imprisonment in Nepal for the murder of Connie Jo Bronzich which took place in December 1975.

To this day, it’s unclear why Sobhraj returned to Nepal, where he was still eagerly sought by the authorities, but it is speculated that a desire for attention and overconfidence were to blame.

In 2014, Charles was also found guilty of the murder of Canadian tourist Laurent Carriere and a further 20 years was added to his sentence.

The Serpent continues airing on BBC One on Sundays while all eight episodes are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.

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