‘National Treasure: Edge Of History’ Episode 1 And 2: Recap And Ending, Explained

Disney+ recently brought a spinoff series on the “National Treasure” franchise, with the name “National Treasure: Edge of History.” But this time, it’s not about Benjamin Franklin; instead, it is a youth-focused show that centers on Jess Valenzuela (played by Lisette Olivera), a young indigenous woman who is unknowingly carrying out her family’s history, which would open a path to a secret treasure. But an ice queen, Billie Pearce (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones), another treasure hunter, is after the treasure, and she will do whatever it takes to get her hands on it. Will Jess be successful in keeping the treasure from Billie, or will it elude her control?


Spoilers Ahead

‘National Treasure: Edge of History’ Episode 1: Recap And Ending

Episode 1 of “National Treasure: Edge of History” opens in 2001 at Peter Sadusky’s (played by Harvey Keitel) library, where Peter Sadusky is spotted secretly taping something. He talked about the gold and library, which were the hidden treasures of Emperor Montezuma’s palace, sought by the Conquistadors. The Cortez army conquered the Mexican Aztec kingdom in 1519, but all of this hidden wealth was protected by the indigenous women who concealed the treasure and separated the maps of it into three relics known as Inca, Maya, and Aztec. Now one of these relics, the Aztecs, was sought after by one of the treasure hunters, who was presumably commanded by a man named Salazar. This information was verified by Rafael, a spy who worked as a double agent for the FBI and the Freemasons. Rafael eventually discovered the Aztec relic but was then taken captive by Salazar’s soldiers, who burned down his home and beat him unconscious. But luckily, Rafael had already sent his family away before the attack. Rafael’s wife and their little daughter both survived, but Rafael might not have made it out alive. Rafael’s daughter Jess never saw her father, but she still got the necklace, which was her last sign of him. Jess’s mother had never revealed her father’s identity to her. Jess now works as a receptionist at a storage facility, but in her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends Tasha (Zuri Reed), Oren (Antonio Cipriano), and Ethan (Jordan Rodrigues) in escape rooms. Despite this, Jess still has a dream job of working in the FBI’s cryptanalysis division since she excels at deducing patterns and hunting down codes. One day at the warehouse, she discovered a client with the name “I Am Phantasm,” which means “I Am a Ghost” in Latin. After realizing it was a fake identity, Jess gathered the client’s materials and tracked down his address so she could deliver them to him in person. She discovered Iam Phantasm’s home, which was actually Peter Sadusky. Peter’s nurse warned her to be cautious since Peter had dementia and would become delusional or suspicious. However, Jess met Peter and gave him his belongings, which included a gavel and a burial flag. Jess was unable to accept that he was delusional until Peter pointed out her locket and made a mysterious comment about her father. Peter was convinced that Jess was destined to meet him because of her family’s longstanding history and connection with the treasure. So, he handed her a letter addressed to his grandson, Liam, and placed it in her handbag since she didn’t want to accept it in the first place. But soon after receiving the letter, Jess began to have doubts about her father’s mystery and what her mother had withheld from her for all these years.


The next day, Peter died in his sleep, and Jess’ imminent peril began to breathe down her neck. The treasure hunters featured a wicked lady named Billie Pearce, who could be working for a prominent crook and seeking the treasure maps or those relics. So, she dispatched two of her subordinates, disguised as FBI agents, to question Jess about the letter, but an eagle-eyed Jess saw that their badges were fake, prompting her to believe that she should keep her silence about the letter because if she informed them, the treasure might fall into the wrong hands. The very next day, she discovered that those fake FBI agents had raided her home in pursuit of the letter, which she had thankfully hidden in a cartoon taken by Ethan when he was outside. She discovered a photo inside the letter that showed Peter, his son, and his grandson Liam, and in the back of the photo was a letter dedicated to Liam from his grandpa, so Jess thought she could give it to Liam, but when she finally found him at a pub and approached him to return the letter, Liam was kind of insulting to her and refused to take the letter upon hearing on his grandfather’s name, which felt weird but Jess didn’t bother him anymore. Jess was compelled to return home with the letter, and her risk was increased when she discovered that the fake FBI had not only searched her room for the letter but was also following her. She got away from them anyhow and eventually rushed to the museum seen in Peter’s photograph. She entered the museum on the pretext of cleaning, using a secret masonic handshake that she had spotted in Sadusky’s photograph. She found Peter’s portrait there and finally walked into the room where Sadusky and his sons were photographed. With the aid of the gavel, she deciphered the code of a code plate and discovered the Aztec relic hidden inside a globe. She—a crypto-genius lady—discovered the whole thing as if she knew exactly where it was stored. But anyway, she kept the relic in her bag and fled the museum. Tasha saw that the sun sign carved in the relic was similar to that of Jess’ locket; thus, they must have some type of link that may lead her to discover her father’s true identity or who she truly was. She exited the museum and ran into Ethan on her way, who urged her not to put herself in danger since her mother could have known about any sinister truth regarding this treasure hunting, which is why she didn’t want her daughter to be like her father. Jess received an unexpected phone call from Billie, who acknowledged that she had sent those fake Feds after her. She wanted to receive the relic and offered a large sum of money in exchange, but Jess refused. But Billie still had another way to get it. She told Jess that her buddy Oren had been abducted by her and that she needed the relic returned if she wanted him back alive. Jess was left with no option but to give it to her. In the ending moment of episode 1, we learn that Salazar, a nefarious prisoner from Mexico, was allegedly hatching an escape plan with the help of another prisoner. However, we observe him drawing a sun sign that was also etched into Jess’ locket and the Aztec relic. This might indicate that after committing any heinous crime, he might have been caught, but as he was planning to escape, he probably would be the villain of this story.

