The Changeling has been a journey, to say the least. With the promise of a modern fairy tale in a fictional New York, the show had an exciting premise, with parenthood, specifically black parenting in America, at the center of it all. But the execution is rather rough around the edges and ends up falling short with the pacing and the order of the episodes. Interestingly, episode 7 dove into a completely different arc of the story, Apollo’s mother’s story, and gave us an insight as to why Apollo’s son may have been “sacrificed,” so to speak. What plants the series firmly in our minds are the performances of the parents, LaKeith Stanfield and Clark Backo. Interestingly, the last episode of the series is its shortest, and it is actually paced much better than the rest of the series. Regarding the story, on the other hand, I am not sure what to say about that. It’s a convoluted modern fairy tale that’s running in circles and doesn’t seem to be stopping. Spoiler alert: this is just the beginning.
What Happens In 1825?
On July 5th, 1825, a boat of 52 men and women sailed off from Norway to America in the hope of freeing themselves from religious persecution. A huge storm was at sea, and this journey was absolutely impossible unless these people were helped somehow. They did get help, and they made it, but this also meant a favor for a favor. The creature that helped these people wanted something in return. It seems human babies might’ve been what it was searching for.
In the present day, Apollo and William went to the island to find Emma. When they got there, Apollo realized that William was a bad guy, and he mentioned calling in the cavalry. Apollo didn’t understand this at that point, but now he sees that this means William has called an army to kill these women and children. William claims that he is part of a group of 10,000 men called Kinder Garten. These are the men who wrote terrible things about Baby Brian on the Facebook forum made for him. Apollo finally realizes that Cal was right, and William killed his daughter. William refutes this and says he made a very difficult choice, but Apollo has to run because he hears a loud, monstrous sound from somewhere in the forest. William’s big choice was probably sacrificing his child for the “sake of his family”. Apollo has also obviously not convinced Gretta and Grace to come back to William, which makes him more furious.
Cal And The Women
Apollo doesn’t make it in time to tell Cal that someone is coming and arrives when a bomb-like thing hits the library where the puppet show is to take place. He sits down, regretting his actions; he was the one who brought William to the island, and this is all his fault. Finally, Cal emerges and tells him that it’s her fault Gretta is dead because she invited them there; otherwise, she wouldn’t have been helping the kids get out. Cal takes Apollo to the rest of the women and children who have survived, and they make their way to the edge of the island. They’re on top of a cliff, and they have to get down to the beach, where a ferry awaits to take them across to New York City. Apollo and Cal are the last to come down rappelling, and Apollo also has a child in his arms. While Cal and he are climbing down, the creature begins to get closer to them by the minute. Apollo throws the girl down for the women to catch her, and together they’re able to save her. On the other hand, the rope is cut, and both Cal and Apollo crash to the ground. Cal wakes up on her own, but the kid tries really hard to get Apollo back up too. Finally, he wakes up, and they all get on the ferry except Cal and Apollo.
It seems Cal thinks her life’s work is complete and she can die and be with her son now that the island is destroyed. This safe haven for these women, who are considered “witches,” is lost. She has been tired for a while, and she has one last fight left in her. On the other hand, she knows where Emma is, and she tells Apollo that when she saw Emma leave the island to look for baby Brian, she saw Emma glow with magic. Cal knows that the largest of the creatures can swim, so she plans on distracting the creatures and fighting them while Apollo and the women make it across. Cal puts up a great fight, climbing the cliff again with no rope and making it to the top. She beats up William and ultimately kills him. Before the creature can get to Cal, she jumps off the cliff herself, and Apollo sees stars meet in the sky, as if her wish of meeting her son and always being able to watch over him come true with her death.
Ending, Explained: Does Apollo Make It Off The Island?
There’s only one forest in New York, and Apollo has to make it there. We see Emma making it there as the story about the fairies that love to eat babies is narrated yet again in the background. One of the creatures makes it into the water, where the ferry is, but we can just hope the women and children make it out safely. With a broken arm, Apollo paddles his way to where Cal sent him with the reminder that he is the god Apollo. He wants to get to Emma to tell her that he believes her. He’s the only man who has actually come searching and made it this far. He was the only one who was able to find the island so easily. Emma makes it to Forest Park, and deep inside she finds a carousel. According to the fairy tale, the child in the woods will never grow old, sick, or go unloved when with the fairies. The story goes that the fairies will never give the baby back and will hide it until the stars shine in the night sky. Apollo makes it to the ground and falls flat on the floor, just a little away from the truth.
At the end of the episode, we see a clip of William and other men who are part of ‘Kinder Garten’. There are webcam videos and surveillance footage of a creepy-looking dungeon on a big screen in front of him. In a series of clips for what’s to come next, we see a baby bite Apollo (we don’t know if it’s Brian). Finally, we see who might be Apollo, walking into that creepy dungeon-like place, and a large eye opens in front of him, finally revealing the biggest creature of them all. We have to wait for Season 2 of The Changeling to see what comes next, but a lot of the story is left incomplete. What are these creatures, and what exactly is their deal with the Norwegians? What does Kinder Garten do? Is Brian really alive, like Emma can sense him, or has he completely changed with the “fairies”?