To the Lake season 1, episode 8 recap – the ending explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 7, 2020 (Last updated: December 4, 2023)
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To the Lake Season 1 Recap
To the Lake Season 1 Promotional Image Courtesy of Netflix


To the Lake ends with revelations, rescues, and new threats, as a second season seems virtually inevitable.

This recap of To the Lake season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.

The To the Lake season finale begins with Anna and Sergey talking about Misha’s death, which she believes was a conscious decision. She confesses to Sergey about putting antidepressants in his food after discovering his internet search history; she seems to be beginning to unravel a little, unable to remember things. If the revelation about Sergey and Ira is still going to come out, I can see it either pushing her completely over the edge or barely bothering her at all.

Lyonya, Marina, and Polina are still trapped in the cellar, begging for water. Marina is laughing maniacally. Eventually, their captor kicks down a bottle of water, but their request to use the bathroom goes unanswered.

Out on the lake, Anna thinks she has spotted Misha’s body in the water under the ice, but when Sergey smashes a chunk away, he pulls out the corpse of the cannibalistic prisoner he killed. It dawns on Sergey that they’ve all been drinking this water — didn’t he think of this earlier when he left him out there?

Meanwhile, Lyonya is being made to work by the old woman. He tries to apologize, using Marina’s stillbirth as justification, but there isn’t a sympathetic ear in sight. “Keep working,” the woman insists. And he does.

Anna is also continuing to fret about her amnesia. She can’t remember any of her childhood or her parents’ faces; she even asks where Misha is. Ira comforts her, but it’s small consolation at this point. Blimey, this show might be good, but it’s extraordinarily miserable.

Misha, though, is alive. He has taken the car out to the wreckage of Lyonya’s car, presumably determined to track down Polina. They better hope so, since things are not looking good in the cellar. Everyone’s eating moldy food and Marina has totally lost the plot, while their captive is upstairs trying on wigs like Norman Bates. Eventually, now sporting a fetching red head of hair, the woman brings Lyonya up from the cellar at gunpoint, handcuffs him to the bed, and declares they’re going to have some fun. Marina, still downstairs, finds this hilarious. As Misha nears the property, we see that ominous green glow, and he steps right in a bear trap. He doesn’t arrive in time to stop Lyonya from getting mounted, but when he shoots the trap, it causes enough of a distraction for Lyonya to break free and set about his captor with the bed frame. A successful rescue after all!

Things are getting weird on the ship, too. Sergey goes to make a brew and catches Ira riding Pavel, but a huge explosion outside interrupts this romantic moment. Sergey and Pavel head out to investigate, leaving the women a rifle and each other’s company. The wreckage looks like it belongs to the military — I’d almost forgotten about those guys. Remember when this show was about a virus?

Anyway, Lyonya lets Marina and Polina out of the cellar. When he heads outside the house is bathed in green, which never seems to bode well, but he finds an unconscious Misha outside and drags him to safety. While he removes the bear trap, Misha and Polina kiss, and Marina, suddenly well-adjusted, smiles with Lyonya. Not my idea of romance, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Back on the lake, Pavel is taken by surprise by an infected Asian soldier, who holds a knife to his throat. This scene makes clever use of the translation app on Pavel’s phone. Initially, he tries to communicate, but Sergey tells him to drop it so that he can instruct him to duck, on three, so he can shoot the man. Pavel stabs the man in the eye with his scalpel and Sergey puts some shotgun shells in him, leaving him dead on the ice. Pavel gets a little nick for his trouble, but nothing serious.

It’s time for Pavel to leave the group, which Ira isn’t thrilled about. He’s a bit traumatized about having killed someone, especially as a doctor. She begs him to stay and figure things out with her, but he leaves, and she sobs as he goes. Elsewhere, on their journey away from the house, Lyonya, Marina, Polina, and Misha run into a priest, quite by chance, who informs Marina that he can’t light a candle for her child since she wasn’t baptized, which seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth.

Speaking of kicks in the teeth, Ira has a few for Anna, since she has read her diary and is now privy to all her innermost thoughts, which doesn’t paint her in an entirely favorable light. There’s that confession about putting the condom wrapper in Sergey’s pocket for his wife to find; about needing a man, any man, to look after Misha if something happens to her. Ira gives him some more story fodder, confessing about her and Sergey having sex while she was supposedly dying. Trouble in paradise, to say the least.

Back with the priest, Lyonya has convinced him to ordain his wedding to Marina, which is quite a move considering what she confessed in the cellar. I guess being a sugar daddy suits him. Looking on, Polina asks Misha if he’d marry her if she got pregnant. “Yes,” he responds, in a heartbeat. And what about if she wasn’t pregnant? Well, to answer that, he asks the priest to marry them too. It’s a party! Marriage for you, marriage for me, marriage for everybody! The priest pulls out all the paraphernalia to do the job properly; hats and candles and all sorts.

It’s a happy reunion to close out the season, as Lyonya and co. arrive at the lake. As everyone embraces, however, expressions change, the music with them, and the group turn to see the ship on fire. From nearby, the Asian military watches them and then jump on snowmobiles as Sergey runs to the burning ship.

Thanks for reading our recap of To the Lake season 1, episode 8.

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