Considering that it’s Belgium’s first Netflix original, ‘Into the Night’ is surprisingly entertaining. With its short span of 6 episodes, the mini-series uses familiar dystopian themes but turns them into a novel concept of its own. Using the dynamics of its characters, it slowly builds tension and leads up to a fairly buoyant conclusion. If you’ve already seen it and you’re having a tough time wrapping your head around some of its plot points and ending, here’s an explanation for you.
Into the Night Plot Summary
Through the eyes of a former soldier, ‘Into the Night’ begins with the introduction of a “solar event” that instantly kills any living being that comes in contact with the sun. The soldier, Terenzio, foresees this event and hijacks an aircraft in Brussels. Without really explaining his intentions, he forces the pilot to fly out towards the west. Once the staff and the pilot of the plane begin to comply with him, he explains that the world is coming to an end and anyone who sees the light of the day ends up dying. For obvious reasons, almost all the passengers refuse to believe him but one look at the news and the grave condition of their next pitstop, they realize that he’s not making it up.
With this, panic and fear ensue in the aircraft while the pilot and a trained passenger keep heading into the West, with daylight just a few hours behind them. As they further progress with their journey, the grief of losing their loved ones and the desperation to survive brings out the absolute worst in some of them. This marks the beginning of some hefty politics between the passengers where some of them even try to establish power by leading others. Along with this, they soon start realizing that it’s not just living creatures that are being damaged by the radiations of the sun, but pretty much anything organic that comes in contact with it eventually gets destroyed. This, in turn, leads them to the realization that even their kerosene-based fuel will go stale and this poses a serious threat to their journey.
Somewhere along the way, a few passengers first discover a Russian radio signal that subtly foreshadows how some humans have already figured out a way to survive. They later take a detour in their journey and as suggested by Terenzio, they start looking for cues at a location where some government officials had organized a secret conference to discuss the impact of the solar event. This is where Rik, another passenger of the flight, discovers an old CCTV recording which reveals that a survival camp has been created in Bulgaria and this whole survival project is labeled as “Star.” This also comes in tandem with the radio signal that they had previously heard.
Into the Night Ending
After resolving all of their underlying conflicts, the crew finally lands in Bolivia, hoping to find the survivor’s community. With only half an hour left in their hand, they divide themselves into two groups and race towards the location. One group gets left behind while the other reaches there in the nick of time. This is when Sylvie and her group faces a final test. The gate to the facility leading to the survivors’ area has to kept open by someone from the inside. So she decides to handcuff Terenzio to the gate, drops his keys away from him, and asks him to wait for the other group to arrive.
The other group takes the wrong route to the facility but still somehow ends up there and they finally run into a group of defense personnel who welcome to the survivor camp and then ask them for help. In the meantime, Terenzio gets left behind and meets the same fate as the rest of the world. The ending of the series basically shows how everyone eventually accepted Sylvie as their leader as from the initial moments itself, she tried putting the needs of others in front of her own. Meanwhile, Terenzio, who selfishly hijacked the plane first and then tried to enforce things on others using his gun, had to face some grave consequences.
Now Terenzio’s role in the story can be seen with two perspectives: he can either be seen as the hero or as a villain. The fact that he saved everyone from the solar event makes him a hero but all of his actions that followed, very well proved that he deserved to die in the end. He never hijacked that plane to save the other passengers. He only wanted to save his own life and the other passengers just luckily happened to be around him. Even later, when he tries to kill Ayaz, he proves that all of his actions were only driven by his self-serving will to survive.
In the closing moments, the leader of the survivor camp also reveals to Sylvie that they might have a solution to stop the solar event and save the world. This can either serve as a cliffhanger to the next season or simply a narrative choice to bring an optimistic end to the series. Even when we look at other similar post-apocalyptic movies and shows like ‘I Am Legend‘ and ‘BirdBox,’ almost all of them end with the discovery of a survivor camp that evokes a sense of hope in the viewers.
Read More: Into the Night Review