The 7 Lives of Lea is a French suspense drama series based on a 17-year old who swaps bodies with those in the past after finding a skeleton in the canyons. It is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Léa is a 17-year old girl who enjoys partying with alcohol and drugs. Questioning the purpose of her life, she wanders through the canyons where she stumbles upon a skeleton.
Her parents pick her up from the police station after she reports her discovery. Tired, she goes to bed but is shocked to wake up in an unfamiliar body the next day. Léa finds herself wearing a bracelet identical to the one the skeleton was wearing and identifies the body to be the stranger the skeleton belonged to and learns that he is called Ismaël.
She manages to convince his younger brother, Soufiane, that she isn’t Ismaël. He helps her sneak out of work, risking Ismaël’s father’s job. On her way to the river where the skeleton was found, Léa realizes that not only is she in a different body but she is also in a different year, specifically 1991.
A middle-aged woman named Patricia offers to take a confused Léa to where Ismaël is supposed to be. She is glad when she reaches the leisure centre that belongs to her parents in the future.
She tries to tell the younger versions of her parents, Stèphane and Karine, about her true identity but, instead, they scold Ismaël for being high before an important audition.
Léa messes up the audition as she isn’t skilled at playing the guitar. She feels guilty about ruining Ismaël’s life and decides to hide his lyric book in the ground as evidence if she ever returns to her own body.
The next day, she wakes up in her own body in 2021 and tells her friend, Romané, about her experience, who suspects she might be delusional but agrees to lend her an ear.
Léa returns to the spot where she hid Ismaël’s book to find it there, proving her adventure wasn’t imaginary.
She goes to sleep and wakes up in Karine’s body. On sensing some attraction between her mom and Ismaël, Léa decides to explore their relationship.
She skips class with Ismaël and goes to the record store where he manages to convince Patricia to give them a gig at an upcoming concert.
The duo steal weed from Pye, Ismaël’s bully, and run off to the river, where Léa kisses him. Seeing him surprised, she dismisses the kiss as nothing more than an accessory to the beautiful scenery.
Léa finds out about Karine and Ismaël’s plan of going to Paris after they graduate and persuades Ismaël to tell Stèphane about it. Upset of being left out of their plans, Stèphane reminds them that he won’t be able to join them as he has chosen to take over the leisure centre. As Karine, Léa clears up Stèphane’s suspicion that she was having an affair with Ismaël.
Léa returns home to Karine’s house to find Karine’s mother furious that she was clumsy enough to miss the deadline to apply to BRIM, a famous music institute in London.
After swapping back to her own body the next morning, Léa asks her mom about her London and Paris plans but ends up in an argument with her. Later, she hacks into her mom’s tablet and finds out she’s cheating on her dad.
With her grandfather’s help, Léa finds her dad’s old videotapes and looks for the equipment required to play them. She also finds photos that Karine took the day Ismaël died. She takes the help of Romane’s crush, Dora, who happens to be a fan of ‘90s relics.
Witnessing her enraged father destroy Karine’s guitar causes Léa to suspect him of murdering Ismaël. From him, she finds out that Ismaël was last seen on World Music Day, leaving her only five days to save Ismaël.
The next day, Léa finds herself in Pye’s body and learns of his relationship with Jennifer, which she exposes to the school. She later finds that doing so has erased Dora’s existence.
Remembering Pye’s black eye in one of Karine’s pictures, Léa puts together that Ismaël might have won a fight set to happen that day, leaving Pye craving revenge, giving him an intent to murder Ismaël. She tries to win the fight but fails.
The following day, Léa goes to confront Pye about his part in Ismaël’s death and finds out that he is her father’s cuckold.
Léa returns to the past as Sandra who has to leave for school in a messy state to avoid missing her bus. She finds out Sandra is pregnant with Pye’s baby and tells him about it. She also sets Luc up with Jennifer to ensure Dora’s existence in the future.
At Pye’s house, Léa sees Ismaël and follows him to the leisure centre. There, she sees Ismaël worry about his future as he finds out about Karine’s BRIM plan. She begins to suspect that Ismaël’s death might’ve been a suicide.
