'3 Body Problem' Season 1 Ending Explained: From Wallfacers to Cicadas


"3 Body Problem" is a science-heavy series that begins during China's Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and progresses through various timelines, culminating in a group of scientists present-day attempting to thwart an alien invasion. The show is based on Liu Cixin's popular Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy and features elements of suspense, drama, and science fiction.

The series revolves around the Oxford Five, a group of brilliant minds who must collaborate to protect humanity from an extraterrestrial threat. Throughout the narrative, viewers encounter themes such as the struggle for survival, the complexities of interpersonal relationships, and the consequences of technological advancements.

Poster - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

Key characters include Saul Durand, a member of the Oxford Five who grapples with his role as a Wallfacer, a position of immense power and secrecy within the United Nations' defense council. Other notable figures include Jin, a scientist who experiences guilt over the sacrifices made for the greater good, and Wade, the leader of the Oxford Five who oversees the Wallfacer Project.

As the series reaches its climactic finale, viewers are left with lingering questions and tantalizing mysteries, eager to unravel the enigmatic conclusion of "3 Body Problem" and discover the ultimate fate of our world in the face of an otherworldly threat.

The Wallfacer Project: Strategy Against the San-Ti

The Wallfacer Project, introduced by Secretary General Lilian Joseph, aims to combat the threat posed by the San-Ti through strategic planning and coordination. This initiative, named after ancient Eastern mediators, entrusts three individuals with unparalleled authority to develop and execute plans without divulging details until the opportune moment.

Wallfacer meet - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
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General Hou Bolin, a seasoned military historian, and Professor Leyla Ariç, a distinguished Kurdish war hero, are among the initial Wallfacers chosen for their expertise in military affairs and combat experience against ISIS. However, the selection of the third member, Saul Durand, raises eyebrows due to his unconventional background.

Saul's inclusion perplexes many, including himself, as he struggles to comprehend why he was chosen for such a pivotal role. Despite his reluctance and refusal to accept the responsibilities of a Wallfacer, Saul is thrust into the position, prompting speculation about his ability to handle the pressure and uncertainty that lies ahead.

Saul's Unexpected Role as a Wallfacer

The Wallfacer Project thrusts Saul into an unexpected and bewildering role, contrary to his desires. Despite his reluctance, Saul finds himself chosen as one of the Wallfacers, tasked with formulating strategies to counter the San-Ti threat.

Saul and Jin - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
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Saul's confusion and refusal to accept this responsibility are palpable, as he rejects the notion of being a Wallfacer. His apprehension is understandable, considering the immense pressure and isolation associated with the role.

Even after expressing his adamant refusal, Saul's resignation is met with ambivalence from those around him. The Secretary General acknowledges the enigmatic nature of a Wallfacer's duties, emphasizing the secrecy and solitude that define their mission.

The complexity of Saul's predicament is evident as he grapples with the seemingly arbitrary selection process and the lack of clarity surrounding his role. Despite his skepticism, Saul is reminded of the imperative to fight for future generations, prompting him to reluctantly confront the challenges ahead.

Assassination Attempt on Saul

Despite the sniper's attempt on his life, Saul survives with only a broken rib, thanks to his bulletproof suit. In a surprising turn of events, Saul confronts the shooter in the hospital, who cryptically identifies himself as "a soldier in the army of the Lord." The shooter's enigmatic words hint at a deeper connection to the San-Ti threat, leaving Saul puzzled about his significance in the grand scheme of things.

Saul and Auggie - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
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As Saul grapples with the aftermath of the attempt on his life, he seeks solace in the familiarity of home, reflecting on the bewildering circumstances that have thrust him into the role of a Wallfacer. Despite his reservations, Saul's resignation is met with a reminder of the importance of perception and the clandestine nature of a Wallfacer's duties.

The revelation that the San-Ti threat looms centuries in the future adds another layer of complexity to Saul's predicament, leaving him questioning the rationale behind his selection. While the Secretary General offers cryptic insights into Saul's role, viewers are left intrigued by the tantalizing prospect of uncovering the truth behind his involvement.

Additionally, Tatiana's discovery of a VR headset hints at a deeper connection to the overarching narrative, teasing further mysteries yet to be unraveled.

Tatiana's Mission and Jin's Dilemma

Amidst the unfolding chaos, Tatiana's mission takes a mysterious turn as she discovers a VR headset in her RV, bearing a cryptic message from the San-Ti: "If one of us survives, we all survive." This revelation signifies that her journey is far from over; she has been chosen for a higher purpose. Despite the uncertainty, Tatiana embraces her role with unwavering conviction, demonstrating her steadfast belief in the cause.

The Phrase If one of us survives, we all survive - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
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Meanwhile, tensions escalate between Raj and Jin aboard Wade's jet, revealing the emotional complexities at play. Jin grapples with the weight of her decisions, acknowledging the sacrifice of Will's life for the project's ambitious goals. She wrestles with the daunting task ahead, likening it to threading a needle hundreds of times while hurtling through space at incredible speeds.

As Raj confronts Jin about the true nature of Will's existence, their exchange delves into the intricacies of love, loss, and the blurred lines between life and death. Jin's unwavering devotion to Will, despite his transformed state, showcases the depth of her emotions and the profound impact he has had on her life.

