Maryland ending explained and who is Cathy and who plays her in the heart-wrenching ITV drama?
The Maryland ending was every bit as emotional as fans might’ve expected as truths emerged and sisters Becca and Rosaline were drawn back together.
Starring Suranne Jones as Becca and Eve Best as Rosaline, ITV’s latest family drama dives headfirst into the idea of double lives. The sisters have grown apart over the years but when their mother Mary passed away on the Isle of Man they’re thrown together once again. Mary had deliberately not told them where she was going and the fallout from her secrets is hard for her family as they come to terms with losing her and learn about the other side of her. Maryland has the emotional complexity of The Pact season 2 and coastal scenery like the Annika ending and although many questions were answered in the final episode, there was some ambiguity.
Here we explain the Maryland ending and reveal who Cathy is and who the huge Hollywood star playing her is as the drama reached its poignant conclusion…
*Warning: Spoilers and sensitive subject matters ahead*
Maryland ending explained?
Building up to the Maryland ending, fans saw estranged sisters Rosaline and Becca struggling to balance their grief at losing their mother Mary and their pain and anger at the double life she’d been leading. Leaving her husband Richard at home in Manchester none-the-wiser, Mary would escape her old life and trade it for a whole new one whenever she was on the Isle of Man. She’d even pursued an affair with Pete, who approached Ros and Becca at the beginning of the Maryland ending episode with a shocking accusation.
Distraught at his partner’s death, Pete explained that he’d planned to care for her and hadn’t realized or expected Mary to make the decision that she did when she took a morphine overdose after receiving an Alzheimer's diagnosis. But Pete believed that there was at least a chance that her friend Cathy had given Mary the drugs, as she worked as a nurse with people who were incredibly dying.
They went round to see Cathy who confirmed she was an “end-of-life doula” but insisted that the morphine was for her personal use and she hadn’t known it was gone until it was too late. She showed her a video Mary had made where she’d said she wanted to stay on the Isle of Man if she died and Cathy said that Mary had told Richard about this and that she’d wanted to be cared for on the island.
Ros in particular was horrified and almost turned Cathy in before changing her mind at the last minute. In the Maryland ending we saw her finally let out some of the resentment she’d been carrying as she got into Jacob’s taxi and told him about her anger at Cathy for lying and at Becca for being perfect. Ros resented her younger sister for taking care of her in the past because it seemed that she needed to be grateful to her whilst Becca had everything together. But, as Jacob wisely pointed out, she didn’t anymore.
Becca and her husband Jim’s marriage problems were a subplot that rose to the surface more clearly in the Maryland ending when he arrived on the Isle of Man, closely followed by the sisters’ dad Richard and Jim and Becca’s daughters. The couple had a blazing row which they temporarily put on the back burner whilst they handled arrangements for Mary’s repatriation.
Richard was determined to bring his wife home, though Becca and Ros knew that this wasn’t what their mother had wanted. She’d been happy on the Isle of Man and even though her double life and her decision to take the morphine had hurt them all badly, they wanted to honor her wishes. This caused massive friction with Richard who angrily left a family meal and persuaded Jim to drive him to Pete’s house, just to get a look at him.
Later on in the Maryland ending, Becca found a letter Jim had brought with their post from home in Manchester. It was from Mary, written before her death, and although Rosaline said it was addressed to Becca, her younger sister insisted that they read it together.
In her heart-breaking letter Mary told Becca - and by extension reading it aloud, Rosaline too - to be “happy and free” and explained that she hadn’t wanted more of their lives to be taken over by “worrying and caring”.
Mary added that she “couldn’t live knowing [her] life yet again wasn’t going to be [her] own” and it emerged that she’d also sent letters to Richard and to Rosaline in London. As the Maryland ending continued Richard was confronted about this by his daughters who insisted Mary wouldn’t be repatriated. He admitted he’d received the letter and said he’d have cared for her but that he’d been cheated out of his chance to do so by Mary. Richard then angrily left the island to return to Manchester.
Meanwhile, Cathy paid a visit to Mary’s house and told the sisters that the police had visited her after receiving a tip-off that the morphine was hers. Rosaline denied it, indicating that it was Pete, but Cathy insisted that she’d told the authorities the truth - that the drug was hers but that Mary had taken it from her. She said that she’d never intended to harm Mary and Rosaline promised to put in a word for her with the police.
On a lighter note, the Maryland ending also saw Jim and Becca get their marriage back on track after she emotionally declared how she felt she was just a “ghost”. Rosaline confided in Becca about her biopsy and how she’d got the all-clear the day before but had been keeping it a secret from her. Now there were no secrets between them and Ros decided to stay on the Isle of Man and said she would plan Mary’s funeral.
Both sisters were hoping Richard would come around, although whether he did and whether he would’ve tried to intervene in some way remained unclear. The heart-wrenching ITV drama ended with a focus on the sisters at the heart of the story as they reaffirmed their love for each other and said they’d see each other again soon.
Who is Cathy in Maryland and who plays her in the ITV drama?
Cathy in Maryland is a friend of Becca and Rosaline’s late mother Mary, whom she met on the Isle of Man during her time there. Cathy had a boat and although in the Maryland ending she told Ros that Mary never went on it with her because she could get “seasick in her bathtub”, they did apparently talk a lot down by the sea together.
She became more significant as a character by the end of the show when it emerged that the morphine Mary took belonged to Cathy, who described her job to the sisters as an “end-of-life doula”. The final scene with her left it somewhat ambiguous whether Cathy is going to go to prison for the drugs and involvement in Mary’s death.
Rosaline did tell Cathy that she’d speak to the police and try to assure them that she and Becca know Cathy didn’t intentionally harm Mary or give her the morphine. In response Cathy simply said, “What will be, will be”, before leaving the house.
She is played in the ITV family drama by Hollywood icon and Grease legend Stockard Channing. As reported by The Manchester Evening News, Suranne Jones previously expressed her belief that she “manifested” Stockard being part of this project and that she still “can’t quite get over” that she accepted the role.
All episodes of Maryland are available to watch now via ITVX.