The Ending of 'Who Killed Sara?', Explained

We have so many questions.

manolo cardona and carolina miranda in who killed sara
(Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers ahead for Who Killed Sara? season one. The first season of the Netflix series Who Killed Sara?, a.k.a. ¿Quién mató a Sara?, was a thrilling ride that traced Alex Guzman's (Manolo Cardona) investigation into his sister Sara's (Ximena Lamadrid) death. A second season is coming on May 19—which is great news, because season one ended with more questions than answers about Sara's death: What secrets was Sara hiding in her new diary? Who is the skeleton Alex dug up? Why isn't Cesar in jail yet? Are any of the Lazcanos going to get out of this with their love lives intact? Let's unpack the finale's twists, turns, flashbacks and montages.

First, the background: On a lake house holiday with her brother and her boyfriend's family, the rich Lazcanos, Sara dies in a parasailing accident. Police discover that Sara's death was a homicide, and patriarch Cesar Lazcano (Ginés García Millán) convinces Alex to take the fall. After 18 years in jail, wrongfully imprisoned for Sara's death, Alex gets out and immediately goes after the Lazcanos, vowing revenge against Cesar and his son Rodolfo, Sara's old boyfriend. But Alex quickly learns that Rodolfo was not responsible for Sara's death. Thus begins a winding investigation to find out who killed Sara, with Alex helped along by his new love interest, the youngest Lazcano daughter, Elisa (Carolina Miranda).

What happens at the end of Who Killed Sara?

The bulk of the finale is an extended flashback showing the details of the lake trip and the hours before Sara's death. It begins in the aftermath of Sara watching the video of a man beating one of the casino's prostitutes, Flor Sanchez; she runs out of Cesar's right-hand man Sergio's office with the tape. We see that Sara is afraid of Cesar and Sergio, who know that she's seen the tape. But we also learn that there's a different credible suspect for Sara's death: the Lazcano matriarch, Mariana.

who killed sara

(Image credit: Netflix)

In the flashback timeline, Mariana learns from her lackey Elroy that Sara is pregnant with her husband Cesar's child. She ends up taking Sara on a short hike up a mountain, where she pretends that she thinks her son Rodolfo is the father of Sara's baby. She tells Sara that she's in favor of the pregnancy and will support her. But she also nearly pushes Sara off a cliff and encourages Sara to have fun when she can, and specifically to try the family's new parasail wing. Later, Mariana orders Elroy to cut the parachute harness, blackmailing him with knowledge of his past crimes (and also some twisted seduction).

The rest of the flashbacks play out as we've already seen: Sara, Alex, Rodolfo and Chema go out onto the lake, Elroy keeps the boys from parasailing first, Sara goes up in the broken harness and falls into the lake. For extra measure, we also see Mariana talking to a dial tone when pretending to call the hospital and scrubbing the boat clean of evidence. However, before we can call the case open and shut, we see Elroy admit that he "couldn't do it." That, plus the fact that we don't actually see Elroy cut the harness, suggests that he didn't go through with it. Unfortunately, in the present timeline it looks like Mariana killed him in the hospital, so we'll never know whether he really cut the harness.

So, who killed Sara?

Long story short: We don't find out who killed Sara by the end of season one. We have more credible suspects, and we've taken others off the list, including Rodolfo and Chema, but Alex isn't done with his investigation yet. Instead of a conviction, we get a new twist to the mystery behind Sara's death that will propel us into season two.

In the final minutes of season one, Alex finds a second diary of Sara's in the wall of his childhood home. It's a huge discovery, since Alex had been using Sara's diary as guidance throughout his investigation. In the new diary, we see a new side of Sara; the writing includes erratic scribbles and drawings along with a page that says, "I want to die." After reading the diary, Alex calls his girlfriend Eliza and tells her that they were wrong about everything. He also recognizes a drawn location in the new diary. When he gets there, he finds a shallow grave and a skeleton with a bullet through the skull. We see through a flashback that Cesar shot whoever the skeleton was.