Jin Cheng - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
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In a touching moment of self-realization, Jin confronts the complexities of her feelings, acknowledging the possibility that Will may hold a deeper significance to her than she initially realized. The raw emotions portrayed in this scene resonate deeply, offering a glimpse into the internal struggles faced by the characters amidst the looming threat of the San-Ti.

The Staircase Project: A Last-Ditch Effort

In a pivotal moment of The Staircase Project, Will Downing's brain is prepared for launch as part of a last-ditch effort to combat the looming threat of the San-Ti invasion. The scene unfolds at Cape Canaveral in Florida, where the intricate preparations for the mission are underway.

The Staircase Project Launch - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
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As the countdown to launch begins, Jin grapples with feelings of guilt over Will's fate, lamenting that she may have sacrificed his final weeks for the sake of the project. She stresses the critical importance of the radiation sail opening at precisely the right moment to navigate past 300 atomic bombs—a daunting task likened to threading a needle hundreds of times amidst the chaos of space travel.

Raj challenges Jin's perspective, asserting that Will is no longer alive in the traditional sense. However, Jin remains resolute in her belief that Will's consciousness persists within his preserved brain, clinging to the hope of his eventual revival.

Amidst this emotional turmoil, Saul arrives to witness the culmination of the mission. With bated breath, they watch as the capsule containing Will's brain launches into space, propelled by the explosive power of the nuclear bombs. The initial stages of the journey proceed according to plan, with the radiation sail successfully navigating past the detonating bombs.

However, just as hope begins to flicker, tragedy strikes, signaling unforeseen challenges on the horizon.

The Launch and Devastating Outcome

As the tension mounts at Cape Canaveral in Florida, the pivotal moment arrives with the loading of Will's capsule into the awaiting ship.

With Saul's timely arrival, the rocket ignites, heralding the commencement of the mission. Initially, all appears to proceed seamlessly: the capsule exits Earth's orbit, the radiation sail unfurls, and it successfully navigates past the initial nuclear bomb. Each detonation propels the ship forward, building momentum for the journey ahead.

However, amidst the triumph of the moment, disaster strikes. A critical cable connecting the sail to the capsule snaps, sending the vessel veering off course into the vast expanse of outer space. Will's brain, the centerpiece of the mission, is now adrift, and the mission is swiftly branded a failure.

The realization of this catastrophic turn of events plunges Jin into despair, as the fleeting hope of Will's potential revival evaporates before her eyes. The missed opportunity serves as a poignant reminder of the irreversible consequences of failure in the face of an existential threat.

Wade's Encounter and Auggie's Endeavor

Amidst the high stakes of coordinating the Wallfacer Project aboard Wade's private jet, an unexpected interruption occurs. The TV screens flicker to life, displaying the avatar from the VR game, delivering a chilling message about the failure of the Staircase Project and expressing a keen interest in meeting Mr. Downing. Wade, undeterred by the ominous tone, interprets their attention as a validation of his efforts.

In a surreal twist, the avatar materializes within the cabin, issuing cryptic assurances of their omnipresence and insidious influence. Wade is confronted with a haunting countdown, accompanied by a spectral manifestation of his own form, devoid of eyes—a blunt reminder of the looming threat posed by the enigmatic forces at play.

Meanwhile, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Auggie finds purpose in her nanofiber technology, deploying it to address the pressing need for clean drinking water in a local village. Her endeavor represents a tangible manifestation of her commitment to making a meaningful difference in the world, marking a significant departure from her previous pursuits.

The Eerie Ending and Potential for Season 2

As the tumultuous events of The Staircase Project unfold, Wade receives a chilling message from a Sophon, expressing regret over the project's failure and a desire to meet Will Downing. The eerie encounter culminates in Wade being ominously informed of his role in the aliens' enigmatic plan, leaving him unsettled and haunted by disturbing visions.

Da Shi - 3 Body Problem - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

In a poignant moment of reflection, Jin and Saul find solace in a motel pool, grappling with the profound sorrow of their friend's uncertain fate. Their melancholy reverie is disrupted by the irrepressible Da Shi, who urges them to embrace resilience in the face of adversity, likening humanity to resilient cicadas.

Amidst the backdrop of their despondency, Da Shi's pragmatic resolve serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing battle against the San-Ti, prompting a sobering realization of the imperative to persevere despite overwhelming odds.

The series concludes with Da Shi's rallying cry, underscoring the urgency of their mission and hinting at the potential for a Season 2, as Jin and Saul reluctantly prepare to confront the challenges that lie ahead.

Wrap Up

Throughout the series, characters face challenges that test their beliefs, values, and abilities. These trials force them to confront their fears, doubts, and prejudices, ultimately leading them to grow and adapt in unexpected ways.

As viewers, we are encouraged to reflect on the lessons presented in the show. Some key messages include the importance of unity and cooperation in the face of adversity, the value of resilience and adaptability, and the consequences of underestimating the potential threats we face as a society.

Watch '3 Body Problem' on Netflix.

'3 Body Problem' Season 1 Ending Explained From Wallfacers to Cicadas

Author: Mary Taylor

Author/Writer - Mary Taylor

Introducing Mary Taylor! When she's not gardening or running her household like a superhero, she's a wordsmith extraordinaire. With her keyboard and a sharp eye, she dives into the world of Movies & TV Shows, crafting articles that could star in their own Entertainment Enigma.

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