Archive 81 ending explained: What happened in the finale of the Netflix horror series

·2 min read

Netflix viewers have been sinking their teeth into the streaming service’s latest offering, the sci-fi horror series Archive 81.

With many fans already having made their way through all eight episodes of the show, some may still be struggling to unpack exactly what it is they’ve seen.

Here’s what happened in the finale of Archive 81, and what it means for the series going forward.

In case it needs saying, heavy spoilers follow...

Archive 81 concluded with a truly out-there finale, leaving viewers reeling with a serious late-in-the-day twist.

Episode eight saw Dan (Mamoudou Athie) go back to Virgil Davenport (Martin Donovan) and confront him about the contents of the restored video tapes detailing Melody Pendras’s (Dina Shihabi) time in the Visser building.

Davenport then tells Dan that the tapes were previously held by Dan’s father, cropping up in a storage facility a year before the series’ present day.

He explains that his house was burned down to destroy the tapes, saying that some people would “risk everything to raise that godforsaken demon into this world”, and there are others who would “risk everything to keep that from happening”. He tells Dan that his father paid the price for this “ideology”, and that his escape was completely accidental.

Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner in episode 108 of 'Archive 81’ (CLIFTON PRESCOD/NETFLIX)
Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner in episode 108 of 'Archive 81’ (CLIFTON PRESCOD/NETFLIX)

Davenport is knocked out by Mark (Matt McGorry) before he is able to shoot Dan. Heading into the basement of Davenport’s compound, Mark and Dan find a recreation of the eerie ritual room with the Kaelego statue, last seen in the Visser.

The pair are then surprised by Bobbi, wielding Davenport’s weapon. Bobbi reveals that she is actually Melody’s mother, not the groundskeeper, and a Baldung witch to boot.

Dan ventures into the Otherworld and finds Melody. Just as he’s about to take her out, however, we see Samuel (Evan Jonigkeit) intervene.

The season ends as Melody arrives in front of her mother, and Dan wakes up in the 1990s.

Series showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine elaborated on the apparent time travel ending in an interview with The Wrap.

Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner in episode 108 of 'Archive 81’ (CLIFTON PRESCOD/NETFLIX)
Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner in episode 108 of 'Archive 81’ (CLIFTON PRESCOD/NETFLIX)

“This is, for us, just a new spin on time travel,” she said. “Which is, it’s kind of going through another dimension. It’s not what we think of as time travel. But there’s so much of this show that’s about time and how it moves and what is it and is it a flat circle? Is it an expanding universe? Is it a block universe? We don’t know.

“It’s not a time machine. It’s something different. It’s a way to bend time through an alternate dimension.”

While Netflix has yet to confirm whether there will be a second season of Archive 81, it appears that the show’s creators are keen to continue the story and unravel more details about the mysterious Otherworld.

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