“Welcome to Eden” is a 2022 Spanish thriller that is directed by Daniel Benmayor and Menna Fite. With adept writing and a voguish production design, the series not only holds your attention but keeps you on the edge of your seat, serving you with twists and turns that add onto the obscurity, thereby taking you on a gripping ride. So without wasting any time, let’s analyze the events that took place, and understand how a place that was supposed to be no less than a paradise, turned into the biggest nightmare for all the people who unfortunately ended up visiting it.
What Was Eden?
Zoa had her own struggles in life. Her parents had separated, and she used to stay with her 15-year-old sister, Gabi. Her mom was a drug addict and had never been a responsible parent to both the girls, whereas her father indulged in a lot of casual flings and never had any time for either of them. So basically, Gabi and Zoa were left to fend for each other. Zoa wasn’t exactly depressed, but she also didn’t have a very positive environment around her. Zoa received a text message from an anonymous source. The first message read, “Are you happy?” Zoa got hooked. She started responding to the unknown messenger, and she got an invite to a party that was happening on a remote island called Eden. She was unsure about it, but the promotional video that was sent to her was very alluring. A drink named Blue Eden was being launched in the market, and a few lucky individuals were allowed to be a part of this exclusive celebration. Zoa decided to attend the party and take her best friend Judith with her. Though the invite had clearly stated that none of the invitees could bring any other person with them, Zoa took the chance and thought that she could figure out something and talk to the organizers about Judith. They reached a place, which looked like an abandoned warehouse and it didn’t look like a venue where a party could be organized. They met a guy named Aldo, who was also figuring out his way and had been invited to the party at Eden. Just then, a drone came out of nowhere to add to the spookiness of the whole setting and led them inside, where they met the other invitees. There was something weird about the whole thing, and there was a sense of obscurity that everybody was feeling. In a bus, they were all taken to a dock, where a liner was waiting for them. The security guards, who were masked from top to bottom, told everybody that they couldn’t take their mobile phones with them. Zoa managed to get permission to take Judith with her, and they all boarded and commenced a journey to be a part of the celebration of a lifetime.
What Was Astrid’s Hidden Agenda Behind The Party At Eden?
The party begins, and soon the invitees are told that five lucky people will be selected to try the drink that they were going to launch. Zoa, Aldo, Charly, Ibon, and Africa were selected to try the Blue Eden. They consume the drink and find themselves in a hallucinatory state. They wake up the next morning to find that everybody has left the island except for them. Zoa couldn’t believe that Judith left her and went. The drone reappears and guides them into the forest. The organizers of the party, Astrid and her husband Erick, were waiting for the five selected invitees, along with all the other employees that worked on the island. The five of them didn’t understand how they could be left behind. They were told that due to extremely bad weather, the boat would take a day or two to return, post which they could leave the island. Eric and Astrid wanted them to experience the hospitality of Eden and make them privy to their philosophies and intentions, which drove them to build a settlement on this remote island.
Astrid had carefully selected 100 people, who were sent the invite. Launching a drink was not the main agenda behind calling these people to Eden. Out of the 100 people, Astrid wanted to select 5, who would stay permanently with them on the island, and she discussed with her husband, Eric, the probability of who those 5 could be. The selection was based on what kind of behavior each one was portraying. Astrid and her team at Eden had parameters according to which they used to assess whether the person would stay on the island or not. So basically, Zoa and the others were not stranded on the island due to poor management, but it was a well-thought-out plan to make them stay. It was still unknown why Astrid wanted to choose five people and convince them to stay, but one thing was for sure: things were not as amiable as she was portraying them to be.
Aldo had a hunch that no ship was going to come to take them. He starts getting agitated, but the others don’t think that there was some foul play. Astrid seems to be an extremely soft-spoken and gracious lady, and nobody could think, looking at her personality, that she was capable of running an extremist cult. She got the benefit of the doubt.
The five were allotted their own modules, where they had to share the space with a couple of other people. The residents of Eden, surprisingly, seem to know really specific and personal things about the five of them. Zoa tries asking the residents about her friend Judith, but nobody gives her any clarity on the matter. The circumstances were dubious, but only Aldo could see through the ill intentions, and everybody else seemed to be enjoying their stay, which frustrated him even more.
There was a practice called “Evaluation” that the residents at Eden did every morning. In it, a person came forward and told others about their feelings, internal conflicts, and how they felt about life. Zoa is chosen that day, and she comes forward to speak. A very peculiar thing happened during the evaluation. Astrid tries to subconsciously instill in Zoa’s mind that her mother, being a drug addict, had failed in carrying out her responsibilities and didn’t care or love her. She was trying to make her feel that she was not wanted by her own parents. It was a kind of brainwashing that she wanted to subject them to, where first she would make them feel miserable about their lives and turn them against their own people, and then give them an alternative, enticing them to lead a life on the island itself, and providing them with a sense of belongingness. Astrid makes Zoa repeat that her mother didn’t love her. It was her way of molding the psychology of the people and making sure that they acted in accordance with her whims and fancies.
