'Stateless' Ending Explained: How did Sofie and Mina escape from the Barton detention center?
Spoilers for 'Stateless'
The first five episodes of 'Stateless' works on explaining how the current detainees at Barton Detention Center landed there. The most curious of all is the case of Sofie Werner (Yvonne Strahovski) - an anomaly in an immigration detention center in Australia as she does not resemble anybody detained at the facility. The seemingly educated white woman somewhat "not entirely there," as the guards would put it, claims for the longest time that she is Eva Hoffman from Germany and wishes to be deported back home. Her story is a striking contrast with the 12-year-old Afghani girl Mina (Soraya Heideri), who had traveled to Australia with her family of four, seeking protection visa. As fate would have it, amid seasoned veterans at the facility, many of whom have protested and struggled to escape even, it is Sofie and Mina who manage to burst the cursed myths of Barton and leave the facility. And the final episode 6 titled 'The Seventh Circle' explains it all.
Sofie, as it turns out, was never German, to begin with. Right from the beginning, the non-linear narrative teases Sofie's past through her flashbacks. We see her exploited by the GOPA self-help cult, sending her into a breakdown that ends with her running away from the psychiatric facility she was admitted to. The next we see her, she is in Barton, her version of the story and a somewhat broken German accent having us convinced she really did come from Germany to Australia by some yet to be revealed twist of fate.
Throughout the previous episodes, we also see Sofie's sister Margot (Marta Dusseldorp) investigate into her disappearance but it is only in Episode 6 when she asks in as many words if Sofie is 'here' do we realize Sofie was never in Germany, to begin with. Based on the harrowing true story of Cornelia Rau, Sofie too was a German resident of Australia through and through. Her mental illness led to her weaving a fantasy of having lost her way from Germany to Australia and this constant ache for getting deported was perhaps a coping mechanism or even an attempt to get out of the reach of GOPA who threatened to ruin her life if she ever exposed them.
Her unstable state led to getting arrested and soon she was sent to the immigrant detention center as authorities assumed she must have been illegally in Australia, or may have probably been a spy. It was only in the final moments when they realized the reality of incidents and right before human rights could visit the facility, newly instated General Manager Clare (Asher Keddie) hatches the master plan to send Sofie off to a psychiatric facility first, thus avoiding a big blow-up tarnishing the already tainted name of the detention center.
But while Sofie was reunited with her family, Mina's story doesn't end as happily. When videos of her father Ameer (Fayssal Bazzi) translating the people smugglers' English to help his native people reached Barton's authorities, chances of the two of them getting protection visa dims. Ameer eventually has to come clean about stealing back his own money from the fraud smuggler to get his wife and two kids on a boat, but he couldn't get in it because the smuggler's men arrived right in time and held him back.
Beaten and left to die on the shore, Ameer finally managed to cross the waters and land in Barton only to be reunited with Mina as his wife Najeeba and younger daughter Sadiqa both drowned on the way. But with the recent revelations, Ameer faces a strong chance of being deported, along with Mina, if he doesn't plead guilty. If he does, he would be put in detention indefinitely. So Ameer makes the biggest sacrifice of all just to save his only living child. He weaves a fake story about how he had met Najeeba and her two daughters on their way to Australia and to offer them protection he pretended to be the girls' father.
This means, should Ameer get deported, Mina wouldn't be forced to leave with him, ensuring her a safe and decent life in Australia. Throughout the debut season 'Stateless' has been about the sacrifices these migrants from third world nations make to ensure a proper, worthy life for their children and Ameer's tribulations are no less a symbol of the same. Luckily for him, Clare has turnover from being a staunch pro-government figure of authority to a human whose heart weeps for the lesser privileged so Mina's future is secure at least.
'Stateless' is now available for streaming only on Netflix.