Freddie Miles In ‘Ripley’ Explained: Why Does Tom Kill Freddie? 

Netflix’s Ripley peeks into the mind of this quintessential character by Patricia Highsmith. I haven’t read the books, but I do think that this series impeccably portrays Thomas Ripley. Moreover, Andrew Scott, for sure, is a very suitable casting for this sociopathic character. It’s funny how, as an audience, we end up rooting for Ripley even though he dupes and kills people to protect his interests. But then, hailing from an underprivileged background, being corrupted by a pursuit for wealth was only natural for a man like Tom Ripley. 


This series introduces us to characters like Freddie Miles, a person of substantial wealth who is wary of Tom. There were a lot of depth to Freddie’s portrayal in Ripley, and the distinctions this character makes from their portrayal in The Talented Mr. Ripley, are definitely subject to my intrigue. In the movie and even in the book, Freddie was a spoiled American brat who treated Ripley like an insect. In the series, Freddie Miles is British and is quite composed and observant by nature. Played by Elliot Stumner, a gender-neutral actor, this aspect of Freddie, for me, adds another layer of mystique to this character. 

Spoilers Ahead


Who Is Freddie Miles? 

Similar to the 1999 movie, Freddie Miles is a British playwright and a close friend of Dickie’s. They come from a wealthy family, which can be seen in the way they carry themselves. It isn’t entirely addressed if Freddie’s gender orientation has importance, but the characters of the movie do act strangely due to their androgynous appearance. For instance, during their first conversation with Tom Ripley, the latter says that he guessed that Freddie was a playwright, to which Freddie inquires why Tom thinks so. People often associate non-cisgendered folks with artistic careers like playwrights, musicians, and fashion designers, and even though it is very subtle, this scene represents the general outlook of the cis-het population from the 1960s. Moreover, Freddie is in a relationship with a man named Max, which is again frowned upon by people. Detective Ravini’s speculation that Dickie and Freddie were probably in a queer relationship was also met with shock and disgust from other people. 

Why Does Tom Dislike Freddie? 

Tom and Freddie meet in Naples for the first time, for a brief moment. During their conversation, Freddie feels that he has met Tom before, which he denies even when Freddie asks him the same question multiple times. It is apparent that they are quite suspicious of Tom Ripley. Perhaps in the privileged world Freddie Miles comes from, they have seen countless Tom Ripleys attempts to dupe people for money. Freddie is from a wealthy family and is the kind of person who Dickie is more likely to associate with. This aspect of Freddie’s relationship with Dickie makes Tom quite jealous of them and the kind of lavish lifestyle they can afford. Moreover, Freddie disinvites Tom from accompanying Dickie and Marge to their party in Cortina. 


Tom Ripley was himself a closeted queer person. Perhaps in Freddie Miles, Tom saw who he couldn’t be because of the restrictions and the conditioning imposed upon him by the society he grew up in. Though in the movie Tom is quite obviously gay, he is seen as more dismissive about his sexuality in the series, which makes him dislike homosexuality. In one scene, Tom, impersonating Dickie, expresses his disgust over Freddie and blatantly accuses them of engaging in ‘debauchery’ during their parties. 

Why Does Tom Kill Freddie? 

By this point, Tom already had disdain for Freddie for several reasons; however, when they turn up at Tom’s apartment, they hope to find Dickie believing it to be his apartment instead. They were concerned about Dickie’s sudden disappearance, which is why they tracked down his address from their phone company. Freddie did not expect to find Tom at the apartment, though, and grew more suspicious of him than they already were. When asked about Dickie, Tom cooks up a lie that Dickie went out to a cafe around the corner, but Freddie doesn’t buy it. Instead, Freddie questions Tom, all while the latter answers evasively. Freddie eventually leaves, but the landlady insists that Dickie/Tom is at his apartment. Convinced that Tom is lying about Dickie, they threaten Tom that they’re going to inform the police. Before they can leave, Tom bludgeons Freddie to death. 


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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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