Directed by Baran bo Odar, “1899” revolved around a single notion: there is a difference between what we perceive to be real and what “really is.” The series builds its foundations upon Plato’s Allegory of the Cave theory. The ship’s passengers, named Kerberos, took what was shown to them as their reality. But their concept of reality was flawed. They were stuck in a simulation where everything, from their history to their reality, was, in fact, made up. They didn’t realize that the outer world, which they couldn’t see, was, in fact, the real world. What the passengers saw were merely shadows that were being portrayed symbolically on the walls, analogous to the prisoners in the cave in Plato’s theory. The inclusion of this theory opens a lot of doors of possibility for “1899” Season 2 (if there is any). Films like “Shutter Island,” “The Truman Show,” “Interstellar,” etc. have shown how this perplexing concept could be strategically used to elevate the thrill and suspense of the narrative. The narrative, especially the ending of “1899,” was anything but definitive. From the actual truth of the characters to the reality of their world, there were at least two plausible explanations of everything that was portrayed in 1899. So, let’s try to decipher in which direction the story will probably lead us in the subsequent seasons.
Towards the end of “1899” Season 1, we saw that Daniel had altered the codes and transferred the power of “waking up” from a black pyramid (in possession of Henry) to another multi-colored pyramid that he had. The “key” was now the ring that Maura was wearing. The ring held the exit code, and Daniel wanted Maura to use it to exit the simulation and wake up in the real world. Daniel told her that, contrary to what she believed, her brother Ciaran was controlling the whole system. According to what Daniel told her (entertaining the possibility that it could very well not be true), he had tried multiple times to make Maura escape the simulation, but her brother didn’t let that happen for some reason. Daniel also said that the whole thing was much bigger than she imagined it to be. A confused and scared Maura asks Daniel if he will be there when she wakes up. Daniel responds like a hopeless romantic, saying that he will always be there with her, but that is the literal interpretation of his words. Maybe he meant something very different. Maura wakes up in a spaceship and realizes that a project named Prometheus is being run by her brother. She sees a note that reads, “May your coffee kick in before reality does”. These were the same words that were written in every book present on Kerberos. A message is shown on the screen, through which she comes to know that there were 1423 passengers in total and 550 crew members that were a part of the project. She gets a message from Ciaran, implying that he already knew that Maura had escaped the simulation. If what Daniel said had to be believed, then Ciaran had stopped Maura from escaping the simulation all this while. This time also, he was aware that she had escaped, because as soon as she woke up in the spaceship, she got a message from him. So, it could be possible that Ciaran let it happen on purpose. Maybe he realized that her work inside the simulation had finished and that he needed her to be on the outside, for the completion of the mission. This possibility presumes that the spaceship was the actual reality and not another simulation. Alternatively, it might be possible that the message and the setting were just meant to deceive Maura into believing that she had woken up, when in reality, she was still in her slumber. We come to this speculation because we know that there were multiple overlapping simulations, one inside the other. The spaceship could have been a creation of Ciaran, just like Maura had created her own safe haven where she was keeping her son, Elliot, alive. It would be revealed in “1899” Season 2 whether Maura was actually in the real world or not.
One more important thing that we noticed was that none of the family members of Maura were in the simulation pod that was kept adjacent to hers. The simulation chamber had Angel, Ramiro, the lovers; Captain Eyk Larsen, Tove, her brother Kretser, and their mother Iben and their father Anker; Ling Yi and her mother Yuk Je, the couple, Clemence and Lucien; and lastly Jerome. Next to Maura’s, there was another pod that was empty. It could be possible that one of Henry, Daniel, and Elliot was in those pods earlier. It could also be possible that instead of these three, somebody like Sebastian, Henry’s assistant, could have been there and would have been unplugged by Ciaran himself for some reason. Now, this could be far-reaching speculation, but it could be possible that Ciaran himself could also have been in the empty pod and would have found a way to wake himself up and then ultimately take control of the simulations. Maura always believed that Ciaran was on the ship named Prometheus. So basically, it could be possible that Prometheus was the last simulation that Ciaran was a part of and after that he would have escaped from there. Maybe he was not against Maura as everybody was telling her. Considering Maura was called the creator of the simulation, it could be possible that the brother and sister were orchestrating the whole facade together. Maura wanted to keep her son alive, which is why she would have decided to stay in the simulation itself. It could also be possible that Daniel did not exist in real life and was created just to help Maura exit the simulation if we believe that the spaceship was the actual reality.
In the end, it was displayed on the screen that Project Prometheus was a survival mission from one point to another, where the points were probably the coordinates of a far-off planet. Considering it is 2099, it is possible that the situation on the planet Earth would have become adverse for human life, and that is why this bunch of people wanted to create another reality. Maybe, being in a simulation was the only way to survive the journey. It could have been possible that just like time slows down near a black hole, being inside the simulation would have had a similar impact on time. The concept of simulation intermingled with time travel opens a lot of possibilities, which is probably the best thing for the makers if they want to proceed with another season. “1899” Season 2 would probably bring some certainty and clarity to the scheme of things and tell us what is happening, more objectively. Till then, I guess we would have to keep hoping that Netflix does come up with another season and not leave us hanging with all our speculations and theories.