Netflix’s ‘Inheritance’ Movie Recap & Ending Explained: Who Killed Wladyslaw?

Whodunits are always fun to watch, and ever since Knives Out brought this genre back into vogue, many makers from around the world are utilizing the same structure to deliver some quirky stories coupled with some humor. Whodunits bring out the dysfunctionality of a family, and it is interesting to watch how the rich hanker for the money of their financially sound ultrarich family members. They act like bloodhounds, wanting to jump and devour the money and not share the cut of meat with anyone else. Inheritance, as the name suggests, is also about a family wanting to get their hands on the money of their deceased uncle.


Spoilers Ahead

Where was the family heading?

Set in Poland during the peak of winter, the movie begins with the voiceover of Wladyslaw. Dawid was the nephew of Wladyslaw. Along with his wife Zofia and children Jozefina and Henryk, they were headed to meet his deceased uncle and pay their final respects. On their way to his palatial mansion, they ran into their distant cousins Natalia and her younger boyfriend Gustaw, and Karol and his boyfriend Karol. It was obvious they were not headed to bid goodbye to their rich uncle, who in his heyday used to be a famous host of the game show “Wheel of Truth,” which had ended abruptly. 


Was Wladyslaw dead?

The family, upon reaching the mansion, was in for a rude surprise when they learned the uncle was not dead, and it had all been part of his ruse to bring his family together. Everyone was initially invited to the will reading, and most of them had hoped to receive money from their uncle. Before Wladyslaw shocked his family, his butler read out the will, which stated his fortune would be donated to a local orphanage. Along with that, he had curated a game in which the winner would win his inventions, patents, and trademarks. He was keen on showing off one of his patented inventions. It was a bulletproof vest that looked like a t-shirt, and no knife would penetrate it. The old man claimed to have many patented inventions such as this, stating they were the source of his cash influx. 

Who found Wladyslaw dead?

On the same night, the rest of the family was not happy with the current development and was wondering what Wladyslaw’s agenda might be. Everyone needed some money, and they had hoped Wladyslaw would consider one of them to be his heir. Dawid and his wife Zofia were on the verge of getting a divorce, and their children had heard the conversation as well. It was Jozefina and Henryk who found Wladyslaw’s body in the kitchen, stabbed to death. The family panicked, as it was obvious he had been murdered. Wladyslaw was not wearing the vest he had invented, which had allowed him to be stabbed to death.


Did the investigation into the death begin?

The proper course of action was to inform the police, and to their surprise, two people showed up at their doorstep. The butler assumed they were the investigation officers who had arrived to question the family members. Since Wladyslaw was now dead, the investigation officers claimed the fake will was valid and would be implemented. The two men began to question all the family members who were now suspects, and they began to talk, but not all of them told the truth. 

Karol, the nephew, claimed to have had a decent conversation with his uncle, while others had another story to share. They claimed to have heard Karol screaming at his uncle for being selfish. The rest of the family also claimed to have had only small talk with Wladyslaw before his death and did not share the truth as they feared being implicated in the murder. Their flashbacks conveyed another story, which included their uncle being aware of their financial troubles. Wladyslaw knew of Zofia’s affair and her desire to end the marriage. He also knew of Dawid and Natalia’s debts. Natalia was a novelist whose success did not help her financially. He was also aware Karol was relying on the old man’s money to move to a new country away from Poland. All of them had their motives, but only a confession could lead the two men to the killer. 


Who learned the two people were not the police?

Henryk and Jozefina learn that the two people in the mansion were not who they claimed to be. It was safe to assume they were probably thieves who expected to rob the mansion but were caught unaware by the family, and then played along with their assumed identities. It was the children who figured it out after receiving a phone call from the police station stating the weather was obstructing their officers arrival at the scene of the crime. Henryk, the younger son of Dawid and Zofia, however, stayed hidden in the house and began to look for clues that could lead him to the killer. The young boy found many old newspapers that intrigued him. 

Why did everyone begin to play the game made by their uncle?

Amidst the cross-examinations and questioning, the members of the family discovered the game their uncle had planned for them in the basement of the mansion. They began to play the quiz game, which had questions about the family members. The next game was an escape room challenge, which had all six members of the family except the kids locked inside a room. In the pursuit of finding clues to escape the room, a few of them accidentally ate the hallucinatory chocolates meant for Wladyslaw. The butler claimed this acid-laced chocolate would make people speak the truth after consumption. Zofia and Dawid revealed their plans to get divorced in the open, while the butler and the children were witnessing them tripping through the security camera fixed in the escape room. Gustaw, Natalia’s young boyfriend, whose real name was Romeo, claimed to have consumed the chocolate and revealed he was in love with her.

