Ripley – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

VIII Narcissus

Episode 8 of Ripley begins with Caravaggio’s story as he runs off after murdering a pimp and while in hiding, drinks wine while looking at his painting.

At present, Tom leases a house in Venice as Tom Ripley. With Ravini unable to find Dickie, he orders the Palermo detective to find him. The hotel clerk tells him about Tunis and adds that Dickie seemed depressed which Ravini latches on to. He releases a statement that Dickie is a fugitive on the run which Marge reads.

Does Inspector Ravini find the real Tom Ripley?

Tom goes to the Venice police and introduces himself as the missing tourist, Tom Ripley. Ravini is instantly told and he personally decides to question Tom.

Inspired by Caravaggio’s shadow play, Tom prepares his home for the visit. He reduces the lighting to a bare minimum and wears a wig and a full beard. Ravini falls for it as he completely bares the case for him – Freddie and Dickie may have been lovers and an argument may have led to the murder. The dog walker is a witness.

Tom suggests someone may have killed Dickie too because of the forged cheque but Ravini believes that is not possible – Dickie wrote to Wendell Trust confirming his identity on his customized typewriter – the alignment of the letter ‘e’ is odd. Ravini claims no thief or murderer could have thought of this (of course, Tom did).

What makes Marge believe Tom?

Marge reads about Tom being found in Venice. Some magazine photographers also find her and she indulges them with features on Dickie. The magazine issues are a hit and the fame spreads to Tom as well as he gets invited by a count to a party who are fascinated by the case. He meets Reeves Minot, an “art dealer” who hints he is exactly like Tom.

Marge shows up in Venice and Tom gaslights her into thinking her last letter may have killed Dickie. He asks her to stay over as a courtesy and is annoyed when she accepts. He gets a party invite and she insists on going. At the party, he is upset that they gossip about Dickie but she enjoys it and capitalises on Dickie to promote her book.

He calls her out for it and they leave. She is extremely drunk and falls asleep in the gondola and he tries to keep his distance. He forgets his keys and has to climb over the gate but not before giving his coat to her. He unlocks the door and sees her looking over the edge while waiting for him. He considers drowning her and blaming the mossy canal steps and the alcohol. But he drops the idea.

The next day, Herbert Greenleaf arrives in Venice. Tom lets Herbert believe that Dickie may have been stressed and killed himself. Now comfortable around Tom, Marge goes looking for a sewing thread and finds Dickie’s ring. She confronts Tom who says Dickie gave him for safekeeping and prepares to kill her with an ashtray as Marge looks worried. However, he is relieved to hear Marge think that Dickie gave his ring because he planned to never return.

Why does everyone think that Dickie killed himself?

Marge tells Herbert about the ring and the man brings the PI, Al who had found Tom. Tom worries that Al may know he has killed Dickie but that isn’t the case. Al simply asks Tom to tell him everything about Dickie. Tom claims Dickie confessed his love to him in San Remo and Tom rejected him. This may have driven him to the edge.

Al also gets his hands on the letter Tom sent to the landlady as Dickie. The tone is resigned as he says he feels lost and she was the only one who was kind to him. Marge and Herbert look sad and believe Dickie killed himself on the way to Tunis. Herbert gives the heirloom ring to Tom saying Dickie gave it to him for a reason. He apologises for doubting Tom’s motives initially and both he and Marge leave.

Alone, Tom meets up with Reeves who gives him a new identity – as Timothy Fanshaw. Tom finally brings out the Picasso painting and hangs it on his wall which is a callback to Caravaggio.

Marge completes her book and sends a copy to Ravini. The dedication is to Dickie and there’s a photo of him. Ravini sees the photo and realises the Dickie he has been talking to was Tom Ripley all along at the end of Ripley Episode 8.

The Episode Review

Ripley Episode 8 brings the exciting Netflix thriller to an end. It is not a neat finale much like Tom who is anything but neat. He leaves behind a messy trail and had there been a more effective detective, he would probably been caught by now. But for now, lady luck still seems to favour Tom. And it looks like he wants to keep pushing his luck or that he hasn’t learned anything.

Man, why are you still in the same house in Venice? Sure, you changed your name but should Ravini want to head up there for a quick check, he is going to find you! And now he knows what Dickie really looks like… Or maybe we are not told how Tom’s story ends because we already know it. With the constant parallels to Caravaggio’s story, we know that he is caught and killed in the end, this means Tom may face a similar fate. 

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3 thoughts on “Ripley – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. How does Tom continue to live lavishly when he no longer has access to Dickies monthly trust fund checks now that Dickie is known to be dead? Just one of many loose ends and credulity strains one must overlook to enjoy this series.

  2. Hey @R Linsker, we can assume that it may have something to do with Tom writing as Dickie to the Greenleafs. He constantly shares that the cops are harassing him, so it could be that the Greenleafs may have refused to cooperate and/or give photos to the Italian cops or media.

    As for the ludicrosity that no one involved in the case sees a single photo of the real Dickie, it may have something to do with the theme of luck. When Ravini visits Marge’s home, he has a chance to see Dickie’s photo but he misses. Even the first 2 Rome hotel clerks do not see Dickie’s passport photo before Tom forges it. He again gets lucky when Marge does the magazine feature on Dickie but doesn’t share any photos of his face. I think it is to reiterate that Tom has escaped unscathed not because of his skills but luck.

  3. When the police were searching for Richard Greenleaf, how is it that they never found a photo of him to post as a “missing person “? Thus, how is it that Ravini only discovers what Richard really looks like when he receives Marge’s book?

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