This article contains major spoilers for Netflix’s Hot Skull season 1, episode 8, “My name doesn’t matter”, including an open discussion of the Hot Skull season 1 ending.
The plot of Hot Skull revolves around an epidemic called ARDS, colloquially referred to as “jabbering” since it causes those infected to spout a load of nonsense. It’s transmitted through verbal language, which means the only way of shielding oneself from it is to don noise-canceling headphones. Part of battling back against the disaster involved shutting down communications, and within this need for strict authoritarianism, a group known as the AEI stepped in, established quarantine zones, rigorously enforced the rules, and just generally took complete power.
This is the backdrop that the eight episodes of this season unfurl in front of. It’s a post-epidemic dystopia that, for once, takes place well into the disaster instead of right at its beginning – it reminded me of The Last of Us more than anything.
Hot Skull ending explained
Our protagonist is Murat Siyavus, a linguist who is technically immune, though the disease does cause him to suffer an extreme and immediate fever spike – the “hot skull” that the show is named after. Murat was part of Project X, an effort by a group of researchers to find a cure. It seems, in part, to have worked. When Murat is informed by a local kid named Arif that one of his former colleagues, Ozgur, might still be alive, he attempts to track him down, all while AEI agent Anton pursues him, somewhat against the wishes of his boss, Fazil.
Murat’s search takes him to the lawless and unregulated sixth zone, where he runs into Sule, a woman he has frequently admired at a bus stop. She’s part of a rebel group who’re looking for a cure. Murat offers to help them create one if Sule helps him find Ozgur.
One of the smart things that Hot Skull does is upend the usual motivations behind each of the characters. Of course, the AEI wants to retain the power they have been able to amass thanks to the epidemic, but it’s Fazil, in particular, who has benefitted and wants to keep his own atrocities a secret. He’s responsible for the burning of Project X in the first place as well as a needless massacre. Anton, meanwhile, is so frantically eager to catch up with Murat because his wife and son are infected – something that Murat can relate to since his own wife committed suicide after becoming infected, which he has blamed himself for ever since.
When Murat finds Ozgur, he discovers he’s now a drug addict. The best advice he really has to offer is that the key to a cure is hidden in something common between Murat and a level 6 “jabberer” named Haluk. In the meantime, the conflict between the AEI and the Plus 1 rebel group really heats up. Fazil is able to take out his main rival in a research lab explosion, take complete control of the region, and declare a state of emergency. With this and the senseless death of Arif, the stage is set for the finale.
However, Hot Skull is clearly angling for a second season, as we don’t quite reach the conclusion we might have desired. After swapping sides, Anton helps Murat’s mother and Arif’s father and grandmother get to safety, before heading back to protect his wife and son.
Murat, after being sold out by Ozgur, goes with Sule, Haluk, Victor, and Murat’s contact Erol on a seaplane, heading for the forest where Haluk was found, which presumably holds the key to the cure.
And a last-minute connection is established between Sule and Fazil. What’s all that about? I guess we’ll see if there’s a second season.
You can stream Hot Skull season 1, episode 8, “My name doesn’t matter”, exclusively on Netflix. What did you think of the Hot Skull season 1 ending? Let us know in the comments.