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Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?

‘Deep Water’ offers a very dark, psychological look at a married couple’s crumbling relationship and the unusual means they both use to cope. Vic (Ben Affleck), a moody and affluent tech genius, puts up with his wife Melinda’s (Ana de Armas) repeated indiscretions in order to keep their family together. His passivity, however, appears to take a deadly turn when one of Melinda’s “friends” is discovered dead, dividing the couple’s acquaintances over whether Vic may have actually killed his wife’s lover.

An totally new, dark tension enters the relationship, made further worse by Trixie, their 6-year-old daughter, who innocently speculates about her father being a murderer. Adrian Lyne’s tight-knit and understated sensual thriller has a satisfying finale that may have left you with a few unanswered concerns. We’ve spent a lot of time with the film, so allow us to break it down for you. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Synopsis of the Deep Water Plot

Vic returns after a bike ride to find Melinda staring at him intently before getting up and retiring into their home. The perceptible tension between the two sets the tone for the rest of the film, which then exposes details from their personal lives. Trixie, their vivacious six-year-old, is the apple of Vic’s eye, while the mother appears distant from her daughter. Vic’s creation of a microchip used in military drones has made the couple affluent, and they have an active social life. However, at the events they go, Melinda frequently invites another (usually younger) “friend” with whom she vanishes for long periods of time, making it clear what she’s up to.

Image Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios

Vic, annoyed and forced into speaking, tells Melinda’s current buddy Joel that he (Vic) murdered her old acquaintance Martin McRae at one such party. Joel is terrified and eventually flees town, but not before spreading Vic’s storey. Their friends’ circle quickly becomes buzzing, despite the fact that the majority of them are certain of the husband’s innocence. When another of Melinda’s acquaintances, a pianist named Charlie De Lisle, inexplicably dies at a party, the suspicion falls even more heavily on her husband. Melinda herself declares that Vic is responsible for the murder, and Don, a mutual friend, appears to agree. However, because there is no proof, the probe is over.

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Melinda then starts dating Tony, a former boyfriend, and asks him home for dinner. Vic observes patiently as his wife flirts with their visitor and then disappears into a room with Tony. Vic brings Tony up a few days later under the guise of showing him a property Melinda is interested in. The two travel into the woods, where the husband murders his wife’s ex-boyfriend and current lover before dumping the body into the river. Soon after, at a picnic, Vic finds Tony’s corpse floating back up and tries to hide it again, only to be discovered by Don.

Why Does Vic Kill Melinda’s Lovers at the End of Deep Water?

The film’s conclusion comes fairly quickly, with Don attempting to flee and tell what he has witnessed while Vic pursues him on his mountain bike. Don eventually slips and drives off a cliff on the forest dirt roads, resulting in a horrific disaster. Vic then rides his bike home, where he finds Melinda sitting on the stairs, staring at him.

Image Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios

The film’s concluding scene is then revealed to be identical to the opening sequence, with one critical variation. When Vic returns, Melinda tells him she’s “found Tony,” referring to the dead man’s wallet she discovered concealed in Vic’s greenhouse. ‘Deep Water’ then concludes with a short glimpse of Tony’s wife burning his ID, implying that she has become a collaborator in the murder.

As a result, it appears that Melinda has made peace with her husband’s sins and may return to him. Despite their marital problems, the couple’s final equilibrium is a remarkably grim one, leading us to ask why Vic would embark on a murdering spree at all rather than simply walking away from the relationship. However, as the film depicts, the husband is too connected to his wife and daughter to betray them. He also believes that because he fell in love with Melinda for who she is, he should not strive to change her.

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The only option appears to be to scare away her boyfriends (as he does with Joel) and, if that doesn’t succeed, to simply kill them. As an aside, it looks that Vic’s connection to snails may represent his inexplicable attraction to something (in this case, his committed relationship with Melinda) that most people would find repulsive.

Image Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios

Vic’s first murder, that of Charlie, the pianist, is a result of a combination of frustration and opportunity (finding the would-be victim alone and inebriated in a swimming pool). However, a number of additional elements contribute to the crime. Vic is still stinging from Joel’s aggressive behaviour. Melinda’s guys are unrepentant and brazen, just like her (though they seem to successively tone down from Joel to the pianist Charlie to the sustainable housing visionary Tony). Vic even complements Tony, telling Melinda that she’s finally chosen someone intelligent. Of course, the fact that Vic just bludgeoned Tony’s head puts a morbid spin on his use of the word “brains.”

Melinda’s intermittent sexual overtures on him, which swiftly turn frigid, aggravate the husband’s irritation. Interestingly, the murders appear to serve as a type of release for Vic, as evidenced by his joyous manner after killing Tony. Melinda seemed to like the knowledge that Vic is killing for her in certain ways. After repeatedly blaming him for his lack of passion and expressiveness, she subsequently declares (quite gleefully) that she is the reason Vic was killed. Vic, after all, is her most passionate lover, she reasoned, by going to such lengths to obtain her for himself. As a result, killing the wife’s lovers appears to be a perverse solution for the film’s key couple.

Is Vic apprehended?

Even though the film concludes on an uncertain note, Vic’s obvious murders, despite appearing risky, do not lead to his capture. Melinda appears to have opted to become an accomplice to her husband’s crimes by burning Tony’s ID. There’s still a chance Don survives his horrific automobile accident and finally confesses to seeing Vic with Tony’s body. However, there is a very tiny possibility that anyone would survive such a disaster.

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Image Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios

The major risk of Vic being apprehended is the discovery of Tony’s body, which may be disastrous for the husband. Given that one of Melinda’s lovers (Charlie) has already been discovered dead, another one of her “friends” dying would cast unavoidable suspicion on the spouse. Furthermore, and possibly naively, Vic ties rocks to Tony’s corpse with his belt and his pet’s leash, implying that if the body is discovered, it will be much easier to link the crime to him. As a result, Vic has not yet been apprehended, but the chance remains.

Why does Melinda destroy Tony’s identification?

Melinda’s burning of Tony’s ID in the film’s last scene represents a significant turn in her character. From vehemently opposing any sort of violence associated with Vic, whether it’s the drones his microchip powers or him potentially killing Charlie, the wife has now become a collaborator in Tony’s murder.

Despite the fact that Melinda initially packs her belongings and decides to leave Vic, their daughter Trixie is adamant about not going. Melinda appears to have a change of heart as a result of this, realising that she, too, does not want to tear their family apart. As a result, her next natural move is to prevent her husband’s crime from being discovered in order to keep him out of prison for life, which leads her to burn Tony’s ID, which is an extremely incriminating piece of evidence.

Burning Tony’s ID also has a deeper meaning, as it appears to represent Melinda’s departure from her former practises of having several boyfriends and therefore hurting her loving husband. However, the couple’s new dynamic remains a mystery, and it is possible that Melinda will use her knowledge of Vic’s crimes against him at some time. However, given that she knows he is capable of murder, she is unlikely to push him too far.

Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?
Deep Water Ending Explained: Vic, Why Did You Kill Melinda’s Lovers?

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