Maya and the Three season 1, episode 9 recap – the ending explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 22, 2021 (Last updated: January 16, 2023)
Previous ArticleView allNext Article
Maya and the Three season 1, episode 9 recap - the ending explained


“The Sun and the Moon” is a poignant, visually stunning, and deeply heartfelt conclusion, and the perfect end to a wonderful show.

This recap of Maya and the Three season 1, episode 9, “The Sun and the Moon”, contains spoilers, including an open discussion of the Maya and the Three ending.

It’s not unusual for shows to save all their action for the finale. See did this recently, and did it pretty well — after a season that felt as if it was deliberately pulling its punches, there was a lot of catharsis in seeing it let loose. Maya and the Three hasn’t really had that problem — it has been pretty action-packed throughout — but it works on the same principle. Here, with Teca and the other kingdoms united against Lord Mictlan and his forces, “The Sun and the Moon” feels very much like the big blowout we’ve all been waiting for. And it is! But it’s also, since this is a rather exceptional show, a perfect way to bring all the lingering subplots and character arcs to fitting conclusions. There’s more narrative and emotional payoff in this finale than most shows manage in several seasons.

Maya and the Three season 1, episode 9 recap

You can tell straight away that the quality of everything — from the animation to the writing to the visual designs and effects — is way above-average. The stakes are raised without sacrificing levity; all the major characters and their relevant factions are united without sacrificing individual arcs and the specificity of established dynamics. You can see it in Micte facing off against Mictlan, the barbarians charging forward in Picchu’s honor, Maya and Zatz continuing to romantically bond throughout the action, and in Rico learning to harness the Peasant Magic in a big moment that plays like gangbusters.

Villains we’ve encountered previously — the Gods of dark magic, thievery, and illusions — return just to be summarily defeated in cascades of light and effects. Mictlan raises an undead army from the ground. There’s so much going on, but it never feels confusing or overwhelming because the quality of the writing, development, and storytelling has been so consistently high throughout. And it builds smartly and logically to a high-stakes showdown, with Maya’s mother giving birth to twins to raise the stakes just as Mictlan sacrifices his entire pantheon in order to achieve his final form. It’s pretty masterfully done.

Mictlan’s final form is a gargantuan double-ended fire-breathing serpent that, of course, only Maya can kill. But she obviously requires the help of all her family and friends to do that. Zatz transforms into a giant bat to accompany Micte’s giant owl, to bother the snake from the air. Chimi and Vucub shoot arrows at its eyes. Rico sics the golems on it from below. Maya’s parents guard the children while she and Chiapa lead the serpents away. It’s a concerted team effort, totally fitting with everything that has come before.

Of course, Mictlan is powerful enough to cause some sacrifices. Zatz and Micte fall, as does Vucub. Eventually, so does Maya herself, her prophesized sacrifice coming true. But this is all part of the show’s emotional long-game, which reunites all those lost with all those still living in a beautiful sequence that brings every character together and every arc to its logical endpoint. Thanks to the celestials, Maya becomes a golden eagle and then the sun; Zatz, the moon. They get to dance together forever and ever, and every day at dusk and dawn, everyone is reunited.

More Stories

Endings Explained, Netflix, TV - Ending Explained, TV Recaps
Previous ArticleView allNext Article