Episode 7 of Welcome to Eden begins with a promotional video for Blue Eden. We still don’t know what’s in this drink but as the new recruits gulp down the beautiful blue tonic, they’re encouraged to walk across hot coals.
Each of the teens follow, with the rest of Eden watching on from afar. Their goal is a necklace hanging up, something each of the cultists are wearing. Africa is last to cross the coals but she falls to her knees and ends up burning. As the flames lick hungrily up her legs, Erick jumps in and extinguishes the flames. Astrid is not happy.
The next part of their initiation comes from the tattoos on their forearms. We’ve seen this before, and know there are different levels associated with this. The specific purpose and what each grants those in the community is unknown. Through Erick’s cryptic chatter though, he tells them that the first level requires great commitment. Level 2 allows you “not to be burned” while Erick and Astrid are the only ones who have reached level 3, which appears to be reserved for the leaders.
Astrid and Erick are far from peachy though, with the former unhappy with Erick undermining her authority. She’s not happy about Africa’s promotion either, although Erick reassures her that they’re heading off to Eden with Isaac soon.
Bel meets up with Eva in secret, where they discuss the latter’s promotion and the message that appeared during the anniversary. Bel claims this was all part of “The Symbol of Lilith”, whatever that means. They don’t elaborate on this but do confirm that neither Bel nor Eva are behind this. It’s someone else. As they both sign off, they set to work finding the real culprit.
Nico speaks to Astrid and believes he deserves a promotion up to Level 2. However, she has “other plans” for him.
Over in Barcelona, the Private Investigator from before shows up to see Zoa’s mother. She’s convinced that her daughter is off with Judith but the message she’s received, telling her Zoa needs some time off, is almost identical to the one Ibon has received. The PI is more convinced than ever that there’s something awry.
When Gabi finally returns to Barcelona, her mother is there to greet her with a slap to the face. Gabi shrugs it off, claiming she’s been at Barbara’s place, while her father is a little more understanding. However, he too isn’t happy about her running off.
Gabi soon gets talking to the PI outside though, who eyes up the Eden wristband sticking out her bag. Gabi doesn’t trust her enough to team up, so the PI sneakily takes the wristband when they part ways.
That night, David is attacked and kidnapped. Bundled into the back of a van, it races off late at night. We then cut across to Brida, who happens to have stolen Gabi’s wristband and sits at her computer.
Back on the island, Bel and Zoa discuss the cult and what’s really going on. The Blue Eden makes them hallucinate (which we all guessed from episode 1 anyway). Kids also aren’t allowed on the island and anyone who doesn’t fit their prefect idyllic family are disposed of and replaced with new candidates. These guys also not allowed to get pregnant either. This seems to be all Astrid and Erick’s plan to produce the perfect community together.
Later on, Bel and Zoa kiss. The former wants to know who’s side Zoa is on and whether she’s really looking to escape. Zoa doesn’t care that the cultist are going to try and kill her and urges Bel to join her in this daring escape. Bel smiles but refuses.
That night, Africa watches Erick’s compound from afar, tears stinging her eyes. As the night wears on, Astrid and Erick are attacked by the Lilith cultist. Sporting that familiar insignia on their wrist, they stab Erick. Astrid races off with him, the knife still sticking out his stomach, while the attacker leaves.
As the sun rises, Astrid takes a bleeding Erick out to see Isaac. Remember that kid who Zoa saw earlier in the season? Well, he’s actually Isaac and here with another strange robed woman.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to Welcome to Eden answers a couple of questions but leaves a lot unresolved going into the final chapter. The idea that Eden is being run by Astrid and Erick who are (presumably anyway) grieving parents who want to create the perfect family for themselves would certainly explain their behaviour. It doesn’t, however, explain how they’ve managed to do this for 15 years without around suspicions – especially given their business and the logistics involved with hiring all these workers and liaising with the mainland for bringing those into Eden.
Beyond that though, the characters themselves really don’t have a whole lot of depth to them. The trouble is, as soon as the show starts to dive into the psyche of these people, they’re killed off or a big twist gets in the way of the development.
Take Charly, for example. We know he has a rough upbringing and bad ties with his parents… but that’s it. Does he have any friends? Is he a loner? What are his interests?
Likewise, Ibon is basically “kid has a rich dad and he plays the piano.” This is the extent of his character development across the season. We know very little about him, given he’s spent most of his time shacked up with Alma.
The point is, a mystery box series like this lives or dies by its characters. Based on this showing, Welcome to Eden is dying and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get the dreaded Netflix cliffhanger too!