Arcane season 1, episode 9 recap – the ending explained

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 20, 2021
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Arcane season 1, episode 9 recap - the ending explained


“The Monster You Created” builds to a tragic, inevitable conclusion, but it’s likely we haven’t seen the end of Arcane after its success.

This recap of Arcane season 1, episode 9, “The Monster You Created”, contains spoilers, as well as a discussion of the Arcane Season 1 ending.

This is what it all comes down to. Not that this is the end, of course — after Arcane‘s phenomenal and surprising success, I’m sure there’s plenty more of the story to come. But “The Monster You Created” is where the first season’s chickens come home to roost, thematically speaking. Through these first three acts, we have grappled with ideas of peace, war, classism, technological development, and fundamental incompatibility. It’s here in this first season finale that we get to find out whether or not redemption and peace were ever achievable — whether there can be a happy coexistence between Piltover and the Nation of Zaun. 

Spoiler alert: No, they weren’t, and no, there can’t. 

Arcane season 1, episode 9 recap

But it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Jayce might be chewed up about the kid he accidentally killed in the climax of the previous episode, but his resolve is still stiff. He and Vi almost fight over whether to continue going after Silco or look for another solution, but they don’t. Jayce walks away. Vi walks onwards, the same direction she has been heading throughout.

The attack on the Shimmer facility seems to have an impact, anyway. It reduces trust in Silco. The boy’s mother, Renni, demands revenge, while Sevika and Finn share furtive, knowing glances. It seems a coup is in the offing. But when Finn tries to enact one, Sevika double-crosses and kills him. Her loyalty is still to Silco. But his position remains tenuous, at best. 

Viktor’s viewpoint seems the soberest of anyone’s, which is understandable given his present circumstances. He’s still mourning Sky, whom the Hexcore subsumed, and he makes Jayce promise to do what he can’t and destroy it. “In the pursuit of great, we failed to do good,” he offers by way of explanation. “We have to make it right.” You can’t argue with that.

Jayce’s attempts to make it right include trying to parlay with Silco. He’s willing to grant the Nation of Zaun independence and sovereignty in exchange for the ceasing of Shimmer production and the surrendering of Jinx. That last one is a tough sell for Silco, though. He isn’t willing to turn his “daughter” over. But the decision is kind of taken out of his hands anyway.

Arcane Season 1 ending explained

As Vi made clear to Jayce, she was intending to fight her way to Silco herself and eliminate the need for a parlay by taking him off the board. Getting to Silco, though, means going through Sevika, which makes for the big showdown of the episode. It’s a visually pleasing and cathartic one-on-one brawl that Sevika gets the upper hand in until Vi has a vision of Vander imploring her to get up, like Micky reminding Rocky Balboa there’s one more round to fight. Vi wins the battle, but not the war — Silco is next. But Jinx knocks her out from behind.

Jinx is lost. She has been kept alive but at the expense of almost every shred of her former identity. This climactic sequence, set around a dining table with homemade mannequins as dinner guests, makes Jinx’s arc literal. One seat is labelled “Jinx”, the other is labelled “Powder”. Vi has to choose which one she occupies. Will she embrace her old self or her new identity? 

Along with Vi, Silco and Caitlyn are also present, both as hostages. This makes sense since Vi and Silco represent both warring aspects of Jinx’s personality. Vi still, naively, sees her as her little sister; Silco sees her as his daughter, though hardened by the oppression of Piltover, forced to become someone else in order to survive. When Caitlyn breaks free, Jinx quickly disarms her and holds her at gunpoint, and the decision becomes more pressing. With her finger on the trigger, she has to decide who she is. She opens fire, and in the confusion, it takes a little while for us to realize she has shot Silco. 

But this isn’t Jinx’s redemption. She doesn’t suddenly become Powder again. Instead, she sits in the seat labelled “Jinx”. Her arc is complete. She puts the Gemstone — which has been sat on the top of a cupcake in the middle of the table — in her gun, and, in a lovely montage, fires it right at Piltover’s council building. As the ordnance hits the building, the episode and the season both end. But there’s plenty more of the story left to tell.

You can stream Arcane season 1, episode 9, “The Monster You Created”, exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the Arcane Season 1 ending? Let us know in the comments.

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