‘1899’ Episode 8: Recap And Ending, Explained – What Is Elliot’s Truth?

We’ve reached the end of the series. Are we finally going to get the answers we need, or are we still going to be in a morass of confusion? Well, with “1899,” you can’t be sure of anything. Whatever we have seen so far was thrilling, at times repetitive, but nevertheless entertaining. The finale starts off with eerie music and “the boy” shouting for his mother. Then we see Maura sitting and smiling at him.


We previously saw that the boy’s name is Elliot, and now we get to witness a very pure scene. We see that Elliot has caught a beetle. Yes, the beetle is back, and it has a name now. Elliot goes to Maura and shows her the scarab beetle he caught. He further tells Maura that he is thinking of naming it, Alfred. He also gives reasons for naming the beetle; Elliott mentions how the scarab beetle looks a lot like an Alfred. Here, we see a pure-hearted boy playing with an insect, and the boy also wishes to keep the beetle in a box. However, Maura comes into the picture and makes Elliot understand how the beetle would not like to be trapped in a box like that, and she also calls it a “prison.” I noticed how this was metaphorical in nature because we see that in the simulation, even they are trapped, and the endless loop must feel like a prison.

Coming back to Elliot, it seems like he wanted to make a new friend, and he found Alfred at the time, but because of his mother’s “commands,” he had to let it go. At first, we see how happy he is to catch the beetle, and then, we see how sad the little boy is to let him go. Perhaps this is what the whole experiment is about: human emotions. He also expresses his wish to see Alfred grow up; however, Maura tells him that it is not possible. A general reaction to your child being upset would be to comfort him with some sweet words; however, here, we see Maura doing quite the opposite. She is very pragmatic and says he will not see Alfred grow and that sometimes people have to let things go. She also tells him that one day she will have to let him go, too, when he grows up, and this thought seems to disturb Elliot a little. He calls Maura silly for having said what she said and hugs her tight, letting her know that he will always stay with her and Daniel. Maura hugs him back, but we see her emotions here; she does not look happy but rather a little frayed.


Spoilers Ahead

Elliot’s Story

Like each character in the series, we see a little background on Elliot’s character in the first few minutes of the finale. After the brief backstory of Elliot and Maura, we see Elliot holding Maura’s hospital gown in the next scene. He is now all alone and on his knees. The landscape has also changed, and we can now see a pyramid behind him. We see the look on his face, and he looks very tense while trying to search for his mother, Maura. We then hear the famous “wake up,” and he wakes up on a couch! Here, we witness what Elliot’s nightmare is: losing his mother and father. We get a little explanation as to why they felt so close from the beginning, even though Maura could not remember Elliot. Despite her not remembering her, we see how determined the little boy was to help her mother remember. Elliot’s story is rather sad; imagine your own mother not remembering you! 


Elliot And Henry Singleton

After Elliot wakes up from his nightmare, we see Henry Singleton in front of him. He explains that he knows how Daniel must have told Elliot about him but must not have told him why they are stuck in the loop. He further mentions how each passenger who has survived on the ship Kerberos was there to forget their devious past; however, they, too, are stuck in the simulation now. None of them actually knows why they are there, but they are also oblivious to the fact that they are stuck in a simulation. Henry further explains how Maura has fooled her son, and along with him, she has fooled everyone else stuck in the simulation. 

We further see that Maura is on the TV in Henry’s office, and she looks visibly confused. Elliot looks at her and cries. Henry further explains how Maura is the only person who can get them out of this mess. What is the truth? Well, further in the episode, we see that Henry takes Elliot near the pyramid and then, using his device, changes the landscape. Now, they are near the mental hospital. Before entering, we see a philosophical monologue by Henry in which he describes how we never truly forget everything and that it’s time for Elliot to “remember.” Then, Henry offers or rather commands Elliot that he can show him the truth about Maura. Elliot then sits on the chair where we have seen Maura being traumatized in the first few episodes. Finally, we get to witness what it’s used for. All the while, we thought that it was Maura who was trapped in room number 1101; however, in the finale, we get to know that it is not her prison; it is actually made for Elliot. 


