‘The 7 Lives of Lea’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – Did Lea Travel In Time? Is Ismael Dead Or Alive?


“The 7 Lives of Lea,” directed by Julien Despaux and Emilie Noblet, is a French suspense drama. It is based on the novel “The 7 Lives of Leo Belami,” written by Natael Trapp. Before plunging into the story, we must understand the basic concept on which the narrative works. Lea, a 17-year-old girl, is transported 30 years back in time, and every time she wakes up, she finds herself in the body of a different individual. So basically, the thoughts and consciousness are of Lea itself, but the physical attributes are of the other individual. Lea is reincarnated into the bodies of individuals living in 1991 for 7 consecutive days. She finds out many secrets and comes to know that what she perceives to be her life was actually a compromised choice made by the people closely related to her. Every day she becomes privy to a revelation and some things that shouldn’t have been forgotten were embedded in the sands of time. The mystery keeps on building and becoming more complicated. Without much ado, let’s explore ‘The 7 Lives of Lea’ and try to understand what is exactly happening with her.

What Was Happening With Lea? Was Lea Time Traveling? 

Lea was among people, yet she was alone. She was in front of everybody, yet no one could see through her emotions. She is at a party near a river when she grabs a bag of intoxicating pills and goes to a secluded place. She is about to take all the pills in one go when she stumbles and sees something that she didn’t expect to see. She saw a skeleton buried in the sand. She informs the authorities about it. But she is intrigued by the corpse that she finds. She wants to know more, but her parents come and pick her up from the police station. Things were not going too well between Lea’s parents. They didn’t talk to each other, and the lacunae in their relationship had led to having an adverse effect in Lea’s life. She had stopped seeing the brighter side of life. An eventful day comes to an end, and Lea goes off to sleep, still thinking about the impenetrable obscurity of the series of events.

She wakes up the next day not feeling like herself. She had slept in her own bedroom, and she was quite sure about that fact. But when she wakes up she finds herself transported to a room that was not hers, and there was a little boy who was sleeping in a bunker bed. She rushes out in a baffled state of mind. And just then, she sees herself in the mirror. She had transformed into a boy. She felt she was having a bad trip, but it was not so. The little boy who was sleeping on the bunker bed above her called her Ismael. She goes to the dining room and finds the father and the mother, who also call her Ismael. She tells them that she is not Ismael and has been somehow trapped in his body, but they just feel that their son is fooling around. The little brother, named Soufiane, comes out of the house and realizes that something is not right with his brother. Lea tells him that she had touched the bracelet of the corpse she had found the day before, and then somehow she had woken up in this unknown place, and she wasn’t able to fathom what was happening to her.

Soufiane was a fan of the science fiction genre. He tells Lea that maybe she had to go where it all began to understand what was happening to her. Lea tells him that she had found the corpse beside the river, in the Verdon Gorge below the Valmy cliffs. Lea asks Soufiane to create a distraction for Ismael’s father so that she could run away to the Verdon Gorge. Lea hitchhikes and stops near a theater showing “Terminator 2,” a film that was released in 1991. It dawns on her there and then, that she was somehow transported to the corresponding date, i.e., June 15, 1991, and was trapped in this male body.

A lady named Patricia, comes all of a sudden and tells her, believing her to be Ismael, that she needed to be somewhere. She takes her to a place that she recognizes. It was her home. She sees her grandparents, and when she goes inside the house, she finds her mother and father. They were all part of a rock band back in 1991. Her mom, Karine, was the lead guitarist, Stephane was the drummer, and Ismael used to write lyrics and do the vocals. He tries to make them understand, but obviously, it sounds so bizarre that everybody thinks that Ismael is not in his senses. Ismael’s father takes him back home and scolds him for escaping the harvest and telling lies to him. Lea finds a book in which Ismael used to write his lyrics. She buries that book in the premises so that if she ever returns to her original state, she can dig it up and know that this was not a dream. Lea goes to sleep, harried and beyond perplexed. She wakes up to find herself in her own bedroom and in her own body. Firstly, she takes it all to be a dream. But then she searches for the name Ismael Messaoudene on the internet. And to her disbelief, she finds a blog, through which she comes to know that there was an actual person with that name who had been missing for years. Ismael’s brother, Soufiane, called for a meeting to ascertain the fact if the corpse which was found by Lea, in present time, was his brother’s or not. Lea starts noticing that whoever she saw in her dreams, they all existed in reality. Ismael’s father used to work for Pierre Yves, who was the same person who studied with Ismael. Lea finds the notebook that she had buried when she was reincarnated as Ismael. She tells her best friend Romane that she had time traveled, but obviously, she didn’t believe her at that time. At the community meeting that was held by the police authorities, Lea announced in front of everybody that the body she found was that of Ismael Messaoudene. She gives them the evidence of the bracelet that she had found on the corpse and had also seen Ismael wearing it, so she knew it belonged to him. Soufiane also corroborated the fact that his brother used to wear a silver bracelet, just like the one found on the corpse. But people didn’t understand how Lea knew that Ismael used to wear that bracelet. She asks her mother about Ismael, and Karine lies to her, saying that she didn’t know him very well. Lea knew that there was more to it and things were not as simple as they seemed. Feeling restless about the whole situation, she goes to bed and tries to sleep. She wakes up, and once again, she is transported to 1991, but this time she is reincarnated as her mother, Karine.

