We gotta talk about that crazy, jaw-dropping Traitors finale

Has your heart ever stopped pounding in your chest? No, not because it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow. But because Traitors – the best reality TV show of 2022 – aired its finale last night, with more twists, backstabs and roaring fires than Game of thrones. And we need to talk about it.

BBC One’s sleeper hit (watched by more people in the UK than Netflix Harry and Meghan) saw 22 strangers play a game, similar to Mafia or Werewolf, in a castle in the Scottish Highlands in the hope of winning up to £120,000.

Hosted by Claudia Winkleman — who was so invested in the proceedings that she actually cried in the final episode — the show divided the contestants into traitors and loyalists. The traitors “killed” the faithful one by one, while trying to go unnoticed, and the faithful chose whom to banish, suspected of being a traitor.

It was totally addicting for several reasons. First up are Winkleman’s knits, which, as my colleague Jessie Thompson has said, “fit so snugly it looks more and more like they could smother your whole face.” Second, the way it makes you ask yourself, “What would I do in this situation? Could I be that hypocritical? And third, no one falls in love with each other after two days, or says the words “can I draw you in to chat?” Instead, the tagline for this series has been, “I’m 100% faithful.”

In Traitors‘ Last week, Hun icon Amanda was brutally betrayed by fellow traitor MVP Wilfred. He then brought the helpless and guilty Kieran to the dark side and they “murdered” the adorable Andrea and Maddy.

There were five left in the final last night: the traitors Wilf and Kieran, and the faithful Hannah, Meryl and Aaron. After a trial involving jumping from a helicopter, running across a Scottish loch to find money and lots of shouting, the group gathered around the dreaded round table.

Poor old Kieran was quickly thrown under the bus by the ruthless Wilf, who didn’t have much trouble persuading the others that he was guilty because, bless him, the solutions consultant looked incredibly sneaky (and sad). But Kieran wasn’t going to go down without a final f*** you to Wilf, and he left the faithful with a “parting gift” — his only vote to banish his traitorous mate.

Wilf flipped, as they say, his lid. He screamed and screamed, protesting his innocence, saying he couldn’t understand why the hell Kieran would accuse him. People are already asking for it to be thrown in EastEnders.

Although the group (especially Hannah, who has the best crying face in the country) became so close to Wilf, they couldn’t get Kieran’s words out of their heads, and so, in a painful revelation process who saw their votes being revealed by the color of a burning flame (must have been there), they also banished him.

MVP Wilf (BBC)

Wilf, who has been – I think unfairly – vilified on social media over the weeks for playing such an excellent game, burst into tears of relief. Claudia too. Like many of us at home. He told the group that he had been a traitor this whole time, and he seemed genuinely pleased that his buddies were winning.

“You’re a huge asshole head but I love you so much,” was Aaron’s perfect, nuanced response. He, Hannah and Meryl shared the dosh and fled smiling and crying into the Scottish castle, to shake a bottle of wine, richer at £33,683.

And with that, I think we all need to lay down before the festivities begin.

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