Back in her own body, Léa finds out that Ismaël had died from a gunshot. Things get ugly when Léa’s parents find Ismaël’s book in her room. Léa exposes Karine’s affair to her dad, causing both her parents to storm off, leaving her alone.
Léa travels through time again to find herself in Patricia’s body. She learns that Patricia has committed a grave crime in the past that only Ismaël knows of. She also sees a gun under her bed.
Back in the present, Léa is determined to find Patricia, who she is certain is the killer. She goes to her hideout with Romane where they find out that Patricia killed her husband out of self-defence. They also see her throw her gun into a river.
After spotting her dad about to drunk drive, Léa brings him home and puts him to bed. Romane comes over with a VCR and the two friends watch Stèphane’s old tapes. When Romane sees Léa as Pye giving a shoutout to her on one of the tapes, she finally believes Léa.
The next day, Léa wakes up in Stèphane’s body. After Ismaël and Karine have a fight, Stèphane tells Karine he loves her.
Stèphane learns that Ismaël is camping in the canyons alone and decides to give him company at night. Ismaël confronts him about Stèphane’s feelings for him and his sexuality. He kisses him to prove they exist. Léa comes clean about her identity to Ismaël but he misinterprets it as Stèphane’s attempt to hide his sexuality.
Léa finds letters addressed to Ismaël that Stèphane wrote, which confirm Ismaël’s suspicion.
The next day, she attends Ismaël’s funeral where Stèphane confesses his feelings for him. Sandra also makes an appearance to apologize to Ismaël.
If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a full breakdown.
The 7 Lives of Lea (2022) ending explained in detail: (Episode 7: June 21st)
No present without the past
At Ismaël’s funeral, Romane warns Léa of what would happen if she succeeded in preventing Ismaël‘s death. If Ismaël survived, he would go to Paris with Karine. Stèphane would come out as a homosexual sooner.
Both these events would stop Karine and Stèphane’s relationship from going further, meaning Léa wouldn’t exist.
Léa must choose between Ismaël and herself. Choosing herself, she decides to avoid falling asleep. In case she does, she plans on staying as far from Ismaël as possible. Unfortunately for her, Léa wakes up in Ismaël’s body the next day.
After waking up in Ismaël’s body again, Léa goes to the music festival where she plans to go along with whatever causes Ismaël’s death. All seven people whose bodies Léa has lived through are present there, including those she suspects.
Patricia invites Ismaël to leave the town with her and he agrees.
Ismaël has a drink that Karine offers him, unaware that it has drugs mixed into it. Karine tells Ismaël she got into BRIM. Léa is glad to see Karine finally be honest.
Ismaël tells Stèphane about their kiss the previous day. Stèphane threatens to kill him if he ever tells Karine.
Pye threatens Patricia after she rats him out to his father for growing weed on his farm. Pye and Ismaël almost get into a fight.
Who killed Ismaël?
Patricia suggests that the group shift to somewhere further from the festival where they can talk. Pye brings along Sandra and Stèphane and Karine soon join.
Patricia leads the group to the canyons where the drugs begin having an effect on Ismaël. Everyone gets high together and Pye gets a hold of Patricia’s gun.
Stèphane confesses his feelings for Ismaël and aims the gun at himself. Karine pushes him and ends up shooting at Ismaël who leaps into the river just in time to miss the bullet.
Below, in the river, he is found by Sandra’s rough brothers who almost drown him. When they realise he is still alive, they tell Jonathan to kill him, afraid that Ismaël might rat them out if he is let go.
Léa realises this is her chance to choose who to save – Ismaël or herself. She decides to save Ismaël as she does not wish the seven people involved spend the rest of their lives living with guilt. She convinces Jonathan to avoid facing guilt by letting Ismaël live and in doing so, prevents Ismaël’s death.
Just as Romane had worked out, by saving Ismaël’s life, Léa had prevented her own existence. Wanting to be remembered by him, she decides to write her story in his lyric book, narrating her experiences.