Rules of the Game ending explained: Who died and how? –

Science & Technology

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The past finally catches up to them.
The following contains discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find upsetting.

Rules of the Game spoilers follow.
Rules of the Game follows the investigation of a body found in the reception of the family-owned business, Fly Dynamic. When the police call in Sam (Maxine Peake), COO of the company, for questioning, the viewer is taken through a series of flashbacks to uncover what led to the discovery of the body.
We are introduced to the new HR director Maya (Rakhee Thakrar), who is planning to shake things up in the workplace. As the episodes go on we learn, alongside Maya, the extent of misogyny embedded in the workplace. And the multiple offences that have been committed by various current (and ex) members of staff.
As Maya and Sam clash over accusations of sexual assault and the future reputation of the company, everything starts to unravel. And the police begin to uncover sinister truths.
So if you’ve watched all four episodes and need some help unpacking the various time jumps, keep on reading. (And if you haven’t, major spoilers ahead, so look away now).
Throughout the series, the main question on the viewer’s lips is whose body was discovered? Well, we finally receive the answer at the end of episode three as we are taken back to the moment Sam finds the body. But this time the camera flicks to Maya, lying dead on the floor in a pool of her own blood.
Initially, the cause of death is believed to be suicide. However, soon the lead officer DI Eve Preston (Susan Wokoma) pieces together the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death. In an earlier episode she questions the lack of hesitation exhibited by Maya before jumping, a common trait she has noticed in suicide victims. And this is further compounded when it transpires Maya had called the police the night before, after Luke (her estranged husband) had broken into her home.
We then return to Sam’s memories, where she enters Maya’s office and asks her to sign an NDA. This is to cover up her findings concerning Amy’s (a previous employee) death, Hugh’s sexual assault of Tess and other accusations of misogyny. The company’s priority is to go ahead with the IPO. Maya refuses to sign and Sam calls Owen for help.
In the present, Sam has been released by the police and returns to work, where employees are reassured the IPO is still on track. However, Sam is clearly shaken from everything and begins to question what really happened that night.
Gareth (Kieran Bew) discovers the flash drive, which contained sexual videos of him and deceased 16-year-old employee Amy from a decade ago, is missing. Carys (Katherine Pearce) reveals she gave it to Sam, who claims she destroyed it. The viewer finds out she was lying to Gareth and has kept it safe.
At Maya’s funeral, Tess reads out a quote Maya had given to her, and Sam connects that it is written on the same parchment that her supposed suicide note is written on – ​​”Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” After returning to Maya’s house with her mother, Sam borrows Maya’s copy of Bhagavad Gita, which again contains a similar parchment.
Meanwhile, DI Eve Preston follows up on her lead with Luke and calls him for questioning. She asks about the tracking device he put on Maya’s car and his stalker-ish behaviour. Whilst Luke is a terrible person, this turns out to be a dead end.
Sam heads back to the office and Owen reveals the outcome of his meddling. He claims the NDA had shown up on his desk, signed by both Maya and Sam, the night she died. And the entry records linking Amy and Gareth has been wiped. Once Sam leaves, Owen goes to Maya’s desk and finds out the box of her belongings (containing the entry records) has been returned to her mother.
Still keeping on top of all the lies?
As Sam’s suspicions of foul behaviour grow, the final straw is when her daughter Gemma reveals Owen had acted inappropriately around her. £500,000 from a mysterious offshore account is sent to her (to pay her off) and she goes to meet Owen’s wife, Vanessa (Zoe Tapper). There she finds out it is not Owen, but Anita’s (Alison Steadman) account that sent her the money.
She goes to visit Anita and we find out that Sam was sexually harassed (and presumably raped) by her late husband, Harry, who is Gemma’s real father. Anita tells Sam she is caught up in the web of lies and begins to explain what happened the night of Maya’s death, and the viewer is taken into the past again.
That night Maya is ready to go to the police with her accusations against Fly Dynamic when Anita finds her. Anita unsuccessfully tries to convince her to sign the NDA, and when Maya goes to clear her head, she leaves her belongings behind in the office. Anita takes her anxiety medication and dissolves them into Maya’s whiskey. Maya returns and Anita offers her the spiked drink. When Owen arrives to find an unconscious Maya, Anita leaves him to clean up the mess. He throws her from the balcony and leaves the note from the Bhagavad Gita by her, staging her suicide.
In the present, Sam returns home, and after telling Gemma who her real father is, decides to finish what Maya started. She heads to Maya’s home to find the entry records. There, Owen spots her and goes to attack her. As they both struggle, Owen explains that Amy died after Gareth choked her to death during sex, and he was called to stage her death as an overdose. Sam manages to whack Owen on the head, killing him, and calls the police. We return to the police a final time where Sam provides the evidence she has collected and all she has learnt, leading to Gareth and Anita’s arrest.
In the final scenes, Sam is now head of the company and explains to the board that their campaign with female athletes speaking on violence against women has redeemed their reputation. She then offers Tess a job who refuses but threatens that she will be keeping an eye on Sam.
Rules of the Game airs on BBC One. The full box set is also available on BBC iPlayer.
If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.