Netflix's Maniac: What Does The Ending Really Mean?

We're off to a good start.

Maniac Emma Stone Jonah Hill

Maniac has been on Netflix for a few days now, with Cary Joji Fukunaga and Patrick Somerville teaming up to deliver a drug-fuelled trip through the minds of Emma Stone's Annie and Jonah Hill's Owen.

Led by its pair of A-list stars, and assisted by the likes of Justin Theroux, Sally Field, and Sonoya Mizuno, Maniac offers up a meditation on mental health and illness, and whether or not there's a quick fix solution in the form of therapy or medication, alongside the connections we make with each other.

At the same time, though, it dives into its own fantasy worlds, offering a riff on Raising Arizona involving the theft of a lemur, and another episode that spins on fantasy series like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.

Other inspirations range from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and across ten episodes and five hours the ambitious effort plays around with multiple tones and genres, leading us to its big finale where it ties some things up while leaving plenty of questions behind. But what happens at the series' end, and what does it all really mean?


NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.