The psychological thriller Deep Waters, directed by Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, ends with a new twist on Vic and Melinda’s dangerous mind games.
Directed by Adrian Lyne, known for his previous thrillers and erotic dramas such as Fatal Attraction in 1987 and Indecent Proposal in 1993, Deep Waters is the twisted story of a seemingly loveless marriage between Vic (Ben Affleck ) and Melinda Van Allen (Ana de Armas). . . . Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name (1957), Deep Waters (on Prime Video) features a new ending to the story that adds more complex nuance to the characters’ high-stakes romantic relationships.
Warning that the rest of this article contains spoilers for the Prime Video series.
Deep Waters plot summary
Mostly told from Vic’s point of view, Deep Water follows a manipulative couple who raise their 6-year-old daughter in a close-knit community where gossip spreads like wildfire. Because Vic doesn’t have the passion that Melinda seeks, the couple made a deal where Ana de Armas’ character can take lovers, provided they don’t break up their family. Deepwater sees the couple’s public arrangement change when Vic begins to break down, with dire consequences for those caught in the middle of their growing mind games.
At the end of Deep Waters, several people connected to Vic and Melinda’s romantic relationship are dead, and the final act solidifies the twisted dynamic between the main couple. Amid all this death, anger, and immoral strife, Melinda and Vic’s marriage emerges from Deep Waters stronger than ever, in stark contrast to their friends’ seemingly typical suburban love. Vic and Melinda’s appearance seems to show a pleasant, even-tempered, even slightly pathetic man and a central, sexually powerful woman, but beneath the surface lies a completely different story, as shown at the end. the twists and turns of the Deep Waters.
End of Deep Waters: Why is Vic killing Melinda’s lovers?
The film’s climax begins rather abruptly when Don tries to drive off and show what he saw, with Vic chasing after him on his quad bike. The dirt roads in the forest are slippery and Don ends up slipping and falling off a cliff, causing a violent accident. Vic then rides his bike home and sees Melinda sitting on the stairs looking up at him.
It then becomes clear that the final scene of the film is the same as the beginning, with one difference. When Vic returns, Melinda informs him that she “found Tony”, referring to the dead man’s wallet she found hidden in Vic’s greenhouse. Deep Waters ends with a quick shot of a woman burning Tony’s ID, signifying that she became an accomplice to the murder.
It looks like Melinda has come to terms with her husband’s crimes and may be staying with him. However, for all their marital troubles, the final balance reached by the couple is surprisingly grim, which leaves us wondering why Vic went on this killing spree instead of ending their relationship. However, as shown in the film, the husband is too attached to his wife and daughter to separate the family. He is also convinced that since he has fallen in love with Melinda for who she is, he should not try to change her.
The only option left to him seems to be to scare off his lovers (as he does with Joel) and, since that doesn’t work too well, just kill them. Interestingly, Vic’s association with snails perhaps symbolizes his incomprehensible attraction to something (in this case, his committed relationship with Melinda) that most people would find unattractive.
The first murder of Vic – pianist Charlie – is a combination of accumulated frustration and opportunity (to find a future victim alone drunk in a pool). However, many other factors lead to crime. Vic is still unnerved by Joel’s belligerent behavior. The men Melinda chooses are very much like her – they are unapologetic and brash (although they seem to soften in turn, from Joel to pianist Charlie to dreamer of sustainable habitat Tony). In fact, Vic even compliments Tony by telling Melinda that she has finally chosen someone with brains. Of course, the fact that Vic literally punched Tony in the head moments ago adds a dark undertone to his use of the word “brain”.
The husband’s disappointment is only exacerbated by Melinda’s occasional sexual advances towards him, which quickly turn cold. Interestingly, the murders seem to be a form of outlet for Vic, as evidenced by her celebratory attitude after killing Tony. Somehow, Melinda also seems to appreciate the fact that Vic kills for her. After regularly chiding him for his lack of passion and self-expression, she later states (quite proudly) that Vic killed for her. She may think that by doing everything he does to possess her, Vic is, after all, her most passionate lover. Thus, in a twisted sense, the murder of the woman’s lovers seems fitting for the film’s central couple.
Will Vic get caught?
Vic’s egregious murders, while appearing risky, prevent him from being caught as the film ends on a vague note. When Melinda burns Tony’s ID, it seems that the usually loud wife has decided to become an accomplice in her husband’s crimes. There’s still a chance Don survives the brutal car crash and eventually reveals that he saw Vic with Tony’s body. However, the likelihood that anyone can survive an accident of this magnitude is very small.
The main risk of Vic getting caught is the discovery of Tony’s body, which could be disastrous for the husband. Given that one of Melinda’s (Charlie’s) lovers has already been found dead, the death of yet another of her “friends” will raise her husband’s inevitable suspicions. Also, and perhaps a little silly, Vic uses his harness and his pet’s leash to attach rocks to Tony’s corpse, meaning that if the body is found it will be even easier to link it to the crime. So Vic hasn’t been caught yet, but the possibility remains open.
Why is Melinda burning Tony’s ID?
The fact that Melinda burned Tony’s ID in the film’s final scene signifies a major change in her character. After distancing herself from any form of violence connected to Vic, whether it be the drones, the powers of her chip, or the fact that he was able to kill Charlie, the wife becomes an accomplice in Tony’s murder.
Although Melinda packs up first and decides to leave Vic, their daughter Trixie remains adamant. This seems to change Melinda’s mind, who finally realizes she doesn’t want to separate their family either. Therefore, the next logical step is to prevent her husband’s crime from being solved in order to avoid a life sentence, which leads her to burn Tony’s ID, which is a disturbing piece of evidence.
Burning Tony’s ID also has a deeper meaning and seems to mean that Melinda may be deviating from her old ways of having multiple lovers and therefore tormenting her devoted husband. However, the couple’s new dynamic remains a mystery, and it’s possible that Melinda could use her knowledge of Vic’s crimes against him at some point. However, knowing that she knows he is capable of murder, she is unlikely to push him too far.
As a reminder, Deep Waters is available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.