There are a lot of shows on TV that are hard to understand, like Westworld and Twin Peaks. Then there’s Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar’s world. The German creative team was first shown to people in the U.S. through the Netflix show Dark. Now that they’re back with 1899, the problems are just getting started.
Whereas Dark played with the idea of time travel and asked if time itself was linear or more like a flat circle, 1899 takes that kind of sci-fi philosophy and applies it to simulations. What comes next is the worst trip ever across the ocean. If you’ve finished watching 1899, you probably need some help figuring out what it was about. We’ve got your back on that front.
Who Are Henry, Daniel, and Elliott in 1899?
They are all related to Maura (Emily Beecham). Henry, who was played by Anton Lesser, was the first person whose true identity was shown. About halfway through the season, Maura said that her father was Henry Singleton, who was thought to be the owner of these ships and a horrible person who liked to experiment on people.
About half of that turned out to be true, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s talk about Daniel and Elliott for now.
Daniel (Aneurin Barnard), who spent most of Season 1 following Maura around the ship and typing in secret on triangle-shaped devices, told everyone that he was Maura’s husband of 12 years. You understand what it means. “The boy” was never a regular kid. Elliot was their son. Maura and Daniel had him (Fflyn Edwards). Elliot is probably the biggest piece of this ocean-sized puzzle.
Who’s “The Creator” in 1899?
During the first season of 1899, the most mysterious passengers kept talking about “the Creator.” The Creator made sure that everyone on the Kerberos and the Prometheus was part of a simulation. Maura was sure that the person in the shadows was her father, but she was wrong. In reality, the Creator was… wait for it… Maura.
This is a show with Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, so some explanation is needed. Daniel said that he, Maura, and Elliot lived in the real world, or at least as close to it as they can get. They were a happy little family of smart scientists. But when Elliot started to get sick, Maura used all of her smarts to hurt him.
Well, maybe not evil, but desperate because of grief, which ruined lives by accident. She did research on Plato’s Cave which led her to make this seaside simulation so she could spend more time with her son. But between the first and 50th simulations, her memories were lost. Henry never held his daughter and grandson against their will. Instead, Maura put him and everyone else on the Kerberos in a trap.
What Went Wrong with Eyk?
Captain Eyk Larsen was kind but poor (Andreas Pietschmann). He lived through his shipping company telling him to sink his ship, a mutiny, and seeing dozens of his passengers kill themselves.
He also went through many panels, some of which were especially traumatic for him. He stayed by Maura’s side through all of this chaos. And that may have been the worst thing he did.
At the end of “The Key,” Eyk’s first mate, Sebastian, put Eyk and Maura in a tight spot (Tino Mewes). As viewers, we knew from the beginning that Sebastian was working with Henry, but Maura and Eyk didn’t know that.
Sebastian flipped a switch on his strange controller, which killed Eyk right away. But don’t be afraid. In the next simulation, Eyk will probably be back. On second thought, you should be scared, because that is scary.
What Happened To The Rest of The Travelers?
In Episode 8, there were only eight members of the Kerberos left. This was because many of them had fallen into the ocean or been hurt in other ways at sea. They all had letters, which wasn’t really a coincidence. We don’t know what those are about, but we do know what will happen to the people who are still on the plane.
We’ve already talked about how Eyk died with a weird triangle thing, and we’ll talk about Maura in just a moment. That left pregnant Danish Tove (Clara Rosager), Chinese geisha-posing Ying Li (Isabella Wei), Spanish fake priest Ramiro (José Pimento), rich English socialite Virginia (Rosalie Craig), Parisian elite member Clémence (Mathilde Ollivier), and French stowaway Jérôme (Yann Gael).
We’re not trying to be extra thorough by telling you where everyone is from again. Because they were from different countries, the six people who were still on the Kerberos almost couldn’t talk to each other as they dove into the Kerberos’s terrifying depths.
This group is split up into different pairs over and over again by “The Key,” which sends them to new places on the ship that are hidden from view. Each of these places was, of course, a living nightmare. For instance, Ling Yi got away from the black shapes that were taking over the ship by running to a portal that led to a deserted field. T
here, she found a box that sounded like it was hiding her mother’s body, Yuk Je (Gabby Wong). But when Ling Yi opened the jar, a black sludge figure that looked like a man came out. See? Horrifying.
Most of these people who made it out alive saw the ghosts of people they loved. But in the end, they all ended up in the same place: looking at the end of this simulation. Maura had her own journey as they held hands and watched the fiery vortex of their own perceptions burn.
How Did Maura’s 1899 End?
Henry told the truth about halfway through “The Key.” In every simulation, no matter what happens, Maura always chooses to keep Elliot alive, and Daniel always chooses Maura. That’s a big deal.
Sebastian took Maura to see Henry after Eyk was killed. Once he got there, he told her what we already knew: she was the one who made this strange simulation, and Henry was determined to stop it. He gave her drugs again, which was one of the first things he did to start this simulation over. But instead of waking up on the ship, Maura woke up in the same field near the same grave she had been to many times before.
Daniel finally found her in the bunker where he had been hiding Elliot. Then he told me what had happened.
Objects can be reprogrammed in the simulation. Knowing that, he changed the instructions on the syringe that Henry put into Maura’s neck so that she went to this bunker instead of back to the ship.
He also changed the master key, which is now the colorful pyramid and wedding ring in Maura’s hands instead of the black pyramid and key that Henry has. Why did he do everything he did? Because he knew Maura was their best chance to get out of there, he didn’t want to hurt her. And she will have to talk to her brother in order to save them all.
You did read that right. Maura is not the only scientist in the family who is sneaky. This group also includes her brother Ciaran, whom Maura has been looking for the whole time. At first, Ciaran, along with everyone else, was stuck in Maura’s simulation. But he figured out how to take charge of the whole thing. So, Maura might have made this hell, but Ciaran has been in charge of it.
At the end of 1899, Maura woke up for the last time. But she didn’t wake up on the water. She woke up in space. She unplugged herself from her Matrix-like setup and found a note in the middle of the room that said, “May your coffee wake you up before reality does.” Do you recognize it? That was the same text in every book on Kerberos, which is more proof that everything was just a simulation.
Using the computer screen next to the note, Maura found out that the ship Prometheus was really Project Prometheus and that it is currently speeding through space with 1,423 passengers and 550 crew members. If that doesn’t sound weird enough, look at the date. Yeah, we were never in 1899. We were instead 200 years in the future, on October 19, 2099, to be exact.
At the end of Season 1, Ciaran sent a message from himself. Maura’s brother used the monitor to write, “Hello, sister. “Welcome to the real world. Is this really what’s going on? Is there a simulation we haven’t heard of? Who is Maura, in the end? Who knows where this spaceship is going? We don’t know, but we definitely want a second season.
1899 is availble to stream on Netflix.