Katla – Season 1 Episode 8 “I Am You” (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review

I Am You

Episode 8 of Katla Season 1 begins with Mikael casually waltzing back into Hotel Vik again. He immediately confronts Rakel, asking just why she left him. Eventually Rakel and Darri give him some food and listen to the boy  retell the story we’ve already seen play out with the couple he murdered on the road.

After getting some food down him, the couple drive off together. Darri demands he hand over the Stanley knife though, which he eventually agrees to. After all, we don’t want a repeat of what happened before!

As Rakel and Darri allow Mikael to play by the shore, they discuss the nature of these changelings and their personalities. Darri believes that these are born out of their own experiences and memories. Given their history is that of pain and anger, it seems to be reflected in Mikael. As the couple sit together, they both make peace that whatever this child is, it’s not their son. Together, they lead Mikael out to the water and drown him.

However, Katla continues to rumble and groan as more bodies under the glaciers start to stir. Lava is spat from Katla’s mouth as our characters try to adjust to their new normal.

While older Gunhild is packing her things up, Tor arrives at the door frazzled and needing to talk. He tells her Bjorn’s condition is not her fault and what she did with the attempted abortion had no impact on him.

While Gunhild has made peace and is ready to go home, Bjorn meanwhile wants to stay. He wants to get to know his Father better and reassures her, reminding Gunhild that there’s a clinic nearby. And an active volcano that could explode at any moment, but there we go.

Tor eventually heads home where Grima pedals the changeling story to her father. She reveals the truth about the forensic report too, backing up the idea that these doppelgangers are the things of folklore.

Gisli heads out to find Magnea, taking the older Magnea with him. Only, Gisli is outsmarted and left behind as the two versions of Magnea ride off together in the police car. He hesitates and decides against firing.

Back home, Grima and other Grima come to blows over the new world order. Other Grima has settled right in and made this home her own. Our Grima is still haunted by the ghosts of her past though and unable to let go. Given Other Grima hasn’t experienced that, she’s instead embracing the love they have and not taking it for granted.

Grima is determined to make things right and sits with her other self at the table, deciding to leave it up to fate over who survives. As they both load up the gun and prepare to fire, both versions hold the pistol to their neck and fire. This goes round and round, eventually resulting in the changeling Grima blowing her brains out and dying. Grima buries her in the ash outside and leaves her there.

Realizing his Father has switched Magnea’s cancer pills for herbal ones, Einar immediately heads to the church and confronts Gisli. He’s furious, and eventually smashes him over the head, leaving him a battered mess on the floor. When Gisli awakens, he speaks to the Lord and begs for forgiveness. Well, they’re going to need it given the ash clouds from the volcano continue to swell and grow.

At the hospital, Gunhild arrives to see her younger self but she’s gone. The lights begin flickering and Gunhild stares in the mirror, smiling and seemingly understanding.

Less understandable however, is what comes next. As the series comes to a close, the Earth groans and grumbles, paving way for numerous ash-covered changelings to rise up and head toward the town. What could this mean? Who knows, stay tuned for a possible season 2!

The Episode Review

And there we have it. Another dreaded Netflix cliffhanger for a mystery series that hasn’t given us any answers beyond “it’s a meteorite.”

I get that these mystery box shows need to keep some semblance of mystery and intrigue going but it’s enough to keep that hook swirling around the motivations of these changelings and what they’re doing.

It’s also a little suspect that no one from outside Iceland has bothered to show up or even catalogue what’s happening with Katla, especially with an eruption like this. With the added inclusion of characters returning from the dead, you’d expect more people to get involved.

However, the finale does show some of our characters making their choices regarding their changeling issues. Rakel and Darri finally find themselves on the same side, drowning their changeling son so he doesn’t hurt anyone else.

Meanwhile, changeling Grima meets a grizzly fate while Magnea is still at large with her older counterpart. Asa has just wandered into the water and she’s presumably dead while Gunhild has disappeared too.

There’s lots of unresolved questions and not a lot of answers to go on either. However, this moody slow burn bows out with the tantalizing prospect of a second season but lots of question marks over whether that will come to fruition or not.

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13 thoughts on “Katla – Season 1 Episode 8 “I Am You” (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review”

  1. As one who is not normally repulsed by violence, gore, self-harm, etc. I found this show and this episode in particular to be extremely disturbing. Why are the changelings appearing? We think that it is to help the real people put something traumatic from their past behind them, or learn to be a better version of themselves. If only it were so easy. Time and again the male characters show a preference for the younger/happier/healthier/more beautiful version of the women they love(d), which in two cases leads to violence. In the ambiguous russian roulette scene, I am led to the logical conclusion that it is Grima 1 who kills herself, knowing that her happier, less depressed version survived to support Kjartan and the family. On the other hand, if Asa’s reappearance was to help her get over the guilt of her death and their mother’s suicide, then it was all for naught. I found the story of Mikel, the creepy, psycopathic kid to be ham-handed and cliched, but still disturbing in the way he was treated by his parents. What does it say about humanity that his reappearance brought his parents together in the realization that they had to kill him for the good of society? Grim.

