To The Lake – Season 1 Episode 8 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review

The Next Step

The season 1 finale of To The Lake opens with a grim revelation. It turns out Misha was suicidal and his search history at home fed into this desire to end it all. He clearly made a conscious decision to die and plunged into the ice.  At least, that’s Anna’s way of thinking.

Back at the house, Ira comes up with her own theory. The car, missing food and supplies all seem to point that Misha planned this and wanted to leave. Only, Pavel finds Misha’s sleeping bag upstairs which seems to throw that theory out the water.

In her shocked state, Anna starts to lose her memories. This is known to occur during heightened moments of stress and that much is especially true here.

However, as we soon see though Misha is very much alive and determined to track down Lyonya and the others. Thankfully, Marina’s blood and the footprints through the forest are easy enough clues for him to follow.

As the night draws in that’s not the only thing he finds. He also finds bear traps which he walks straight into with a nasty clink.

Elsewhere, Marina goes completely insane and starts barking on request from the lady keeping them trapped in the basement. Satisfied, she opens the trap door and kicks down a bottle of water.

Next, she puts Lyonya to work chopping wood while tied on a chain to the tree. He pleads with her for forgiveness but instead she simply rasps at him to keep working.

That evening she forces Lyonya above the trapdoor and ties him to the bed. Riding on top of him, she prepares to rape the man but a gunshot outside rocks the house. It’s enough of a distraction for Lyonya to break free and smack the lady over the face with the frame of the bed. As she cowers, Lyonya opens up the trap-door and frees his family.

Spying Misha outside, he drags the boy inside with the bear trap still attached to his foot. Thankfully the bones are still intact but it’s still a pretty gnarly injury.

With a hot beverage in hand, Misha reveals everything that happened with Anna and how she’s still alive. He even admits to staging his own death.

Lyonya and the others leave the house after freeing the lady. There, they run into a priest who allows them to come back to their house where Lyonya and Marina are married again. Only, they’re not the only ones. Misha and Polina are also wed too.

At the lake house, Sergey sees Ira and Pavel making love and is frozen in place. An explosion outside though completely rocks the group. A military plane smashes to the ground and explodes on impact.

The pilot survived though and happens to be an infected Asian who holds Pavel up at knifepoint. He has a translator in hand and claims to have a cure.

Distracted, Pavel grabs a scalpel and stabs the man in the eye. It’s enough for Sergey to blast the man in the chest and quell the threat for now

Sergey is wounded in the ensuing scuffle, nursing a nasty cut across his neck. Thankfully it hasn’t pierced the artery and he’s okay.

Ira awakens after reading through Anna’s diary and ponders what she’s read. After saying her emotional goodbyes to Pavel – who leaves for the lab – everything spills over inside the house.

Ira confronts Anna about excerpts from her diary. Within that it details her cunningness of planting the condom wrapper in Sergey’s bag so she would find it.

As Sergey heads outside to get some air, he spies Lyonya and the others across the ice. These happy reunions are short-lived though when they look back and find the lake-house burning. In the distance, soldiers (presumably Asian again but it’s not 100% confirmed) watch the survivors and prepare to mobilize against them. We then cut to credits. No! You can’t end it there!

The Episode Review

The soundtrack in this series is fantastic. The rock riffs really lends itself to that 28 Days Later feel while the piano chimes and chords almost sound like something from Hans Zimmer.

The story is pretty decent too, although those expecting an action packed series will be disappointed. Instead, this plays out as a bleak and harrowing look at the survival of two Russian  families.

There’s still tension here but it’s much more controlled and that fear of the unknown and sensing something out there is watching them all this time is really what drives this series on.

There’s a lot of material here about grief and you have the melodrama to back it up in good supply.

The cliffhanger ending is a little annoying though and there’s a lot of unresolved issues too. This does make it difficult to swallow the ending, especially as there’s no word on a renewal yet. It’s possible that this one may be renewed but given Netflix’s trigger-happy cancellations as of late, it’s still very much an unknown.

What could happen in season 2? Well, the soldiers at the end appear to be in force and well organized so it could be that they’ve usurped the Russians.

It could also be a hint that the military aircraft that crash-landed was part of a larger war between the Russians and – presumably – China.

What about the ranch? The survivors? Quarantine? Why is Pavel immune to the disease? And what fate will the rest of the characters have? There’s lots of questions hanging over this one and right now it’s still unknown whether we’ll get a resolution or not.

Still, in terms of original apocalyptic dramas, this one is definitely worth watching even if the ending is a little disappointing.

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9 thoughts on “To The Lake – Season 1 Episode 8 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review”

  1. The music doesn’t “lend itself to that 28 Days Later feel”, huge swathes of it are directly *from* 28 Days Later (and 28 Weeks Later). It was very distracting…and just plain lazy. It grated on my nerves and kept taking me out of what was, otherwise, a decent show.

  2. “…night sky showing a silent, light-colored oblong object sailing through the clouds…”
    In reference to the comment, it was a parachute – i had to rewatch in order to confirm. I thought the discoloration of the eyes meant the infected were blinded….but obviously the chinese soldier was able to not only land safely, but also take Pavel by surprise?!?
    Overall, I have enjoyed the show. Definitely one of those series you have to pay attention to. Similar to Walking Dead, it feels like someone does something stupid on every episode, but that’s the nature of this type of show. I stopped watching ‘The Rain’ for this reason, also because I wasn’t the right age demographic for that show.

  3. Good calls on this but one more thing. In the scene where they were going out to the crashed aircraft in the lake, a couple of things came up that made me curious. One was the description of the wring on the side as “hieroglyphics” and the other was a brief cutaway to the night sky showing a silent, light-colored oblong object sailing through the clouds towards screen-right.

    Unless it was a slip in translation, I don’t think educated Muscovites would refer to Chinese writing that way. This is a long shot but I think that thr next season may introduce another player in this game.

    One more think I caught was the out-of-place scanner broadcast saying the civilian round-ups were being done by rogue forces not not the the military. Think the Kremlin may have asked the producers to “clarify” that?

  4. In an interview to Meduza, the producers of the series said that the scenario is ready, they will shoot season 2 in winter and release in late spring 2021.

    Only clue they gave is that the group will be forced to find another place to hide. Some fans say that the Chinese may be interested in the lake itself (not the group) as ithe lake may be the source of infection (first scene of the series).

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