Story recap – what happened in 1899 season 1?

By Adam Lock
Published: November 18, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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This is a story recap of the Netflix series 1899 season 1, which contains spoilers as it details what happened.

Dark creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar are back with another mind-bending, cryptic mystery series. 1899 tells the tale of the steamship Kerberos, which is heading from Europe to New York. Each passenger aboard the ship carries their own dark secrets and troubling reasons for leaving their old lives behind. While the appearance of a missing ghost ship (the Prometheus) only adds to their worries, unlocking a whole host of horrors and mysteries for our passengers to endure. Like their previous Netflix original series, this is complex and expansive storytelling that I’m sure viewers will appreciate a breakdown of. Here’s what happened in each episode of 1899:

Story recap – what happened in 1899 season 1?

Episode 1 – “The Ship”

Maura Franklin has been sent a letter from her brother asking to meet with him in New York, but she believes he has gone missing before reaching this destination. She thinks he was a passenger on the Prometheus, a ship that has been missing in the Atlantic Ocean for four months now. The Kerberos passengers and crew members alike discuss this mysterious disappearing ship. Captain Eyk Larsen is sent coordinates from a ship, which he believes is the Prometheus. Eyk decides to change course and head for this ghost ship, although the passengers are frustrated by his decision. Maura and Eyk lead a small group, rowing to the abandoned boat. On board, they only find one survivor, a mysterious boy, who carries an odd pyramid artifact. Meanwhile, a strange man swims over to the Kerberos in secret.

Episode 2 – “The Boy”

Eyk is informed that the ship’s compasses aren’t working and the shipping company have ordered Eyk to sink the Prometheus. The boy refuses to answer any questions and remains mute. The other stranger from the Prometheus moves in next door to Maura and introduces himself as Daniel Solace. Eyk starts to go crazy, hearing voices and seeing ghosts on the ship. He has a scarily realistic vision, in which his family is killed in a fire, which actually happened in real life. Eyk finds a hidden tiled shaft that leads to his quarters. Eyk tells the upper-class passengers that he will be towing the Prometheus back to Europe. There is uproar over his announcement. Daniel kills the Danish girl Ada. It is revealed that nine guests are being filmed and watched on TV screens in the present.

Episode 3 – “The Fog”

A fog grounds the Kerberos. Ling Yi’s backstory is explored further. She worked in a brothel and stole a fellow prostitute’s identity to get on the Kerberos, accidentally poisoning the girl to death in the process. She is haunted by this traumatic memory and has visions on the boat. Ling’s boss Mrs. Wilson orders her to sleep with married Frenchman Lucien. She runs away and meets Polish laborer Olek. Ada’s family searches for their missing girl, whilst a doctor examines her corpse. He believes she died of a heart attack. Eyk wants Ada’s death to be kept a secret. Eyk’s right-hand man Franz thinks the captain has lost his mind and is making awful decisions. Eyk’s first mate communicates with the future in secret. Eyk and Maura head back to the Prometheus for answers. He finds the logbook and passenger list, seeing Maura’s name on it. Together they find another tiled shaft and an unusual machine. Ling dances for Lucien and he has a seizure. While the Captain is away, Franz orchestrates a mutiny, handing out weaponry to the lower deck passengers. They take Eyk hostage on his return. Daniel uses a futuristic device to teleport the Kerberos.

Episode 4 – “The Fight”

Flashbacks reveal that stowaway Jerome was left for dead in the desert by Lucien, who then assumed a dead lieutenant’s identity. More dead bodies are piling up on the Kerberos and Jerome and Olek are ordered to chuck these bodies overboard. Franz takes over the ship, demanding all guests stay in their cabins. He orders the ship to head back towards America, but it is already in the right direction and the Prometheus has miraculously disappeared. The Danes hold the first mate at gunpoint, he blames the boy for all the death. Danish leader Iben decides to hunt down this boy to end all the madness. Lucien admits to his wife Clemence that he will soon die from his seizures. Eyk and Ramiro escape from the brig. Jerome runs away and hides out with Clemence. Maura and the boy search for Eyk. The good guys try to flee on a lifeboat but are stopped by Franz and his gunmen. They ask for the boy, who willingly goes with them. Jerome tries to attack but is shot. He has visions of his traumatic event in the desert. Jerome awakens and frees Eyk’s gang. The two armies meet on the top deck and fight. Iben throws the boy overboard. After the fight, Eyk’s team hides out in the dining room. The boy teleports back into the room and hugs Maura.