Back home, Gabi was getting all tense as Zoa hadn’t returned home. There was no communication from Zoa’s end, and Gabi felt that something was not right. She tells her father, but he was too busy in his affairs to pay any heed to her. Gabi was more paranoid because it was her birthday and a cake was delivered to her. The delivery man said that it was sent to her by her sister Zoa. She also got a message from Zoa that she wouldn’t be able to attend her 16th birthday as she needed some time off. The message and the birthday cake were sent to her by Astrid and her team, who wanted to make sure that the close ones of those five people on the island did not inform the authorities about their sudden disappearance. Zoa called Gabi, “a little squirrel.” She had said that to Astrid and others during her evaluation, and that is why, to make it look more believable, the message that Gabi got addressed her with the same name. There was no boat coming, and the five were trapped on the island.
Was Nico Lying To Zoa? Who Was Planning A Rebellion?
Aldo became really restless and he wanted to find a way to get off the island. Others had not reached that tipping point like him. Zoa was developing a bond with Nico, whereas Ibon had fallen for Alma. Charly was too naïve to suspect that there was some foul play, and Africa was too engrossed in herself to pay heed to any signs that indicated towards a looming threat.
Astrid told the five that the boat would be coming the next day, so they had organized a party, as it was their last night on the island. Aldo found this information too good to be true. He knew that they were giving false hope to camouflage their cruel intentions. While on one end, people were socializing, having fun, and exploring new bonds at the party, Aldo was making a run for his life. He went and hid in a boat, assuming that he would be able to escape with the crew. But that didn’t happen. Astrid came to know about it, and Aldo was killed in the boat itself. Gabi firmly believed that something was fishy about the whole situation. She knew her sister, and it was very unlikely that she would not contact her. She called her mother, unable to think of any other option, but instead of solving her problems, she increased them even more. Africa was the first to sign the legal contract, as she had decided to stay on the island and give up her life as an influencer. She and Erick were sharing an intimate bond, and somewhere that subconsciously coerced her to stay put. In a similar fashion, even Ibon was influenced enough that he decided to stay. A message was sent to Ibon’s father, assuring him that he was safe and there was no need to worry. But Ibon’s dad hired a private detective, Brisa, to look into the matter. Gabi got in touch with a person, who had visited the Eden with Zoa, but since he was not among the five selected people, he was sent back. She goes to San Sebastian to meet him and know about her sister.
In another session of Evaluation, Charly talks about his traumatic childhood. He lost his sister, and he blames himself for it. She had drowned while diving with him, and he could never forgive himself. Zoa also loses her cool as somewhere she realized that she was trapped in the island and no boat was ever going to come to take them. Nico takes her to a cave on the island, to reveal a thing that had been kept hidden from her. He shows her the dead body of Judith, her friend. Zoa is devastated, and seeing the bruised face of her childhood friend breaks her into pieces. The authorities wanted Zoa to see the dead body as they wanted her to be scared. Bel, a resident, had been planning a rebellion for a very long time. She wanted Claudia to join her, but after losing Fran, who was killed on Astrid’s order as he didn’t abide by the rules and showed signs of anarchy, Claudia was very scared to indulge in affairs that expected her to go against Astrid and Erick. Bel gets to know that Aldo has been eliminated by Astrid. She had been vetting Zoa for a long time to see if she was worthy enough to join the movement. Bel warns Zoa to beware of Chico, whom she trusted blindly. Basically, it was a strategy devised by Astrid and Erick where a resident was given the task of wooing a newcomer and developing a romantic relationship with him, so that the latter would have a motive to stay on the island. These people trying to develop a relationship with the newcomers were called their “Links”. That is what Chico and Alma were trying to do. Everything that Chico said was orchestrated by Astrid and Erick, but in the process, Chico did end up developing feelings for Zoa, and it caused a conflict inside him.
Zoa took Ibon to show him the dead body of Judith, but it had disappeared till then. The description she gave of the body kept in a boat reminded Ibon of a painting he saw when he was with Alma inside one of the rooms on the island. It was a painting by Patinir called “Landscape with Charon Crossing the Styx.” Astrid wanted to draw a metaphor by intentionally keeping the dead body of Judith, like that of Charon, who in Greek Mythology was in charge of taking the dead to the underworld. Astrid wanted to scare Zoa, but she instead became more curious towards knowing the truth. Chico reported that Zoa was showing signs of rebellion. Astrid had made up her mind and wanted to get rid of her, but at the last moment, Zoa convinces her to give her one last chance to prove her allegiance. Zoa had understood that they had to play along with their “links” so that nobody suspected them. Mayka finally gives in to the persistent Charly. They share an intimate moment, but soon Charly realizes that Mayka might not have real feelings for him, but was putting up only because she wanted to be a link.
