Dear Child is the interesting limited thriller series that landed on Netflix in September 2023. Produced in Germany, the TV show follows the story of Hannah and Jonathan, two kids who lived their whole lives kidnapped, and Lena, their mother. But the plot presents many surprises, and the ending can trigger many questions: Why was Lena kidnapped years before? Who is Jasmin, and what was the plan of Papa? Let’s have all answers explained in detail.
You can watch the official trailer for Dear Child here on Youtube.
Dear Child plot & ending explained: Lena, Hannah, and Papa
The plot of Netflix’s Dear Child begins with the images of Lena, the mother, Hannah, and Jonathan, her two kids. We see them in the house where they are prisoners. Papa, the man who holds them, has defined a detailed set of rules to maintain order. But one day, Lena manages to escape and gets hit by a car. An ambulance arrives, and Hannah, Lena’s daughter, is found close in the woods.
However, many things don’t match in the plot of Dear Child and need to be explained immediately. Hannah says her mother’s blood type is AB negative, but Lena, who goes under surgery, has a different type. Lena’s parents arrive at the hospital and don’t recognize her daughter. Some episodes later, we will discover the truth: the woman who escaped the kidnapper’s house is not Lena. She’s Jasmin, another woman kidnapped to replace Lena after her death. And she’s not the only one: we will learn that the kidnapper has caught many women during the years, trying to provide Lena’s best substitute for her kids.
Why all that? This is explained at the ending of Dear Child plot. Papa, the kidnapper, is Lars Rogner, who works in the security systems company owned by his grandfather. His mother ran away when he was young; we know nothing about his father, so Lars grew up with his grandparents. One day, Lars is sent to a house that needs help: there, he meets Lena Beck, who looks a lot like the mother he lost years before. So Lars, who incredibly misses his mother, decides to kidnap Leana and build a family with her.
This happened 13 years before, and when she was kidnapped, Lena was pregnant with Hannah (the biological father was Florian, Lena’s boyfriend). Hannah will become the first kid in the new family, and some years later, there will also be Jonathan, Lars’ biological son. Lena will try to give birth to a third kid, Sara, but both Sara and Lena will die after that. Hannah and Jonathan are alone now, and Papa Lars needs to take care of them. He does that by kidnapping another woman and forcing her to substitute Lena as the kids’ mother.
Through the plot of Dear Child, especially watching the ending, we understand why Hannah keeps saying that “there was only mama,” meaning Lena. Initially, we believe it was Hannah’s psychological defense mechanism that makes her see one only mama who loves her, although there is always a different woman living with them. But that’s not true, and the ending of Dear Child has explained it clearly: Hannah knew Papa kept bringing them a new mom every time the previous one died. And that was supposed to happen also for Jasmin, the last Mama, but Lena asks Papa to save her because “she tells stories much better than the previous ones.” So Hannah and Papa have a common plan: Papa will call the ambulance for Jasmin, and Hannah will do “everything right.” The first night Hannah is free, at her grandpa’s house, she escapes and goes to Papa, and together they pick up Jasmin from her house and head to the new home that’s waiting for them. Jonathan is not part of this plan. Jasmin seems to act under Papa/Lars’s control.
At the ending of Dear Child, all the last things are explained. Jasmin kills Lars; the detective and Hannah’s grandpa arrive, and they find Jasmin and Hannah on the beach, happy together. They are free from Lars’s influence and can start a new life. Lena, Hannah’s real mother, was buried in Lars’s garden. Lena’s parents, Hannah’s grandparents, finally find closure. From the connection between Matthias and Karin Beck in Dear Child ending scene, we presume Hannah is living with them, and Jonathan probably too. Dear Child told us the story of two kids held prisoners for their whole lives, finally free to discover what real life looks like.