DEBRIS’s Season 1 Finale Explained

·11 min read

Debris‘ season one finale featured plenty of twists and surprises. It upended a lot of what we thought we knew. All while adding even more mysteries to solve. From a menacing new villain with incredible powers, to a sentient ball of light, to a secret clone in suspended animation, and a betrayal with world-changing implications, the explosive episode gave us a lot to unravel. Here’s everything from Debris‘ “Celestial Body” explained, along with all the new questions that need answers in season two.

An older Black man with eyeglasses, a middle-aged white man with sunglasses, a younger Black woman wearing sunglasses all look to the left
An older Black man with eyeglasses, a middle-aged white man with sunglasses, a younger Black woman wearing sunglasses all look to the left

NBC

George Jones is Influx

Of all the many twists in this episode, this one might have been the least shocking. But it was also the most effective. George Jones didn’t just kill himself to escape Orbital and the U.S.’s plans to weaponize debris. He wanted to be reborn a new man. George wants to make alien technology “free” to everyone. Partly to defend itself from the governments of the world. But mostly because he has higher aspirations for mankind.

“This piece [of debris], in concert with others, will enable the transformation of the human mind, so that humanity can ascend to a higher plane of consciousness and thought,” he told Finola. While this fragment of alien tech is incredible, INFLUX needs more debris to unlock its true potential.

An older Black man wearing glasses in Debris
An older Black man wearing glasses in Debris

NBC

This revelation also seems to answer why Maddox wanted George Jones dead. As Maddox said to Finola in the previous episode, in the wrong hands her father is dangerous. She has now seen that for herself. At some point Maddox seemingly learned about George’s connections to INFLUX. It’s possible he also knew George was willing to do anything to achieve his goals.

But who exactly is this version of George Jones? Finola says he is not her father. Because her father would never say or do any of this. But Otto, the newly introduced member of Finola, said he was worried about George. Otto called it “instinct.” Could the father Finola once knew still be somewhere deep inside of this Machiavellian leader of a group willing to kill innocent people to save humanity? And how much did George Jones really forget about his life pre-death? Is it possible he is being manipulated? Maybe he only “believes” these things because he’s been told they’re true by a terrorist organization. Everyone else in INFLUX is a murderer.

The answers to these questions might determine the fate of the world.

Four people surround a piece of alien debris in a quarry
Four people surround a piece of alien debris in a quarry

NBC

Maddox: A Man of Family and Country

It’s a good thing Bryan and Finola are ready to tell Maddox everything. Because he might be one of the few people they can trust. After spending the season secretly negotiating a swap of debris with the Russians, Maddox double-crossed them. He got the piece he needed to help his son heal from his injuries. Just not at the expense of betraying his country.

A blonde woman holds a white case as a man with a case in front of him on hay in a barn looks at her
A blonde woman holds a white case as a man with a case in front of him on hay in a barn looks at her

NBC

This will undoubtedly make Maddox a target of the Russians. They just handed over a very powerful piece of technology for nothing. (One that could potentially save the terraformed farmers currently in suspended animation. As well as all the parents who just had their minds erased.) Maddox’s understandably selfish act didn’t hurt America, but it might end up getting him hurt.

A “Game-Changing” Piece of Debris
Two women and a man stand outside screaming
Two women and a man stand outside screaming

NBC

George Jones lied about what this important piece of debris can do. It isn’t a map-maker. But he didn’t lie when he called it game-changing though. As we have seen throughout the first season, debris is capable of making deep emotional connections with people. In the pilot it manifested memories of a dead child into a tangible being. It can feel others’ pain and love. The piece INFLUX was so desperate to get does even more than that. It pulled in parents of newborns, people experiencing heightened emotions. All of them then took part in an “emotional convergence,” where they all simultaneously felt the same things at the same time. George Jones called it beautiful.

