Netflix’s Nigerian film ‘Blood Vessel,’ charts a tale about love and survival as it follows six travelers seeking passage aboard a ship that holds unknown dangers on its deck. In the village of Sembe, violent riots against major companies’ oil pollution push three different pairs of strangers to seek extreme measures to ensure their escape to a foreign land. Among them are a young pregnant couple, Abbey and Oyin, whose illicit affair, paired with the anger of the latter’s father, has pushed them to run away from home. However, with the odds stacked against them on a ship with few friends and many foes, can the lovers survive and start their family together? SPOILERS AHEAD!
Blood Vessel Plot Synopsis
While negative local sentiments continue to rise against oil companies for the part they play in environmental pollution in the village, two young lovers, Abbey and Oyin, face their own problems. Although the couple has been together for a while in secret, Oyin’s father, Ebiye, does everything in his power to keep them apart after learning about their relationship. Worse yet, in an effort to convince her father, Oyin reveals her pregnancy, which heightens the man’s decision to remove Abbey from his daughter’s life. As a result, he locks the woman up in her room and leaves to hunt Abbey down.
However, Abbey manages to rescue Oyin from her imprisonment once he learns about her father’s plans to have her baby aborted. Nonetheless, the pair have no idea where to go afterward. Worse yet, the military arrives in the village, looking for the perpetrators behind an attack on their base the previous night, which killed one of their soldiers. As such, Abbey and Oyin flee to the abandoned docks alongside a number of villagers to save themselves from the military’s arrest.
Consequently, the couple’s paths cross with two other pairs of strangers. Degbe and Doma are known protestors across the village who are truly responsible for the attack on the military camp. On the other hand, brothers Teneka and Olotu are simply looking to flee the village and travel abroad in search of a better life. For the same reason, the brothers have a contact, Mr. P, who can safely stow them away on a boat. By then, Oyin’s father spreads false rumors about Abbey’s position as the protestors’ leader, effectively putting a bounty on his head.
Therefore, all six of them have pressing reasons to flee. Thus, after each pays Mr. P for passage, he allows them to become stowaways on the ship. Even though Mr. P tells them he will take care of one-time meals for them, he ends up faking an injury and deboarding the ship with simple instructions to the group to never leave their cell. As a result, in due time, in Mr. P’s absence, Abbey and the others grow hungry, with only a few resources left to them.
Eventually, the hunger becomes too much for Degbe, who decides to traverse outside the cell in search of food. Soon, Abbey also follows after him when Oyin develops a fever. Even though Abbey manages to stay hidden, Degbe gets caught by other passengers easily and gives up his fellow travelers. Therefore, once the ship’s owner, Igor, realizes that Degbe and the others are unknown passengers with no one to vouch for them, he suspects them to be spies.
As a result, Igor swiftly kills Degbe and holds the others hostage to learn about the nature of the trip. Those aboard his ship who disagree with his methods leave, but even though they contact the authorities about the situation, Degbe bribes them into silence. Thus, in the end, Oyin and the others remain trapped in the middle of the ocean on the vessel of a madman.
Blood Vessel Ending: Abbey and Oyin’s Tragic Love Story
When Abbey and Oyin leave their homes to seek safe passage to an unknown land, they have no idea what to expect from the journey. Neither has been away from their homes for any substantial amount of time. Yet, in their situation, they have no choice but to flee. Oyin’s father is vehemently against his daughter getting involved with a man, let alone marrying one.
Years ago, Ebiye and his wife were having trouble getting pregnant with a child. As such, the wife prayed to the river goddess every day to bless them with a baby. Therefore, when Oyin was finally born, she was promised to the water goddess. For the same reason, the elders believed that if she ever took a husband or had a child, it would bring about her death. As such, when Ebiye discovers Oyin is pregnant, he wants her to abort the baby and cut ties with Abbey. The father’s superstition is so strong he condemns Abbey to a cruel fate due to the same.
Nevertheless, Ebiye and the elders’ fear comes true as Abbey and Oyin find themselves aboard Igor’s nightmarish ship. Igor is a ruthless criminal who doesn’t want anything to come between his business. Furthermore, he seems to take joy in inflicting misery upon other people, as depicted by his senseless killing and compulsion to skin his victims alive. Doma’s death soon follows after his comrade, with the others back in a storage closet as hostages.
After nightfall, Igor plays a sick game with the traveling brothers, Olotu and Teneka, and forces them to fight each other to death to ensure the other’s freedom. However, even after Olotu sacrifices himself for his younger brother, Igor shoots Teneka in the leg and hauls him off board. Meanwhile, Abbey manages to stay hidden and out of sight.
The following morning, Abbey seeks Oyin out and kills Igor’s men in the process. Nevertheless, the other man is faster and uses Oyin as bait to bring Abbey out from hiding. In the final showdown between them, Abbey attempts to compel the other man to spare his girlfriend’s life. Nonetheless, Igor only enjoys Abbey’s suffering, and after realizing he loves Oyin desperately, Igor puts a bullet in the woman’s head, effectively killing both Oyin and her baby.
Afterward, an emotionally distraught Abbey fights Igor off and manages to come out of the battle alive. As such, Abbey remains the sole survivor of his group of stowaways. In the end, Abbey finds stacks of Igor’s money aboard the ship and returns to his village with the help of the original captain. At the village, Abbey distributes his newfound wealth with the family of his co-travelers and discovers that Teneka is still alive.
Lastly, Abbey discloses the tragic news of Oyin’s death to her father, who’s equal parts devastated and enraged. Ebiye has always believed in the prophecy of the river goddess. Therefore, he blames Abbey for his daughter’s violent death. To the father, had Abbey never entered Oyin’s life, she could’ve remained safe and sound.
Yet, Ebiye is unwilling to understand that her daughter had always wanted to blaze her own path and choose her destiny despite the consequences. Ultimately, Abbey leaves the village, which holds too many memories of Oyin, the love of his life. Simultaneously, Ebiye tries to storm his house with a gun, just barely managing to miss the other man’s departure. Thus, even though Oyin passed away, the sting of her death will continue to haunt those who loved her, especially her partner, Abbey.