Africa plans the anniversary celebration of Erick and Astrid, but an untoward situation makes Astrid take a grave step. During the celebration, when Erick and Astrid were speaking onstage, the projector showed footage which said, “Death to Astrid.” Astrid was aghast, and she was very firm that somebody had to be punished even if the real perpetrator was not found. It was unanimously decided by the inner committee that Claudia would be killed, even though they didn’t have conclusive proof that she did it. Claudia too, didn’t resist, and even accepted to have done the act, but Astrid deep down knew that there was someone else behind it.
‘Welcome to Eden’ Season 1 Ending Explained: Was Zoa Able To Escape From Eden? What Did Africa Find In The Secret Passageway?
Nobody knew who threatened to kill Astrid. It was not Bel, and surely not Claudia. The newcomers were initiated into the cult after they completed a ritual of walking on burning coal. Bel had asked Astrid to let her keep an eye on Zoa, and the former gave her a green signal. Chico feels insecure as he no longer is the “Link,” and he was given a separate room. The private detective, hired by Ibon’s father, reached Zoa’s mother’s house in order to get more information.
Zoa knows that if they want to get off the island, the underwater caves are their only option. If they could find one of those, they could hop onto a boat and escape. An anonymous assailant attacks Erick and Astrid in the middle of the night. Erick is stabbed, and Astrid takes her to a woman named Nuria and a young boy named Issac, living in a discreet location on the island itself. He was the same kid whom Zoa had once seen in the middle of the night but believed to be an imagination of her hallucinating mind. Issac knows how to perform complicated medical procedures, and he makes sure that Erick survives his wounds.
Allegiances were changing on the island. The rebellion was growing stronger. Bel and Zoa grew closer, and it made Chico insecure. Bel was now helping Zoa, Charly, and Ibano escape. Brisa, the detective, found Gabi and was getting closer to the truth. David, who was contacted by Gabi, was put to rest by Astrid’s men, who found out that they both had met, and Gabi had tried to gather information about Eden.
Another batch of 100 people were set to arrive on the island. Gabi revamped her personality, to make sure that she was also taken into consideration and sent to Eden. It was decided that Zoa, Ibano, and Charly would be assigned duties in the upcoming party, but Africa was not assigned any. She felt left out and believed that if Erick had been there, then she wouldn’t have been subjected to such discrimination. Now Erick wasn’t oremset on the scene because he was stabbed and was getting his treatment from Issac. But Astrid didn’t want to Rebeka this information to the people on the island.
Africa trespasses the area where only the people holding level 3 stars are allowed. She found a secret passageway that led to a room that had an elaborate technological setup. She presses a button on a machine without knowing what it’s implications would be. As soon as she pressed it, it activated an antenna, and a signal was sent to outer space. The antenna was placed just outside the cabin of Issac and Nuria, where Erick was being treated.
Meanwhile, Bel had arranged for diving suits. Charly, Zoa, and Ibon were supposed to escape using them. Charly escapes, but Ulises catches hold of Zoa. Ibon comes just in time and kills Ulises. They hastily swim towards the boat when Zoa notices something that shocks her beyond any measure. She sees Gabi in the new batch that was going on the island. Zoa was in a fix. She freezes at her position and sees her innocent sister jumping off the boat and entering the island. Gabi had risked her life to save her sister, but little did she know that her sister was almost on the verge of escaping the god-forsaken Eden.
Will There Be A ‘Welcome to Eden’ Season 2?
“Welcome to Eden” Season 1 leaves us on a cliffhanger and has left a lot of questions unanswered. The following are the questions that, in all probability, would be answered in ‘Welcome to Eden’ Season 2:-
- Astrid and Erick were worried about the rapid climate change that was affecting our planet. They had resorted to sustainable practices, but they couldn’t make the whole world do the same. So were they looking for an alternative, and was that the reason behind putting high-tech machinery in place through which they could send signals to outer space?
- Do Zoa, Charly, and Ibon escape, or do they return to the island and help Bel fuel her rebellion and save Gabi and others?
- What role did Nuria and Issac have to play in the scheme of things, and how did such a young boy learn to perform such complicated medical procedures?
- Were Erick and Astrid only worried about climate change, or was a spiritual connotation of salvation, which was evident by Patinir’s painting, also a part of their motivations?
- Who stabbed Erick, if it was not Bel, Zoa, or any member of the rebellion?
“Welcome to Eden” is a 2022 Science Fiction Thriller series created by Joaquín Górriz and Guillermo López Sánchez.