Constellation Episode 8 & Ending Explained

By Tom Drew Posted:
Constellation, Noomi Rapace as Johanna “Jo” Ericsson

After a season filled with alternate universes, doppelgangers, and gaslighting, Apple TV+'s Constellation concludes with even more twists, turns, and a creepy final moment in Episode 8.

The sci-fi thriller series kicked off its first set of episodes with a mind-bending narrative and killer performances from Noomi Rapace and Jonathan Banks. 

In this series, the cast deals with the fallout of a crisis on the International Space Station that quickly takes a turn for the weird.

Constellation Episode 8 Explained

Noomi Rapace as Jo in Constellation
Apple TV+

Constellation's eighth episode, titled "These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruin," kicks off with Noomi Rapace's Jo being whisked to St. Sergius, where she's given a not-so-healthy dose of electroconvulsive therapy to 'treat' her. After an ultrasound, Jo is also revealed to be pregnant.

After a visit from Barbara Sukowa's Irena, Jo pleads with her that she has to find her real daughter, her Alice, who is currently in another universe. Irena informs Jo of her pregnancy, causing Jo to grab her arm in protest. 

For a split second, Irena's form is replaced with the Valya, revealing to Jo that Irena and the deceased cosmonaut are one and the same.

Later, Henry David's Ilya tries to appeal to Jo too, trying to talk her out of the perceived nonsense that she is spewing and blaming it on her astronaut burnout.

Meanwhile, the fallout of Jonathan Banks' Bud and Henry switching bodies in Episode 7 picks up. Bud destroys the CAL, seemingly to further prevent connections between the two universes, and lays the blame on Jo. 

He meets up with Irena, who is under the impression that she is meeting with Henry, and reveals his true identity.

In the other universe, Henry is made to be the fall guy for Bud's crimes, now being stuck in the body of the man who killed Ian and almost killed Paul. He passes a polygraph test and finds out his DNA is exactly the same as Bud's, though the outcome of the charges levied against him remains to be seen.

Flipping back over to Jo's side of the narrative, she and her supporting cast find themselves approaching some semblance of acceptance. In the other universe, the other Alice tells Magnus that the other, other Alice got her mother, which her father interprets as her moving on.

In Jo's universe, Alice and Magnus go to visit Jo at the facility, where Jo and Alice decide to be each other's mother and daughter despite their universal origins.

Irena approaches Alice on the facility's front steps, gifting her some fruit and revealing that she is the Valya. Jo shares a final goodbye with her daughter before she departs, with Alice questioning where her yet-to-be-born sibling will be from if Jo is from another universe.

Cutting back to the International Space Station, the corpse of the other Jo slowly spins in zero G's towards the camera to show off her gnarled, half-blown-off face. She awakens and calmly grabs a tablet illuminating a picture of her and her daughter.

Which Version of Paul is Alive?

William Catlett as Paul in Constellation
Apple TV+

After teases that started in Constellation Episode 2 indicated that William Catlett's Paul could have cheated death, he was finally revealed to have survived in the finale. At least, a version of him has.

Following on from his near-fatal shooting from Bud in Episode 7, Paul is later seen waking up in a hospital and declaring that he has seen something.

Although it can be presumed that Paul woke up after simply recovering from his gunshot wound, what if yet another body swap has occurred and this Paul is the one who perished on the ISS in the series premiere? 

He oddly stares at his raised hands, almost puzzled by their very existence. This could tie back to his arm having to be amputated in Episode 1, potentially indicating that the two Pauls have swapped bodies as Bud and Henry have.

Alternatively, perhaps Paul did succumb to his gunshot wound and has instead been replaced by the soul that was lost on the ISS.

Is Jo Alive at the End of Constellation Episode 8?

Noomi Rapace as Jo in Constellation
Apple TV+

The reasoning behind Jo's sudden awakening in the ISS is unclear, though it could be a hint that there's hope of a return home (albeit, hope that only has half a face).

With Bud and Henry swapping places in Episode 7, is there a chance that Jo may have transplanted her mind into the other's, allowing her to return to her own universe? If the other Jo is truly dead and the places have been switched, this could mean that Jo has a shot at making it back to her family but at the cost of one Jo still being fated to die.

Alternatively, there may still be some sentience in the other Jo despite her death, meaning another Jo with her own prerogatives to contend with.

Given that Bud and Henry have experienced body-swapping and Paul is in the early stages of going through something similar, it stands to reason that Jo would be dealing with a switcheroo of her own.

This does raise the question of whether Irena has been able to communicate or body swap with the Valya. Was her soul originally from the Valya and took the place of the body that 'Irena' currently finds herself in? Does this mean Paul and Jo can transplant themselves into dead versions of themselves? The plot only thickens.

What Could Happen in Constellation Season 2?

Noomi Rapace as Jo and Alice in Constellation
Apple TV+

While a second season of Constellation has yet to be greenlit by Apple TV+, there's no shortage of questions and plot points that could be explored in a new run of episodes.

Also at the top of the list of queries is Irena's reveal to Alice that she goes by Valya. Alice previously had a vision of the Valya offering to bring her back to her mother. Was Irena's disclosure to Alice a hint that she or the Valya could help her with her mummy issues, alluding to the idea that Irena may know more about getting to other universes than she initially led on?

In addition, will Bud eventually face justice for the crimes he has committed? Banks' character has now risen as an antagonistic force in Constellation, becoming the main driver that is trying to keep the two universes as far from each other as possible.

This will undoubtedly be at odds with Jo's end goal of returning to her family, even if she is content with the one she finds herself with now.

However, things grow even more complicated with another addition to her family on the way. Who exactly is the baby's father? Did the other Jo have the affair with Frederic, resulting in a fetus that's transcended time and space to the current Jo? Or will it be revealed to be Magnus' after all? Down the rabbit hole, indeed.

All episodes of Constellation are now streaming on Apple TV+

- In This Article: Constellation
Release Date
February 21, 2024
James D'Arcy
Jonathan Banks
Noomi Rapace
- About The Author: Tom Drew
Tom Drew is the Executive Editor at The Direct. Tom writes for The Direct's Marvel, Star Wars, and DC branches while specializing in all things movies, from blockbuster to indie darlings.