“I Am You” doesn’t exactly wrap things up, but it manages several poignant beats that build to a deliberately ambiguous and surprisingly powerful ending.
This recap of Katla season 1, episode 8, “I Am You”, contains spoilers. It also contains an open discussion of the Katla ending. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
“I Am You”, the Katla finale, opens with a warning that the episode contains a scene of suicide, which probably should have flashed up at the start of the previous episode, no? Not to worry. There should probably be a warning about Mikael, really, since that creepy little sh*t shows up to confront Rakel and Darri right at the start. But with more of the ash-covered alien changelings beginning to stir under the glacier, there’s probably enough to worry about.
At least things are going well for Grima 2, and Kjartan thinks he has cracked it. The same can’t really be said for anyone else, though. Thor is apparently told by Vigdis that Gunhild’s unborn child has some kind of syndrome that causes malformations in the arms and legs, just like Bjorn, which means that his problems are apparently genetic and not the fault of older Gunhild’s witch abortion. This, though, seems very much like a lie to make her feel better. Thor also tells Grima about Bjorn, and she in turn tells him about the changelings and that the body under the generator shed was Asa. She thinks Asa’s doppelganger came to help her accept the real Asa’s death, which is a nice idea but doesn’t exactly mesh with that we’ve seen of, say, Mikael, who’s nuts. Perhaps the changelings assume the essential characteristics of the person they’re copying? Asa was fundamentally good and loved her sister, therefore her doppelganger wanted to help Grima; Mikael was a wing-clipping arsonist, so his changeling was even more bonkers. That makes sense to me. I should do Darri’s job.
Then there’s Magnea’s changeling, though, who just seems pretty clueless. She’s able to escape Gisli’s dungeon, so he takes the old, ill version with him to find her, but she ends up swerving him and escaping with her doppelganger. He demands to use Einar’s car, causing a great deal of commotion and suspicion, and speeds off, rifle in tow.
Meanwhile in Katla episode 8, Darri posits a new theory that the meteorite creates changelings based on the thoughts and feelings of those closest to them, hence why Mikael can only remember things that Darri and Rakel remember about him. His idea is that the meteorite senses what a person wants the most and tries to give it to them, which is annoyingly better than my theory. Remember, Rakel always covered for Mikael, whereas Darri always believed he was a dangerous nutcase; the fact that the changeling is more in line with Darri’s interpretation of his son lends credence to his theory. Both parents agree that their real son is dead and that this… thing is just an aberration. So they lead him hand-in-hand into the sea and drown him while he begs them not to. I’d say good riddance, but Jesus Christ, that’s a bit heavy, isn’t it?
Einar, thrilled to discover that the script has given him something to do, returns home and finds Magnea missing, as well as evidence that Gisli has been swapping her medication, hoping to kill her off. He confronts his father and smashes a statue of Jesus over his head, which is certainly fitting given that Gisli keeps saying this is all God’s plan.
Kjartan also returns home, and a ridiculous scene ensues in which he moves about the house having conversations with both versions of Grima without realizing that there are two of them. This immediately follows a conversation between both Grimas that really digs into how much guilt and trauma the original version has harbored over the years, so I get the idea that it’s trying to highlight how happy she and Kjartan could be if she just let go of it, but the whole thing’s too ridiculous for its own good. Also ridiculous: Grima 1 retrieves a revolver from the barn, and she and the changeling decide to play Russian roulette, presumably to determine who gets to stay and live a happy life with Kjartan. Surely he isn’t worth all this? And surely Grima 2, who is loving life, wouldn’t just blithely go along with it? Both women strip down to a vest top and have their hair the same for this scene, so I think it’s deliberately designed to confuse, but it seemed very much to me like it was Grima 1 who ate the fatal bullet.
While Gisli speaks to a painting of Jesus, both Magnea’s drive into Katla’s swirling ash cloud. Bjorn goes home with Thor and listens to Grima play the piano while the camera reveals the other one is buried in the garden. And in a final parting shot, Katla season 1, episode 8 shows more changelings emerge from the volcano and stumble towards the light.