Created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, “Swarm” is about stepsisters Dre and Marissa, who are massive fans of a pop star heavily inspired by Beyoncé. Dre and Marissa are dependent on each other for different reasons. But when Marissa decides to leave with her boyfriend, Khalid, Dre breaks down and then undergoes a glamorous makeover. After a night of partying and lovemaking, when Dre returns home, she finds out that Marissa’s suicidal tendencies have gotten the best of her. Dre feels guilty for not getting to Marissa on time and feels even more awful when Marissa’s parents shove her out of her funeral. When all these emotions collide with the information that an argument with Khalid preceded Marissa’s death and that Khalid thinks Ni’Jah isn’t special, Dre kills him, thereby beginning her killing spree. The rest of the show follows Dre as she goes from one state to another in search of an opportunity to meet Ni’Jah, killing anyone who stands in her way or badmouths Ni’Jah. By the time Season 1 of “Swarm” comes to a close, Dre has turned into a full-blown serial killer who is this close to actually meeting Ni’Jah.
Major Spoilers Ahead
How Was Dre’s Plan To Meet Nijah Botched By Rashida?
Titled “Only God Makes Happy Endings,” the final episode of “Swarm” season 1 takes place in Atlanta in June 2018. We see that Dre has changed her personality to that of Tony and accepted her sexual orientation as lesbian (or maybe bisexual). She befriends a girl named Rashida under the pretext of helping out her drunk roommate. It seems that she hasn’t just transformed physically, but she has decreased her fanaticism as well because she doesn’t overreact when Rashida says that she hates Ni’Jah. We do see, though, that Dre is still on the run from the police, as they confiscate her (stolen) vehicle, thereby meaning that Detective Loretta Greene is onto her. Despite staying in Atlanta, Dre keeps stealing credit cards and vehicles to maintain her swanky lifestyle and her relationship with Rashida. She even spends a whole day with Rashida’s parents. But things go wrong on their relationship’s one-year anniversary when Dre spends all the money she has on tickets to Ni’Jah’s concert.
Now, from Dre’s perspective, this isn’t just her way of expressing her love to Rashida but also a chance to get close to Ni’Jah. However, from Rashida’s perspective, Dre is basically spitting in her face because Rashida has reiterated the fact that she doesn’t like Ni’Jah multiple times. Yet Dre has decided to take Rashida to the one place she doesn’t want to go. Rashida rightly says that Dre could’ve used all that money (which I am guessing she has stolen from somewhere) to make a grand gesture that didn’t involve Ni’Jah, or at least she could’ve used the money to pay the rent. Dre knew that Rashida was falling short financially and was asking her parents for help, and yet, instead of sharing her burden, she multiplied it. Naturally, Ni’Jah is Dre’s top priority. So, Dre chooses to discontinue her path of non-violence and kills Rashida in cold blood. She proceeds to burn the body, and, in the heat of the moment, she forgets that Rashida had pocketed the incredibly expensive tickets, and they go up in flames along with the dead girl.
‘Swarm’ Season 1: Ending Explained – What Did Dre Do To Get To Ni’Jah?
Despite having no tickets to Ni’Jah’s concert, no money to buy new tickets (which aren’t available anyway, at least legally), and no phone to having a copy of the e-tickets, Dre still reaches the venue to try and get in there. She runs into a guy who is selling them illegally. So, she murders him, grabs the tickets with those bloody hands, and walks into the concert. Well, she doesn’t just walk through the crowd. She gets onto the stage and makes a run for Ni’Jah. She’s obviously apprehended by the guards, who proceed to drag her off the stage. But that’s when Ni’Jah stops the guards, approaches Dre, and tells her to sing for the crowd. Now, instead of seeing Ni’Jah’s actual face, we see (from Dre’s perspective, of course) Marissa’s face plastered onto that of the pop star (via deepfake). When Dre turns toward the crowd and tells them how much she loves them, Ni’Jah coaxes them to cheer for her. Later on, Ni’Jah escorts her out of the stadium and into her car, and the two of them leave together. The show surprisingly ends there while we panic about what Dre is going to do to Ni’Jah now that she has unfettered access to her after all this time.
From what I could gather, at some point along her journey, getting to Ni’Jah became about reconciling with Marissa’s death. The two stepsisters always wanted to meet Nijah and, if possible, be like her. And out of the two of them, Marissa had the talent and the skill to go all the way. But her journey was cut short by her tiff with Khalid and because Dre never picked up the phone. Talking to Marissa’s spirit by replying to herself from her phone was a temporary fix for Dre. However, she probably thought that actually meeting Ni’Jah in the flesh would wash away her sins. That was why, in the most climactic moment of her life, she saw Marissa instead of Ni’Jah. Seeing Marissa’s face on that of Ni’Jah’s also allowed Dre to visualize how it could’ve been if Marissa had actually managed to achieve all her dreams. In addition to all that, Ni’Jah telling Dre to turn to the crowd and tell them that she loves them justifies everything she has done for the pop star and for her fandom, i.e., all the murders. With all that said, I’d like to point out that the final minutes of the episode could be happening only in Dre’s mind. The title of the episode is a dead giveaway, as it means that what we are seeing is probably a fake happy ending because God isn’t writing it; the showrunners are.
What Can We Expect From Season 2 of ‘Swarm’?
If the final moments of “Swarm” are, in fact, happening in Dre’s head, then I am guessing Season 2 is going to show what really happened when she rushed towards Ni’Jah. Because there’s no way that the showrunners are going to give Dre such a happy ending after going on a murder spree because she detests the fact that everyone isn’t a fan of Ni’Jah. She has to pay, in one way or another, for her crimes. She had blood on her hands, very literally, when she walked up to Ni’Jah. Somebody must have noticed that and reported her to the police. Talking about the police, yes, the “Crime Patrol”-esque sixth episode that follows the actual (fake) crime that has happened and inspired Donald Glover to make “Swarm” (it’s a super meta joke) holds the key to what’s going to happen in Season 2.
There’s a moment where Detective Loretta Greene shows footage of Ni’Jah getting rushed by a fan, but it’s actually footage from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s concert in Atlanta in August 2018. So, I am guessing that chronologically speaking, the final episode happens before the sixth episode. And, instead of being hailed by Ni’Jah, Dre has gone on the run again, and Loretta and every single police department from the states where she has committed murder are after her. By that logic, Season 2 is probably going to be an out-and-out manhunt for Dre, with the unhinged fan starting yet another killing spree. In an earlier episode, Hailey (one of Dre’s victims) did mention something about moving to Mexico but not being able to do so because they don’t have passports. Hence, it’s entirely possible that Dre will remember that and try to make a run across the border. Whether or not that’ll happen entirely depends on the show’s viewership. If “Swarm” doesn’t get picked up for Season 2, well, then we’ll have to make do with the nightmarish conclusion of Season 1.