The human psyche is tremendously complicated with emotions and physical notions shaped by people’s experiences in life. ‘The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window,’ an eight-part series, attempts to explain the gripping narrative intended to bring forth a world of sleuthing possibilities for both the viewers and the characters. We get a glimpse of Anna Whitaker’s (portrayed by Kristen Bell) world, which is a grounded effort to seek constant validation while existing in a haunting past that keeps visiting her present from time to time.
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is a near-perfect story of how different aspects of the human brain when activated drive a person’s instincts into action, either throwing their world into complete chaos or creating a reality worth carrying forward. Curiously, certain roles even look like leads but depend heavily on the supporting roles, posing as ironic in hindsight, yet bringing to light questions about who commands the story’s direction.
Why Anna Gets Obsessed with Neil Coleman?
Anna Whitaker is a very well-accomplished artist who is almost at the peak of her career when her only daughter, Elizabeth, is brutally murdered by ‘Massacre’ Mike. He attacks her when she is left alone in the questioning room when her father, Douglas Whitaker, a forensic psychiatrist, steps out of the room temporarily. Seemingly forever haunting her present, Anna drowns herself in wine yet does not display signs of being drunk at all. We are thrown headfirst into her life when she starts looking out her window at her newly moved-in neighbor, Neil Coleman, and his daughter Emma.
Anna’s wish for a new life begins when Neil delivers a bouquet of tulips that were already lying on her doorstep. Anna is awestruck when it’s her gallerist, Sloane, edging her to begin painting because she needs to make a sale. Sloane’s quiet, desperate attempts do not go unnoticed, and Anna pushes the buttons after becoming acquainted with Neil’s air-hostess girlfriend, Lisa. Anna begins to believe in a whole new reality where she sees Lisa being stabbed and struggling for breath. Anna tries to call 911 but ends up rushing out of the house to try and rescue Lisa, only to collapse in the middle of the road with her tremendous fear of rain, stemming from the last day she saw her daughter alive.
Constantly suspicious of Neil killing Lisa, Anna drives herself to self-investigate every aspect of Neil’s life. His ex-wife and then his ex-wife’s sister. Almost convinced he is transporting Lisa’s body, she follows him in his car only to find him attending an open mic. She discovers that Neil is a ventriloquist trying to make a quick buck and pay his bills. But Anna remains doubtful of all his intentions, still hanging on to the suspicion that he is a murderer. Her dreams of a family with him shatter, and she continues to poke around, forcing Neil to put a restraining order on her.
Who is SexyRexx? How Is He Related to Lisa?
After Anna’s suspicion of Neil hits a peak, Anna begins to try and understand Lisa and her history. Stalking Lisa on Instagram leads her to find a picture of a man with her in a considerably intimate embrace. Anna decides to open a new account on Instagram, uploading pictures of herself in lingerie and adding SexyRexx. SexyRexx accepts and follows her back. After doing so, SexyRexx tracks her to her house, stalks her right on her doorstep, and threatens her, forcing her to get into the house in complete paranoia. After they are inside, SexyRexx introduces himself as Rex, the Stripper at a club, and starts looking for “Chastity”. After a moment of clarity, Anna finds out that Lisa’s real name is Chastity, and she dates men who are rich and extorts money from them while in a relationship with them. She uses Rexx as a crutch in the scheme, and they run away with their money. After robbing them of their money, Chastity creates disagreements to break up with them and never return. Anna realizes that Neil is Lisa’s victim, and it all makes sense now. But just as she is about to, Detective Lane barges in with Officer Waltz to press charges on her and issue a restraining order. Something seems off, but Anna does not catch it. Anna enjoys a night of complete lust with Rexx.
The next morning, the police barged in to arrest Rexx after telling Anna that both Chastity and Rexx were under surveillance and that Chastity’s body was now found mutilated. Convinced he is the killer, the investigation takes a turn when they discover a palette knife to be the murder weapon.
‘The Woman in the House Across The Street from The Girl in The Window’ Ending Explained – Who Killed Lisa, Neil & Buell?
When Rexx is arrested for Lisa’s death and the palette knife is discovered, Anna is also arrested because every bit of circumstantial evidence points to her being the killer. Her therapist always told her that combining the psychotropics prescribed for her mental stability must not be done with alcohol as it elevates and creates delusions, which we now see driving her reality. Detective Lane begins to question Anna about why she started painting flowers, of all things in the world. Anna tells her story of how her career started by accident but had a renewed calling when in labor with Elizabeth. Painting flowers was the closest she could be to Elizabeth. Even after her death, Sloane, her gallerist, eventually rescues her after paying a hefty bail amount.
When Lisa died, the drugs would make her have certain repetitive episodes of seeing herself stabbing Lisa as flashbacks. Anna is almost convinced that the sounds in her upstairs attic were Lisa’s mutilated body parts loosely moving around. Her therapist, who is her separated husband, Douglas, calmly guides her vocally on a call to confront this fear, only to find out that Buell, their handyman from the neighborhood, has been staying in her attic for all these weeks. Douglas then informs Anna that Buell is a rehabilitated patient of his with a violent history of killing his family with a hammer. Anna, convinced that he is a killer on the loose, finds him walking towards Neil’s house with a hammer in his hand. In a complete panic, she runs out of the house in the heavy rain.
Fighting the psychotropic drug, she finds her feet and struggles to get into Neil’s house to find Buell stabbed in the neck and, even more shockingly, Neil’s throat slit as well. It is revealed that Emma, Neil’s daughter, has stabbed everyone and is the only one standing alive in the house. With complete clarity of thought and intention, Anna confronts the reality that a child has killed Lisa and framed Anna. When Anna went to collect her checkbook, Emma would run up to the attic to grab a palette knife, pinning the brutal crime on Anna.
One would ask when does this end. The brutal truth is that it never did. Emma is a cog in the wheel of Anna’s life. After Anna is in the hospital, three pivotal figures in her life, Douglas, Sloane, and Carol, who is her neighbor, visit her in the hospital room to apologize, and the dialogue is almost repetitive, both by them and by her. It almost leads you to believe something is off. Just when you think it’s all over, the wheel turns again and we see Anna on her new journey with a second child and her husband, Douglas, assuring her that this new life is the best thing for her. On the flight with Sloane, Anna finds the lady who sat next to her for a couple of hours on the flight is stabbed and a new adventure begins.
The creators have masterfully left clues to the end from the beginning itself, with a haunting tinkling tune of the rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, which is quickly forgotten as Kristen Bell takes center screen both in the story and in dialogue with a stellar performance. Weaving between the lines, the story drops clues, such as: maybe Anna is influenced by her book, which changes only twice during the eight-part series. Supporting roles such as Douglas do not take precedent, yet the narrative leans heavily on a reality caused by a psychotropic drug prescribed by him, possibly overdosed by him, which makes you question whether this is Anna’s narrative or Douglas’s rehabilitation of Anna. While Buell is seemingly numb to his rehabilitation, Anna seems merely a subject when she stops drinking wine to give us a hopeful clean start with her, but then starts the pills again, this time with vodka and ice on the flight in the end. It seriously begs the question of whether we still consider Anna as a sane lead character when Douglas is the driver of each new reality. It makes for the perfect dark parody by the creators, making us relish in the double-edged ability of intellect.
‘The Woman in the House Across The Street from The Girl in The Window’ Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.