Tales of the City ending explained: What happened at the end?

Tales of the City was released on Netflix last week and some viewers have already made it to the end of the series. The Netflix series ending sees a number of the plots of Tales of the City get tied up while others are left open ended. The Tales of the City ending also sees a character die in scenes that have had fans in tears.

What happened at the end of Tales of the City?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Tales of the City

The finale of Tales of the City saw Anna Madrigal (played by Olympia Dukakis) die in her sleep in the courtyard of Barbary Lane.

The character died after she stopped the apartment complex from falling into corporate hands and, by extension, secured Barbary Lane who all the residents she nurtured and loved there.

In Tales of the City episode nine, it was discovered that the person who had been blackmailing Anna to hand over Barbary Lane was Claire Duncan (Zosia Mamet).


Claire had popped up across the series as a documentary maker making a film about the history of queer culture in San Francisco.

At the end of Tales of the City, it was revealed that she was blackmailing Anna on the one hand to get revenge on her on behalf of the queer community.

Earlier in the series, it was revealed that Anna used the money her partner had extorted from the trans community to have her gender confirmation surgery and buy Barbary Lane.

However, Claire is also blackmailing Anna to get a good ending for her documentary by having this almost exclusively queer space get demolished on film.


Claire’s plan, however, fails as Anna refuses to be blackmailed any longer and confesses all to Claire in her documentary.

In one of her last acts before she dies, Anna gives Barbary Lane to Ysela (Daniela Vega), a transwomen she had befriended earlier in the series and then betrayed by taking the money.

Elsewhere at the end of Tales of the City, Shawna is ready to head out on an adventure, only for her to return to mourn Anna.

However, she later discovers that Anna has left her the posthumous gift of enough money to go and see the world.


Jake Rodriguez (Garcia) also gets a happy ending at the end of Tales of the City as he comes out as gay to ex-girlfriend Margot Park (May Hong).

The pair had broken up due to Jake having doubt about their relationship and his sexuality after he transitioned and cheated on Margot with a man.

Michael Tolliver (Murray Bartlett), meanwhile, got a more open-ended ending – things are better between him and Ben Marshall (Charlie Barnett), but they have not got back together.

Mary-Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) also does not get full closure – she is in San Francisco for now, but has no solid plans for the future.

Tales of the City is streaming on Netflix now

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