Help Me Understand the Ending of Netflix’s The Colony

Help Me Understand the Ending of Netflix’s The Colony
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Help Me Understand the Ending of Netflix’s The Colony. No, really. A lot of times I title my posts as if I’m you… looking for help understanding a film. But this time, no clue. I just don’t get the ending. I really did love everything about the new Netflix movie… every last detail. Minus the fact – and I tried, I really did – that I did understand that dang ending.

Okay, first, if you were unaware, The Colony, or Tides, is a new Netflix movie that is a Swiss-German science fiction film set a few hundred years into the future. The elite of planet Earth have escaped… they’ve gone to an arid planet 10 years away, and after getting signals back from earth, they’ve begun sending astronauts back to Earth in order to find out what state the planet is in. The planet is one big tidal pool… the ocean sweeps in, and sweeps out again. And we aren’t even sure if there are still survivors on our home planet any more. The film was written and directed by Tim Fehlbaum, and stars Nora Arnezeder, Iain Glen, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, and Joel Basman. It’s literally an atmospheric tour de force. I mean, look at this shot right here:

Help Me Understand the Ending of Netflix's The Colony

I mean is that a matte panel painting ala Star Wars? Just glorious. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie, we are going to cut straight to the chase, just so that we can talk about the ending of this film and what the heck it might mean… and then you – yes, you – you are going to comment below and let us know what you think the ending means, because I just can’t right now. Here’s the trailer if you know literally nothing about this film:

The Quick Setup of Tides or The Colony or WHATEVER

Right, so Kepler 8675309 or whatever, is the new planet for Earth’s elite. They escaped a couple hundred years ago. They’ve setup shop and have made life work. But they miss the water… they miss uh, reproducing… yeah, they aren’t making anymore babies… so yeah, they miss all of it. So when one of the environmental stations on Earth sends a ping out to Kepler saying that life of some sort had been discovered the Kepleronians decide they should send astronauts back to earth to research what they can find. Only problem? It takes ten years for those astronauts to get to Earth, and then they are never heard from again. Boom, gone, poof. So they built another one, that one burnt down, fell over, then sank into the swamp… But the 4th one? That one stayed up. <record scratch – what?> And we follow as the second set of astronauts head to Earth to discover what they can.

Blake survives the screwed up reentry, but eventually her two fellow astronauts don’t make it. She’s captured, and while imprisoned, the colony she is with is attacked. There is a reason for this, you see, because this colony recently busted away from a larger one, and fled. Well, The Colony has come to capture girls specifically. One of the mother’s of this attacked group decides to go and get her daughter back. Well, Blake comes along to help. Got it? So big colony – that lives in that container ship that I posted a photo above of. But soon they are both captured, and the leaders of this group discover that Blake isn’t an Earthian… or whatever. And she’s taken to Gibson, the leader of the this colony… who has big plans for Earth and saving the day. Thus the totally iffy girl enslavement training school, etc., etc., etc. But it turns out that Gibson is from Kepler 8675309 as well. COINCIDENCE! So great to have a family reunion.

But when Blake learns that Gibson has lied to her – that her father is actually alive – and has led a revolt to destroy their spaceship and stay on planet earth without communicating back to Kepler, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Blake is confused. I mean, we get a LOT of backstory about how her father would go, and then would come back again, and he’d be a hero, and they’d all go to earth and HOORAAYYY! But suddenly, Blake’s father has sabotaged the mission and abandoned his daughter? Okay. Let’s chalk it up to bad space flight en route entertainment, or something, because we have to keep going. This is the least of our concerns right now. Blake starts learning more about what her father and Gibson are planning for the women there… or girls really. Something of a breeding center maybe? I mean, they have to save Earth, don’t they? But she also starts realizing that her reproductive capabilities are returning when she has her period. YAY, the effects of the radiation from Kepler is reversible. PHEW. Now, if only we could get back to our spaceship and send this information to Kepler. Oh, but it’s destroyed. Oh, but maybe we could send the data through one of the weather stations. PERFECT!

Now, and this was key, during Blake’s reunion with her father – she learned that her father had taken a wife, and adopted a son. Neil. You know – as in, Neil Armstrong? Anyway, this adoption bit was a lie. Blake’s father actually conceived of a son here with a woman on this planet. Which, is proof, better than a medical test even, that a Kepler could reproduce here on earth. Blake’s father COULD finish his mission right? He could tell Kepler that this was possible – the key question they were searching for had been answered. But he doesn’t want to do that, he destroyed the space capsule for a reason, he actively avoided communicating, for a reason. But Gibson disagrees with his co-astronaut, and believes this news should be communicated… but he hasn’t been able to send this info because the pod was destroyed, etc. That is, until Blake arrived. She brought with her a method for communicating. Hooray.

In the midst of the chaos at the end of the movie – the revolt, the mother looking for her daughter, etc., etc. Gibson sees his opportunity, snags the comm. unit, and heads out to the monitoring station that is near by. He takes Neil, and Neil’s mother with him. Blake realizes what he’s doing, and races out to the monitoring buoy to stop Gibson. Why is Blake siding with her father? That is the question of the day. Regardless, Gibson transmits the new data out to Kepler, and Blake was not able to stop him. Gibson kills Neil’s mother to prove he can. But then Blake pushes Gibson into the water and drags him to the bottom drowning him. Narvik dives down and pulls Blake out, and revives her. Blake is then reunited with her father, and she gives Neil the match her father gave her as a way to remember him by. And Neil asks the question of the day… “Are the people from Kepler coming?”

