How is Jo Alive in the ISS in Constellation?

The first season of Apple TV+’s science fiction series ‘Constellation’ ends with the startling revelation that Jo, who is left behind in the International Space Station (ISS) by Paul Lancaster, is alive. She not only makes it clear that she hasn’t died but also clutches an iPad that has been moving inside the space station. The revelation is nothing but shocking since Paul returns to Earth in an alternate universe believing that his colleague is dead. Death is intricate in the universe of the show, especially considering how Valya is still alive to scare Alice. Possibly, the mysterious cosmonaut’s fate sheds light on how Jo can be alive in the ISS! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Jo’s Existence in Liminal Space

‘Constellation’ begins with Jo returning to Earth from the International Space Station after an accident that occurs in space, which also kills her colleague Paul. The sixth episode of the series makes it clear that there is an alternate version of the tragedy in the ISS. In a different universe, the accident kills Jo rather than Paul, who returns to Earth after leaving his colleague’s body in the space station. The astronaut who returns to Earth in the first universe is Jo from the alternate one, which makes her Jo B. Meanwhile, after a swap, Jo A ends up in the universe of Jo B and Paul B (who is alive after the accident) and remains in the space station.

Jo A’s actions in the first season finale make it clear that she is in a liminal space. According to quantum mechanics, liminal space is a realm where a particle can exist in two different states. For example, while putting Schrödinger’s cat into practice, the box where the cat remains with a flask of poison and radioactive source is a liminal space since the animal is alive and dead inside the box at the same time until it is opened. Similarly, Jo A is in a liminal space where she is alive and dead at the same time. Her state of existence is expected to change according to the observer or the universe/reality.

Jo may not be the first person who ended up in such a liminal space. Valya, despite dying, displays the features of a living being in front of Alice. Even though she is just a dead cosmonaut for Jo B, she is a living entity for Alice A, the daughter of Jo A. Therefore, death is not a concrete reality for the characters who are entangled in this quantum superposition. The finale also includes a significant development to back this theory. When Paul wakes up after getting shot in a hospital, he is stunned to be alive and the first thing he checks is his hands. Even though it is Paul B who gets shot by Bud, Paul A is most likely the one who wakes up in the hospital.

In Universe A, Paul dies right after the accident severely harming his hands. His colleagues had to consider an amputation to save him. The woken-up Paul has to be Paul A to worry about his hands. But how is Paul A alive and dead at the same time? Is the whole world a part of the liminal space? We may need to wait for the second season of the series to learn how. Although Apple TV+ hasn’t renewed the science fiction show yet for a sophomore installment, creator Peter Harness hasn’t ruled out the continuation of Jo and Paul’s sagas.

“I would love to do a series 2, but we will have to wait and see for any information about that. […] I’ve been thinking for years about what might happen next,” Harness told Screen Rant. “Obviously we’re very happy to get to the end of the first season, but there’s a long way to go with these characters. I think there’s a bigger story to tell about space, about the history of this, and I think these characters have got a long way to go. [Jo and Paul] have only just landed back on Earth, and life is very long for these characters,” the screenwriter said about the potential sophomore installment while attending the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

If the second season materializes, we may get to know what’s ahead for Jo A, who is seemingly alive. She has been making it evident that her eyes are always on Alice even though she is away from her daughter. As Jo B tries to be the mother of Alice A, it won’t be a surprise if Jo A’s presence shows up between them, just like how Valya appears before Alice.

Read More: Constellation: Who is the Father of Jo’s Baby?