Surface season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

By Adam Lock
Published: September 2, 2022
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This series has been drawn out for far too long and has very little to add to its season finale. Dreary, dialogue-heavy scenes and uninspired twists plague this concluding chapter.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series Surface season 1, episode 8, the finale and ending explained, contains spoilers.

Read the season 1 review of Surface.

The Apple original, psychological thriller Surface concludes with this week’s instalment, bringing an end to the eight episode miniseries. As I mentioned before, it felt like after the penultimate episode there just wasn’t any more secrets to be revealed. So I was ‘cautiously’ intrigued to see if the creators had any more surprises in store. Let’s analyze that closing chapter and discuss just how the series ended.

Surface season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

Three weeks has passed since Baden’s death, and Sophie is still struggling to recover from her lover’s gruesome end. The police arrive to question both Sophie and James about this suspicious death. James was seen fighting with Baden only five hours before his death and Sophie is clearly intertwined with the undercover cop as well. She admits that they were having an affair, to James’ dismay. In private, the police officer explains how there may be more to Sophie’s story, Baden was on to something and he advises her to retrace her steps. He has spoken with a witness who was there on the ferry, just before Sophie jumped. The witness stated that Sophie seemed calm and acted as if she was waiting for the ferry to be in an exact location before she jumped.

James confronts Harrison about this police interrogation. It would appear Harrison is just as involved in Baden’s death as James is. These amateur criminals are in far too deep. Did they orchestrate Baden’s death after all? It looks highly likely. James argues with Harrison, telling him he should have stayed out of it and that his meddling has only made matters worse. Harrison says he will fix things, but James wants nothing more to do with the slimy businessman.

Back at home, Sophie appears to be getting her house in order. She gives away expensive items of clothing to charity and then later, at therapy, she thanks Hannah for her tireless efforts to help Sophie progress. At a party, she seems grateful, yet suspiciously emotional. It is as if Sophie is saying her final goodbyes. There’s one last passive aggressive conversation with her enemy, Harrison, where she says what she really thinks about James’ business partner. Harrison does likewise. These two really hate one another.

Sophie packs her bags and takes a stroll onto a misty bridge. In another repetitive sequence of events, James is informed that his wife is missing, presumed dead, and he comes home to be greeted with another letter. The police add that they found Sophie’s clothes and ID at the bridge. In the letter, she says that together they killed a man, which they just can’t come back from. Jason can’t seem to understand Sophie’s actions, to him she appeared happy and rejuvenated. Therapist Hannah thinks this may have just been a reaction to her decision to let go, an unburdening of her responsibilities. It all feels like deja vu to me!

James starts to spiral, arguing with Harrison, who he blames for this entire sorry mess. It becomes apparent that Harrison was the orchestrator of Baden’s end, as we predicted. He hired some goons to kill Baden, because the undercover cop was going to sink the company otherwise. James wants nothing more to do with the man. Caroline worries about James’ mental state and bails on her friend too. She tells James she needs to move on, he can take care of himself. It’s a cowardly move on her behalf, ditching a close friend in his hour of need. Her parting gift is a snippet of information that reignites James’ hopes though.

The ending

Caroline thanked James for paying back most of the loan, but James was unaware of this transaction. He puts the pieces together, realizing that Sophie must have made the payment. At the bank, James asks about Sophie’s account. The bank manager says it doesn’t exist though. In desperation, James hacks into Sophie’s iPad. Lo and behold, she has left him a message. The video explains her decision to fake her own death. She bitterly says James deserves this, it is payback for his immoral ways.

Flashbacks reveal that Sophie had discovered a key to a self-storage unit, which when opened contained a duffel bag. Inside the bag she found stacks of cash, her Tess Caldwell passport and a mobile phone. On the phone there were details of Eliza Huntley’s address. She hunts down her old friend to a bar in London, but leaves before greeting the woman. Eliza notices Sophie and chases her into the street where she asks her, what she is doing here?

It’s one of those lazy twist endings that doesn’t quite work. There’s very little emotional investment in these two characters’ relationship to start with and the creators seem to be really clutching at straws here, hoping for a second season by teasing some irrelevant intrigue. It’s a vague and pointless twist ending that I can’t imagine will convince Apple into renewing the series.

What do you think of the Apple TV+ series Surface season 1, episode 8 (finale), and the ending? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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