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The Peripheral’s ending explained

Now that its first season is at an end, many fans of The Peripheral are naturally wondering whether the show will be renewed for a second season. Until one is announced, though, all we can do is dive deep into the ending of the first season, and look for any potential clues about where the story might go from here.

Warning: this post contains spoilers for the entire first season of The Peripheral

Gary Carr and Chloe Grace Moretz stare at each other while seated in a scene from The Peripheral.

The first season of The Peripheral follows Flynne Fisher, a young woman living in 2032 who discovers that her world is part of an experiment being conducted by a variety of shady characters in 2099 London. Flynne can access this future through a peripheral, which is basically a VR headset that allows her to pilot a robotic body within that world. As the first season unfolds, we’re introduced to a variety of villains that Flynne is recruited to stop, including Dr. Cherise Nuland, who works for an organization known as the Research Institute, and Zev Lubov, who is the head of a mafia-esque organization known as the Klept.

Flynne doesn’t defeat either of these foes in the season 1 finale, but she does avert an apocalypse in the 2032 timeline known as the Jackpot, at least for now. Cherise initially planned on destroying the world, known as a stub, because of information in Flynne’s hands that she was worried could wind up in the Klept. When Flynne discovers Cherise’s plan to end her stub, though, she decides to enact her own plan to save the world from destruction.

Flynne’s plan involves dying in her stub

The Peripheral Season 1 - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Flynne’s plan to save the rest of her stub is to die. After aligning herself with Inspector Lowbeer, though, Flynne enacts a plan that will mean the end of her life in 2032, but not the end of her life completely. She creates another stub after infiltrating the Research Institute and then destroys the device that will allow Cherise to discover where she is. She died in her original world but has found a new pocket universe where she can exist in almost exactly the same way without being tracked by Cherise.

Now, Cherise has no reason to destroy Flynne’s stub, which the Research Institute initially invested a lot of time and money in to conduct the kinds of experiments that would be illegal in their reality.

The Klept may destroy Flynne’s stub anyway

Chloe Grace Moretz stares into a mirror in a scene from The Peripheral.

In a post-credits scene, we see that Flynne’s actions may have been just a temporary solution to a more permanent problem. Lubov is seen meeting with other members of the Klept, who tell him that he should cut the entire tree down if even one branch of it is giving him problems. It’s a metaphor, but one that seems to clearly hint at the notion that Lubov and the Klept may be coming for Flynne’s stub in the show’s second season. Flynne may have averted one crisis for her world by sacrificing herself, but all she may have done is buy the people she loves in that world a little extra time.

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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