Debris season 1, episode 13 recap – the ending explained
This recap of Debris season 1, episode 13, “Celestial Body”, contains spoilers, as well as an open discussion of the Debris Season 1 ending.
Predictably, the Debris Season 1 ending was not definitive. In fact, “Celestial Body” blew the show’s fiction right open, raised all kinds of tantalizing possibilities for its future, and asked many more questions than it answered. Here, we’ll do our best to unpack Debris episode 13, make sense of what we saw, and speculate about what we might see next, though one can’t guarantee any of that given how wild and unpredictable the show’s creator J.H. Wyman can be when given the space.
Really, though, it was all about trust. Throughout this season Bryan and Finola have gradually realized that every figure they have believed and confided in has had an ulterior motive. Bryan didn’t want to turn on Maddox because of old loyalties, but all Maddox really cares about is using the debris to give him and his wife more time with their son. Finola didn’t want to turn on Ferris, but Ferris was quick to betray her trust and use her own sister to manipulate her – or try to, anyway. In finding each other, Bryan and Finola also found the one person either of them could believe in, and that theme solidifies here with the revelation that George has been working with INFLUX all along.
This isn’t too much of a leap. Debris season 1, episode 13 justifies George’s heel-turn by really doubling down on ideology that we’ve already heard him express. His general mistrust of governments – a reasonable position given that we’ve seen firsthand how the U.S. is attempting to weaponize the debris – is nothing new, and so it makes sense that he’d have his own measures to ensure that the extra-terrestrial material doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. His direct connection to INFLUX might come as a bit of a surprise, but him doing something that betrays his daughter’s principles was easy enough to see coming, especially since Finola’s principles have been brought up again and again throughout the season.
The Debris Season 1 ending solidifies Bryan and Finola’s connection by ensuring that they really are the only two people who each of them can trust, which is quite a feat since Bryan is barely in “Celestial Body”, despite one of the major revelations being about him (though Finola gets one of her own in a roundabout way.) A lot of this is set up for the second season. Firstly, two of the key characters in this episode are people we don’t know anything about. One is Dakheya (Julian Black Antelope), the Native man whom we met very briefly in the eleventh episode and see again here, having a pally relationship with that nebulous ball of light. He leads it inside a cave where he encounters Brill (Sebastian Roché) and a version of Finola trapped in stasis. “Okay, let’s begin,” says Brill, enigmatically. But begin what? Is this a clone? A version from an alternate reality? Who knows at this point.
The other new character is Otto (John Noble), pretty much the inverse of Noble’s character from Fringe in that he’s obviously bloodthirsty and insane and seems to have not just a considerable knowledge of what’s happening but also the power to contort people into rather unhealthy shapes. One of the things he knows about is Bryan, perhaps more than Bryan himself seems to. As we’ve seen throughout the season, Bryan takes regular injections for something. Thanks to Otto, we learn that this is because he was “the third man” in an operation that involved Garcia, who we’ve met, and a Chinese agent named Ming. Otto suggests Bryan has been hiding his identity, though he doesn’t seem to recognize Otto or acknowledge anything other than that the mission did in fact happen. Whatever happened during that mission protected him from the debris in this instance and one assumes gives him some large-scale importance in the wider goings-on, though again, concrete information about any of this is pretty thin on the ground.
Debris season 1, episode 13, then, isn’t so much an ending as a coda to the introduction of a much bigger, more sprawling story. There’s a lot more of that story to tell, and given how the show has gone from strength to strength throughout its run, I sincerely hope Wyman gets the opportunity to do so. That, though, is another thing that remains to be seen.