But it didn’t seem beautiful for them. (Even before INFLUX turned the debris off and erased their minds.) That debris fed off those peoples’ emotions. And the more it ate the heavier the debris got physically. It’s as though emotions have real mass and weight to them.

A large group of people stand outside in a rock quarry
A large group of people stand outside in a rock quarry

NBC

It’s unclear if those people mutually experienced the emotions of a specific person or thing. Or if it was just a cycle of emotions in general, as though the debris wanted to sample a human buffet of feelings. But it’s easy to see the potential of this piece. Someone could use it as a weapon to make everyone think exactly alike. Or to erase their minds or even kill them. Perhaps it might be used as a way to make people empathize with the rest of mankind. What would a world full of understanding and compassionate people look like? Would we see the end of wars and poverty?

And those are possibilities for what this piece can do alone. George Jones said with other pieces it will transform the human mind entirely. That’s just as scary as it is hopeful. And since the debris throughout season one has never been all good or all bad, its potential is tied to the goals of those who control it.

Otto Makes His Presence Felt at INFLUX
An older man in a brown leather coat sits in the passenger seat of a car with another man behind him over his shoulder
An older man in a brown leather coat sits in the passenger seat of a car with another man behind him over his shoulder

NBC

Anson Ash escaped Orbital via teleportation. But he isn’t the only member of INFLUX who will a) kill when he deems it necessary and b) has incredible powers. The season finale also introduced the menacing Otto, played by John Noble (The Lord of the Rings‘ Denethor). He crushed three people into compact monstrosities at the gas station. He also used his hand like a Jedi to either read Bryan’s mind or drain Bryan of something. Otto has his own powers too. We known Anson swallowed a bunch of pieces of debris to gain his. And that INFLUX experimented on people by putting debris inside them. However, Otto might have developed his another way, which connects him with Bryan.

Otto also knew instantly what George was talking about when he said a telesphere (the ball of light) was “born” from a pocket dimension at Orbital. Why weren’t they shocked by that development? And how did Otto know it was going “somewhere,” as opposed to thinking it just flew away. INFLUX knows more about debris and what it can do than any government agency. And that includes the mysterious ball of light.

Three Men and a Debris Event
Two men in profile look at each other up close while on the ground
Two men in profile look at each other up close while on the ground

NBC

We now know why Bryan takes injections. He experienced a debris “event” when pieces first started falling to Earth. He was one of three men impacted. One of the three is Gary Garcia, introduced earlier in the season. He worked for Orbital and George Jones felt sorry he couldn’t do more to help Garcia. It’s still unknown exactly what happened to him. But Garcia’s eyes have turned completely white with just single black pupils. (Though he’s not blind.) He also has numerous scars on his face.

Bryan said the injections are an attempt to stave off “something” that might never happen anyway. They did stop his mind from being erased though. Based on Garcia’s fate though, it seems likely some malady awaits Bryan. The injections might simply be buying him time.

A man with facial scars and white eyes with black dots for pupils hugs another man
A man with facial scars and white eyes with black dots for pupils hugs another man

NBC

That event might also be why the debris has a personal connection with Bryan, not because he came in contact with some earlier in the season. As we learned in the previous episode, the debris made Bryan relive his worst memory because it “needed to comprehend his need to protect people.” Considering the debris can empathize with humans, learning why Bryan cares about serving others has huge implications.

The identity of the third man from that event is the more pressing mystery right now though. Bryan said it was a Chinese agent named Ming, but Otto said he was the third man. Yet Bryan has never met Otto before in his life. Is it possible they are both telling the truth? We’ve already seen one character remove the face of a clone and put it on his own. (More on that later.) But Otto also said the government did a good job “hiding” Bryan. Is it possible Ming never existed? Or is Otto actually Ming? Did the debris change him? Or transfer his consciousness into someone else? Regardless, he is a dangerous person.