Was Karine Secretly Having An Affair With Ismael? 

It was the second consecutive day when Lea was incarcerated and transported back to 1991. In the 2nd episode of “The Seven Lives of Lea,” she finds a secret box with a number lock on it. She opens it, guessing the passwords, and finds a picture of her mom and Ismael. The box also had an Eiffel Tower keychain, and on the back of it was written, “Future dream apartment.” Lea had a feeling that back in 1991, her mom had a thing for Ismael. Whenever Lea is incarnated in someone else’s body, she doesn’t know how to react, and she also does not have the skill that the person used to have. So Lea wouldn’t know how to play guitar even if Karine knew how to play it. This landed her in a lot of trouble as she was expected to do things that she had no clue about.

Lea wants to find out what is going on between her mother and Ismael. She asks Ismael to skip classes and come with her. She tries to ask him questions and comes to know that her mother was never attracted to Ismael and she was not having an affair with him. They were just friends and members of a band. It was actually Lea all this time who was attracted to him. Karine and Ismael had planned to go to Paris, as they wanted to earn a living by performing in the subways and latching onto any opportunity that came their way. But Karine’s mother wanted her to take admission to a conservatory in London named “BRIM.” It was a premier music school and guaranteed a secured future. But Lea knows that her mother never went. She gets up and once again finds herself in her own body. She goes and asks her mother why she did not go to Paris or London and instead stayed with Stephane, her father. Karine doesn’t understand how her daughter knows that she was applying to BRIM and had plans to go to Paris. Lea is told by Miriam, the police officer, that they had found conclusive evidence to prove that the dead body she had found was actually Ismael’s. Lea knew that her mother and father were not telling her something. She has been reincarnated for two consecutive days now, i.e., June 15th and 16th. Ismael had died on June 21, and Lea knew that there were secrets that were hidden in these seven days, and she needed to get there once again to unravel the truth.

What Happens When Lea Is Reincarnated As Pye? Is Lea able to get Dora back? 

Lea’s father had told her that on World Music Day, he, Karine, and Ismael were supposed to perform at a concert. But Ismael got wasted and never returned. Lea suspects Pye (Pierre Yves) of having supplied the drugs to Ismael and believes that he had a hand in his death. For the third time, i.e., on June 17, Lea wakes up as Pye. For the first time, she decides to take things into her own hands. She does things in accordance with her sensibilities and does not care about what Pye would have originally done. This brings about a change in the whole structure.

Lea had thought that Pye would have been beaten by Ismael in the fight that they were supposed to have. And then Pye would have come for revenge later, and killed Ismael. So she draws the conclusion that if Pye, instead of getting beaten, thrashes Ismael, then he would have no reason to come back on the 21st to kill him. So she beats Ismael in the brawl that they were supposed to have.

Pye had a fling with a girl named Jennifer. He had no plans to date her or get into a long-term relationship with her. Jennifer knew that Pye and his friends body-shamed her, and she felt miserable about it. Lea feels sympathetic towards her, so in front of the whole college, Lea, disguised as Pye, kisses Jennifer and makes their love public. Basically, by doing so, Lea changes the course of events. She does something that would not have actually happened, if not for her interference. Lea wakes up to find that Ismael is still dead, and a girl named Dora, who used to run a food truck and was romantically involved with Romane, was not there. She was never born because Lea changed the events of the past. She realizes that whatever she did in 1991 changed a lot of things in the present time. She becomes paranoid, thinking the same thing. Had Lea not interfered with the events, then Jennifer would have hooked up with Luc, Pye’s friend, and given birth to Dora.

Lea wakes up in the body of Sandra, with a mission to get Dora back. She realizes that Sandra is pregnant with Pye’s baby. She goes to confront Pye and tell him about it while asking Luc to go and propose to Jennifer. Sandra is taken by Jonathan to the abortion clinic, but he doesn’t know that it is Lea who is inside her. Lea is in a fix and doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t know if Sandra would like to keep the child or get it aborted. She asks Jonathan to bring her back again the next day, and promises him to make her decision then.

In another development, Ismael is thrown out of his house by his father as Pye had accused him of growing weed in their fields, because of which Pye’s father had given Ismael an ultimatum. With no place to go, Ismael pleads with Karine to go to Paris, but she declines the offer as she was going to get into the music school in London. Lea comes back to the current timeline and is extremely happy to find Dora standing next to her food truck. She also goes to Jonathan, who is quite old now, and asks him if he brought Sandra to the abortion clinic twice back in 1991. Jonathan nodsa and Lea is relieved as she knows that Sandra would have made a decision according to her wishes.