Right And Left Side Of The Brain

Well, a thing to note in this episode, which I found very significant, was the “black” and “white” serum. I noticed that Henry injected a white serum through a needle on the left side of Elliot’s neck, and when he is deep in his vision where he sees the truth, Maura injects a black potion through a similar needle on the right side. She also mentions how he will forget any of this happening. Well, the whole series circles around the human brain and how it functions. I think Henry Singleton is telling the truth when he says that it was actually Maura who created a simulation to keep Elliot alive forever. The truth is Elliot is dying of something, and Maura can’t let him go, so she creates a simulation. Now, the “right” side of the brain is responsible for several things, but here, we can say she injected it for him to lose memory since the right side of the brain is also responsible for “memory” and “attention.” Maybe the black potion is made to forget things and increases the absence of attention in the brain. In contrast, the white potion does the complete opposite. The left side of the human brain is mostly responsible for calculations, which makes sense in the series since the white potion is made for remembering things, as in “calculating” what the truth is.

What About The Survivors?

The black substance is spreading, and the survivors now start doubting Maura after she informs them about the ship’s owner. She admits that Henry Singleton is the owner of the ship and she is his daughter. Further, she tells everyone how she does not remember anything but receiving an envelope in which there was a key. Now, what she says makes everyone angry. She tells everyone that she might remember everything if she finds out what the key opens. It could be anything. Ling Yi starts expressing anger in her language and how she now thinks her mother is right about everything. Collectively, the survivors, except Eyk, decide not to follow Maura’s instructions. Instead, they decide to find a way to get off the ship. However, Maura tries to explain how everything is happening inside their brains, but none of them is ready to accept it. Virginia says that nothing Maura says makes any sense, and Ling Yi and Virginia leave, and the rest follow them, looking dismayed. 


Eyk Is Maura’s Only Confidant 

Eyk is the only person who is ready to trust Maura, even though she seems unreliable at this point. Eyk has seen a lot with her and traveled to the mental hospital too. He has seen his family and had different visions, so he is not so oblivious to facts. We see that Maura and Eyk try to find a way to reach the mental hospital, but the portal in Maura’s room is no longer there. Here, we see her trying to recollect herself, and then she looks at her wedding ring! She decides to go to Daniel’s room next door, and Eyk follows her. They go to Daniel’s grave together. Eyk also sees all the pictures lying all over the place in Daniel and Maura’s room. Maura mentions how she has seen the photos but does not remember being the person that they are witnessing in the pictures. Here, a doubt arose in my mind: is she lying about not remembering being a mother and being Daniel’s wife, or has she actually forgotten everything? She could be fooling us (the viewers) too! She further says she does not “feel” anything looking at the pictures. My doubt is then asked by Eyk. He asks Maura about not remembering being married. It sure is hard to believe. She felt an emotional connection with the boy, and she clearly was ready to even take a bullet for Elliot, but she does not remember being a wife or mother. Well, that’s kind of hard to buy. Eyk asks a very sensible question after this: How does she know Daniel is telling the truth?

Maura and Eyk try to search for clues everywhere while Maura talks about memories. She suddenly looks at the walls and breaks one frame of them open. Eyk helps her with this, and they find a portal. They also find a torch here. Meanwhile, we see Daniel trying to change the code on his device; he pushes a few buttons, and everything turns red. Now, it looks like a scene from “The Batman.” Anyway, the black substance has now started spreading at a very fast pace. The survivors of Kerberos who left Maura and Eyk now start running for their lives! Jerome says they need to go back and find the captain and Maura. They clearly now regret leaving the duo.


Henry Talks About Plato 

Henry Singleton then tries to explain Plato’s theories to Elliot. He informs Elliot that his mother was obsessed with Plato’s philosophies and used to read them over and over again. One idea that stuck with her was that knowledge has limits, and one can never know if things are truly how they appear. “1899” is based on the same idea. We know nothing, and if Henry is telling the truth, there is no doubt Maura created the whole simulation because she has also been very philosophical the entire season. She, too, seems to be very well-versed in the study of the human brain. Anyway, Henry further explains how we can never know the true nature of things. He also tells Elliot that one day she came to him and asked, “How does anyone know if anything is real?” Henry mentions how it was a very big thought for a girl her age, which shows that Maura was a prodigy. If that’s the case, she must have designed the entire simulation to support Plato’s argument, or maybe it was her idea to experiment. Henry also says that the whole simulation is a dollhouse built for Elliot.

