inside no. 9 ending explained

Here’s the terrifying Inside No. 9 Christmas special ending explained

I’m still reeling

Warning: Major spoilers for the Inside No.9 Christmas special ahead!

Now we’ve established Inside No. 9 won’t actually be ending after the next series, you can settle in to watch last night’s Christmas episode (22nd December) with an added sense of relief. After 2016’s hugely stellar The Devil of Christmas (including THAT twist), Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith set the bar almost unattainably high, and I was really hoping I wouldn’t be disappointed.

The Bones of St. Nicholas has everything that classically makes Inside No. 9 one of the most unique shows on TV right now: Pitch-black humour, suspense, outright horror and, strangely enough, a lot of emotional depth.

If you’re anything like me, a lot of the twists might go over your head on the first watch. So, here’s the latest episode of Inside No. 9 ending explained:

What’s the plot of the Inside No. 9 Christmas special?

the bones of st nicholas inside no9

Photo via BBC

Dr. Parkway (Pemberton) books a solo “champing” (that’s church-camping, if you didn’t know) trip on Christmas Eve. Having apparently come for a bit of quiet reflection after losing his mum and wife in the space of a year, he’s gutted to find out he’ll be sharing the pews with seemingly the loudest couple on Earth.

Pierce (Shearsmith) and Posy (Shobna Gulati) irritate Parkway to no end – and true intentions are soon revealed after church staff member Dick (Simon Callow), tells the three about the ghost of St. Nicholas. His haunted jawbone is supposedly hidden somewhere in the church, and Parkway wants to find it.

Throughout the episode, he witnesses a number of unexplained, paranormal events which leads the viewer to believe the church is, in fact, haunted by St. Nicholas himself. From a self-rolling bauble to phones eerily ringing of their own accord – even mysterious choking noises coming from the rafters – it looks like we could be in for a ghostly confrontation.

In the dead of night, Pierce finds Posy awake, contemplating a strange event from her past. 18 years ago, just hours before a tragic accident, Posy had a premonition. While working in her office, she saw a vision of her mum walk up to her door; place her hand on the windowpane and cry until mascara ran down her face. After a motorbike crash, in which she lost a baby, her actual mum did the same thing outside her hospital room.

Dr. Parkway shows up, dressed as St. Nicholas, to scare Pierce and Posy away. When Dick returns to see what’s going on, Parkway hides behind a Christmas tree.

So – what happens at the end of The Bones of St. Nicholas?

inside no. 9 ending explained

Photo via BBC

The chain of seemingly-supernatural events we saw at the beginning of the episode is set off by Parkway. He kicks the same, self-rolling bauble as he hides behind the tree before dialling the church phone to distract Dick.

He runs up to the bell tower to dig out St. Nicholas’ jawbone, before an unstable floorboard caves in, and he accidentally hangs himself from a hook in the rafters. The choking noises heard by Parkway earlier on in the episode were… his own. Spooky!

Inside No.9: The Bones of St. Nicholas is available on BBC iPlayer now

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Featured image via BBC.