If anyone thought DNA-based matchmaking might be some utopian future of romance and joy, The One quickly debunks that fairytale theory. The new Netflix series follows Rebecca Webb, co-founder and CEO of The One, a service that uses a single strand of hair to match users with the one person on earth with whom they are genetically destined to fall in love. Rebecca and her co-founder James used ant-mating research to find a way to match people with their genetic "one true love," regardless of nationality, location, sex, or any other characteristic. They made a business empire out of it, matching millions of people on their app every day. The consequence is a world of happiness for the lucky "matched," ones, and a minefield of heartbreak and chaos for those left behind.
The eight-part series, set in London in the near-future, explores the overlapping lives of people affected by this DNA matchmaking. Flashbacks punctuate each episode, revealing the dark origins of The One, and how an old friend of Rebecca's ended up dead as she resolved to change the world (and make a lot of money), no matter what it took. The show teeters from corporate thriller to slow-building psychological drama, to murder mystery and crime procedural, and back again. If you enjoyed Netflix's last mind-bending thriller, Behind Her Eyes, The One might satisfy a similar craving.
Some characters' subplots—like Hannah and Mark, whose marriage is threatened when Hannah finds Mark's one true match—are more gripping than others. To be honest, I somehow did not really care about the actual murder itself? I was too busy wondering (spoiler) why Hannah went and imploded her whole life like that, or if Kate would wind up dating both Sophia and her brother, Sebastian. The finale provided a few much-needed answers, while opening up the door to a world of fresh questions. Plus: a surprise twist illuminates Rebecca's true nature. Did you see it coming? Let's dig into the many resolutions and cliffhangers in the season finale of The One.
Note: spoilers follow for all of Netflix's The One.
How does The One end for Rebecca, Hannah, and the others?
At the end of the season, Rebecca has lost everything. Remember that creepy dude with the scrawled "Match Made in Hell" sign who was constantly protesting in the lobby of Rebecca's office building? He stalks Rebecca throughout the series, vowing revenge because his wife left him for her true match and he blames The One. In the finale, Rebecca meets up with Matheus, her match, to confess that she killed Ben. In the flashback, we watch as Ben figures out that Rebecca stole his company's DNA database in order to test her matchmaking theory, a move that got Ben fired when they detected the data leak. Rebecca, Ben, and James have a heated confrontation on the roof at The One's millionth match party. Ben threatens Rebecca, saying, "I am going to take it all," and she pushes him off the roof to his death.
As Rebecca reveals this to Matheus, David (aka creepy dude) comes out of nowhere, and tries to stab her. Matheus, in a sort of mixed martial arts move, flips around to save Rebecca and ends up with a knife in his back. As Rebecca cries for help and tries to stop Matheus from bleeding out, she discovers Matheus's phone has been recording their conversation for the police. Two backstabbings; one literal, one metaphorical. Both devastating for Rebecca.
Then Kate, the detective, confronts Rebecca as she mourns Matheus at his grave. Kate tells Rebecca that she knows she deleted the audio recording on Matheus's phone, and vows to prove that Rebecca is guilty of killing Ben. Kate tells Rebecca that she has lost everything now. “You’re right. I’ve got nothing to lose," Rebecca says. "But you do. How is Sophia? You should really treasure every moment with her. Who knows what might happen?”
The last few minutes of the finale reveal plot set-up after plot set-up for another season. James decides to finally meet Yasmin, his match. Hannah finds out she is pregnant, and she and Mark celebrate as Mark has chosen to be with her instead of his match, Megan. Megan vengefully submits Hannah to The One test having secretly ripped out a strand of Hannah's hair. And then, the big twist: we see Rebecca dump Ben's body in the river after he coughs, showing that the fall from the roof didn't actually kill him. She could have saved him, but she chose to finish the deed.
What questions remain after the finale?
Will Rebecca harm Sophia to get back at Kate, and stop her from continuing her investigation into Ben's murder? How long will it be until people discover that multiple matches are possible, like Kate's match with both Sophia and Sebastian? What is the secret that Rebecca is about to reveal in the talk she's giving? What will happen when Hannah meets her true match? Will she leave Mark, after he's chosen her over Megan?
Why did Rebecca kill Ben? Was it simply to secure her lucrative empire and keep herself out of trouble, or was there a deeper reason? And more broadly: why is Rebecca like this? A second season—if Netflix confirms one—could reveal all this, and much more. One thing's for sure, though: if this kind of DNA matchmaking were a real thing, I'd think twice before sending my hair in. Would you?
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