The Changeling Season 1 Episode 8 Recap and Ending Explained

By Adam Lock
Published: October 13, 2023 (Last updated: October 20, 2023)
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The Changeling Season 1 Episode 8 Recap and Ending Explained


The finale is another mixed bag from the series. There is plenty of tension and entertaining action sequences in this episode, but it feels surprisingly rushed towards the end. As with most recent shows, the filmmakers set up many further mysteries, hoping to secure a follow-up season. This can be enticing, but it just feels forced in The Changeling.

The eighth and final installment in Season 1 of Apple TV+’s The Changeling brings what has been a surprisingly divisive show to a predictably uncertain close. Episode 8 is, like many installments before it, a mixed bag, with an ending clearly designed to court a second season with further, unresolved mysteries. We break down that ending below, with major spoilers.

Things begin by pointing out a common theme in the show’s first season, that being the references to Norway. The photographer and the art dealer are Norwegian, and William has Norwegian ancestors, whilst Emma’s tree research has led her to the Norway Maple and Little Norway in New York.

As we enter the finale, this Norwegian link becomes a little clearer, as do a few of the show’s other more subtle details. One link that I totally missed was with the name Kinder Garten. This is William’s true name and the online name given to the creator of the Baby Brian tribute page.

The Changeling Season 1 Episode 8 Recap

In the finale’s opening scene, William talks about Kinder Garten, which is the name of a community of over ten thousand men that William is a part of. Apollo asks why William killed his daughter. William admits that he had to do it.

They then hear the sounds of an approaching monster. Apollo panics and runs. The creature chases after Apollo, forcing him back to the community’s buildings. The monster then attacks, burning the buildings down to the ground and causing general destruction with ease.

Who is killed by the monster?

Apollo climbs through the wreckage and finds Gretta’s dead body inside. Cal leads Apollo and the others to safety through the forest. They are chased by this giant creature along the way but manage to make it to the cliff’s edge without losing any people.

The members climb down the cliff face as the creature approaches. Apollo and Cal are the last ones to make the descent as the monster causes further destruction. It then cuts the rope and they fall to the ground below. Apollo and Cal survive the fall but are badly injured in the process.

READ: The Changeling Season 1 Episode 7 Recap

Cal ushers the community onto a nearby boat. The community leaves, but Cal and Apollo choose to stay behind. Cal wants to buy them some more time. She says her goodbyes to Apollo, who is then placed in a rowing boat. Cal tells Apollo that he needs to find Emma, she has gone to New York’s only forest, searching for their baby.

The monster hurls a giant tree into the waters, which nearly hits the boat. William urges the creature to try again. Cal climbs up the cliff to face her foe and to save her followers. Meanwhile, Apollo disembarks in the rowing boat, heading back to New York City.

Cal and William fight each other by the cliff’s edge. She beats him over the head with a rock. He lays defeated on the ground, waiting for the monster to arrive. Cal finishes William off, stabbing him in the chest. She then looks out into the waters below, happy that her community has escaped unharmed.

How does Cal die?

As the monster approaches, Cal leaps off the cliff’s edge, plummeting to the ground below. Apollo watches Cal die from the safety of his boat. He rows back to the city and dry land. Meanwhile, the monster drags William’s body back into the forest. He’s probably not dead then. Cal should have pushed him over the edge when she had the chance.

Then we pick up with Emma’s storyline. She makes it to the entrance to the Forest Park in New York. Inside, she spots a glowing merry-go-round and hears a baby crying. Emma heads towards this strange sight, desperate to find her baby.

The Changeling Season 1 Ending Explained

The episode then concludes with a few teaser shots. William is seen typing at a computer desk. He is in communication with his Kinder Garten followers and observes a live feed of a cave’s entrance. It would be safe to assume that the monster resides in this cave.

Then we follow Apollo. He digs up his son’s grave. You can hear a baby crying. Apollo opens the casket lid and is bitten. Is this the changeling that has attacked him? In the final shot, Apollo crawls through the caves. He sees what appears to be a dead end, but it is in fact the closed eye of the creature. The monster then opens its eye and lets out a terrifying scream.

What did you think of The Changeling Season 1 Episode 8? Do you have any thoughts on the ending of The Changeling Season 1? Let us know in the comments.

Additional reading:

Apple TV+, Endings Explained, Streaming Service, TV, TV - Ending Explained, TV Recaps
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