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Netflix’s ‘We Are the Wave’ Ending, Explained

November 1, 2019
8 min read

Netflix’s teen drama, ‘We Are the Wave’ follows the story of a group of teenagers who come together to start a revolution against the oppressive system. Soon, their idea catches fire and as they rejoice in the glory of it, they are also made to face the consequences of their actions, when it runs out of their control. If you haven’t yet seen the series, you should head over to Netflix, and come back later to find out what the ending means for the members of The Wave.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Plot Summary

In the penultimate episode, ‘We Are the Wave’ catches up with the introductory scene of the season. Before we come to know about the origins of The Wave, we are given a glimpse into their future. Tristan and Lea intoxicate an extremist politician while he is giving a speech. At first, it seems like they want to kill him and have poisoned the water that is served to him. But that’s not the part of their plan. They just kidnap him.

After this, the clock winds a few months back and we see the whole story chronologically. By the time it closes the loop in the fifth episode, we have been made familiar with their purpose and modus operandi. They dress up the politician in a Nazi uniform and put him on display. This heightens their spirits and they move on the bigger and riskier projects.

After Rahim and his family are evicted from their apartment, the Wave decides to take action against the people who bought the building to make luxury houses, while leaving people like Rahim homeless. They plan better and smarter this time, but one mistake unwinds everything. Tristan poses as the spokesperson of the event, but they forget to take into the account that one phone call from the real one can spoil everything, and that is exactly what happens.

They succeed in making a show out of it and the whole fiasco is streamed online, just like the other ones. But before they can quietly escape, the police reach the venue. With some difficulty, they succeed in breaking out and even make it to the other side of the busy road, but the Inspector, who is now sick and tired of their debacles and the way they get away with everything, fires a bullet, which hits Lea. The final episode handles the aftermath.

We Are the Wave Ending

The finale of the first season of ‘We Are the Wave’ poses a lot of questions for the characters. In the previous episodes, the five of them indulge in a number of incidents and somehow manage to get away with every single one of them, until Lea is shot down. By now, they had only tasted success, with the exception of the slaughterhouse incident, which further emboldened them and they felt themselves turning into an invincible force. However, the “naivete” that Tristan said was the strength of the young people becomes a severe shortcoming and ultimately paves the way to their downfall.

As Lea recovers from her wounds, Tristan is forced to revisit his initial plan, wondering if it is worth it to put the lives of his friends in danger. A vision of his mother’s death moves him, and Rahim’s backing out from the Wave shows him that it is still not too late. However, when he finds Zazie and Hagen at his apartment, ready to join in on the next plan, he decides to go forward with it. Still, none of them is aware of the real reason behind Tristan’s motivations.

In the guise of the internship, Zazie and Hagen succeed in getting a layout of the heavily guarded factory of Hacke and Abt. They are the weapons manufacturers whom Tristan holds responsible for the death of his mother. Without Lea and Rahim, they have to come up with more creative ways to get into the place, and amazingly, they manage to pull it off. Their plan would have worked, but the Inspector, who has been relieved of his duties after firing at Lea, figures out the location of their next attack and before anything can happen, he catches up with them.

Luckily, Lea comes up with back-up. She calls out to everyone who had joined The Wave before, and this time organises a proper revolt. The first time around, when she spontaneously called out to everyone to bring down the slaughterhouse, they took her literally. As Tristan said, they were a bunch of drunk kids who wanted to party. But back then, Lea, too, had been intoxicated with the power that the revolution provided her with.

She thought she could lead everyone else towards a better future, and the fact that so many people had come to join their movement meant that they were all in sync with her, and that of her friends’, thought process. But again, she was too naïve to think that all young people are driven by the same thing as she is. Moreover, she had overestimated her own influence over others. It is one thing to gather everyone with one text message, and a completely another responsibility to organise them.

To everyone’s relief, Lea proves to be a fast learner. She accepts her mistakes and when they finally need the help of a mob, she does a better job of managing them. Another thing that works for her in the final episode is her ability to enforce her leadership. Previously, she seemed a little too full of herself. She easily imagined that everyone would follow her leadership by default.

Even after the slaughterhouse incident, when the rest of her friends depart from the path towards which she was leading The Wave, she thinks that being the founding member of the group gives her the authority to be the leader of the new members. What she forgets is that they are all kids, and they are there to rebel against the authority. Why would they trade one authority figure for another? Why would they make her, or anyone else, their leader when they were there to fight already established enforcers?

What’s different in the final episode is that Lea has grown up. She has moved beyond her own power status in The Wave. In fact, this time around, she is not doing it to fight anyone. This time, it is about saving Tristan, Zazie and Hagen. She doesn’t want them to become criminals. She doesn’t want them to hurt anyone, including themselves. And above all, she doesn’t want them to go against everything that The Wave stands for. Previously, she had organised the rally on a whim; this time, she knows exactly what she is doing, which shows in her standing as a leader. Tristan, and the others, also accept it and retract from the original plan of blowing up the building.

We Are the Wave Season 2: What to Expect?

‘We Are the Wave’ ends as a mixed bag for the revolution. By stopping Tristan’s plan, Lea and the others succeed in keeping the spirit of The Wave alive as well as legitimate. Also, Tristan understands that he is a part of something bigger now, even though it had been completely unintentional. He has traded his revenge for the true purpose of the revolution.

All of the protestors are arrested, though it all happens peacefully. This means that we shouldn’t expect any of them to be in jail for much longer. It could have been a bit problematic for Tristan, Zazie and Hagen, because they had planned to blow up the place, and also had a gun in their possession. However, both, the bomb and the gun, are gone, so we shouldn’t expect some severe action against them. Speaking of the weapons, they are in Zazie’s possession now. And something tells us, she is set to be one of the antagonists for the next season.

With the Wave, she had found a place where she belonged, where she was accepted for who she was, where she had real friends and was valued. But she also feels threatened by Lea, who is the centre of attention for Tristan. For the sake of the group, she accepts her presence in their lives, but in the final episode, she is back to square one. Lea saves the day and everyone is in awe of her courage and talent. When both Tristan and Hagen follow her, Zazie feels neglected and returns home, while the others continue to protest. In the final scene, we find her looking at the bomb that was meant to go off at the factory.

In the next season of ‘We Are the Wave’, we can expect Zazie’s insecurities to play a huge role against the revolution. The movement seems stronger than before, especially after people all over the world have taken to it. We can also expect the right-wing politicians to plot against The Wave, and some other evil corporation could become another major player in the game. With all this in mind, one thing’s for sure. The next season is going to be bigger and better.

Read More: We Are the Wave Review

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