‘Constellation’ Episode 8 Ending Explained: What Will Happen To Jo’s Unborn Child?


It is usually not the end of the story if the villain wins. A similar thing happened during Constellation’s ending, which left behind a trail of questions that I want to discuss and speculate on what its outcome could be. The space drama series revolved around an astronaut named Johanna “Jo” Ericsson, who [Spoiler Alert] finds herself in an alternate reality after an accident in space. In one reality, Jo hit the windshield of the International Space Station when a CAL experiment went wrong. Jo was presumed dead, and therefore, her colleague, Paul Lancaster, decided to leave her dead body behind in Soyuz 1. In the second reality, it was Paul who died during the experiment. Some debris hit the ISS, and all the astronauts evacuated the station. Jo was the last one to escape, but she managed to bring Paul’s dead body back to Earth so that his family could have closure.

As Jo and Paul returned to Earth in their respective realities, they started hallucinating and hearing voices in their heads. As per the psychologists, they were suffering from high-altitude psychosis or astronaut burnout. But the end of Constellation made it clear that it wasn’t just Jo and Paul who suffered from this mental illness. Instead, every space traveler, be it Henry Caldera, Irene Lysenko, or the first astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, suffered from a similar condition, and there was no definitive cure for it. Lysenko believed that the only way to silence the demons in their heads was to make peace with the new reality. But the question here is: what made them go mad?

The Truth About The Two Realities

Any Marvel fan would know the concept of the multiverse, according to which multiple realities exist. However, in Apple’s Constellation series, we are made aware of just two. We have reality A, where Paul died, and reality B, where Paul survived. Now, there is a liminal space between the two realities where the barrier dividing them is the weakest, as a result of which Object 1 in reality A could feel the existence of Object 1 in reality B. It could be assumed that all the astronauts who went into outer space came into contact with or crossed this liminal space, as a result of which they were able to hear the voices of their alternate selves even after they came back to Earth.

While Lysenko and other astronauts believed this effect to be a psychotic episode, it was Henry Caldera who went down the rabbit hole and developed a quantum machine called CAL, which he was testing on the ISS due to the presence of liminal space. During the Apollo 18 mission, Henry somehow switched realities with his counterpart, Bud Caldera. Henry’s Apollo 18 mission was supposed to be a failure, but it became a success due to the switch, while Bud, who deserved the acknowledgement, had to pay for the failure of the mission, which destroyed his entire career. However, Henry, even though he was a hero in a different reality, didn’t stop to cherish the praise. Instead, he made it his life’s mission to find the origin of the voice inside his head and the reason for the switch, unlike his counterpart, a misogynist named Bud, who became an alcoholic.

Jo, Paul, and Henry switched realities

What was different in Jo and Paul’s case, or even Henry’s, was the impact of the CAL device. It acted as the bridge between the two realities because of which, Jo, Paul, and Henry were able to cross the liminal space and switched places with their counterparts. It was the reason why Jo didn’t remember the color of her car or the location of the shelves in the kitchen. In the new reality, Jo wasn’t able to recognize her daughter, Alice, even when she looked the same but didn’t feel the same. 

Now, the second season of Constellation is going to follow the stories of these 3 characters (4 characters if we include Henry’s alternate self, Bud). Jo is forever stuck in the new reality, while Paul is living in a reality where a CAL device doesn’t exist because Bud never designed it, and Paul, therefore, cannot explain the cause of the accident on ISS. Bud, the villain, on the other hand, used the CAL device to switch places with his counterpart in a reality where Caldera is successful and famous and a Nobel Prize winner as well. Meanwhile, Henry is stuck in a reality where Caldera is an alcoholic and a murderer accused of killing Ian Rogers, a retired police officer who tried to mock him.

Jo is pregnant

In the reality where Jo was presumed dead, her child, Alice (who speaks Swedish), accepted the fate of her mother and left the family house with her father, Magnus Taylor, to move on in life. Here, Alice was content with the fact that her mother was alive somewhere and believed the other Alice to be lucky to have her mother by her side. In the second reality, Alice knew that Jo wasn’t her mother, but she wanted her to be, suggesting a family reunion when she came out of the rehabilitation center. But there is one big crisis to deal with before things can end on a happy note.

Lysenko found out that Jo, from another reality, was pregnant. On Jo’s ultrasound scans, Lysenko saw a similar interference effect which we had seen in Henry’s CAL data. Earlier, Henry tried to click a picture of the pattern, but it refused to be seen. Maybe it could only be seen in an ultrasound? Nevertheless, the pattern implied that Jo’s offspring was stuck between two realities. The child’s father, Magnus, belonged to reality 1, while the child’s mother belonged to reality 2, therefore further suggesting that the child might have the ability to cross the liminal space without the application of Henry’s CAL device. It could be a miracle child. Or this child might suffer from severe psychosis, as they might perceive both realities simultaneously like Jo witnessed near Northern Sweden in episode 7.

Lysenko Will Revive the CAL Project

Irena Valentina Lysenko, also known as Valya, was an astronaut in the USSR who became the second woman in space in 1967. In one reality, Lysenko safely returned to Earth, while in another, she died in space, and her body was never recovered. That’s why Jo from another reality didn’t know her because Lysenko died long ago. Constellation’s ending made it clear that due to the CAL effect, Lysenko’s dead body from another reality crossed the transition line and hit the ISS, causing a fatal accident. Only Henry, who had made contact with his counterpart, knew the fact that Lysenko died in an alternate reality and therefore, Bud Caldera, confirmed her doubt when she questioned him about the same at the end of the series. Now, Lysenko knew the truth: Jo wasn’t crazy. She was telling the truth all along, and therefore Lysenko sent a letter to all the astronauts who had crossed the Kármán line so that she could study this “madness” effect and find a cure for it.

My best guess is that Lysenko would try to reinvent the CAL, as it was the only thing she knew that could explain this strange phenomenon. However, there is one problem. The man who created CAL got stuck in another reality where he was charged with murder. On the other hand, Bud Caldera, in Lysenko’s reality, was a fraud and an alcoholic who knew nothing about creating the machine, and therefore, Lysenko was on her own. Additionally, she was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. It could be possible that Lysenko got the terminal illness because her dead body was exposed to prolonged radiation in an alternate reality. Whatever the case might be, Lysenko might have to race against the clock to save Jo, her child, and others. By hook or by crook, she might have to make scientists around the world believe in the existence of an alternate reality. Once she had accomplished that, it would be easy to assemble forces of the scientific minds of the world to send Jo back to her reality and bring the other one back home.

Jo With A Disfigured Face Is Alive

Constellation’s ending busted my brains, literally. Jo, who had met with a fatal accident on the ISS, lost her eye and was presumed dead, but Paul believed she was breathing. He got so frightened of the ghost around him that he decided to leave the body behind and return to Earth without it. Now, the Jo with a disfigured face didn’t belong to the reality she was in. She never recorded the message on her iPad, as she died soon after the accident and didn’t have the time to say goodbye to her daughter. On earth, this Jo would have died eventually due to massive blood loss. But in space, things were different. Here, Jo lost her eye but didn’t lose any blood, because of which she survived. We can assume that she didn’t have any severe brain damage as well, and therefore, she might be able to survive in the same air pressure for a long time and may return to Earth after her wounds heal. But what does it mean? Will Alice get her mother back? Or will Jo with a disfigured face try to make contact with her counterpart, stuck in a different reality? I guess the second season of Constellation will continue the storyline from here on and explain the fates of these characters. I hope the CAL device, or a similar machine is remade, which will allow the two “Jo” to return to their original realities and live a happy life with their respective daughters and husbands.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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