Savage Beauty is a South African series about a woman who tries to take revenge on a powerful family that has a global beauty empire. The show is currently streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Bhengu Beauty is one of the top global beauty brands, run by Don Bhengu (Dumisani Mbebe) and his first wife, Grace (Nthati Moshesh). Their company has been facing allegations of altering models’ faces too much, promoting unnatural beauty standards.
To tackle this issue, they decide to allow people to vote for the next Bhengu Beauty’s face. Zinhle (Rosemary Zimu), a black, unconventionally beautiful woman, is selected for this role. But Zinhle isn’t any average model and has secrets of her own.
During the launch party for Zinhle, the audience meets Thando (Angela Sithole), Don’s second wife. There’s obvious tension between Grace and Thando.
Everything was running smoothly at the event, but right when Zinhle starts her walk, her extremely edited cover photo for Bhengu Beauty is released. Her face looks heavily edited, making her skin look fairer.
This causes quite an uproar amongst people who believe that Bhengu Beauty has not changed its way. Everyone in the family looks very worried.
The next day Don leaves the house early in the morning. He tells Grace that he is going to meet some business executives. But turns out he has an affair with a young model named Ruby. While engaging in sexual intercourse with her, Don has a heart attack and is admitted to the hospital.
He has to go through surgery. After regaining consciousness, he informs Grace and Thando that he’ll be marrying again because he wants a child. Hinting toward the fact that Thando can’t carry a baby. Grace is livid with the news, but Don shuts her up.
Grace connects some dots and figures out about Ruby. She orders her to leave Don, and Ruby, scared for her life, agrees.
The scene changes to Zinhle removing her makeup in the room. It is then revealed that she has some vivid scars on her face that she has been hiding through makeup.
The scars were direct results of the toxic Bhengu Beauty product tested on her when she was a child. Grace and Don would find poor children and test the beauty products on them, often leaving them in agonizing pain or dead.
Zinhle and her brother were victims of this horrid treatment and now carry scars as proof. It is later revealed that Zinhle also has a sister who has died because of the procedure.
On the other hand, Don is ready to give up the position of CEO to his heir. Linda (Nambitha Ben-Mazwi), Don’s illicit daughter, and Phila (Jesse Suntele), Grace and Don’s first son, are a contender for this position. Don gives both of them equal opportunities to prove their worth.
During an interview, Don finds drugs on Phila’s table, planted by Zinhle. Don is extremely livid and decides to make Linda the next CEO.
He plans a big announcement party for Linda, but things go south once again when a video of Linda and Thando being intimate goes viral. It is learned that the two have a secret relationship and claim to be in love.
Don is outraged and divorces Thando and disinherits Linda. Both are kicked out of the house.
Don starts showing interest in Zinhle. He buys her a diamond bracelet and invites her to his penthouse. He tries making a move on her, but Zinhle rejects him and leaves the house.
If you have any doubts about the ending, here’s a complete breakdown.
Savage Beauty ending explained in detail:
A murderous intent
Grace learns about Don’s interest in Zinhle and isn’t happy about it. She tries setting her up with Phila, but it doesn’t work.
When she sees Zinhle wearing the diamond bracelet, she pushes her into the swimming pool and tries to drown her. This doesn’t work, and Zinhle is kicked out of the mansion.
Zinhle is standing in front of the gate when she sees Don arrive. She starts fake crying and tells him that she has feelings for him.
Don asks her to marry him, and she agrees. Don takes her back inside and gets mad at Grace for doing that. He announces that he’ll be marrying Zinhle, and there’s nothing that could stop him. Grace is unhappy.
Later, Zinhle has a shoot where she has to pose while being suspended in the air. Grace plots with the backstage person and almost kills Zinhle by making her fall to death. Fortunately, Zinhle is saved.
She goes to meet Thando and informs her that she’ll be marrying Don. Thando tells her that it is not a good idea. But Zinhle tells her that she has already agreed.
Thando then tells her that the baby she had conceived with Don hadn’t died due to a miscarriage, but Grace had killed it. Zinhle records the entire thing and shows it to Don.
Don is furious and kicks Grace out of the house. Despite being very upset by his mother, Phila follows her.
Don is annoyed by the newspapers calling him weak. He wants to rush things to shut them up. He tells Zinhle that their wedding announcement would be a perfect boast for it. Zinhle does not have much say in it.
Don starts wedding preparations. Zinhle tries to stall him by asking that they should get to know each other first before getting married, but Don disagrees. He says he does not wants to give Grace time to mess everything up. He schedules their wedding in a week.
Zinhle convinces Don to go to a spiritual cleansing with her before the marriage to get rid of the bad aura.
The person doing the cleansing informs Don about vengeance in the future. Don looks worried.
Meanwhile, Grace arranges a meeting with the board members of the company and tries to convince them that Don is unfit to run the company and should be kicked out.
She reveals to Phila that she was supposed to have 50% equity in the company, as she had worked equally hard, but Don had gone behind her back and took the entire 100%.
Eyes wide open
Bonga, Zinhle’s brother, contact a detective and tells him everything about Bhengu Beauty. He thinks that the detective will help him and his sister. But the detective had pledged his allegiance to Don Bhengu.
He informs Don about everything, and Don believes that Bonga is the person who has been trying to bring him down. He goes to Bonga’s house and tries to buy him off, but it doesn’t work.
Bonga tells him that he is one of the victims of his early experiments with beauty products. They get into a fight, and Don shoots him.
Zinhle learns about this and rushes home. She tries to take Bonga to the hospital, but it’s too late.
Meanwhile, Linda figures out that Zinhle is the one behind everything and tries to inform her father. She begs him not to marry Zinhle, but he refuses and kicks her out of the house again.
Later that night, Zinhle drugs Don’s drink. Don thinks he is having a heart attack and begs her to call an ambulance. Zinhle refuses.
She asks him to confess everything to her. He tries to blame everything on Grace but is unsuccessful. Zinhle then tells him that he is not having a heart attack and is just drugged.
With the new piece of information, Don tries to attack her, and on impulse, she fights back, making him fall and lose consciousness.
She thinks that she has killed him and locks him in the trunk of the car before driving off. But just as she was about to leave, Ndu, Don’s other son, arrives at the situation.
The show ends with the camera panning back to Don as he opens his eyes, promising a sequel.