Daniel Hacks Into The System 

All the survivors split in two and reached different landscapes built in the simulation, which seemingly saved them from the black substance. However, now they are more confused than ever. Henry and the first mate, along with Elliot, watch this happen on TV. The first mate informs Henry that Daniel is trying to change the design of the simulation so that his tracks are untraceable. Henry then orders the first mate to find Maura because now Daniel is trying to wake her up. But Henry and the first mate are after the “key” that is with Maura. Meanwhile, we see how disturbed the other survivors are. Ling Yi and Ramiro also see Olek, but he is covered in what appears to be tar. There is a whole montage where the black substance follows them through the landscapes, and the whole cinematography looks very pleasing to the eyes.


How Does The Episode End?

Well, Henry witnesses everything on the TV and orders the first mate to find Maura; we see a brief scene between Eyk and Maura. Eyk is now losing his sanity and questioning everything. Maura tries to comfort him, but suddenly the first mate comes and threatens to make them give up the key. He shows her his device as a threat and tells her they don’t have much time. Everything is collapsing, and the system is getting more and more corrupted. The first mate presses a button on his device, and our captain faints. After this, he takes Maura to Henry. Maura asks Elliot why she can’t remember what she did to him, and Henry comes in between. He tells Maura that she is still not asking the right questions. Maura gets infuriated at this point and demands answers. After all of this takes place, Henry presses a button on his device, and they reach the mental hospital, where she is tied to a chair again. Henry then tells Maura that being an avoider is bliss, and the whole monologue is about being either a seeker or an avoider. He expresses how he wishes Maura was not a seeker because that led her to create this endless loop. He calls the simulation a sick game, but Maura protests here. She says everything Henry is saying is untrue. Who are we to believe now? The episode is nearing its end, and I have so many questions unanswered! Well, in the last fifteen minutes of the episode, we see how she has been tortured again (the endless loop continues), and Elliot is just witnessing everything and crying. We get to know that Daniel has changed the code, and now the key is redundant. We see that everything is getting deleted, and the survivors watch their fate unfold right before their eyes. Soon, the Kerberos disappears. 

What Happens To Maura?

We see that Maura wakes up in black sand, in her hospital gown, and looks at her wedding ring. She goes to Elliot’s room, and there we see Daniel joining her. She asks him if what she is witnessing is real. He replies with a “no” and informs her the simulation they are in right now was the first simulation they ever created. So, Henry was right. Maura is the real creator of the simulation. Or is she? Can we trust Daniel? Anyway, he now informs her that the real exit code is her wedding ring and that, this time, she has to “remember.” He also assures her that she will get out of the simulation. Daniel further explains how Maura’s brother took over the simulation while she was in it and is now controlling it from the outside. So, there’s a creator and a controller? A new theory on us in the last five minutes of the show? Well, I’m sure there is another season brewing!


Coming back to the show, in the end, we see Maura waking up in outer space! Yes. Now, we have a plot like “Interstellar” to follow in the upcoming season, or so it seems. We see that Maura looks around the spaceship, which is called “Prometheus,” and suddenly, a message pops up from her brother, who welcomes her to reality. But can we trust her brother? Where was he the entire time? We also see all the passengers still alive. Will season two be about space? Is that their reality? Well, for that, we have to wait!

Final Thoughts

What stuck with me in this show was the fact that the writers explored a lot of themes. The story was not just limited to science fiction but also included a lot of philosophy woven in by the creators. I watched the show thinking it might be something about time travel, like “Dark.” However, it was completely different. As much as it was not what I had anticipated, the show did feel a little stretched at times. Nevertheless, I can say the show is worth a watch for people who like reading philosophers like Plato and are interested in the general idea of human behavior. The show has done a good job of exploring human behavior, which was also the main theme. The space aspect that they brought at the end of the season for a cliffhanger is a good tactic to keep the audience guessing. I know I am anticipating another season! Are you?


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Tarushi Patali
Tarushi Patali
Tarushi is an English Literature graduate, who is currently doing master's in mass communication from Mumbai. She loves making lists and is an avid reader. Also, she likes judging people by their movie taste. In her leisure time you would find her digging random conspiracy pages on Reddit!

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