‘Carol & The End Of The World’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: How Did Carol Rediscover Herself?

Netflix’s latest offering, Carol & the End of the World, told the story of a world where time was really a ticking time bomb because the planet was about to be completely obliterated in seven months. The news headlines talked about a massive planet hurling towards Earth, colliding exactly in 7 months and 13 days, and ending all life on Earth. Thus, literally living on a deadline, people started crossing things off their bucket lists. For instance, some achieved their dreams of crossing the English Channel, while others won gold medals in their favorite sports. The inevitable doom also led to massive resignations, making work a thing of the past. Moreover, the currency lost its value and was now being used in lieu of firewood. Every second was precious; thus, people did everything they could to make the time count. However, the protagonist, Carol Kohl, had neither such ideas nor any motivation. Even her parents had things to do, and it was a bit peculiar. They had abandoned wearing any clothes and were also in a sexual relationship with their housekeeper, Michael.

Spoilers Ahead

Why Did Carol Join The Office?

As you’ve seen in the series earlier, Carol spent her time scouring abandoned buildings, malls, and public parks and stopping the lift on every floor. During one of her outings, Carol met Eric, a mild-mannered stranger she ended up having sex with. Like Carol, Eric, too, was lonely and depressed, with nothing better to do than visit parks at night. Thus, just a day after their one-night stand, Eric confessed his and proposed to Carol. Eric was a divorcee who felt that he’d lost his purpose after his marriage fell through, but he felt rejuvenated when he met Carol. “We’re meant to be together,” Eric said to Carol, but she refused his proposal. One day, while she followed her daily routine, she found out about a company that was still running. Since she had nothing better to do, Carol immediately jumped on the opportunity. Carol figured it was better to work 9 to 5 rather than sit idle, waiting for the world to end. Carol’s office responsibilities included making photocopies, processing files, and getting toners, among a couple of other things.

How Did Carol Change Her Nonchalant Coworkers?

When Carol started her job, all of her coworkers appeared like machines who didn’t smile, talk, or express any emotions. This was because, like Carol, they, too, didn’t have any wishes on the bucket list. While the entire world was doing things they loved, Carol and other office workers were trapped in the office, waiting for a performance review by management. Forget Carol; they didn’t even talk to each other and just kept hammering their fingers on the keyboard. What was more troubling was that they didn’t even want to go home. In one instance, a lady tried setting the elevators on fire so she didn’t have to return home. Also, there was this time when everyone volunteered when the management asked for volunteers to stay late and finish work.

Fortunately, Carol’s excellent banana bread helped her bond with Luis and Donna, her co-workers. Luis believed they had all died, and the office they worked in was the purgatory. Carol wanted to know everyone in the office, their names, and what their hobbies were. It broke her heart that they were always sad and not socializing with anyone. Carol learned all their names from the office logs, and when she called them by their names, it left them shocked. Carol, Luis, and Donna even made a day-long journey to inform David’s family of his death. In addition to it, Carol also held a mourning ceremony for David on the office rooftop, which was also attended by the others. Thankfully, her attempts yielded results, and she became known to all her coworkers.

How Did Carol Rediscover Herself?

Even though Carol was confused at the start of Carol & the End of the World, as the series progressed, we saw her taking on multiple adventures with her friends and family. Carol took a hiking trip with her sister, Elena, who, unlike her, seemed to record everything. Elena had taken up French and skydiving as hobbies. The trip helped Carol rediscover herself, and thanks to Elena, she saw herself in a new light. Carol was reminded of the things she used to love. At the start of Carol & the End of the World, Carol is presented as lonely, but a few episodes later, she made tons of new friends, like Donna and Luis. Moreover, Carol also helped a trick-or-treater find his way back home and held people at gunpoint to steal a toner. All of these experiences were meaningful and taught something to her. Toward the end, Carol also took up surfing, traveled around the globe, and gathered a plethora of stories to entertain her friends.

Carol made it her mission to travel to the best beaches in search of the biggest waves and friendliest surfers, all while discovering herself. Carol’s journey took her to Maverick, aka the mecca of the surf world, where waves topped over 60 feet. Carol was determined to surf the dangerous waves and had even taken up meditation to prepare herself both mentally and spiritually. Her self-discovery journey also saw her visit an old flame of hers, Angelo Alfolini. The duo spent some time together, but Carol left soon in search of her next challenge and adventure. Carol eventually found her perfect wave after drinking a psychotropic substance called “Gesthaini.” It was made from a flower that grew on the banks of mangroves and was later ingested by bats, then excreted and scrapped off the walls of the caves before finally being served as tea. In addition, an old man helped Carol understand that perfect waves didn’t exist and that it was all about how you choose to perceive them. Every wave Carol had surfed was perfect, as they all helped her discover herself.

Other than herself, Carol also helped her colleagues, who had now started to smile a bit. Carol was the reason why there was chatter around the water cooler and spells of boisterous laughter, high-fives, low-fives, and shoulder pats—something that was missing from the office before. Carol wasn’t the only one; Steven, Eric’s son, also took some great lessons from his father. Steven had grown tired of seeing his father’s miserable state and thus decided to leave home to travel to Canada to live with his mother. Eric drove him, and during their journey, the father and son bonded. Steven learned how to make a perfect road trip snack and shared things he had never said to his father. Steven realized that he was the most precious thing in his father’s life, and if he left, it would only torture him further.

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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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