One Day ending explained: What happens between Emma and Dexter? (spoilers)

Do the star-crossed pair finally get together?

Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall in One Day - Netflix
Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall in One Day - Netflix /

The limited series adaptation of David Nicholls' best-selling novel One Day has finally premiered on Netflix, and viewers around the world are getting to know Emma and Dexter's love story. Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall bring the central characters to life in the 14-episode series, and they will have you hooked on every time-jumping moment in Em and Dex's lives.

In the series, Emma and Dexter meet in 1988 on their graduation night and form a strong bond after spending a memorable night together. One Day tells their complicated, winding story on one day per year for almost 20 years, showcasing how different their lives and relationship become as they grow and evolve — sometimes not at the same pace.

The one question that will be on every viewer's mind from the very first episode will likely be some form of the following: Do Emma and Dexter end up together? Their chemistry is apparent from first glance, as is their connection. But what happens for the pair over the years, and does time eventually bring them together as a couple? We're explaining the ending and sharing Em and Dex's outcome.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead from One Day and its ending!

One Day
Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall in One Day - Netflix /

Do Emma and Dexter end up together?

Yes, in the end, Emma and Dexter finally get together. Although it happens off screen, the pair ultimately get married after planning a small wedding in the early 2000s. Shortly after getting married, the couple tries to have a baby, though Emma has some difficulty getting pregnant, which causes tension in their relationship. Still, they remain a strong unit until the tragedy happens. (We'll get there...)

Em and Dex rekindle their friendship (and relationship) a few years after having a disaster of a dinner catch up in 1994. Dex's excessive drug use and overall attitude bristled Emma, and they both swap hurtful words before ending communication. During Tilly's wedding in 1997, the pair at long last speak following a few years apart. It's during their reunion that Dexter reveals that he's engaged to Sylvie and she's pregnant.

It's also during their private rendezvous in the maze at Tilly's wedding that they kiss. Even though they do share a kiss, they remain friends as Dexter marries Sylvie and settles into being a father to Jasmine (a.k.a. Jazzy). Emma remained single after breaking up with Ian and ending her affair with her boss. But she has a new relationship when post-divorce Dex lands in Paris to reconnect.

The hits just kept on coming for Dexter. Not only did his wife cheat on him with his best friend, Callum, but he had trouble connecting with Jazzy because of his limited time with her. And then he comes to Paris to be with Emma, but she's dating someone. The Paris trip reveals that Emma and Dexter had sex three times before his divorce in 1999, and though Emma's initially hesitant to resume their romantic relationship, they finally decide to become a couple.

One Day
Ambika Mod as Emma & Leo Woodall as Dexter in One Day - Netflix /

How does Emma die?

Unfortunately, Emma dies in episode 13 of One Day. She's riding her bike in the rain when a car unexpectedly hits her and causes her death. Dexter later blames her death on a careless driver, though an official cause isn't revealed. She appeared to have passed away almost instantly while lying on the ground after getting hit by the car. It's a loss that completely and understandably destroys Dexter.

The morning of her death, she and Dexter had gotten into a spat over their stress about not getting pregnant. Their attempts to start a family weighed heavily on each of them. But they both called each other and left messages clearing the air and sharing their excitement for viewing their potential future house. Emma was on her way to meet Dexter at the house when she was hit by the car.

If you haven't read the book (or seen the movie), the limited series stays true to David Nicholls' story. Emma dies in both the book and the movie, and Dexter's experience rings true to what's on the page. He struggles to handle Emma's loss until he returns to Edinburgh, where they met, for a trip in 2007 with his father and daughter. His hike up Arthur's Seat with Jazzy brings him closure.

Watch One Day only on Netflix.

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