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Anxious People Ending Explained: Who Was The Bank Robber And Where Were They Hiding?

Leif Andree (Roger), Carla Sehn (Julia), Petrina Solange (Ro), Marika Lagercrantz (Anna-Lena), Anna Granath (Zarah) and Per Andersson (Lennart) stand on a balcony on Anxious People.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the ending of the Netflix crime comedy Anxious People. Proceed with caution if you haven't finished the mini-series.

Anxious People is the latest book-to-screen project for Fredrik Backman, whose A Man Called Ove was made into a movie in Sweden in 2015 (with an American version starring Tom Hanks planned) and Beartown made into a five-part miniseries that came to HBO Max in North America early in 2021. Anxious People, a Swedish series, is now available on Netflix in dubbed English or with English subtitles, and it might be of interest to American audiences, particularly fans of short and twisty mysteries.

The six-episode series centers around a hostage situation, in which an attempted bank robber who is trying to evade police, runs into an open house in an apartment building. Upon the hostages’ release, the police on the case – a father-son team named Jim and Jack – can’t locate the bank robber, and Jack, in particular, seems to think the hostages are acting mighty suspicious and might have something to do with that. Let’s break down the Anxious People ending. 

Anxious People group photo

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Bank Robber Was A Single Mom Named Liv 

Nobody expected the bank robber to be a woman. Even the hostages were surprised when they saw Liv Holmberg without her mask on. Liv was a single mom who fell on hard times and needed money to put a down payment on a new apartment. 

In trying to solve the case, the police bandied about some theories about how the robber could have gotten away. Jack was certain the hostage taker must have had an accomplice going into the situation, but he was wrong on that front. He was correct, however, to think that the hostages helped her avoid arrest. 

Photos of the hostages are shown at the police station on Anxious People.

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Hostages Conspired With The Bank Robber After Hearing Her Story

The robber Liv never intended to hurt anyone, and she didn’t even get any money in her attempted bank robbery, as she robbed a cashless bank. When the hostages heard about the single mother who was in danger of losing custody of her kids, they collectively decided to help her get away. Liv told them that her husband had left her for her boss, so she lost her house and job simultaneously and was desperate not to lose her children as well. The hostages understood drastic times called for drastic measures – particularly Estelle, who had lost a child (more on that later). 

Julia, Lennart (in the bunny costume) and Estelle from Anxious People

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Bank Robber Hid From Police In The Apartment Next Door

In getting to know one another, one hostage, Estelle, revealed that she was actually the owner of the apartment, and she’d been there to observe the people looking to buy the place. She regaled her fellow hostages with a story of the emotional affair she’d had with a neighbor. While Estelle never wanted to physically cheat on her husband, she and the neighbor exchanged books. In one book that he gave her, he’d left the key to his apartment. Estelle never used the key, but she kept it even after both her husband and the neighbor had died. When the police raided Estelle’s apartment looking for the bank robber, Liv was hiding in the apartment next door. 

Anna Granath as Zarah on Anxious People

(Image credit: Netflix)

Multiple Hostages Were Connected To The Man Who Jumped Off Of The Bridge

The series opened with a seemingly out-of-context scene, where a young boy tried to talk a man out of jumping off of a bridge. The man handed the boy an envelope to deliver and then jumped. While it was unclear at the time how the man was connected to the hostage situation, he actually had ties to multiple characters.

The man on the bridge was named Gustav, and he was Estelle’s son. The boy he’d handed the letter to was Jack, the younger of the two police officers. Finally, the envelope was addressed to Zarah, another of the hostages. Zarah was a banker who had denied Gustav a loan the same day he died by suicide. After Gustav’s death, Zarah never opened the letter that young Jack had delivered, but she became obsessed with learning more about Gustav, which is why she was at the apartment the day of the hostage situation.

Estelle was able to explain to Jack and Zarah that Gustav had terminal cancer and had chosen to take his life, and though Gustav's death had haunted both of them throughout their lives, there had been nothing either of them could have done. Zarah finally read the letter, in which Gustav absolved her of any blame surrounding his death.

Alfred Svensson and Dan Ekborg as police officers Jack and Jim from Anxious People.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jack Chose Not to Arrest The Bank Robber 

The hostages had Jack thoroughly fooled as to the identity and whereabouts of the bank robber. It wasn’t until his father Jim admitted that he knew where Liv was that Jack had the opportunity to hold Liv accountable for her actions. But Estelle’s words struck a chord with Jack, as she told him that in life we have a chance to save other people rather than be cynical. When Jack saw Liv with her two daughters, he understood why Estelle and his father had done what they did. 

Marika Lagercrantz as Anna-Lena and Leif Andrée as Roger lie on the ground in Anxious People

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Hostages Stayed In Touch After Their Release

They may not have known each other before the hostage situation, but the attendees of the open house bonded over their unique experience and stayed connected in the aftermath – including Liv. Liv and her daughters moved into Estelle’s apartment, with Ro and Julia moving into the neighboring apartment where Liv had hid from the police. 

Julia gave birth to her and Ro's baby, and Roger helped Ro find confidence in her abilities to become a mom. Roger also used his house-flipping skills to help the new parents renovate. Zarah stayed in touch with Lennart – the man Anna-Lena had hired to wear a bunny suit at the open house to scare off potential buyers – and he seemed to be helping her overcome the years she’d spent feeling guilty about Gustav’s suicide.

Anxious People is available for streaming now on Netflix, and be sure to take a look at more upcoming Netflix shows. You can watch Fredrik Backman’s previous book-to-series adaptation, Beartown, on HBO Max with a subscription. A Man Called Ove, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2017, is available on Tubi, and an English-language remake starring Tom Hanks was green-lit in 2017. You can also check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other series are coming soon. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.