1899 is a German multilingual drama series that follows the passengers of a ship travelling to America in the titular year when suddenly, strange occurrences take place on the ship. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
A ship called the Kerberos is travelling from Europe to America and onboard is a multicultural group of passengers. There’s a British woman named Maura Franklin who appears to be at the centre of the story. Maura has studied medicine, with the brain being her speciality.
She initially finds herself in a mental institution being restrained by other men while she’s screaming at her father about what he’s doing to people on the ship.
There’s a whole group of Danish passengers in third class who are deeply religious while most of the crew is German, including the captain, Eyk Larsen.
The passengers also include Angel and Ramiro, two Spaniards who are said to be brothers. Ramiro is also a priest. Virginia Wilson is a wealthy British woman travelling by herself. She seems to know the two Chinese women on the ship, Ling Yi and her mother, Yuk Je.
A newly married French couple, Lucien and Clemence don’t seem very happy in their marriage. Leading the Danish is a religious family that includes Anker and Iben, and their children Tove, Krester and Ada.
Among the crew are Olek, a stoker in the lower levels, and Franz, the captain’s first mate. They also have a stowaway on the ship, Jerome, who is searching for someone else on the ship.
The crew gets a message on their communication system of specific coordinates and they believe that it is coming from the ship named the Prometheus that went missing 4 months ago.
Eyk decides to turn the ship towards the Prometheus to investigate, much to the disappointment of the passengers and some of the crew. When they reach Prometheus, Eyk takes a small team including Maura to check things out.
They find the communication relay busted and the ship completely empty, except for a little boy locked in a cupboard along with a small black pyramid. Another man sneaks on the Kerberos while they are stopped.
They bring the boy back to the Kerberos but immediately strange things begin happening on the ship. The navigation stops working and people on the ship find themselves in lifelike memories of their past.
Many of the passengers have secrets of the past that they’re running away from and those secrets come back to haunt them. The crew get another message from the shipping company telling them to sink the Prometheus but Eyk chooses to tow it back to Europe.
People begin dropping dead on the ship with no clear signs of foul play and even the crew gets anxious because of the captain’s decisions. Maura tries to get through to the boy and find out what happened on the other ship but the boy doesn’t say anything.
The stranger who sneaked on introduces himself to Maura as Daniel Solace. He has a suspicious nature about him that no one else catches up on.
When Eyk finds himself in an old memory, he follows a strange beetle until he emerges out of a chamber on the floor of his room. Maura also observes strange things happening but she isn’t able to learn anything from the boy.
A mutiny breaks out and there is a divide amongst the people of the ship on which way they should travel and what to do about the Prometheus because half the people believe it is cursed. Franz tells them that the boy could be the reason for all the deaths.
The mob of mutineers search the ship and eventually find the boy and throw him overboard. However, when the people on the captain’s side are holed up in the ballroom, the boy reappears in a cabinet similar to the one he was found in in the Prometheus.
Meanwhile, Daniel has a device with him that allows him to control the ship in unimaginable ways and he makes the Prometheus disappear or transports the Kerberos rather, to their original course.
Maura and Eyk begin investigating the chambers within the ship and try to understand how this can be possible. A chiming sound turns most of the people on the ship into a trance and they begin jumping off the ship and killing themselves until only a few of them remain.
Maura believes that there is something artificial about their situation and she feels like her father, who is obsessed with the human mind, is responsible for what’s happening to them.
Daniel reveals to Maura that he’s her husband and the child is their child, Elliot. He tells her that she is indeed in a simulation and her father, Henry is after a key to an override that will help them escape. Maura hid the key and then made herself forget but now she has to remember.
Everyone else on the ship simply tries to survive while Daniel sends Eyk to the Prometheus which is among several other ships in the ocean.
Maura’s father finds Elliot’s hiding place and gets the pyramid which is the override. Daniel tells Maura that the simulation runs on a loop and each time one ends, they go into an archive and he modifies the code so that they will go into the archive instead of rerun the loop.
1899 ending explained in detail:
What does Henry tell Elliot?
Henry reveals to Elliot that his mother has been hiding the truth from him and is willing to show him what it is. He takes Elliot to the same mental institution that is seen in Maura’s memories and makes him sit on the chair.
He injects him with a black liquid and Elliot begins seeing a past memory. In it, Maura is getting ready to inject Elliot with the black liquid while Daniel pleads with her not to.
Henry tells Elliot that he was dying and that Maura and Daniel created this simulation for him so that she could never be separated from him but Elliot doesn’t want to believe that.
What do the other passengers do?
When they find themselves in the archive, Maura tells the remaining passengers, Eyk, Virginia, Ling Yi, Jerome, Clemence, Ramiro and Tove that they are all in a simulation but none of them believes her.
They decide that their best chance is to get off the ship and they abandon Maura and Eyk and look for a way out on their own but get lost and separated in the hallways.
What does Henry want?
Henry wants the key from Maura. Daniel finds out that Maura had the key on herself the whole time and asks her to keep it safe but Henry uses Elliot as bait to get it back so that he can get out of the simulation himself.
He sends Franz, who has been working for him since the beginning, to get the key from Maura. Franz kills Eyk using the same device that Daniel carries and then takes Maura and the key back to Henry.
What does Daniel do?
Daniel manages to get into the mainframe of the simulation and he begins altering the code significantly. That’s why the others keep getting lost since the doors keep disappearing.
He changes the code to such an extent that the simulation reads that the code has been corrupted and begins deleting the simulation itself.
What does Maura discover?
Henry tells Maura that she’s the creator of this simulation along with her husband but now she won’t have to remember it again. He will make sure that she continues to remain in the loop forever and has her injected.
He then goes back to his office and uses the key but nothing happens. Daniel changed to code so Maura woke up in the first version of the simulation that they made and Daniel made a new override and made Maura’s engagement ring the key.
He also tells her that her brother, Ciaran, is controlling the simulation and her father is just stuck there like the others. He says that once she wakes up, she must stop him and whatever plans he has. He also assures her that he’ll be next to her when she wakes up.
When she wakes up, she finds herself connected to a machine along with all the others in a chamber. She approaches the console in the middle and sees a message from Ciaran welcoming back to reality along with a description of Porject Prometheus and the date which is October 19th, 2099.
She then peaks out a window which reveals that they are all on a spaceship in outer space.