Survival is the most fundamental human instinct. To survive, one can move mountains, cross rivers, or endlessly travel “into the night.” Netflix’s Belgian thriller series, created by Jason George, follows a group of passengers on a commercial aeroplane who learn about a catastrophic event caused by exposure to sunlight. To live, they need to follow the dark hours and avoid the rays of light. The irony makes the drama worthwhile.
Into the Night Season 1 is divided into six episodes of 40 minutes each. Each episode peeps into the backstories of prominent passengers while justifying their actions and purpose in the real timeline. The series follows a novel’s narrative, as it is based on the Polish science fiction novel The Old Axolotl, written by Jacek Dukaj.
‘Into the Night’ Plot Summary
The first episode, “Sylvie,” begins with a former military helicopter pilot, Sylvie Bridgette Dubois (Pauline Etienne). She spends the last moments with her ailing boyfriend, Henri Martens, who has pancreatic cancer in the hospital. A few days later, Sylvie boards a red-eye flight from Brussels to Mexico. Henri and Sylvie pre-planned the vacation, but after Henri’s death, Sylvie fulfils his last wish and carries his ashes on the trip.
As other passengers board the flight, BE Airways 21 for Mexico, an agitated NATO officer, Terenzio Matteo Gallo, hijacks the plane. At gunpoint, Terenzio threatens the flight co-pilot, Mathieu Daniel Douek, to travel to the West to avoid sunrise. On Mathieu’s insistence, Terenzio reveals that exposure to sunlight will kill people due to a deadly catastrophic event, as he overheard from his superiors in NATO. Mathieu tries to argue further, but Terenzio shoots his hand. Mathieu shows his discomfort with operating the airplane with a wounded hand, and, thus, Terenzio makes a call and asks for any other pilot on board. Sylvie assists Mathieu, and together they initiate the take-off sequence.
All the passengers on board regard Terenzio as a lunatic terrorist. Thus, a Turkish gangster on the plane, Ayaz Kobanbay, snatches the gun from him and locks Terenzio in the bathroom. Mathieu plans to land the plane at Iceland’s airport. But while requesting a landing, the passengers witness a catastrophic scenario with people burning the planes on the runway. Mathieu understands the gravity of the situation and unlocks Terenzio to lay down all the information. Terenzio reveals that sunlight kills people and that the only way to survive is to keep heading west, dodging the sunrise as long as they can. But the fuel is running out, and for how long will they keep running without a set location?
Why was Sunlight Killing People?
Horst Baudin, a climate scientist from the EU, found an article online that answered some titular questions. According to scientists, there was a problem with the sun’s polarity. Every 11 years, the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field reverses or flips. However, for the past few cycles, the reversal was weaker. Maybe due to that, the magnetic field became much more potent in the other direction, causing a severe gamma event. In Horst’s words, it was like a billion neutron bombs going off every second as the sunlight hit the ground or any other thing.
Later, he concluded that increased ionizing radiation from the sun modified humans’ atomic structure and thus killed them. However, the breakdown of molecules wasn’t just limited to people. Still, it included everything made of matter, i.e., fresh food, fruits, and fuel.
‘Into the Night’ Season 1: Ending Explained
To find their only means of survival, the passengers decided to fly back to their origin, i.e., Brussels Airport. Terenzio underlined that at NATO, the diplomats revealed the disaster and mentioned a shelter. He didn’t get the details in a hurry, and so he decided to infiltrate the NATO office for further details. Due to Mathieu’s deteriorating health due to wound infection, Sylvie landed the plane. The team quickly hustled to finish their assigned missions.
At NATO, Richard “Rik” Mertens recovered coordinates for a hydroelectric dam in the Stara district, Bulgaria. The Soviets were building a secret bunker named Stara 17 under the reservoir. According to Jakub Kieslowski, the water protected things from the sun’s harmful radiation, and, thus, the bunker built under a reservoir was their only chance to survive. They route the plane to Bulgaria, and a hefty hustle found their way to the bunker.
Most of them survived, except Terenzio, who was handcuffed near the entrance by Sylvie. She thought a selfish Terenzio would run away from the manually operated gate instead of helping others left behind. However, the team of Ayaz entered the facility from the backdoor. And thus never met Terenzio on their way in. The confusion led to the death of a man who initiated the survival journey in the first place.
Nevertheless, the others reached the bunker safely and would eventually live to see post-apocalyptic events.
‘Into the Night’ Season 2 Expectations
Sylvie met armed forces at the bunker who requested Sylvie’s help to solve the crisis.
‘Into the Night’ Season 2 will plunge further into the extinction event while trying to figure out measures to make the Earth suitable for living again.
In Jacek Dukaj’s novel, the premise promises a modified living race composed of robots and mechs. These are human beings with digitized consciousness to help them adapt to the catastrophe. Is season 2 going to be a massive post-apocalyptic science fiction narrative? The upcoming turn of events will translate better.
‘Into the Night‘ is a 2020 Belgian science fiction thriller series created by Jason George. It is based on a post-apocalyptic novel, The Old Axolotl, written by Jacek Dukaj.