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3 Body Problem’s Aliens Definitely Won This Round — Read Recap and Grade the Finale!

For most of 3 Body Problem’s first season, Saul is on the fringe as his friends go through some major stuff. Auggie mandolins a panamax (or nearly so) ship. Jin gets recruited as humanity’s last hope. Will tries to live as much as he can until cancer decides he won’t. Jack gets into, and then really out of, videogaming. And while Saul’s intelligence, as well as his loyalty to his pals, is never in question, he doesn’t… do a whole lot.

Until Episode 8, that is.

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The Netflix series’ Season 1 finale positions Jovan Adepo’s character smack in the middle of the San-Ti’s upcoming arrival and Earth’s attempts to manage it. Never mind that the young physicist doesn’t want the job he’s handed: As the United Nations Secretary General tells him, people believe he’s one of a select group of extraterrestrial-problem-solvers known as Wallfacers. “What matters is what people believe. And non-people,” she says. Good luck, Saul!

Elsewhere in the episode, Jin’s mission to get Will’s brain into space has a tragic rollout. Read on for the highlights of “Wallfacer.”

SAUL’S NEW GIG | Saul has a one-night stand with a woman whose name he can’t remember the next morning. The woman is unimpressed with his cynical outlook on the world, and it’s not long before he’s ordering her a car home. As they wait for the ride to show up, someone on a skateboard nearly runs into them. Saul hops out of the way just in time to narrowly miss getting plowed down by the Prius he ordered. The woman dies right there in the street while a horrified Saul looks on.

Clarence Shi brings Saul in for questioning. He was the last person to talk to Ye Wenjie, and now she and the other officer have been killed in China. All of the cars involved in Saul’s near-death experience were under autonomous control, Shi points out, positing that someone is trying to kill Saul, too. Then he hustles Saul into bulletproof fatigues and accompanies him onto a private jet — with military escort — to the United Nations in New York.

They walk into the fourth meeting of the Planetary Defense Council, where the secretary-general (played by CCH Pounder, NCIS: New Orleans) is talking about how sophons seem to know everything — but they can’t read minds. So the U.N. is developing a group of people who will develop a planetary-defense plan in their minds and will be given free reign to do whatever they see fit. These people will be called Wallfacers, after a Buddhist term for meditators. One is a military historian. Another is known for fighting ISIS. And the third is Saul… who is as surprised to hear the news as anyone else is.

The enemy thinks Saul is special, the secretary-general explains to him later, and so therefore, he is. But he doesn’t want the gig and immediately leaves, brushing off Shi’s offer to play bodyguard. And the moment he steps outside the United Nations, he’s shot by a sniper.

Thanks to the suit, Saul is alive. And at the hospital, he asks to have the shooter brought to his room so they can talk. The sniper calls himself “a soldier in the army of the Lord,” and Saul starts to realize how very deeply he is in this thing. Tabling all that for a moment, he asks to go to Cape Canaveral to watch the launch of Will’s brain into space.

MISSION CRITICAL | After the successful launch but before the first detonation, Jin and Saul take a walk on the beach. They discuss how Auggie hates what they did to Will, and Saul muses that he hopes someone loves him someday as much as Will loved Jin. “Maybe someone already does,” she replies. Then we cut to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where Auggie is showing some locals how to use nanotech filters to end dysentery epidemics. When Saul calls, she lets it go to voicemail.

And then it’s time for the slingshot part of the Staircase Project to get underway! The first, second and third detonations happen exactly as planned, and everyone celebrates. But then one of the cables holding the sail to the capsule snaps, taking the capsule off course. Jin is inconsolable as everyone present realizes that the project is a bust.

‘WE ALL SURVIVE’ | Let’s take a moment to check in on Tatiana, who’s back home at her RV after her time in China with Wenjie. Someone’s been in the camper while she was out, and she pulls a gun to defend herself. But all she finds inside is a headset with her name on the case waiting on her counter. “If one of us survives,” the card inside reads, “we all survive.” She puts the gaming system on.

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WE ARE ALL JUST BUGS | OK, back to the sad aftermath of the Staircase Project. While Wade is flying home alone on the private jet, the Sophon appears on the TV and tells him that the San-Ti would have liked to have met Will. Then things get WEIRD. “We want you to know there will be a place for you when we arrive. You are part of our plan,” she says, moments before appearing IN the actual PLANE. He has visions of a countdown, of him with his eyes gouged out… and then everything’s back to normal — except she’s informed him that the San-Ti will be with him “until the day you die.”

In Florida, Shi tries to boost Jin and Saul’s spirits. He points out the cicadas that are all around them, and how even though people have been trying to get rid of bugs forever, “they’re not going anywhere.” Then they pour out some rum for the bugs before they regroup, because “we’ve got work to do.”

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the finale? Grade it, and Season 1 as a whole, via the polls below. Then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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