This article contains major spoilers for the ending Mo Season 1.
Netflix’s semi-autobiographical sitcom Mo is about, in a broad sense, how the endless limbo of the immigrant experience creates a cycle of avoidable problems and contradictions. But it’s also about the push and pull of cultures; how traditions battle with modernity, and how expectations become prisons of our own making. These things all come together throughout the story of Mo, and amount to an obligatory Netflix cliff-hanger that suggests much more of the tale still to be told.
Mo season 1 ending explained
Mo Najjar and his family have been in Houston for 22 years after fleeing first Palestine and then Kuwait. And yet still, thanks mostly to the ineptitude of the family lawyer who they continue to use out of loyalty, they haven’t received citizenship. This means that Mo has no choice but to work dead-end jobs anywhere that’ll take the risk of hiring him, but naturally, when ICE come calling, he’s the first on the chopping block. This pushes him to start a side hustle and develop an addiction to lean, which only lands him in further trouble.
An essential component of Mo’s character arc is the loss of his father and his belief that he must provide for his family in the patriarch’s absence. This desperation leads him sometimes to bad decision-making. He’s hiding certain things – like a tattoo in his father’s honor – and pointlessly delaying or obfuscating others, like trying to convince his mother that his Mexican Christian girlfriend, Maria, might one day convert to Islam. It’s the desperation of his circumstances and his personal sense of guilt that lead Mo to his lean addiction, his efforts to find someone else to handle his family’s citizenship appeal, and his pursuit of sometimes dodgy work.
After having to start from scratch in their citizenship appeal, Mo’s mother and brother decide to start up a business selling traditional homemade olive oil. To help with that, Mo offers to retrieve some stolen olive trees for his employer in exchange for allowing his mother to press her oil on his farm. Mo and his childhood friend Nick follow the trackers that were attached to the trees and find themselves in a truck bound for Mexico. After spending the entire season trying not to get deported, Mo accidentally deports himself.
Because of his lack of citizenship, Mo can’t re-enter the United States legally, so he’s forced to work with some coyotes to get himself back across the border. But a tragedy involving the tunnel they’re supposed to be using lands Mo in hot water with the coyotes, who believe he’s in on the sabotage, and the season ends right about there, with nothing at all resolved.
You stream Mo Season 1 exclusively on Netflix. What did you think of Mo’s ending? Let us know in the comments.