‘3 Body Problem’: Does Ye Wenjie regret her decision? We asked the actors who play her

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Warning: This contains spoilers for the Netflix show “3 Body Problem.”

In “3 Body Problem” a character makes a decision from which there is no turning back. This decision has disastrous consequences, posing an existential threat to the entire human race.

Does she regret her choice to betray humanity? We asked the actors who played Ye Wenjie in two life phases — Zine Tseng when she’s a young woman and Rosalind Chao at the end of her life — to weigh in on the controversial moment.

“3 Body Problem” was created by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss and Alexander Woo. It is Benioff and Weiss’ first show since “Game of Thrones” ended. The alien epic is adapted from Liu Cixin’s trilogy of the same name. A Chinese adaptation of the books, “Three Body,” is also currently streaming on Peacock. Below, we’ll be focusing on the events of the Netflix show.

What, exactly, does Ye Wenjie do?

Ye Wenjie is an astrophysicist who was shaped, and disillusioned, by her experiences during China’s cultural revolution. Her father, also a physicist, was killed in front of a crowd as she, too, looked on.

She ends up being tapped for the Chinese government’s secret project to make contact with extraterrestrials. Ye, using her own ingenuity, comes up with a way to transmit the radar’s signal further and faster. To her surprise, she hears back.

Ye is warned, by an alien entity, not to make further contact with its race — they are dangerous. By then, though, she’s horrified by humanity and thinks they can’t save themselves. An alien invasion is a better fate than whatever humans will do, she thinks.

After that, the San-Ti begin traveling toward Earth. Their own planet is unstable, rapidly cycling between extreme weather conditions. They hope Earth will be more stable.

The actors explain why they think Ye made the choice to beckon the Trisolarans toward Earth.

“She was in extreme trauma. You have to understand her circumstance was such that she had no access to the outside world. As far as Ye knew, in that moment, the world was falling apart,” Chao tells TODAY.com.

“And she had to do something about it,” Tseng chimes in.

“Ye is a person of action. She thought she was improving or giving hope to the future,” Chao says.

Does Ye Wenjie regret her decision?

For a while, it seems Ye has faith in her move to sell out humanity. She and Mike Evans (“Game of Thrones” star Jonathan Pryce), the son of a billionaire who she meets while he’s wandering through China in the years before he inherits his father’s company, amass a group of acolytes.

Then, the Trisolarans, also known as the San Ti, lose their faith in humanity after Mike lets it slip that humans are liars. The Trisolarans don’t like that one bit. They decide they don’t want to cooperate with humans, and would rather just take over.

When Ye is in her late 60s or so, the San Ti make their presence known and announce they are on their way — in 400 years. To prevent humans from catching up to their technology, they’re using all-knowing surveillance called sophons to spy on them and interfere with plans.

It’s only then that Ye expresses regret. “I failed more people than anyone ever,” she tells Saul Durand (Jovan Adepo) in Episode Seven. Included in that number is her daughter, who took her own life after learning her mother’s secret.

For the actors who played Ye, regret is complicated.

“I think she was trying to right what she was worried could be a wrong. I think she was duped (by the Trisolarans). Even though there was a veil of sorrow, it was an optimistic decision. What ended up happening ... when you trust in someone and they betray your trust, it’s heartbreaking,” Chao says.

What happens to Ye Wenjie, and what is she thinking in her last scene?

The San Ti abandon Mike Evans but not all of their followers. They make contact with Tatiana (Marlo Kelly), a San Ti believer and follower who has been doing their dirty work, through the TV screen in her trailer.

She follows Ye to China, where she goes to the abandoned site of the satellite she once used to make contact with the San Ti.

They both understand that Tatiana is there to kill Ye. Ye asks to watch the sunset one last time. It’s not shown, but it’s implied that she dies afterward.

“There was no other way for Ye to move forward other than that last scene. Leaving Saul with his clues for the future was hopefulness that he could then take up the mantle,” Chao says.

The joke she tells Saul? It’s a ‘clue’

In Episode Seven, Ye gives a final message to Saul. It’s disguised as a joke, but it has a significance. Tseng says her “interesting advice ... means something.”

The gist of Ye’s joke is that Einstein dies and wants to play a violin in heaven. The angels warn him not to play: “‘God doesn’t like it. He’s a saxophonist.’”

Sure enough, Einstein hears God playing “Take the A Train” and is inspired to play with him. God appears and assaults Einstein, smashing his violin.

“And as he writhes on the ground ... an angel comes over and says, ‘We warned you. Never play with God,’” Ye says.

“Never play with God,” Saul replies.

Ye seems to say that this is a joke for just them. “Humor is a very personal thing. Some people understand it and some people don’t. Some jokes are so private they only make sense to two people,” Ye says.

The story and its message — and the way it’s shared just between two people — could relate to Saul’s role as a Wallfacer, an individual recruited by the United Nations for their defense project to stop the Trisolarans’ invasion of Earth. In the last episode, he’s chosen to take on the role. The Trisolarans can spy on humans but can’t read their minds. Saul, along with two others (seemingly more qualified people) are meant to formulate a plan completely alone.

“She’s making a choice to leave hope for Saul and the audience. There is always a way out,” Tseng says.

Chao says the way out “doesn’t come through until later seasons.”

Future seasons of “3 Body Problem” have not been confirmed.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com