What happens to Cesar Lazcano?

Cesar Lazcano is set up as the main antagonist of the series from the first episode, and though he isn't revealed as Sara's killer in the finale, we do become familiar with his numerous other crimes. Cesar is a powerful businessman who owns a casino, among many other assumed businesses. The series spends a lot of time on the casino; it's the place where Alex pulls several stunts to alert the world of Cesar's part in his wrongful imprisonment, and possibly in Sara's death.

who killed sara

(Image credit: Netfliix)

Over the course of the show, we learn that Cesar has an illicit brothel in the basement of the casino for his VIP clients. He even brings his grandson Bruno down there to lose his virginity to one of the prostitutes.

Trigger warning: Murder, sexual violence. Later, we learn that after Cesar recruited the prostitutes for his brothel, he stole their passports and blackmailed them into continuing to work for him. We also learn that several of the prostitutes have been beaten and murdered, and that there are taped snuff films of the beatings. Sara sees a snuff film of Flor Sanchez's murder shortly before her death; we don't see the identity of the man in the video, but the fact that Sara knows about the prostitutes at all plays into Cesar's motive. After Cesar paired Bruno with one of the prostitutes, Imara, and Bruno tried to help her, she disappeared. Her body was found in the finale, presumably murdered by Cesar.

Though Cesar doesn't end up in jail in the finale, public perception of him does change as Alex slowly reveals his secrets. There's even a scene where Cesar shoots into a crowd of protestors around his building. Even if he wasn't Sara's killer, it's safe to assume Cesar will end up behind bars at some point in future seasons.

Who is Diana the Huntress?

Throughout the series, Alex receives cryptic clues from someone with the alias Diana the Huntress. The anonymous stranger helps him along with his investigation, letting him know that his initial hunch that Rodolfo killed Sara was wrong and encouraging him to ruin Cezar's public reputation.

In the finale, we learn that Diana the Huntress is really Sara's old friend Marifer. Though she seemed to be a minor character who hooked up with Alex on another beach weekend, it turns out that Sara had confided in Marifer about the snuff films she had found in Cesar's office, and had even given her one for safekeeping. We also see that Marifer had called Sara asking for help the morning that she and Alex left for the infamous lake weekend, but Sara ignored her and went to the lake.

There's also a flashback of Sara ripping apart her room in anger after Marifer tells present-day Alex that their friendship "didn't end well." Hopefully, as season 2 unravels more of Sara's past, we'll get more details about Marifer as well—like where she was during Sara's death.

What happened with Rodolfo, Chema and Elisa?

Throughout season one, the Lazcano children's lives were turned upside down by revelations of their family secrets. By the finale, each of them have fallen out with their father Cesar in different ways, and there's also turmoil in their love lives. Elisa, the youngest child who helped Alex with his investigation, tells Cesar that she is in love with Alex, and that she knows Cesar is a killer. Rodolfo, who's still mourning Sara's death 18 years later, finds out that his wife Sofia has been sleeping with Cesar and is now pregnant. During a fight, Rodolfo reveals that he had a vasectomy after Sara's death, so the baby could only be Cesar's. The last we see of them is Rodolfo leaving after the fight, so no official word on whether their marriage is over.

As for Chema, who's been trying to have a baby with his partner Lorenzo, he's reeling from the disastrous dinner party where he told his family about his attempts to have a baby and his parents rejected him. In the penultimate episode, the embryo is implanted in Chema's childhood friend and surrogate, Clara's, uterus. However, Clara's unhinged ex follows Lorenzo to his office after the insemination and threatened him for being involved with her. Between this and the negativity from Chema's family, Lorenzo announces that he wants to move to Atlanta and raise the baby there, and Chema gets mad that he wasn't consulted. Also, some of Clara's actions, including peeking in on Chema and Lorenzo having sex and possibly slashing Lorenzo's tires, suggests that she may want Chema all to herself.

Looking back, Who Killed Sara? definitely left us with more questions than answers. Here's hoping May 19 will bring some ties for these loose ends.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.