Episode 5 – “The Calling”

Fearing some unholy voodoo, they lock the boy in a cabinet. Maura goes to free him and is shot at. The boy freezes time using the pyramid object to save Maura and they flee together. A siren starts and all the cabin doors lock in unison. A ticking noise starts and the guests march out of their cabins in a zombie state. Nearly all the passengers head to the deck and jump overboard. The boy opens a portal in the tiled shaft that takes them to a landscape of mountainous terrain, with a building in the distance. Maura meets her father in a mental hospital but awakens back on the boat. The remaining passengers tie themselves up to avoid being hypnotized into committing suicide. Maura tells Eyk that she thinks her father, Henry Singleton, is behind all this and that it is a test of some kind. She shows Eyk the portal, which takes them to his vision. The Captain reveals that he was on the Prometheus too, but doesn’t remember. Daniel powers down the machine and stops the ticking. The survivors regroup. Henry is seen in his office, he asks to be brought the boy. He looks out of his window at a black pyramid in the distance.

Episode 6 – “The Pyramid”

This episode explores the pregnant lady Tove’s past. She was raped by a gunman, who also shot her brother Krester in the face, causing his disfigurement. Tove is haunted by voices and ghosts on the ship. The Kerberos is now stranded in the ocean, with the engines down. They will die if they cannot restart them. Eyk orders the men to start the engines again and the women to search for survivors. Priests Ramiro and Anker send out a distress signal. A black substance spreads across the ship. Mrs. Wilson touches it and it starts to cover her body. Maura explains the history of the mental hospital to Eyk. Henry built it for Maura’s forgetful, ill mother. They find the ship’s hull behind the walls. The men get the engine running again. Ramiro and Anker are left to steer the ship. Henry asks the first mate to retrieve the boy and his pyramid artifact. Daniel chases Maura into her vision. Maura and Eyk are suspicious of this man and hold him at gunpoint. Daniel teleports Eyk onto the Prometheus. Maura locks Daniel in a room, he begs her to remember, saying that they were married for twelve years. Maura discovers invisible walls in this vision. Eyk finds himself on the Prometheus, surrounded by multiple, grounded ships.

Episode 7 – “The Storm”

A violent storm rages, threatening to capsize the Kerberos. The survivors panic and go their separate ways. Daniel wakes trapped in the room still, he pulls away the walls and crawls through the labyrinth of cables behind it, to find an exit. The first mate hunts down the boy. Maura goes into Daniel’s vision and sees modern photographs of her with Daniel and the boy. Daniel explains that the boy is their son, Elliot. He says that Maura is trapped in a simulation and has forgotten her past. The simulation will be shutting down in twenty minutes and restart all over again. They need to stop this from happening. Maura finds a key in her locket that may stop all this madness. Daniel works his techno magic to try and alter the simulation. Ling sees her dead mother on the deck and goes to save her. Olek tries to save Ling but is taken overboard. Franz, Iben and Anker drown. Henry watches them all dying on his TV screens. The first mate brings Henry the boy and his pyramid. Henry tells Maura to hand over the key, she will get her boy in return. The countdown reaches zero and a vortex appears in the sea, swallowing the Kerberos whole. The ship reappears in the same place as Eyk and the Prometheus, which looks like a ship graveyard of sorts. Eyk stares at the Kerberos survivors, and they stare back at him.

Episode 8 – “The Key”

Henry explains the true nature of the simulation to Elliot. Maura feared that Elliot was dying and made a simulation to keep him inside forever. She was obsessed with understanding realities and made this entire experiment, it wasn’t Henry as first thought. Henry is trapped in this simulation too and wants out. Eyk swims over to the Kerberos. Maura confesses that Daniel is her husband, the boy is her son, and her father is the company owner. All the survivors reveal that they received the same letter. They decide to escape on a lifeboat and run off, encountering the black material that is spreading violently throughout the boat. Meanwhile, Maura and Eyk look for Henry’s hidden office. Daniel tries to fix the machine. He starts to hack into the simulation and alters things. The first mate retrieves Maura’s key and kills Eyk. Maura meets Henry. He explains that she is the creator. Henry injects her to start the loop again and wipe her memories. Henry uses the key but nothing happens. Daniel has changed the code. The Kerberos survivors watch as their world is deleted. Daniel saves Maura and details how her wedding ring will help her escape the simulation. Maura’s brother Ciaran is now the owner of the simulation and he refused to let her out. She needs to stop him. Maura exits the simulation and finds herself on a spaceship. All the characters are still alive but plugged into the simulation. The year is 2099. Ciaran messages Maura, saying welcome to reality.

That is the full story recap of what happened in the Netflix series 1899 Season 1. What are your thoughts on the story? Please comment below.

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