‘Skull Island’ Recap & Ending, Explained: Did Charlie And His Friends Survive At The End?

A year before the release of another monster battle royale, which will once again feature Godzilla and Kong, Legendary Studio’s Monsterverse gets another expansion in the form of the animated series Skull Island. An integral part of Kong the Giant Ape’s mythos since the release of King Kong in 1933, Skull Island and its mysteries have influenced a number of fictional tropes and franchises. While fans have seen various iterations of the treacherous island filled with different forms of monstrosities, the animated adaptation really broadens the scope of imagination, and Skull Island takes full advantage of that. The series follows the misadventures of a group of humans who get stranded on Skull Island, and their ulterior motivations start creeping up as they learn the existing hierarchy of this enigmatic place.


Spoilers Ahead

Turbulent Waters: Who Are The Adventurers?

As Skull Island begins, the viewers are introduced to Annie, a runaway teenager who somehow manages to evade capture by a ship full of mercenaries and escapes by accessing a speedboat. Annie’s speedboat stations at the hull of an expedition ship, ‘Once Upon A Maritime,’ whose core crew includes the Captain, who, for reasons unknown, goes by the name Cap; Charlie; Cap’s friend Hiro, who is an adventurer; and Mike. Cap and Hiro have bonded over their love for nature and set on a course to the South Pacific Ocean, although the modus operandi of their expedition of bombing the seas and scanning for unusual lifeforms might seem quite contrasting with the former statement.


While sulking around the deck, Charlie spots an unconscious Annie below in her speedboat and brings her aboard their ship. After waking up, Annie turns out to be quite alarmed and a bit violent in her approach, and it also seems that she hadn’t had much human interaction before. In a brief conversation, Charlie gets to know that Annie comes from an island nearby and is looking for her dog.

However, before their conversation can move any further, their ship is infiltrated by a couple of mercenaries who have arrived in search of Annie. Before one of the mercs can make his move, a giant squid-Kraken creature crashes the ship and kills almost the entire crew and the mercs. Hiro is killed during the conflict; Mike and Charlie get pulled off elsewhere in the ocean current, while Annie saves Cap’s life and swims away.


Skull Island: A Glimpse Of The Terror

Mike and Charlie get washed ashore on a seemingly uninhabited island, where they are attacked by enormous-sized creatures of all sorts. Annie arrives just in time to save the duo and introduces them to her dog, a giant bear-dog-wolf-type creature who is fiercely loyal to Annie. It is revealed that Annie’s father died while battling against the creature’s guardian, leaving the two lonely orphans to find strength and courage in each other’s presence and grow up together. As the trio ventures further inland, they come across more of the monstrous creatures and hear a thundering shout of an unknown beast, who is seemingly the alpha among all the creatures that inhabit the island. Annie states that the place where they have been stranded is known as Skull Island, and her ‘own’ island is located nearby as well, which explains her being accustomed to this strange biosphere. Mike reveals that he and his father knowingly set out on a course to reach this exact location, as they were paid by a certain private contractor to navigate to Skull Island, something that they didn’t reveal to Cap or Charlie. Mike apologizes to his friend for the troublesome situation he has brought them into and, at the same time, hides a grievous injury he sustained from the giant squid-Kraken monster. The trio comes across a couple of mercenaries who get knocked out pretty easily by Dog.

On the other hand, Cap, who has also ended up in another portion of Skull Island, finds another shipwrecked survivor in Irene, a botanist who claims to have been a passenger on a cruise ship. However, as the duo makes their way further inland into the island, a number of mercenaries who have already been stationed there surround them, and it is revealed that Irene is their contractor and that they are the same bunch that attacked Cap’s ship. She is searching for Annie, and in hopes that finding her will locate Mike and Charlie as well, Cap agrees to assist Irene. Irene and her crew communicate with operatives, but as their rescue chopper comes close to the island, it is destroyed by the giant squid monster. In the meantime, one of the injured mercenaries is taken by a giant hawk creature, which prompts Irene to plan Annie’s capture using the hawk as a deterrent against the ‘Dog.’


What Is Kong’s Relationship With The Island Natives?

As planned by Irene, the mercenaries lure the trio and bring Dog and Annie out in the open for the giant hawk to capture them. Realizing that they are walking into a trap, Mike asks Charlie to stay hidden inside the forest, heads off to the mercenaries, and meets Cap. Annie is tranquilized by the mercenaries, and the hawk flies off with Dog. After waking up, Annie berates Irene for her past actions, and it is revealed that Irene had previously ventured to Annie’s island, attacked Dog, and held her captive in the ship, from which Annie later escaped. Irene apologizes for her actions and reveals that she is Annie’s mother, who has searched for her across the world for over a decade, not knowing that Annie and her father were stranded on an island that, much like Skull Island, is off the radar.

As Charlie ponders the course of his action, a native of the island chases him to a particular area, from where he is taken by the hawk to the topmost spot of the island—a temple pedestal dedicated to the prime being of the place—Kong, the 100-foot-tall giant ape. The islander humans worship Kong as their protector god, as he helps them survive in such perilous conditions using his might and dominance. Charlie notices Kong is obsessed over some trinkets in his temple courtyard, particularly a necklace. Viewers are shown a flashback sequence where it is shown that Kong had previously befriended a teenage islander girl who was killed alongsidr her entire tribe was killed by the giant squid monster. The necklace is a form of memorabilia for the giant ape in that sense.


Charlie and Dog somehow make it back to the lower parts of the island, and Annie is ecstatic after being reunited with her four-legged friend. In order to make an attempt to escape from the island, Charlie hits upon a dangerous plan, which is basically luring Kong to the seaside and pitting him in battle with the giant squid, which will provide enough time and distraction for a rescue operation to be undertaken. Meanwhile, Mike’s injury continues to worsen gradually, infecting him further.

Did Charlie And His Friends Survive in The End?

As planned, Charlie, along with Annie and Dog, goes to the temple of Kong and steals the necklace to lure him outside. As Kong furiously chases them, Dog gets injured and struggles to carry both of the humans on his back, and sensing his discomfort, Charlie decides to jump ship. As Dog and Annie manage to reach the seashore, the monster squid attacks Kong and comes out of the ocean to reveal its grotesque glory. Kong struggles at first to cope with the monster that is twice his size, but using his skills with tools, he manages to injure it.


The battle between the two titans causes massive tidal waves, which separate Annie from Dog, who almost starts drowning. Looking at their interaction, Kong is reminded of the bond he shared with the islander teenager, and he rescues Dog. The squid monster emerges once again and injures Kong badly, causing the ape to go into a vicious fury, which results in Kong tearing the squid monster apart and tossing it into the ocean. Resultant tidal waves flood the shore; once again, Annie is separated from Dog, and she falls unconscious after hitting a rock. On the other hand, Charlie is taken into custody by the islanders, who intend to punish him for the transgression their group committed. Cap ventures alone inside the jungle to find out about his son, comes into direct confrontation with a giant centipede and fortunately gets rescued by Mike, who collapses on the spot due to his spreading infection.

As Skull Island ends, viewers see Annie waking up in a hospital, shocked to learn that she has been taken there by her mother, Irene. In utter disbelief, Annie looks through the window as if she is in a city halfway across the world from Skull Island. The fates of the rest of the bunch and of the Titans, remain unknown, which will probably be addressed if another season of Skull Island gets made.


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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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