How did the two men get arrested?

Henryk and Jozefina were quick to inform the family about the two men not being real police officers. The family, however, was in the race to win the games set by Wladyslaw and hoped it would get them closer to the prize money mentioned in his will. Amidst the chaos of finishing a game, which included getting their hands on a box with a puzzle on it that would give them access to the trademarks and the patents. It was after the family claimed the box that the true nature of the thieves was made public. They assumed the box to be valuable and were interested in stealing it. Dawid, however, defended the family by beating up the thieves. The mansion soon played host to the real police officers who were sent to investigate the murders. 

Who killed Wladyslaw?

As the thieves were arrested, the real police got to the job of investigating the death of Wladyslaw. It was necessary to find out who killed the rich man, and so far, no one has given away anything that would mark them as the killer. It was hard to decipher as all of them had a motive behind getting rid of their uncle. This is how Whodunit cinema is made; the killer is not to be revealed till the last moment so that the accused doesn’t find time to run away. The family opened the box, but it did not contain details of the trademarks and patents. Wladyslaw passed before he could let them know the location of those documents. The man probably had not expected to die the way he did, and with his death, a lot of details may have been lost as well. As a result, no one would receive any money, even though they tried their level best to stick to the rules of the game. On their way out of the mansion, one of the police officers arrested Natalia for her role in the murder of Wladyslaw. On seeing the love of his life get arrested, Gustaw, aka Romeo, came forward with his confession of having killed Wladyslaw. Gustaw was the grandson of the woman who had lost a game of “Wheel of Truth,” claiming Wladyslaw gave her a misleading clue. 


The grandmother committed suicide, and it severely affected Gustaw/Romeo, who was sent to mental institutions ever since his breakdown over the death of the only parent figure he had ever had. As everyone assumed, Romeo, aka Gustaw, was not after Natalia’s money, but he’d got into a relationship with her just to get closer to the man and force him to apologize to him. The man was initially happy to have heard news of Wladyslaw’s death, but in the wake of the old man’s surprise, both had a conversation under the influence of the hallucinogenic chocolate that led to them speaking the truth. Wladyslaw claimed to have given the right hint all those years ago and refused to apologize, while Gustaw revealed his real identity. Wladyslaw not apologizing for his mistake led to Gustaw raging. He assumed Wladyslaw would be wearing the bulletproof vest. Gustaw claimed the killing to be accidental, and he was arrested. 

Gustaw had had a troubled childhood ever since the death of his grandmother. The humiliation his grandmother faced due to her loss in the game stayed with him as he accompanied her to the recording of the telecast. Gustaw wanted some retribution for the mistake that was made several decades ago, but sadly, he did not receive any. Wladyslaw was too rich and proud of his achievements to have apologized. The old man was aware it was this incident that led to the shutting down of the show, yet he prioritized his ego and refused to apologize, which eventually led to his death. It was Henryk who informed the police of the news article he had read about the show shutting down because of the suicide of an elderly woman, which had contained details about Gustaw, including his real name. Henryk also shared his doubts with the police when he heard Gustaw uttering the manner of the uncle’s death before even seeing the dead body. This was just a theory, and the police pulled the stunt of arresting Natalia by keeping Dawid and Henry in the loop, hoping Gustaw would come clean about his role out of his love for Natalia. Gustaw/Romeo did love Natalia, and his confession was proof of that.


Inheritance ended with Natalia and Gustaw getting married in prison. She planned to write a book about the events of the mansion, and hopefully she would repay her debts based on the money she would make if the novel was a bestseller. Dawid and Zofia made peace with their past and patched up to save their marriage. The events at the mansion may have changed their minds about getting a divorce. It was rather convenient, as there was no time given to Dawid to react to the news of his wife’s infidelity as she announced she was pregnant. The child could have been her boyfriend’s, but none of that was addressed. The cousin Karol and his fiancé Karol never moved away from Poland and stayed back to adopt a dog and name it Wladyslaw. 

The last footage of Wladyslaw hosting “Wheel of Truth” was only added to take the viewers back in time and provide them with a better picture of what happened in the fateful episode. This was rather sad and a commentary on how people got carried away by the need for popularity, which drove them to harm themselves. This only leaves the family with the trauma to live on. None of the family members could get their hands on the patents left by Wladyslaw, but all of them moved on to better things in life and hopefully learned a lesson. 


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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