The Essex Serpent (Season Finale), Episode 6: Review, Recap & Ending Explained
The Essex Serpent (Season Finale), Episode 6 Review, Recap, and Ending Explained: The much-awaited Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston starrer ‘The Essex Serpent’ just had its finale streamed this Friday. As mentioned in previous episodes’ reviews, the Apple TV Plus show swayed from its mysterious thriller origin to a conflict-heavy relationship drama. This transformation might have seemed a little capricious at first, but patience from the viewers would be rewarded in the finale if the viewers made peace with the transformation and continued to watch the show.
The Essex Serpent (Season Finale), Episode 6 Recap:
Last episode, titled ‘I Break Things’, ended with both the literal and metaphorical versions of the phrase. Cora (Claire Danes) broke her friendship with Luke (Frank Dillane), and subsequently with Martha (Hayley Squires), and expressed her anger and grief by smashing and breaking any breakable object she could lay her hands on. On the same night, Luke was attacked by a street ruffian, and in the kerfuffle, got his hand severely injured.
The finale, named ‘Surfacing’, starts with Luke struggling to make a normal grip with his right hand. The hand that is responsible for his perpetually soaring reputation as a surgeon. His good, sometimes too-good-for-him, friend, Spencer (Jamael Westman) visits him and helps him to recover. Luke however gets thoroughly annoyed at Spencer’s suggestion of taking things slowly, in regards to resting his hand.
Cora, after the effect of her breakdown (pun intended), gets allayed and ponders writing to Stella (Clemence Poesy) as she is now aware of Stella’s deteriorating health conditions due to tuberculosis. Back at the Ransome home in Essex, Stella also asks Will (Tom Hiddleston) to write to Cora and get Cora to visit them in Essex. Will reluctantly agrees to write, but he also does not forget to let his opinion known in the letter, which is to ask Cora abstaining from doing the visit.
Back in London, Cora gets notified of Luke’s condition and she rushes to visit him. She pleads with him to stay with her. Luke, however, tells her off, saying that it is not prudent for him to live with her knowing he loves her without the same reciprocation. Disheartened, Cora visits Martha and tries to repair that damage as well. To a much better result. Martha encourages Cora to ‘fix things’.
And so she does. She does visit Essex. She visits the Ransome house and talks with Stella. Stella expresses genuine gratitude to Cora for coming and bringing Frankie with her. Stella prods her to go to the church to visit Will. The saddening acceptance of the inevitable looms large on the Ransome house. It rubs on Cora as well.
As Cora meets Will and they gradually reconcile, to meet their hearts’ desires; Stella, with help from the innocently unaware Frankie, sets off on a boat, on the lake, to be taken by the ‘Serpent’. Thus, the ‘Serpent’ finally makes its appearance felt again when Will swims to the middle of the lake to rescue the drowned Stella. As Will and Stella, entwined in each other’s arms, propels upwards from the deep of the lake, the serpentine outline of the beast appears behind them, which Stella sees.
Since the opening scene of the second episode, the fear, and tension of an actual gargantuan creature surrounding our human characters has not been felt like that. For one wild moment, the audience would wonder of the fate of Will and Stella when the outline of the beast appeared. However, ‘The Essex Serpent’ steers clear of that. Prudently, I might add, considering the aforementioned transformation the show had. Will and Stella come to the shore where Stella claims to have seen the ‘Serpent’.
The Essex Serpent (Season Finale), Episode 6 Ending Explained:
‘The Essex Serpent’ provides a quite evocative and satisfying conclusion to all its threads. Naomi is shown to be living in the now-abandoned house of Cracknell, the deceased village outcast. In the end, she sees the gigantic body of the ‘Serpent’, washed up ashore, from the windows. She returns to her father and they reunite. The news of the dead serpent spreads through the whole village. Cora, with Frankie, goes to have a look too. As they gaze at the body of the beast, they realize it is not any mythical beast, but a blue whale. Probably wandered off to the marshy backwaters due to earthquakes.
Frankie wonders why people were afraid of it and created a ghastly reputation for it. Claire wonders back why people fear what they do not understand. The series provides a fitting metaphorical conclusion when it comes to the ‘Serpent’. Just like the innocent and natural magnificence of our world, the blue whale getting misunderstood to become something evil; Cora and Will’s innate desire and love for each other is also misunderstood to be thought of as something unwanted and unnatural. The ‘Serpent’ represents everything that is normal but heavily misunderstood.
In the end, when Stella finally succumbs to her death, Will does listen to his heart, despite previously misunderstanding the feeling as something insulting to his wife. Cora is shown to pursue her passion for archaeology and Will finally joins her as they take another walk, towards the unknown known as life.
The show also ties up other subplots quite well. Spencer and Martha remain friends, and perhaps more, but without confining their relationship within the scope of marriage. Spencer also helps Martha’s cause by buying the slums to better the quality of the lives of the people living there. Luke accepts his fate and turns his attention toward teaching his skills to other medical students. He becomes friendly with Cora again.
The Essex Serpent (Season Finale) Final Word:
As the show progressed towards its end, the acting of its main cast got elevated. Claire Danes imbibed Cora and Frank Dillane was charismatically nonchalant as Luke. Hiddleston gradually peaked to meet them, while Hayley Squires turned a fantastic supporting job as Martha.
The opening credits and the music would be something that would be quite memorable. The finale, especially the way it concluded its various arcs, is praiseworthy. This in fact elevates the show. The show finally becomes successful in the end to make the audience ignore the mystery and the existence of the serpent, with its nuanced portrayal of love and its various misunderstood and feared mysteries.