  2. It’s actually Grima 2 who dies. When they have that moment of silence where they look at each other its supposed to be Grima 1’s turn but Grima 2 takes it for her. There’s two giveaways, the 1st, right before the camera raises to close in on her head, you can see the strap on her shoulder right before she pulls the trigger is blue, which is Grima 2. There was a trick of the camera earlier that showed the blue shirt next to the one holding the gun but this was a trick I’m assuming before Grima 2 takes the gun. But the main giveaway i spotted actually was the curtain behind Grima 2. She’s on the viewers left (right on couch) and the curtain on that side throughout the entire scene (when in front facing close up) has some silverish grayish tint from the lighting angle (or w/e it may be) to it on the far end of the screen (different from the cremeish white of the curtain), which was never on Grima 1’s side, only on Grima 2’s. That same tint/streak was on the Grima who shot herself which was #2.

  3. Grima 1 (the original, real Grima) is the one who died. She died for Grima 2. Grima 1 had the 1st, 3rd, and 5th trigger pulls, so it was clear to both of them that Grima 2 was going to die on the next trigger pull. However, if you look closely at the shirt color for the fatal shot, you can see that it’s Grima 1’s shirt, meaning she picks up the gun and kills herself so that her husband can have happiness with Grima 2.

  4. If you look closely at the body buried in the backyard, its pretty clear to me that the Grima there is not wearing any pants as you can clearly see her calve… so its still ambiguous.

  5. Grima 1 died, … and why not? She, like Gunhild1, was already dead inside. BTW, there were only five trigger pulls; pull #4 was shown twice. Really. Rewatch that sequence a few times, mirror shot and all.

    Here goes:
    Chamber #1 – Grima1 (in beige/pink) , click; Chamber #2 – Grima2 (in blue), click;
    Chamber #3 – Grima1 (in beige/pink), click;
    Chamber #4 – Grima2 (in blue), click; then
    Chamber #4 – Grima2 (in blue) – BUT FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE (just watch her expression) – click; and
    Chamber #5 – Grima1 (in beige/pink), BOOM!

  6. It’s probably because I too have an eight year old son, but I was profoundly moved when Rakel and Darri drowned their changeling son Mikael in the finale. I know he was mentally ill and murderous, but he was still a small boy who could get appropriate treatment; he did not deserve death, let alone a terrifying one at the hands of his parents who in his mind were loving towards him moments earlier. Why couldn’t he have just disappeared when his “work” was done, like Gunhild 2 did? Yeah, I know, it’s not real…but still…the forced drowning was a gut punch.

    Overall, I really liked the series.

  7. The director uses broken continuity (mirror vs. direct view, clothing changes) to confuse watchers. While the firing count (6) and RealGrima taking the first firing attempt leaves Grima2 dead on attempt number 6, regardless of blouse or pants color, the camera shots in between keep jumping between the direct view of the couch and what appears to be a mirror view of the couch. Also, on firing attempt 5, two continuity shifts occur. In a direct view of the couch, brown-blouse Grima (Grima 1) on the right picks up the gun, the camera angle shifts to mirror view as she raises the gun to her throat (now she’s on the left, still in brown blouse), but then the camera angle changes just as she pulls the trigger, and the blouse has magically changed to blue in less than a second. That’s a continuity break, and it was clearly done intentionally to confuse. It seems to have worked, based on viewer comments.

  8. Agreed Zivia, it shows the brown cami straps, big faux paus on there part. But as the others have stated Grima 1 took the first shot, it’s a 6 shooter so Grima 2 is dead. Neat though that Grima 1 learned what she needed to get on with the business of living.

    I couldn’t see any other way for the Magneas to end.

    Really didn’t like the whole Mikeal story, really sad and seemed to be the problem of the parents. Although, they were having trouble moving on so perhaps it’s a good thing?

    Overall this one grabbed me.

  9. Also: what to make of the scene when Grima’s husband walks into kitchen, acknowledges “ash Grima” and walks away, not seeing “real Grima” who was sitting at the table, two steps away?! Both Grimas are present when he leaves house as well!

  10. If you look at the shirt Grima 1 kind of light brown and Grima 2 kind of blueish seems to me that Grrima 1 blows away…

  11. Grima 2 took the last shot. The round count gave it away. They didn’t change sides, some camera shots were reflections in the mirror. Six shots Grima 1 went first. The last chamber was loaded.

  12. Yeah it was super confusing. I guess it was done on purpose to obfuscate the ending but the best clue I found was counting the bullets. So I just counted the number of shots as a revolver usually has six chambers. The real Grima starts and as the cycle repeats then the changeling Grima is the last one to take the shot, she’s the one who takes the sixth and final shot as both Grimas know this is their last round.

    You’re right though, they did keep moving on the sofa and I think I watched that scene four times to try and figure it out.

    Thanks so much for commenting though, it’s much appreciated!

    -Greg W

  13. I think it was Grima 1 who took the fatal shot. She was wearing dark blue pants. Grima 2 was wearing tan pants. If you look closely at the Grima buried in the yard, you will see that she is wearing dark blue pants. The scene was super confusing because the director kept having the Grimas change places on the sofa. Grima 1 in blue pants was sitting on the right (from the viewer’s viewpoint) but then she was sitting on the left. The director obviously did it to confuse the viewer. The two Magneas were driving straight into the volcano kind of like Thelma and Louise.

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