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Archive 81 Ending: Final Plot Twist Explained

Gabriella Ferlita

| Last updated 

Archive 81 Ending: Final Plot Twist Explained

The horror series Archive 81 has just been released on Netflix, which sees archivist Dan Turner (as played by Mamoudou Athie) restoring footage from 1990s camcorder recordings. When Dan plays the footage, he gets pulled into the mystery of what really happened in those tapes. 

Fans of the spooky series have binge-watched the show over the weekend, and have undoubtedly reached the show’s ambiguous ending, but what exactly happened to Dan?

Warning: Spoilers for Archive 81 in the rest of this article.

How does Archive 81 end?

The ending sees Melody (played by Dina Shihabi) trying to save Jess (Ariana Neal) from Samuel (Evan Jonigkeit). Melody was able to help Jess, until Samuel in turn grabbed her. 

"It's okay. You're the one I really need", he spookily told Melody as he cut her hand so that her “Baldung” blood dripped onto the Kaelego statue, causing his spell to be cast and Iris Voss to appear. 

Samuel then steps into the magic cloud that Iris appeared from and brings Melody with him. 

Jess secretly captured all of this on video tape, before the Visser swiftly burned down. 

As Dan asks for Virgin Davenport’s (Martin Donovan) help with reopening the door so he can save Melody, the pair have a disagreement. 

Dan then realizes that Melody is being kept in a storage facility by his dad and that someone set his family home on fire, burning it to the ground along with his family and the tapes, so that the truth wouldn’t come to light. 

Mark (Matt McGorry) comes to help, hitting Virgil over the head with a crowbar so he doesn’t stop Dan’s plan to rescue Melody. 

Dan and Mark then head up the compound, where they find a replica of the Visser’s basement. 

Just as Dan is about to go into the basement, he’s greeted by a compound worker yet again. He then finds out that Julia is actually Melody’s mum, and Julia allows the pair to help her.

Julia hands the duo a key that might help Dan go into the other world without risking any consequences to planet earth. 

Dan then attempts to enter the world with the key in his hand in an attempt to rescue Melody.

Dan first sees his “family”, which is actually a ploy intended to bring him into this other world. Then, he spots Melody. 

Melody becomes overwhelmed when she sees Dan and says: "You came here for me? I thought you were a dream!"

They both run out of the church just as it combusts behind them, but they are soon greeted by a demon who tries to stop them from escaping. 

To their delight, Julia has a tuning fork, which is able to show Dan and Melody how to get home.

Then, Samuel appears and tries to drag Melody away yet again. 

Melody miraculously returns to the present day world with her mum, but Dan is shown in a hospital bed. 

When he wakes, a nurse says that the staff were “worried” he would never wake as he had been asleep for 10 days after the Visser catastrophe.

The nurse carries on explaining that Dan was the only survivor from the disaster, when he realises a tribute to Kurt Cobain is live on the TV. 

Dan then sees the Twin Towers intact in New York City outside the window, suggesting that he has in fact swapped places with Melody, and is now stuck in the 1990s. 

You can watch Archive 81 now on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, TV and Film

Gabriella Ferlita
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