‘The Doll Factory’ Ending Explained & Finale Recap: What Happens To Iris And Silas?


The Doll Factory, created by Charles Miley, is based on the book written by Elizabeth Macneal. The series promises to be a critique of the time when society was scared of the female gaze and did everything in its power to suppress it. There were many talented female artists, but society made sure that nobody knew about them. We have to say here that we found the ending of the series to be a bit rushed, and we didn’t like how everything was wrapped up at the end. The characters showed potential, but they were never explored in depth, and the creators left a lot of things for us to speculate on. So, let’s find out what happened at the doll factory.

Spoiler Alert

What issues did Rose have with Iris?

The twin sisters had a cordial relationship, or at least that’s what it felt like in the first three episodes of The Doll Factory, but soon, we realized that Rose had a lot of issues with Iris. Rose had smallpox when she was 16, and the illness left a lot of scars and indentures on her face. She was beautiful, and still was, but obviously, the beauty standards of society made her feel like she had become a monster. She had a boy in her life named Charles, and she believed that Iris had brought him to see her on purpose when she was ill so that he would get disgusted by looking at her face and leave her. Rose harbored these misunderstandings for a very long time, and when Iris decided to leave her and work for Louis, she got even more aggravated. But deep down, Rose loved her sister, and she was her biggest cheerleader. The conflicts they had were resolved later in the series when they had a confrontation of sorts.

What was Louis lying about?

Louis Frost came to Iris and asked her to be his model. It was not a very respectable job at that time, and Iris was a bit skeptical about it. Iris told Rose that she was completely opposed to the idea, and the latter got very angry at her. Rose told her sister upfront that she shouldn’t even entertain the thought of doing that work, as her image in society would get tainted. The mindset of Rose served as a critique of those items when women were oppressed and brainwashed into believing that being miserable and dealing with hardships was an integral part of their lives. Mrs. Salter didn’t treat the sisters properly, and her rude behavior helped Iris make a decision. She left the doll emporium and went to work with Louis on the condition that he would teach her how to paint.

Louis and Iris started working together, and we saw that not only did Iris get really good at painting portraits, but her perception through her female gaze taught a lot of things to Louis. Iris worked really hard on a painting, and the way it came out, she was very sure that she wanted the world to see it. She had made up her mind to get in touch with the Royal Academy so that her painting could be put in the upcoming exhibition. But one night, her painting was destroyed, and Iris got to know the next day that it was Louis’ iguana who had done that. Probably, Iris bought whatever lies were fed to her, but the truth was that it was not the animal behind the act, and Louis knew about it. Louis had hidden the fact that he was married to a woman named Sylvia and that he had a son with her. Sylvia was suffering from some mental disorder, and she had these extremely violent fits where she became uncontrollable. Louis found it better to hide from the world rather than deal with the ‘embarrassment’. Iris found out about it when, one day, a little boy came running towards Louis and addressed him as his father. Iris was heartbroken, but Louis told her that he was scared that if he told her the reality, then she wouldn’t accept the offer. He said that he never planned on falling in love with her, but when it happened, he became scared that she would leave him the moment she got to know that he had a wife.

Why did Silas kidnap Iris?

Albie worked for Silas, and that is why he always said that he was a dangerous man. At first, we thought that that perception was probably because he was a taxidermist, and the work was kind of creepy for a few people. But soon, we realized that Albie’s perceptions were not baseless and that there was something about Silas that no one knew about.

We knew that Silas shared this very sweet bond with Iris in the first three episodes of The Doll Factory, but it was at later stages that we got to know about his sinister intentions and that he was suffering from schizophrenia. Iris never met the man, and it was all happening in his mind. He created an entire storyline where he met Iris on a regular basis, and they were pretty close to each other. He went to confront her when she didn’t turn up for the great exhibition, and it was at that moment that even Silas realized that something was not right. She left the scene, but he was not done. We knew to what extent he could go, as he was the one who had killed Bluebell at the beginning of The Doll Factory. Silas kidnapped Iris, and the poor girl didn’t even know why he was doing all that. He kept her hidden in his basement for days in terrible circumstances, and that’s when Iris got to know that this man was completely insane. We are never told explicitly why Silas was like that, but we believe that a traumatic childhood led him to this situation. It is hinted in one of the episodes that his own mother despised him, and probably that had an adverse impact on his mind. Silas had always been lonely, and he craved some company. He also killed Gideon, and Albie even saw him in the act. After Gideon’s death, Silas started hallucinating and seeing him too, and we realized that Bluebell was the first person he killed. Silas wanted Iris to accept him in her life, but obviously, that was not going to happen, and it was just a matter of time before Iris escaped.

Was Iris able to escape from captivity?

Albie figured out that Iris was in trouble when he found out that Silas had gotten a letter from the clerk to inform Iris about her sister’s accident. Silas called Iris to his place and then drugged and chained her. Albie would have told Rose about it, but before that, the poor boy got hit by a horse wagon and met his fateful end. Luckily, Louis found out about that letter, and he reached Silas’ home to check if Iris was there. Both Rose and Louis felt that there was something wrong with the man, but they were not able to find him and ultimately had to leave. At the end of The Doll Factory, even Madame came with a police constable to Silas’ house, as through Albie she got to know that a feather that belonged to Bluebell, was found in his house and she knew that it was Silas who murdered her. But she didn’t have any concrete evidence, and Silas couldn’t be arrested. Finally, Iris decided that she had had enough and that she would have to give it her all if she wanted to escape from there and stay alive. She punched Silas when he came to the basement to check upon her, and she was able to get the better of him. She crushed his skull and beat him to death. Iris was able to escape from her prison at the end, and her circumstances were unable to defeat her.

During The Doll Factory‘s ending, we saw that Iris’s work was exhibited at the Royal Academy, and she got the acclaim she thoroughly deserved. It is possible that it was merely a figment of her imagination, but we would like to believe that finally, society was ready to accept the female gaze and be mesmerized by it.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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