A man looks at two compact mutilated bodies in a convenience store
A man looks at two compact mutilated bodies in a convenience store

NBC

The Many Faces of Brill
A man in a black suit stands inside a cave
A man in a black suit stands inside a cave

NBC

Actor Sebastian Roché appeared in three episodes as Brill. Each more confusing than the last. In his first scene he drove up in a white van and gave Finola sensitive information from MI6 and their boss, Ferris. Clearly Ferris trusts him. But he then told Finola that Ferris “knows more than she’s telling you,” adding, “Your father’s not a clone.”

The next time we saw Brill he was waiting to take George Jones back to the UK after Finola’s rescue attempt. This time he was with another agent and they had an RV with them. It contained a clone of Brill that he used to fix his own face. Free Brill cut the clone captive Brill’s face off with a scalpel and then put it on his own.

An unseen man with blue latex gloves uses a scalpel to cut another man's face
An unseen man with blue latex gloves uses a scalpel to cut another man's face

NBC

We saw in episode two the debris can form clones. What we don’t know is how many Brills exist, why one of them would need face transplants from a clone at all, and whether or not (any) Brill is really working for MI6 or not.

And is though that wasn’t weird and confusing enough, he then showed up in the shocking final moment of season one.

The Ball of Light and a Clone Finola
A ball of light floats next to a Native American man sitting with his eyes closed
A ball of light floats next to a Native American man sitting with his eyes closed

NBC

The telesphere that formed at Orbital came to life from many pieces of debris. But only after it told Bryan to let it complete its task, which Bryan convinced Finola to let happen. That telesphere was a huge development, but its existence was teased earlier in the season. One of the clones in episode two asked Finola if she found the ball of light. And the girl they rescued from INFLUX also mentioned it under very weird circumstances. She answered a question about the ball of light that Finola didn’t ask.

We learned what happened to it once it left Orbital during the finale’s last scene. It traveled all the way to Arizona, where it was greeted by an expecting Dakheya Nakai. “You had a long journey,” the Native American man said to the ball of light, as though it is a sentient being who knew where to go and why. Is it possible the destroyed alien ship wasn’t empty at all? And that an intelligent life form, who exists as pure light, brought it here? If so, did it come to Earth to be saved? To save mankind? Or does it have nefarious reasons? The fact that it wanted to understand Bryan and his need to protect others is a hopeful sign it’s not malevolent.

A man walks by an RV into a cave as a ball of light floats behind him
A man walks by an RV into a cave as a ball of light floats behind him

NBC

What any of that has to do with Brill and a clone Finola though is a total mystery. Nakai and Brill (who seems to be the same clone face-wearing Brill we saw previously, since the RV was outside the cave) have a second Finola in suspended animation. Is that the real Finola and Bryan’s partner is a clone? What do they have planned for Suspended Animation Finola? Why is it “time” now that INFLUX got the powerful piece of debris in Virginia?

The whole sequence was a true ‘whoa” moment. And since we don’t know who Brill is, who he is working for, and what he wants, we can’t be certain what any of this has to do with debris, INFLUX, MI6, Orbital, or even Finola.

A woman stands frozen in suspended animation as a protective floating barrier surrounds her
A woman stands frozen in suspended animation as a protective floating barrier surrounds her

NBC

Almost no moment from the episode raises more questions without giving any answers. Almost.

The Thing Following George Jones
A collection of black floating things in the shape of a man walks through the woods
A collection of black floating things in the shape of a man walks through the woods

NBC

…..Uh……yeah, we have no idea what this is. We just know George Jones was already on the lookout for it in a previous episode. He knew it was coming and he feared it. What is “it” exactly? When that black inky being manifests it has the form of a person. Could it be one of INFLUX’s experiments gone wrong? Maybe, but the possibilities seem endless. The only thing we know for sure is that it’s out there and it’s looking for George Jones.

And we’re looking for more answers from a second season of Debris.

Editor’s Note: Legendary Television produces Debris. Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike, and also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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