Note: This article discusses topics including sexual assault and harassment.
Heartbreak High season one spoilers follow.
The finale of Heartbreak High was teeming with drama – hardly surprising, though. Amerie (Ayesha Madon) getting smacked down by Harper (Asher Yasbincek) in the debut pretty much set the tone for the rest of the season.
As the show charged to the finale, the penultimate episode came with revelations for Amerie. She finally remembered what happened on the night of the festival. A cocktail of booze and drugs had temporarily wiped her memory clean, but she managed to get it back with sobering clarity.
Amerie's embarrassing drunken hook-up with Spider (Bryn Chapman Parish) led to her ignoring Harper, as she banged on her bedroom window late at night begging to come in. Little did she know that her decision would have huge consequences for Harper and spark the events that kickstarted the series, including the end of their friendship.
Why did this seemingly innocent act cause a huge rift between Harper and Amerie? All will be revealed as Heartbreak High season 1's ending is explained in full.
Heartbreak High ending explained: What happened to Harper?
The finale begins with the unravelling of Harper's truth, instigated by Amerie confronting Harper. Having regained her memory, Amerie turns up at Harper's house looking for answers. There, she finds Harper covered in blood after stabbing her dad (more on that later).
The two finally talk about Harper's confusing behaviour over the past weeks, the cause of which all leads back to that fateful night at the festival. While Amerie ended the night almost having sex with Spider, Harper was battling something much graver than a shameful fumble with the school dickhead.
After her phone dies and she is separated from Amerie at the festival, Harper begins chugging down drink after drink, and unwittingly ends up in the car of local bad boy and drug dealer Chook (Tom Wilson). She wakes up in the back seat of the vehicle sandwiched between Chook's friends, who are groping her.
After asking to go home and clearly being taken the wrong way, Harper realises she's about to be sexually assaulted. They make a stop and Chook and Tilla (Kye McMaster) get out of the car, leaving Harper trapped in the back seat, with the doors locked, next to Jayden (Ari McCarthy).
Ca$h (Will McDonald), who has been sitting in the front the whole time slowly panicking on Harper's behalf, makes eye contact with her. He motions to the 'unlock' button in the front and once sure she has got the message, he presses the button to let her out.
Harper makes a desperate dash to escape from the car, leaving behind a clump of her hair which Jayden pulled out in his attempt to detain her.
Harper is chased, and manages to successfully hide. Eventually, Chook and his brutes give up their pursuit and leave. Instead of going home however, Harper heads to Amerie's house as she'd always planned to do at the end of the festival – but as explained, Amerie doesn't let her in.
Harper was then forced to return home, something she was afraid to do in the first place. At home, she finds her father Jason in the thick of a mental health crisis.
Jason doesn't recognise Harper, and after some nonsensical rambling concludes that she is the 'wolf' intruder he feared. In his confusion, Jason chased Harper around the house with the intent of severely punishing this 'intruder'.
Harper is able to lock herself in her room for safety.
In the morning the police and ambulance arrive at the request of a neighbour. They take Harper and place her in foster care while her dad receives the help he needs.
However before her rehousing, Harper has a very dramatic moment in the bathroom where she shaves off her hair.
The whole thing would have come across as heavily cliché and corny if it wasn't extremely justified. She goes full punk as a way of trying to minimise the obvious patch of missing hair ripped from her head during the attack on her, while simultaneously disassociating herself from that experience.
This ties in with the events at the start of the final episode of Heartbreak High's first season. As it turns out, Harper's dad has another breakdown and she is attacked again. In self-defence Harper stabs her father, landing him in hospital.
Harper redirects her anger and pain, blaming Amerie for not being there that night when she needed her most. After patching things up, Amerie tries to persuade Harper to go to the police about Chook and his friends.
Eventually, they do – but as Harper fears, any chances of prosecution are slim without hard evidence. Fearing for her safety, she doesn't give the names of those involved.
What happened with Darren and Ca$h?
Darren (James Majoos) professes their love for Ca$h and tells him they want them to be together, but the sentiments aren't returned. Despite feeling the same way, Ca$h rejects Darren after Amerie warns him off her new friend.
His involvement with Chook makes Amerie wary of Ca$h. Him having tagged along the night of Harper's abduction with the intent of helping her escape is not enough to prove he's not a bad guy, and so she tells him to stay away.
However, Ca$h sees another opportunity to help Harper. His guilt encourages him to steal an incriminating video from the night of Harper's abduction from Tilla's phone. The video shows the the lads boasting about their 'catch'.
Ca$h sends the video to Harper, who shows it to the police. The men are arrested all except Chook, who wasn't pictured in the footage.
Ca$h, however, is detained, but he doesn't make his capture easy. After being tipped off by his badass nan (Maggie Dence), Ca$h legs it down the street and a chase commences.
He makes it to the school and arrives at the Sluts lesson, where he finds Darren. In an absolutely over the top (but necessarily) display of affection he tells Darren he's been in love with them since the two of them were both eight years old.
This moment is the stuff of fantasies. It's everything you want from a high school romance – complete with a passionate kiss and the drama of Ca$h being dragged away by the police, while still telling Darren he loves them.
What happens to Chook?
For now Chook seems to have gotten away with it all – but something tells us season two of Heartbreak High would seek to rectify this injustice.
For now, fans of the show will have to make do with Harper and Amerie's revenge.
After spotting Chook leaving his car, the girls, led by Harper, smash up the vehicle and torch it, watching it burn. They flee the scene – but before they do they are seen by Chook, who's unlikely to let things go.
Heartbreak High is now available to stream worldwide on Netflix.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
Janet A Leigh
TV writer, Digital Spy Janet completed her Masters degree in Magazine Journalism in 2013 and has continued to grow professionally within the industry ever since. For six years she honed her analytical reviewing skills at the Good Housekeeping institute eventually becoming Acting Head of Food testing. She also freelanced in the field of film and TV journalism from 2013-2020, when she interviewed A-List stars such as Samuel L Jackson, Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson. In 2021 she joined Digital Spy as TV writer where she gets to delve into more of what she loves, watching copious amounts of telly all in the name of work. Since taking on the role she has conducted red carpet interviews with the cast of Bridgerton, covered the BAFTAs and been interviewed by BBC Radio and London Live. In her spare time she also moonlights as a published author, the book Gothic Angel.