It’s time to check out of The Resort, and frankly, I’m ready to go home. The Peacock series has had its spooky peaks and paranormal valleys, but the season finale left me a little wanting. I kept waiting for some big payoff that never came, and I’m not entirely sure what the message of the whole thing was. I guess a piece of art doesn’t have to have a mission statement per se, but it does feel like The Resort wanted to teach us something. Is it that our memories make us who we are? That we can’t go home again? That we need to learn to live with pain and that it’ll get a little better in the end? Or is it that there’s a magical fountain of youth somewhere in a cave in Mexico?
That’s where we ultimately end up in The Resort, of course, but the finale finds all of our protagonists doing an awful lot of cave stumbling beforehand. The episode opens on a snoring Sam and an annoyed Violet. She sneaks off, leaving him a shoe note, and uses a rope to rappel into a big-ass cave. Our modern-day voyagers are exploring the same cave too, and they confusingly run into a rope-pulley system attached to a floating raft. Who put that raft there? When? Why? There are no answers, really, as much as we may want them.
Anyway, they take the raft through the cave and arrive at some sort of mystical jungle oasis that’s lovely but still isn’t pasaje. “How the fuck did we miss this,” Nick Offerman’s Murray muses. In a hurricane, he says, they’d be underwater even in that area, and the gang struggles to figure out what happened to Sam and Violet.
Suddenly (and conveniently) Emma and Baltasar both find caves. They split up to explore them, with Murray and Baltasar ultimately battling a big scary yellow snake. Baltasar looks it dead in the eyes and comes to terms with both his family and the creator, saying he’s “tired of being assaulted by symbols.” He realizes the snake actually does have four noses, which is kind of weird and cool. He seems to walk away slightly freer — always a good thing.
Back in the past, Violet and Sam reunite in whatever cave they’re in and struggle to find their way out against the rising water. Things look dire for them as they gradually become submerged, and we eventually see them fully underwater, locked in a comforting embrace. It seems they’ve come to terms with their eventual deaths — Sam says it’s “still better than talking to Hannah about her professor’s penis” — but then there’s an off-camera light and something mysterious (also off-camera) happens … but we’ll get to that later.
After getting shit on by a bunch of bats, Noah and Emma make a mad dash through the cave and run into what they think is a dead end. Emma spies a little hole she can climb through farther up the wall, and Noah hoists her up. I think there’s supposed to be some sort of “he’s learning she can do it for herself,” or “he is learning to let her be brave” subtext here, but it feels a little clunky. She tries to haul him up as well, but she’s unsuccessful so she goes off to explore on her own.
When she reaches a particularly tight spot, she tries to get through, only to get stuck. She panics, because of course you would, and Noah yells that she should try to slow her breathing and work on focusing. She flashes back to giving birth, appears to sort of pass out, and then boom! She wakes when she hears a baby’s gurgle. She summons up superhuman mom strength, breaks through the rocks, and follows the baby sounds.
She ends up next to a milky pool where she sees Sam, Violet, and Violet’s book floating around, Minority Report style. They look just the same, and that’s pretty weird, considering! Somehow the mystery pool has kept them alive, sustained, and in suspended animation for 15 years. Although Emma considers taking a dip herself after being lured by seeing (?) the face of her daughter — I think? We don’t really see anything, so I’m guessing here — she instead reaches in and pulls out Violet and Sam, both of whom come to immediately. Emma is stunned, and they are confused.
Murray and Baltasar are enjoying some nice mezcal near the jungle oasis when out stumble Noah, Emma, Violet, and Sam. Murray is speechless, and Violet and Sam are understandably confused. Violet doesn’t get what happened to her dad, and Noah and Emma have kicked the responsibility of actually explaining the whole thing to Baltasar because that’s as good an option as anything.
Off camera, Violet and Sam hear the whole shebang, and neither really understands it. Sam is especially confused because he thinks they’ve been in the water for only five minutes and says he just saw Baltasar dance the night before. “I haven’t danced in 15 years, kid,” Baltasar replies. Noah chides him for being a little pushy and harsh, but Baltasar rightfully replies something to the effect of “We don’t need to be softer with these guys. They transcended time. They’re heroes. It’s bananas.” Are they going to end up on Oprah? Will the cave water be used to cure diseases? We don’t know because none of that is ever discussed. The only clue we get to Sam’s future comes when he tries to call his parents, who hang up on him because they think it’s a cruel prank. Fair enough, I suppose.
Violet and Emma hang out a little outside the cave, and Emma asks Violet if she saw her mom. Violet nods but seems a little sad, telling her, “It still hurts.” Emma sympathizes and says, “It’s always there, but it gets better.” Later, she tells Noah she didn’t go into the water herself because she wanted to remember the past 15 years, which doesn’t make a ton of sense because it’s not necessarily true that she’s going to lose 15 years, but sure, whatever. We’re sort of left to believe this whole affair has saved their marriage, and while I’m sure there will be counseling and coming to terms and all sorts of shit once they get home, it’s nice that those two crazy kids can work things out.
The show ends on Baltasar and Luna hashing things out over drinks back at the resort. She tells him that what happened to Sam and Violet is “pretty on the surface, but if you squint, it’s fucked up.” That’s certainly true, and while it seems like Murray certainly had a robust life in the time Violet was gone, all of that came from his immense sense of loss and despair, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. The same thing probably goes for Sam’s parents, who we just don’t know anything about what happened post-hurricane. They’re undoubtedly glad to have him back, but at what cost?
Ultimately, Baltasar says he’s off “to an ocean very far away” because he’s “found something, or something has found me.” He gives Luna a brochure we never see, which makes her sort of chuckle, and we notice as Baltasar walks away that the back of his jacket is embroidered with an image of Alex, Luna, and himself watching the fireworks drunk on his 35th birthday. I get the sense that if there’s a season two of The Resort (which I kind of doubt?), it’ll follow Baltasar’s character on whatever his next adventure is. I hope he’s still a detective because I think I love that for him.
That’s it for (season one) of The Resort, though. I appreciate everyone who read these recaps. Now let’s all go on vacation and (hopefully) not fall into any warm mystery pools.
• Murray’s backstory is incredible, involving some Salvadoran freedom fighters, a covert op inside Cuba, an affair with the stepdaughter of a man whose name “rhymes with fu-liani,” and somehow surviving being locked inside a shipping container for weeks. Whoever wrote that really benefited from having Offerman in that role because he’s the only person I might believe could have done any or all of that. Well, maybe not roguishly commandeering a Norwegian family’s expensive sailboat, but I guess you never know.
• Is it contractually obligated in Hollywood that if you make a time-travel project and someone is from the past, they must make a confused attempt to use an iPhone? Because it sure does seem to happen all the time.
• One last note: I came away from this series really in love with Luis Gerardo Méndez, who plays Baltasar. He’s also in Netflix’s new Kevin Hart–Mark Wahlberg joint, Me Time, and I think he’s a delight. I hope we get to see him more in the future.