Did Patricia Murder Ismael? 

Lea’s parents find out that she had Ismael’s notebook with her. She tries telling them how she was waking up in other people’s bodies, but the parents think that she was fabricating the facts. She tells Stephane that Karine was cheating on him and was having an extra-marital affair with Pye. Karine leaves the house, and Lea somewhere blames herself for the mess.

On June 19, 1991, Lea woke up as Patricia, the record store owner. The young Karine came to take drugs from Patricia, and Ismael came later, asking her for a place to stay. Lea, in Patricia’s body, shared an intimate moment with Ismael and finally made love to him. Ismael asked her to call Pye’s father and tell him that his son was dealing drugs, not him. 

Lea wakes up in her original timeline and decides to find Patricia, as she had seen a gun beneath Patricia’s bed and was very sure that it was the weapon used by Ismael to commit suicide. Romane and Lea come to know that Patricia had been accused of killing her ex-husband, Daniel Dauriac, the lead singer of a band called Deep Mantra, at a concert in 1972 in Brighton. They suspect that either Patricia might have killed Ismael because he knew about her past, he would have committed suicide with her weapon. Both the ways there was an involvement of Patricia and she surely knew something that Lea was unaware about. 

They find Patricia and ask her why she killed her husband. She tells them that her husband abused her and beat her mercilessly. She had killed him in self-defense. Though she says that she didn’t kill Ismael, in the last scene of episode 5 of “The Seven Lives of Lea”, she is seen throwing her gun into the river which was probably the last piece of the puzzle. Lea and Romane start watching the old VCR cassettes and hear a gunshot in one of the videos that was shot on June 21, the day Ismael died. They are even more convinced that it was Patricia who shot Ismael.

Lea woke up as her father on June 20, 1991. She finds out that her father was not straight and had been attracted to Ismael for quite some time. Stephane’s whole life was a big lie. It was the early nineties, and coming out of the closet was not so easy. He was ready to sacrifice his whole life rather than face embarrassment in society. Lea now believes that Patricia was the one who fired the gunshot. Back in the current timeline, she sees Patricia at the funeral of Ismael, and her belief is strengthened even more. But in reality, Patricia had not killed Ismael. She loved him, and he was the only guy in her life who never judged her. There were other secrets that Lea still had to excavate. 

‘The 7 Lives of Lea’ Ending Explained – Who Killed Ismael? 

Lea had realized one thing: if she saved Ismael, then her father would come out as a homosexual a lot earlier in his life and not end up with her mother. So it would mean that Lea would never be born. She was sure about the fact that if it came to survival, she would always choose herself ahead of Ismael. Yes, she had fallen in love with him, but she was not ready to give her life to someone who didn’t even know that she existed. Lea had decided that she would not sleep and henceforth mitigate the scenario of waking up in someone else’s body. But she sleeps and, to her disbelief, wakes up as Ismael.

Ismael, together with Karine and Stephane, reaches the concert where they were supposed to perform on The World Music day on 21st June. Patricia, Sandra, and Pye are also present on the scene. All of them get highly intoxicated from the drugs given to them by Patricia. They go inside the woods and light a bonfire near the cliff. In an inebriated state, Pye points a gun at Ismael. Stephane has an emotional breakout and is done with living in shame and fear. He wants to end his plight, so he snatches the gun from Pye and decides to kill himself. Before he could do that, Karine comes in the way, and they both stumble and fall to the ground. By mistake, Stephane pulls the trigger, and the bullet is shot in Ismael’s direction. Ideally, Ismael should have been shot here and died. But Lea, who is inside his body, reacts spontaneously and jumps off the cliff. Near the river, he is met with a group of bullies, which includes Jonathan, who was Sandra’s brother. They almost kill him by putting his head inside the water and not letting him breathe. Ismael survives somehow and escapes. Jonathan goes after him but decides to let him live.

Ismael was supposed to be dead, but he lived. Lea tampered with the timeline and saved him. But that meant that Lea would cease to exist and would never be born. She wrote everything in Ismael’s notebook before falling asleep, as she knew that this time she was not going to wake up in her original timeline. Ismael wakes up in the morning and reads his notebook. He doesn’t understand who Lea is and how she saved him. He goes back to his home, where his father accepts him into the house. He is almost about to sleep when he asks his younger brother, Soufiane, if he knew any girl from the future named Lea. Soufiane gets up from his sleep and tells him about the day when Ismael had told him that he was Lea and was acting all weird. Ismael is astonished and realizes that there was a mystery behind the notes written in his notebook, by this unknown girl from the future named Lea. “The 7 Lives of Lea” Season 2 might be on the cards, where Ismael tries to find Lea and know more about what she had done for him. 

“The 7 Lives of Lea” is a 2022 Drama Thriller series created by Charlotte Sanson.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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