Surface (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8: Recap & Ending Explained

Surface (Season 1 Finale) Episode 8

Surface (Season 1 Finale), Episode 8, Recap & Ending Explained: The finale of season 1 of Surface is finally here and I can’t stop rationalizing the relevance of its title. A series that barely scratches the surface, explores the characters on a surface level and stays on a largely contrived route, no convincing can help it retain a good impression. While the astonishing performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw pulls you in from the very beginning, the suspense dilutes and the drama collapses the more its writing shows its weaker spots. Even with its 8 episodes, it feels overstretched unnecessarily with some of its later parts filled with shallow & weak writing.

Surface (Season 1 Finale) Episode 8 Recap

The 8th episode titled ‘See You on the Other Side, shows Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) on her usual run. While passing by the place where Baden (Stephan James) lives, she gets emotional since it reminds her of his sudden death. When she returns home, she finds a police officer questioning James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) about Baden’s murder. He also asks her about it, their whereabouts at the time of the incident, and the last time they saw or contacted him.

While James tries to convey him as Sophie’s close friend, she mentions that they were in fact lovers. This puts the suspicion on James who would have probable cause to commit such a crime out of jealousy. Just a few hours before his murder, they even had a fight in a restaurant, which makes James a possible suspect. While he is alone with Sophie, this police officer discloses that there was a witness to her suicide attempt from the boat.

Surface (Season 1 Finale) Episode 8

Once the officer leaves, James and Sophie have a conversation about the same where Sophie mentions how tired she is by the insistent inquiries made to her. Afterward, James goes to his office and inquires Harrison (François Arnaud) about Baden’s murder, which suggests his involvement in it. Tired by his attempts to help turn sour, James asks him to stop them altogether. Meanwhile, at home, Sophie gathers most of her clothes, shoes & her other belongings.

James finds her putting them into boxes and learns it as her trying to get rid of all the extra stuff – which she probably doesn’t need anymore. She then shares her hope about their relationship, which pleases James since he was waiting for her to reach that level of contentment. At Hannah’s (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) office, she mentions being proud of Sophie for coming to terms with her reality. She also shares her initial fears about taking her as a client – for dealing with someone with no recollection of her past.

Later, we see James and Sophie at a grand party, where she meets Caroline (Ari Graynor) who gets pleased to see her there. During their interaction, Sophie gets overly emotional – almost as if they are having their last interaction. While Caroline finds that strange, Sophie leaves this conversation and goes to the bar to get a drink.

Over there, she meets Harrison, who was never on the right foot with her since the beginning of their association. She mentions her honest feeling about him, how he’s an asshole who thinks he’s a good guy. The next morning at home, Sophie asks for car keys before James leaves for the office. She mentions her plans of going on a run to him and he does not hesitate to share them either.

Once he leaves, Sophie collects all her belongings in a backpack, including her ID as Sophie and leaves the house. She reaches a spot near a bridge – the one she was scared to travel from just a few weeks before. She gets out of the car and starts running to the other side of it. Soon after that, James finds out from a police officer about her belongings being left on the shore. He is questioned about the exact details of her situation as if the police officer knew all the details about Sophie before even asking James about them!

Grief-stuck by Sophie’s departure, James returns home and seems shaken to the core. He finds a letter written by Sophie about her feeling of guilt about the demise of Baden, who died because of something they did. This further suggests his involvement in Baden’s murder. While James spends the entire night on his own, Caroline comes in the next morning and tries to console him. Being unable to process her leaving like this, he calls Hannah who mentions her behavior before the departure being indicative of making amends – of saying a final goodbye before leaving.

Later in a bar, while he is having a drink by himself, Harrison joins him and tries to help him through his pain as a friendly gesture. That rather angers James who decides to leave. Outside the bar, Harrison mentions his general displeasure with Sophie. James tells how angry he is about Harrison’s behavior and that Sophie considers him to be a monster for killing Baden while in reality, it was Harrison who did it. While Harrison tries to rationalize his mistake, James mentions how all he did was protect him from going to jail yet again.

After their bitter conversation, at his home, Caroline comes in and he expects her to help him through this loss just as he always expected of her. She rejects his request and says a final goodbye to him for always being his support system. She even forgives the remaining part of the loan he took from her. Sometime later, James goes to the bank to take all the funds out from Tess Caldwell’s account. While the manager does not proceed with his request, he even denies sharing any details about the 3.1 million dollars in her bank account for confidentiality reasons. James feels that Sophie might have emptied her bank account before leaving.

Back at home, he tries to dig deeper into the reasons for her sudden leave. He tries to access her device looking for some clues. After some unsuccessful attempts, he discovers her password and finds a video shared by Sophie on this device. In this clip, she reiterates her guilt for their involvement in Baden’s death and mentions how her escape balances out what James did to her in the past – the way he kept keeping the truth hidden from her.

Through some flashback scenes, we see her, discovering the bloodied clothes from the accident along with a key inside a bag, hidden inside a cabinet. She tries to retrace her steps and this key leads her to a storage facility where she finds a bag with her belongings as Tess Caldwell. She also finds a contact on her phone under the name Eliza.

Surface (Season 1 Finale) Episode 8 Ending Explained

The next thing we see after her self-shot tape being played by James is Sophie/Tess in the UK, at the airport. By the inspecting official, she learns that her passport is about to be expired in two weeks. While she starts her life in her homeland, James tries calling her and ends up leaving a voice note. He mentions that her departure is not going to drive him away from her. He mentions how her past is dangerous for her and tells her to take care of herself.

At a local cafe, Sophie finds Eliza (Millie Brady) and keeps looking at her from distance. Eliza learns about this person looking at her and goes out to follow her. Right after that, she comes out following her, calls her name – Tess, and asks what she is doing there. The scene hints at the possibility of a further narrative waiting to get unfolded that would reveal Sophie/Tess more details about herself.

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Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.