Help Me Understand the Ending of Netflix’s The Colony

Alright, as I went back through my notes, and wrote out what happened, a few things started clicking in my mind. Here are a few of the big questions that I had that I think I finally am only now starting to really understand.

What is With the Mud School?

We realize pretty quickly on, that Gibson’s colony is hoarding girls at a great rate. They steal the girls, send them to school, and put the rest to work. They are a female school of muds, as the Keplers call the Earth dwellers. But what is Gibson planning to do with them??? Well, here’s the math of this particular equation. Currently, most women back on Kepler are 40 or older. If they all start traveling right now back to Earth, they will be over 50. Much too old to procreate and extend their genealogical line any further. BUT! If he trains up a group of girls, muds, here on Earth, to carry the children of the men from Kepler? VOILA! Problem solved. Kepler’s genealogy can be maintained. Yes, it’s that messed up.

Why did Blake’s Father Scuttle His Ship??

The hardest thing for me to understand was why Blake’s father destroyed his ship and actively worked to destroy any way to communicate back to Kepler. I mean, after all, his relationship with his daughter was the only real backstory we are given at Kepler. We know he loves her. He’s promised – PROMISED – to come back to her. But, out of the blue, the man goes nuts, destroys the communication equipment, and blacks out the mission back to Kepler. Over 10 years worth of work, all down the drain. Worse, his promise to his daughter – destroyed. So why did he do it?

When he arrived on Earth, he was cool with the mission… everything was going great. But when he realizes that he can procreate, that the lack of radiation on Earth has healed him? It all clicks for him. He realizes he is assisting a bunch of brats… he’s supporting them as they move from planet to planet, devouring as they go, and then, suddenly, he’s done helping with this particular mission. Boom, he “revolts” and decides he will destroy the pod, the communication equipment, everything. Plus, Blake’s father isn’t down with Gibson’s horrific little mud school. None of it works for him.

Why Did Blake and Her Father Not Want the Keplers to Return?

So I sort of just explained this… but I’ll say it one more time. Humanity, in this reality of the universe, completely destroys planet Earth. The seas are rising. The planet isn’t sustaining the number of people on the planet anymore. After strip-mining the planet, the elite of Earth decide they aren’t going to survive if they stay… and so the few, the rich enough crowd, decide they are taking the 10-year trip to Kepler where they will go all in on this new planet. Later, once the radiation of the planet has gotten to them, they realize they will soon all die out there on Kepler. But when a environmental data station on Earth goes off, the Kepler folk send a mission or two in order to explore whether they stood a chance if they came back to planet Earth. The mission succeeds, and they discover that they will be able to reproduce again here on Earth.

Here’s the glitch, in order to extend their genes on Earth they will need new mothers to birth their children. Gibson, thinking well in advance, begins enslaving girls for them to use as incubators once the people of Kepler return. NOW – FOR SOME REASON – this doesn’t sit very well with Blake’s father. Sure, he’s going to have to never see his daughter again by making this choice… but he figures, morally, it’s the only thing he can do in order to stop this insanity from continuing. He realizes it’s not a question about survival anymore, but control. It’s about the Kepler group controlling the “lesser” individuals of the universe. Humanity had survived there on Earth. It had continued. It had succeeded. So why do they think that their gene pool is any better than those on Kepler exactly? Right, it makes no sense.

Have I Figured It Out?

I am not 100% I got it figured out. It does seem like Blake’s father totally abandoned his daughter and the promises he made to her. But in light of what he learned, maybe it makes sense? Maybe the end justified the means? I don’t know. I’d like to hear from you if you think I fundamentally missed it. Because when I started writing this post I was very very confused. But after watching some of the movie again, reading my notes again, only then did it start to come together for me. I think.

But What Did I THINK Of The Movie??

I LOVED this movie. Loved the designs, the cinematography, the backstory, the setup the … all of it. I loved, LOVED this movie. To investigate a story of man returning to their home planet again? And to see what their selfishness had wrought, and that they had become sort of… OH YEAH, HUH, THIS IS THE BEST THING WE GOT GOING! Was fantastic. But what really worked for me were the tides, the wet world, the fog, the land of beaches, perpetually… so good. And the set designs for the beached tankers, and the enormity of each one? So great. I just really found this film to blow the doors off of any other cataclysmic movie coming out of Hollywood right now… cough, cough, I’m looking at you “Don’t Look Up” cough, cough. Sure, it was nearly inscrutable. And if I had a hard time piecing it all together then there are going to be a LOT of people that leave this movie thoroughly confused. I get that. But I thought the work of trying to understand what was going on and why was worth the effort. Just my two cents. And yeah, I know I’m in the minority on this one, but that is okay with me. I’m used to being out on a limb by myself. Was it worth the trouble to you?

Edited by: CY