Red Rose ending explained: Who created the deadly app?

Red Rose is a thriller drama that follows a group of teenagers embroiled in a lethal game. It talks about the dangers of cyber theft and technological obsession, taking it to a fatal level. The show premiered on BBC 3 in 2022 and is now streaming on Netflix.

Plot summary

Red Rose opens by showcasing how Alyssa, a wealthy yet tense girl, commits suicide. The plot switches to Bolton, where Rochelle and Patrick get cozy as their friends enjoy the end of school. We are introduced to the rest of the gang which includes Wren, Ashley, Anthony, Taz, and Noah.

Rochelle ends up downloading an app called Red Rose, which promises to grant the user their wishes if they perform the given tasks. The app turns out to be a demonic piece of tech as it begins to agonize Rochelle.

Powered by complex AI, Red Rose takes all its user’s private information and uses it against them. It aims to alienate them from loved ones, making them vulnerable to misery.

The app mocks Rochelle with clips of her dead mother and sends her friends texts she did not write, causing huge arguments. The gang decides to give in and play one of Red Rose’s games.

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The outcome is catastrophic as Rochelle, gradually losing her mind, kills herself. Wren goes to attack two arrogant girls from school but accidentally assaults Noah. This is filmed and sent to various people.

The group travels to Manchester to find out more about Red Rose. They surprisingly run into a girl from school, Jaya, who attends a coding club there. Wren is led into a tunnel by Red Rose and nearly flattened by a train.

Jaya tells them about Jacob, who used to code at the club and died by suicide. They travel to his house and meet his mother. Jaya discovers a book of code for Red Rose in Jacob’s bedroom. Back in Bolton the app still keeps track of Wren’s movements and torments her.

In a horrifying turn of events, timers materialize on the group’s phones that countdown to midnight. Jaya gets a phone call from the supposedly dead Jacob, who claims that Wren’s time is up.

They decide to chuck their phones and go device-free, planning to stay indoors till after midnight. After, they decide to get out for a bite to eat and call a cab. Unfortunately, the driver’s navigation app changes direction, causing them to freak out and get out.

Later Red Rose sends a huge number of people to Taz’s house for a party, resulting in mayhem, and posts a suicide note on Wren’s behalf. Jaya claims she knows someone has tampered with the app’s code.

Wren’s worried parents drive to the party to fetch her but her Mom’s boyfriend, Simon, picks her up first. He takes her to the empty Tea Rooms at Smithills Hall where she tries to escape from him. Noah shows up at that moment and Simon throws himself off the roof.

Red Rose ending explained in detail:

What is Red Rose?

The app is seemingly silent after Simon’s’s death but Jaya is convinced he was not smart enough to construct it. Elsewhere, Anthony is annoyed that his mother is intoxicated as he talks about Rochelle’s and his GCSE results.

He visits Jacob’s mother to share his results instead. Ironically, she gives him an IPad that Jacob would have taken to university if he were alive. Anthony takes this opportunity and brings the tab to Jaya.

She opens Red Rose on it and realizes that it is not just an app but a password-protected website on the dark web. There are also some clips on it in which Jacob talks of one-sided love and mentions someone called the Gardener.

As their parents head to the pub, the kids go up the hill to celebrate their results. Wren’s dad Rick steals a crate of beer and joins them. Jaya gets very intoxicated, shares her Red Rose research with Wren, kisses someone, and heads home with the password “I Love You Too” in her head.

Noah and Wren argue and the latter leaves too. At home, Jaya gets into the Red Rose website, sees a few clips, gets a message from the Gardener, and a fire breaks out. Ashley searches for Wren and Jaya in the woods and someone attacks her.

What happens to the group?

Jaya is thought to have perished in the fire as Wren and her mother try to tell the police that these recent deaths might be connected. Curiously, the officer just questions them about Rick.

Ashley is admitted to the hospital and is unconscious. The group watches a nurse bring in red roses and they decide to not use their phones once again. Taz decides to stay with Ashley till she gains consciousness.

Elsewhere, Anthony’s little brother plays an online shooter and chats with an anonymous man. He asks the kid if his mom liked the present he sent. This causes Anthony to take the headset and confront this mysterious person.

Wren’s mother tries to keep her locked inside for safety, but she escapes through the window. In a disastrous turn of events, Noah is chased by a car and gets shot by a tranquilizer dart. When he wakes up, he finds himself tied up and doused in petrol.

A mysterious woman taunts him, but releases him, stating that he is required for the finale. At the hospital, Ashley is moved from her room and Taz being unaware of this, panics.

He receives a call and we find out that Jaya survived the fire. She looks on the website and tells Taz that Ashley is somewhere in a metal box, being watched live by a group of adults as entertainment.

Realizing she is in the morgue, Taz rescues her and cuts the feed. Finally, Noah and Anthony reach the hospital, but Wren is still missing. It is revealed that she has gone to her dad’s place where Red Rose appears on the TV and a live feed shows Rick tied up.

Jaya looks at the footage and also tells the gang that the Gardner has Wren’s dad.

Who was Jacob?

Finally, a flashback reveals that Jacob was a genius coder who was obsessed with Alyssa (the girl who died at the start) and stalked her with cameras. He had a community of watchers on the dark web who encouraged him to ask her out.

Unfortunately, when she rejected his proposal, one person from the audience asked Jacob for his master’s access to help him. This person was the Gardner and used fake sympathy to coerce Jacob’s admin info out of him.

This is how they ended up with control over the website. They made changes to the code and turned this lethal game into entertainment. Alyssa, unaware of these events, was captured nude in one of the cameras and started being bullied online.

Unable to take the abuse, she killed herself which forced Jacob to take his life as well.

Is the Gardner defeated?

Jaya relays this information to the gang and tells them that their misery has been nothing but entertainment for a group of sickos across Bolton. Meanwhile, Wren receives a call and is told where to come. The woman who held Noah hostage approaches him at the hospital and also tells him where Wren is going.

Jaya watches as Wren enters a building and is locked inside. She instructs the gang to avoid CCTV cameras and Ashley proposes they use the tunnels that run under Bolton to access the building.

Meantime, Wren is worried for her dad and starts seeing and hearing Rochelle. Jaya realizes that Rochelle didn’t commit suicide and was killed by someone on the Gardner’s crew.

Wren finally enters a room where Rick is tied up and she is confronted by a knife-wielding bald man who everyone believes is the main culprit. They fight and she manages to kill him with a metal bar.

Rick takes the bar from her as the police arrive. Jaya reaches the scene as Wren’s dad is arrested. The woman who held Noah approaches her. Jaya realizes that she is one of them and tries to walk away.

A shocking twist reveals that this mysterious woman is the real Gardner and helped them just to see if Wren would break and kill someone, which she did. Jaya is horrified and claims that she deleted Red Rose.

The Gardner laughs and states that she cannot delete an idea. Jaya asks if all this is over and the Gardner smiles, shrugs, and walks away. The next day, the gang visits Rochelle’s grave, hoping that they’re finally free.

In the last clip, we see a group of teenagers hanging out in Tokyo, Japan, as one of them receives a notification to install Red Rose.

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