'Equinox' Season 1 Ending Explained: Murder mystery or supernatural thriller? Here's where Ida, Astrid went
'Equinox', the second Danish Netflix series is a dark show that is slow to build. Too slow, in fact, but the one reason to stick with it until the very end (if you have the luxury of spending that time on a show) is to figure out what really happened when Astrid's sister Ida went missing. 'Equinox' is a mish-mash of sex cult turned murder mystery with a hint of supernatural and all of it is shrouded in the name of a thriller.
When Astrid (Viola Martinsen) was all of nine years old, her sister Ida (Karoline Hamm) had gone missing. She, along with her 20 classmates, had gone on a graduation special truck trip, which was celebratory as students cheered with beers in hands. However, of the 21 of them, only 3 returned and 18 students including Ida had gone missing. From the moment that Ida had gone missing, Astrid had begun to dream. They were more nightmares that were too real to be written off as disturbing dreams so her father, instead, helped her seek professional help by signing her up for treatment in a mental facility.
However, her mother refused to believe that the nightmares were having a toll on her daughter's mental health and instead tried to push Astrid further into exploring her nightmares to figure out if she could find Ida in her nightmares and bring her back. Turns out, Ida and Astrid's mother and father have been hiding a huge secret from their daughters and over the six episodes, we unravel this secret in the form of flashes from the past that juxtaposes with Astrid's (Danica Curcic) recurring dreams as an adult.
In the present, she is the mother of a daughter herself and also hosts a radio program that centers on superstitions and beliefs that lead people astray. One fine day, she is reminded of her traumatic past when her sister's boyfriend Jakob calls Astrid and warns her, tells her that he saw how her sister had disappeared along with the others and tells her that what she believes to be superstition is all real.
The show centers on the folklore of Eostre or Ostara that is native to Danish and German regions. The legend of Ostara centers on the Spring Goddess who is borrowed from the pantheonic rituals and is now even a namesake God of the Easter. The one that the show centers on is how Ostara was a woman who the Hare King had fallen in love with during the equinox and had to part with her when she wanted to return home after the ritual. The Hare King had refused to leave with her, and instead returned home alone himself. However, Ostara noticed when she was away from the Hare King the appearance of eggs all over the place that she had met with the Hare King. So one by one the eggs hatched and out of them appeared rabbits, and since then, it is believed that these rabbits are the ones that bring us the Easter eggs. In the show, Astrid's father also tells her this lore as a nighttime story when she is in the hospital getting treated.
To understand the ending it is very important to understand this love story between Ostara and the Hare King because the entire show is centered on when the two of them can finally reunite. Initially, we are led to believe that Ida was Ostara. It is a pact that Ida and Astrid's mother who was unable to get pregnant had made, with the Hare King who appears in the form of a human called Henrik (Alexandre Willaume). She tells him she will return Ida to him after she turns eighteen, not expecting that he will return to collect what was promised to him. Instead of returning Ida to him, however, she tells Henrik that she is willing to hand Ida's and his baby that was created on the night of the Equinox. However, Ida had ended up getting an abortion.
This abortion had led to the pact between Ida's mother and Henrik getting ruined, so Henrik is furious that he did not get what he was promised. It is while waiting for that which was promised to him that he imprisons Ida and her classmates. Turns out, Astrid is really the Ostara who by reuniting with Henrik aka the Hare King in the legend can free the souls that were captured and this is exactly what we see in the finale episode when we see zombie-like humans appear in a field one after another. However, neither Ida not Astrid returns because the world doesn't understand them any longer. Astrid, for instance, has always been misunderstood by her father who did not want her to get any closer to the supernatural side of her legacy while her mother pushed her to it too much. So by choosing to leave with Henrik and her sister Ida, Astrid leaves behind a world that refuses to open its worldview to her experience to live elsewhere peacefully.
All episodes of 'Equinox' can be streamed on Netflix.