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Surface season 1, episode 8 recap – finale and ending explained

September 3, 2022

This recap of the Apple TV+ Surface series season 1, episode 8, finale and ending explained, contains spoilers.

Read the Surface Season 1 review.

Apple’s original psychological thriller Surface ends with this week’s installment, ending the eight-episode miniseries. As I mentioned before, I felt like after the penultimate episode, there were no more secrets to reveal. So I was “cautiously” intrigued to see if the creators had any other surprises in store. Let’s analyze this last chapter and discuss the end of the series.

Surface season 1, episode 8 recap – finale and ending explained

Three weeks have passed since Baden’s death and Sophie is still struggling to recover from her lover’s horrific end. The police arrive to question Sophie and James about the suspicious death. James was seen fighting with Baden just five hours before his death and Sophie is also clearly linked to the undercover cop. She admits they were having an affair, much to James’ chagrin. In private, the policeman explains how there may be more to Sophie’s story, Baden was onto something and he advises her to retrace her steps. He spoke with a witness who was there on the ferry, just before Sophie jumped off. The witness said Sophie appeared calm and acted as if she was waiting for the ferry to be at a specific location before jumping off.

James confronts Harrison about this police interrogation. It would appear that Harrison is just as implicated in Baden’s death as James. These amateur criminals are way too deep. Did they ultimately orchestrate Baden’s death? It seems highly likely. James argues with Harrison, telling him he should have stayed out of it and that his interference only made things worse. Harrison says he’ll work things out, but James wants nothing more to do with the slimy businessman.

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Back home, Sophie seems to be putting her house in order. She donates expensive clothes to charity, then later, during therapy, she thanks Hannah for her tireless efforts to help Sophie move forward. At a party, she seems grateful, but oddly emotional. It’s as if Sophie was saying her last goodbyes. There is a final passive aggressive conversation with her nemesis, Harrison, where she says what she really thinks of James’ business partner. Harrison does the same. These two really hate each other.

Sophie packs her bags and walks across a misty bridge. In another repeating sequence of events, James is informed that his wife is missing, presumed dead, and he returns home to be greeted with another letter. The police add that they found Sophie’s clothes and identity card on the bridge. In the letter, she says that together they killed a man, from whom they simply cannot return. Jason fails to understand Sophie’s actions, she appeared to him happy and rejuvenated. Therapist Hannah thinks it may have been just a reaction to her decision to let go, a lessening of her responsibilities. This all sounds like deja vu to me!

James begins to spiral, arguing with Harrison, whom he blames for the whole sorry mess. It becomes apparent that Harrison was the orchestrator of Baden’s end, just as we predicted. He hired goons to kill Baden, because the undercover cop was going to sink the company otherwise. James wants nothing more to do with the man. Caroline worries about James’ mental state and also gives up on her friend. She tells James she needs to move on, he can take care of him. It’s a cowardly move on his part, to abandon a close friend in times of need. His parting gift is a snippet of information that revives James’ hopes.

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The end

Caroline thanked James for repaying most of the loan, but James was unaware of this transaction. He collects the coins, realizing that Sophie must have made the payment. At the bank, James asks about Sophie’s account. The bank manager says it doesn’t exist. In desperation, James hacks Sophie’s iPad. Lo and behold, she left him a message. The video explains his decision to fake his own death. She bitterly says that James deserves it, it’s a reward for his immoral ways.

Flashbacks reveal that Sophie had discovered the key to a self-storage unit which, when opened, contained a duffel bag. Inside the bag she found stacks of cash, her Tess Caldwell passport and a cell phone. On the phone, there were details of Eliza Huntley’s address. She tracks down her old friend to a bar in London, but leaves before greeting the woman. Eliza notices Sophie and chases her down the street where she asks her, what is she doing here?

It’s one of those lazy endings that doesn’t quite work. There’s very little emotional investment in these two characters’ relationship to begin with, and the creators really seem to be clinging to the straws here, hoping for a second season by teasing an irrelevant plot. It’s a vague and pointless ending that I can’t imagine will convince Apple to renew the series.

What do you think of the Apple TV+ Surface series season 1, episode 8 (finale) and the ending? Comments below.

You can watch this series with an Apple TV+ subscription.

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