might not be the most high-octane of sci-fi thrillers, but boy did that season 1 finale end with a bang. Franklin and Irene York (an immense J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek) have had their fair share of hardships, but after smoothing out a couple of bumps in their relationship, they’re ready to take on the next chapter… in outer space.
Slide on your diving helmets and take a giant leap into this ending explainer. Plus, let’s look at lingering questions we still need answered.
Byron is still missing in action
After Byron convinces his new pal Frank to let him go out into the open on the alien planet, he inevitably ventures beyond the point where Frank’s walkie-talkie can reach his. Frank goes to the observatory and tries to call Byron once again, but no dice. Where the heck did Byron go? (We have a pretty good idea based on that big final reveal.)
‘What’s out there on that planet?’
Frank asks Jude that exact question, and Jude’s sneaky reply is, “Nothing.” Come on, Jude, we know you’re lying.
Toni discovers the identity of her father (sort of)
There’s much talk about Toni inheriting her family’s legacy, but no one really does her the courtesy of explaining what that means. Well, until Cornelius (Piotr Adamczyk) — and yes, it took until the final episode for us to even learn Cornelius’ name — obliges for his own benefit.
“You are so close to God, and you don’t even realize it,” he says. Caleb, Cornelius reveals, is Toni’s father, which is probably why Stella went cold when Nick brought him up earlier. Where is Caleb? Apparently in a place called Caerul — a whole other mystery. At least we know Cornelius wants to take Toni there.
Stella finds who she’s looking for
The person — not thing — Stella and Nick had been looking for all this time is Jude, aka the Apostate. This is the word for someone who abandons their religion or faith, something that saw Jude end up killing another man to escape. In order to protect the Yorks, Jude gives himself up to Stella, who we discover is a Guardian. Her mission: Kill the Apostate.
As they have a not-so-friendly chat, Jude reveals that he knows Stella. She was introduced to his mother when he was a little boy. A ceremony was taking place, presumably something to do with the Guardians, because Jude goes on to taunt Stella: “I never really understood the Guardians. All that sacrifice. For what? To protect something that they’ll never truly be a part of.”
Stella and Toni do a Thelma and Louise
Ultimately refusing to kill Jude and appease Toni, Stella chooses to run from the Guardians. She and Toni commit to leaving their home in Argentina — commit to leaving their community and faith behind. This puts them in grave danger, but at least they have a bargaining chip: The tied-up Cornelius, whom they can give up to stop the Guardians chasing after them.
Jude has a road map
Jude finds an address from his father, Gabriel, in his copy of The Count of Monte Cristo, which he left for Jude at Hannah’s B&B. Jude punches the coordinates — written in what looks like an alien language — into the chamber’s control panel, hoping they’ll lead him and his new travel companion Denise straight to his father. They enter the chamber and end up all the way in Thailand, somewhere in Bangkok.
Who the hell is Hannah?
We already knew the chatty host of the B&B wasn’t who she seemed — surely none of her guests bargain for a secret surveillance room and a behind-the-scenes worker monitoring the York’s activities. After she and the rest of her mysterious cohort upend Stella and Toni’s van, Hannah speaks with Cornelius, and we discover Hannah is another escaped Apostate. “Welcome to the Fallen World,” Hannah says creepily. What does she have in mind for Stella, Toni and Cornelius?
A dive into space
Not learning from Byron’s overconfidence, Frank heads out across the alien planet’s rocky terrain beyond the reach of Irene’s walkie-talkie. He discovers a dead man wearing an old-fashioned looking shirt with big stitches. A knife is sticking out of his torso. Frank then takes a nap when his air suddenly runs out, before Irene comes to his rescue.
Then comes the big reveal: Irene and Frank, able to breath the air without an oxygen tank, hear the far-off sound of ringing bells and look out over the next ridge at a beautiful civilization semi-encased in domed walls. Could this city be Caerul? It certainly looks like it could be a kind of promised land, given to people by a god.
Plenty of lingering questions
That finale tees us up nicely for a big second season (though there’s no official green light just yet), which could see the Yorks and Co. track down the various missing people who’ve traveled across Earth through chambers or to the mysterious planet. Byron, Gabriel and Caleb all have worried family members searching for their whereabouts.
Hannah could be the new villain of season 2, even if she also fights against the Guardians. And what about those old coins? Do they come from the alien planet? Finally, in general, we still don’t really know the purpose of the chambers. All we do know is they’re all connected like a network of doorways. What’s the bigger picture here?
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