Netflix anime series ‘Eden Season 1’ provides a glimpse into future where human apathy towards pressing environmental concerns results in annihilation of world and fight for survival ensues between chosen few.
Sara Grace, a human baby, is discovered by two robots while apple picking in a garden in the city of Eden 3. In a world where most robots have been reprogrammed by their master Zero to kill humans as they are evil, they both are among only few left who still believe human beings are harmless.
Fearing punishment but finding attachment, they keep Sara hidden and bring her up as their own. Their constant fear of safety drives them away from Eden 3 and they seek refuge with other robots outside of Eden who also believe in goodness of humans.
But they cannot hide for long. Zero catches up to them. Her quest to seek one of her own lands Sara back in Eden 3, where she tracks down many like her in suspended animation; and she has to get the password from Zero to release them.
Who is Zero? Will Sara be able to get the password from him?
Here is the ‘Eden’ ending explained in detail (final episode):
The flashback: Who is Zero?
The episode starts with Sara watching a memory through Emily of Dr Weston Fields, the creator of Eden and his wife, Ashley, who is in a hospital.
His Eden project to restore nature to its previous glory has started. However, he shares his disgust with his wife regarding the growing pollution in the air and riots happening all over the world to secure survival and limited transportation to Eden.
He remarks ironically that was much better if all human beings were robots. He is beginning to harbor feelings of derision for human race.
Ashley wants him and their daughter to go into suspended animation as soon as they can. She cannot do so as she is down with a contagious disease. Perhaps only people who are perfectly healthy, especially small babies, can find a place in the limited pods available.
Liz is not too well. The air pollution has caught on. However, since her disease is not contagious, her mother is hopeful that while she sleeps in the pod, the AIs would develop some medicine so that when she wakes up in Eden, she would get well.
Liz shows her father and mother a name plate that she has made for new Eden. She plans to call it ‘Eden Zero’, a place from where nature starts blooming again. Her father approves of the name; and her mother thinks ‘Zero’ indicates the “beginning of infinite possibilities”.
Later Liz appears very sick. Her mother despairs that if not sent to cryogenic sleep soon, she will not be able to survive; but her father knows authorities won’t approve.
Liz before passing away asks her dad to describe new Eden. He promises that Eden will be a perfect world with beautiful nature, blossoming flowers and sweetest apples. The air will be cleanest. She won’t have to wear a mask to go outside to play.
Liz is happy and her pure innocence comes through when she says that she wishes to live in the world where everybody is laughing. A child so unaware of the realities of the world
Dr Fields is heartbroken at the loss. A poignant father beseeches: “Liz, laugh for me one more time.”
His growing hopelessness surfaces as he says, “What good is the future without the two of you?” Ashley tries to instill hope by reminding that he has to fulfill Liz’s dream of a beautiful world full of nature that she loved.
Sara is brought back from the memory to present by a sudden familiar voice. The AI of Eden 1, Zurich, urges Sara to seek the password from Zero quickly as humans are already past the limit of suspended animation and the survival rate is going to drop below three percent in 24 hours.
By now Sara has understood that Zero is none other than Dr Fields and he wants to destroy everything that humans created. She is herself in dilemma.
She finds out about her antecedents from Zurich. She is utterly pained to know that she has zero blood relatives in suspended anime registry. The security footage on Zurich’s screen, however, shows how lovingly she was put in her pod by her apologetic parents with the hope that she will live. The memory is cathartic for her.
In another flashback, we see Dr Fields raving about the success of Eden while breathing in fresh air. Nature is blooming and robots are protecting it. It is a perfect world!
He is ready to transplant his neural network into a robot. He will give up being human for Eden. He has decided that no human will survive to destroy it.
Back in the present, when Zero’s robots find Sara, Zurich apprises her that the robots are programmed not to cause any direct harm to humans. But then why is Zero out to destroy them? Sara is confused.
The epic robotic fight
Zero gets into a demolition bot to eliminate Sara and the rebel robots. She asks Zurich to take her to the same place where they had met the first time inside a fallen robot. She intends to stop zero. She gets into the robot.
Zero in the bot spreads his arms out for a full-on robotic combat. Pj is back with his team in her support. “This is one fight you can’t run from”. Robots from both sides take on each other.
Sara is all charged up for the fight and, initially, even manages to rattle Zero, but is on the ground soon
She gets out and shouts to Zero that she knows that there is a human in him, Dr Fields. He denies. Then she immediately plays a memory of Liz to him on Zurich’s screen. Zero is baffled and painfully shaken as old memories rush back. Meanwhile, time is running out for pods in suspended animation.
Zero is upset and he resists the proposition of being a human once.
His daughter’s voice mellows him.
But he can’t be human. “Human beings are unnecessary in the world.”
Dr Fields’ awakening and end
Zero violently shoves Sara away. As he sees Sara fall, he is reminded of Liz’s face calling out for her loving father.
Before Sara hits the ground, he catches her hand, reiterating what he had himself forgotten along the way, that “robots must not have functions to harm humans”.
He takes a beating as they hit the ground while saving Sara and admits that he was once a human. His mainframe is damaged and his body will stop functioning shortly.
The memories from his past swirl in flashes. But Sara still needs the password. He asks what kind of world will she create; and she answers a world that his daughter wanted. He asks her to laugh for him one more time.
The revival sequence of humans is activated and pods start opening with Sara uttering Dr Fields’ rules for a peaceful co-existence between robots and humans.
“Are humans necessary to the world?” Sara’s fears are laid to rest as soon as she takes a baby from one of the pods in her arms.
At the end of the fourth episode, Sara watches her robotic mom and dad working without noticing her existence. Their memories have been erased by the guards.
Sara, however, seems hopeful that their memories will revive once they all start sharing the good times they have had together again.
She signs off saying: “You are my mom and dad, and I am your daughter Sara.”