After 5 episodes of build-up, Ad Vitam roars into life for its finale, delivering some much-needed answers and a shocking conclusion to our two lead characters. With plenty of questions left at the end despite these answers and minimal backstory around the people pulling the strings, Ad Vitam finishes things off with a finale that’ll please some but leave many feeling unsatisfied.
The episode itself starts with Darius being interrogated about last night’s events. He’s surprised that Christa didn’t turn the gun on herself after killing Virgil. After celebrating his last day in the force, Darius heads home and calls his wife. He then starts looking at CCTV footage from the night before where he sees Samian’s uncle, Charles Vanghen, smoking a cigarette.
Darius decides to investigate Charles which takes him to his place of work, the Stern museum, which is dedicated to the regeneration process and how it was created. Darius follows him to a secret bar where he encounters Odessa. After having a deep conversation with her about life, he starts to realize that everything is linked: the museum, the youth centre and the missing minors. Despite having the puzzle pieces in his grasp, he can’t quite align them in a way that fits together just yet.
Desperate for answers, Darius meets with Azuelo and relays all the latest developments from his investigation. He comes to the conclusion that Odessa and her company are using Avenir as a way of finding troubled minors. Reluctant at first, Azuelo finally agrees to help him by putting Odessa and Charles under surveillance. However, just as Darius is about to leave, Azuelo takes out his gun, ready to shoot his former colleague. A fight then ensues between the two and Darius barely escape by stabbing Azuelo in the neck.
Realizing that Azuelo was involved, he decides to takes his car where he finds a glowing key card with an octopus on it; the same icon found in Stern museum.
In the evening, ready to finally get to the bottom of it all, he makes his way to the museum which leads him to follow Odessa yet again. This takes him to the main function room where a lot of people are gathered. Suddenly, a tank appears where a young man is being kept. After being administered the regeneration, the tank is drained and the teen starts to scream in agony. We see him age rapidly within seconds into an old man and finally into the cocoon-like creature we’ve seen before.
Straight after, another tank lights up and this time, Christa is the victim. Darius rushes to her aid and shoots the tank in an attempt to free her. This causes everyone to panic and leave the building. Unfortunately, a piece of the shattered glass enters his stomach in the process. Despite his injury, he manages to flee the building with Christa.
Unable to run any further, Darius stops and sits against a tree. He tells Christa about his wife expecting a child and convinces her to go on without him. Watching her escape, he draws his final breath before dying there and then. As the police arrive and find the missing kids in the museum, they also come across the body of Darius in the forest.
A few days have past and Christa comes to visit Beat. She tells her that it’s thanks to Darius that she’s alive and that before he died he talked about his new child. Worried about Christa, Beat tries to convince her to hand herself in to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Christa replies that it’s only the beginning and that people outside are not happy with what they have become.
The episode then ends with us learning that a new law has passed enforcing birth control measures and a smiling Christa meeting with other minors from the youth centre. As they look on with determination, they leave on a boat.
While the last episode does wrap up most of the story arcs and answers a lot of the questions raised, it still would have been nice to see more development on the role of Odessa and the museum in the kidnapping of minors. The ending does leave us with more questions though; just why were they experimenting on those innocent kids and where are Christa and the others going? These questions leave us wanting more and in a way, actually detract from some of the work leading up to this moment.
Ad Vitam has been a tense and interesting sci-fi thriller, one that definitely improved in the second half. The excellent use of electronica has been consistent throughout and the chemistry between Christa and Darius grew as the series ticked along. The ending could leave things open for a potential second season but for now, we leave the show wondering what we would do if we could live forever and how civilization would cope.
Given the ending 3% received after its first season, both shows do bear some similarities and with Netflix snatching the rights to international showings for this one, who knows if the streaming giants will renew this for future seasons. Only time will tell how people take to the latest French sci-fi thriller but there’s certainly potential here to expand further.