‘National Treasure: Edge of History’ Episode 2: Recap And Ending

Episode 2 opens with Jess receiving another threatening call from Billie. In every manner possible, Jess had to surrender the relic to Billie because she had already created a bigger problem for them to face. She even hacked into Tasha’s computer and prevented her from hacking them back. Finally, Jess accepted, and Billie called her to a remote location to hand over the relic. However, Jess refused to go there and instead asked her to come to the USS Kidd, a museum with sufficient security that could stop Billie from harming Oren or anyone else. However, Billie made it obvious that if Jess informed the police, she wouldn’t keep Oren alive. But Jess didn’t listen to her and opted to alert the FBI, and though Tasha disagreed with it, she still accompanied her to the FBI. Ross (Lyndon Smith), a novice FBI officer, took down their information on Peter Sadusky and asked for their identities, to which Tasha lied and gave her fake names so that their names would not appear in FBI databases. But because Ross thought it was a prank, she didn’t give them any importance. She realized they were falsifying their names, so she told them that filing a fake report would be deemed a crime, prompting Jess and Tasha to leave the department right there. On the walk back, Jess deciphered the relic’s code and opened it to reveal the treasure map. It looked like a puzzle, but it was not completed, which meant there were two more puzzles to be found to locate the treasure. They got to the USS Kidd Museum, and Jess went inside a trial room to place a keychain inside the relic.


Meanwhile, Tasha discovered that the security guard was heading to the restroom, so she persuaded him to come outside while Billie arrived to retrieve the relic from Jess. But, in order to bring Oren back safely, Jess had to give it to her. Before Billie could go, a security guard approached her to determine whether she was taking anything. However, Billie persisted in denying it, so Jess reported her to the police as a kidnapper who had kidnapped Oren, which Oren categorically rejected in order to protect his and his friends’ necks. Billie was easily able to flee, and Jess, Tasha, and Oren returned home. Oren said that if he complained to the officer, Billie’s men would have murdered them, so he kept his mouth shut, but he would still assist Jess in retrieving the relic and locating the treasure. Jess made Oren promise not to tell Ethan about it, but his pledge was in vain since he eventually spilled all the beans to him. Ethan confronted him, and they promised each other that they would not conceal any more secrets from each other in order to preserve their friendship. Later, Billie was seen placing the relic into a safe, which automatically identified that it contained a keychain inside. Thus, Billie directed her minions to keep a watch on Jess. Jess, on the other hand, slipped back into Peter’s library, hoping to locate any further hidden messages, but all she found was a book with information about the sun sign that was on the relic and in her locket. Liam, who didn’t want to go to his grandfather’s burial, had to accompany his mother, who advised him not to get obsessed like his father, who had spent his entire life searching for treasure.

Meanwhile, Jess got fired from the warehouse, so she was extremely sad and had to get another job anywhere. Tasha discovered who Billie Pearce was and informed Jess that she was an antique merchant and the queen of cryptocurrency. Peter Sadusky’s information at the FBI made Ross think about him. Since Peter was a retired FBI agent, she began probing and requesting a toxicology report on his death, but her supervisor, who was a friend of Peter’s, informed her about his son’s tragic death and Peter’s dementia in his final years. He advised her not to dwell on his death and instead to pay him the respect he deserved. Finally, Tasha recommended a bar for Jess to work as a waiter, and it was at this pub where they met Liam, who also worked there as a singer. Jess got the job at the pub and ran into Liam, who had grown tired of seeing Jess repeatedly. However, Liam eventually came to the realization that he had no connection to this world because, among these heartless individuals, Jess had come to meet him to deliver his grandpa’s final letter and behaved like a kind person. So, he decided to help her recover the treasure. So, he approached her and led her to his grandfather’s old masonic hidden room, where Liam told her about their similarities. Both of their parents were involved in treasure seeking, and neither of their moms wanted them to be like their fathers, who lost their lives in pursuit of finding the treasure. Finally, Liam delivered to her a study paper obtained by his father from a Mexican academic institution, and Jess discovered that it had been written by her mother, Manuela Valenzuela.


Final Words

The series is intended to inspire the nostalgia of 90s youth by emulating the ambiance of all treasure-hunting film franchises, from Indiana Jones to The Mummy, but the narrative is quite ridiculous and a little innovative. Although the show was made for viewers of all ages, I can say that the narrative is quite entertaining in the first two episodes. However, perhaps in the next episodes, we will discover more about this Salazar character and who Billie Pearce is truly working for. According to sources, we shouldn’t anticipate a major surprise like Nicholas Cage this season since it has not yet crossed the producers’ minds. Cage may be brought back for the following season based on the success of this one, but these are all just speculations. So, for the time being, we must wait for future episodes to find out what the end of Jess’ quest is.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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