The Blood Runs In The Veins
Spring Equinox is upon us as episode 6 of Equinox begins. We start the episode in the present at the Emergency Psychiatric Hospital. Astrid examines the pages of Jakob’s book and she notices that one page in particular has been torn out. This, of course, is the one Astrid was sent by Jakob. She begins putting everything together and slips out the ward, walking away. Wait, what? How did she get out without anyone seeing her?
Anyway, Astrid heads back to see Lene and asks outright whether she and Ida are even sisters. Lene brushes aside these claims and tells her that those rumours were created by Dennis and aren’t true.
When Astrid accidentally smashes a framed photograph however, she notices the date reading as 22nd August 1989. (It’s that number again) and now the truth comes spilling out. It turns out Astrid is not their child and both she and Ida are daughters of equinox. This causes her to immediately spin out of control, coming to the realization that her whole life has been a lie.
The cycle repeats; while Astrid began this episode in the psychiatric ward, during flashbacks we see a young Astrid incarcerated as the doctors there worry about her development. In particular, her continued mentions of Ostara are worrying and believe it’s been made worse by her tying this in with Ida’s disappearance.
The doctor even encourages Dennis and Lene not to entertain or believe her stories. While Dennis obliges, Lene meanwhile tells her daughter in secret that there’s nothing wrong with her.
Lene implores Astrid to bring Ida back through her visions. She grabs her daughter’s face, pleading with her to head inside the cave and save a trapped Ida. Astrid is afraid and eventually refuses, despite the constant pressure from her Mother.
Dennis is understandably furious when he finds out what happened. He rings Lene and tells her he’s going to file for full custody of Astrid.
Lene turns her attention to Ida instead. After her daughter has a shower, blood starts trickling down Ida’s leg. Lene is enraged, especially given it means she’s miscarried her child.
We’ve now caught up to Graduation Day as festive music swells and the bus takes off to celebrate the students making it through high school. Falke speaks to Ida in the midst of all this and admits he’s been stupid. He tells her they shouldn’t have gone to the island and hurries away.
Just before Torben drives off, an altercation takes place between Henrik and Lene. Now the moments at the start of episode 1 make more sense.
Lene tells Ida not to get on the bus as she’s in danger. It turns out Lene promised to give Ida up when she was 18 as part of a pact with Henrik and his cult. Unable to give up her daughter, Lene changed the terms to give up Ida’s first-born – the child she miscarried. Unfortunately because of this, “he” is coming after her. That “he” (while not outright mentioned) is presumably Henrik.
Jakob backs up Henrik’s shadiness as he confirms he stole the grimoire originally from his teacher. Ida refuses to listen to him though and eventually walks away.
Back in the present, Doris rings and calls Astrid in; Torben has woken up. At the hospital, Astrid finds Torben who tells her they saw each other in the orange haze. He mentions how he was trapped inside the cave and so are the kids too. Astrid is presumably the only one who understands.
Astrid shows Torben the photo of their school class, who in turn tells her Henrik is not human. He’s the Cyning and wants what he didn’t get 21 years ago. This seems to hint toward the child of Equinox who isn’t Ida but in fact herself.
After finding out the truth, Astrid drives off to see Henrik. His house is completely ransacked and presumably unused for a long time too.
Believing the answers lie on the island, she takes a rowboat and heads off alone. She trudges along the exact same path the kids did toward the ritual spot. Once there, she finds Henrik standing waiting at the stone pedestal. Holding Jakob’s book, she hands it over.
Now we see the moments in the past where the bus stopped. Henrik stood in front of the vehicle as Torben slammed on the brakes. An orange glow descended over them all as Jakob awakens and wonders where the rest of the students are.
Back in the present, Henrik disappears as Astrid wanders toward the shore. Ida appears before her and she heads out to embrace her sister in the orange haze. Hand in hand, they head out into the water together as that strange faun-creature watches them.
As the episode closes out, the 21 students suddenly show up and begin walking through a cornfield.
The Episode Review
So Equinox ends on a slightly ambiguous cliffhanger to close things out with. It seems like Henrik is our devil incarnate, akin to Randall Flagg from The Stand in some ways. It’s also hinted in more than one occasion that Henrik is this faun we’ve been seeing through the season.
As more of the cult issues comes to the foreground, Lene’s pact with Henrik to hand over the children of equinox explains exactly why he’s so vengeful and interested in Ida.
However, the show has struggled a little with merging its supernatural elements into the more slow-burn mystery and many people will undoubtedly find the ending confusing.
Despite that, the show does a pretty good job with its cult-centric story and the atmosphere in this has been fantastic throughout. In fact, the sound design in particular has been very reminisce of Dark – minus the vocal-driven montages in that German show.
So what about that ending then? What happened to the students? Unless I’m missing something, it seems like they were transported across to this strange world, the “orange glow” which seems to have kept them in holding. It’s not initially clear – and even more so given that final shot could have taken place in the past rather than the present.
Whether Netflix renew this one for a second season or not remains to be seen but for the time being, Equinox delivers a pretty good drama despite its slightly wobbly ending. It’s not perfect, and at times has been a little too slow, but there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.