Want the Netflix series 3 BODY PROBLEM ending explained? Maybe you’re confused about the season ending of the Netflix series 3 Body Problem?! Explore our insights into Season 1 of the new sci-fi series on Netflix. *WARNING: Contains spoilers!*

We loved the Netflix series 3 Body Problem ending, but you may want the ending explained. I know some people are a bit confused about both parts of the plot and the ending. That’s why we’ve made an FAQ here and given our answers. Actually, most answers come from Netflix or people involved with the production.

Obviously, this page will be full of spoilers regarding key plot elements from the 3 Body Problem series on Netflix. Including details about the actual 3 Body Problem ending. After all, we must go into a few revealing plot details to cover the various questions about the ending.

If you’re looking for a spoiler-free review of 3 BODY PROBLEM, click here >

Netflix series 3 Body Problem ending explained

The 3 Body Problem ending is left open to more seasons. In fact, season 1 of 3 Body Problem feels like it’s merely setting the stage for much more to come. The creators have already stated that they’re hoping to adapt the book trilogy into four seasons. Fingers crossed this will happen. You never know with Netflix!

In any case, the season 1 ending of 3 Body Problem is loved by some, while others are not fans. It is a fairly open ending, but to me, that leaves hope for more seasons. Also, I love it when they leave us wanting more. After all, it means we liked it.

Finally, many are asking for a 3 Body Problem ending explained, so we’re looking into that as well.

3 Body Problem Netflix series questions and answers

In the below Q&A, we’ll be talking about some of the most asked questions. Some are simply elements of the story. However, most questions do directly play into the ending. No matter what questions you have, hopefully, the answers can be found below.

Why do some scientist see a numbers countdown before their eyes?

This is essentially where we begin in 3 Body Problem when Auggie – one of the scientist friends in Oxford Five – sees a countdown before her eyes.

Actually, before this happens, we see the investigator Da Shi (Benedict Wong) at a crime scene where another scientist has died. This person has written their own countdown on the wall in what appears to be blood before dying.

Now, we see that Auggie has the same countdown before her eyes. A countdown only she can see and it begins right as her nanofiber invention has proven to work.

Why does Auggie’s countdown stop?

Auggie eventually learns (from Tatiana Hass, who we will return to later) that she must stop her work with nanofibers for the countdown to stop.

Auggie (Eiza González) only has two choices: Death or to stop her work on Nanofibers! Auggie chooses life and shuts down her project… for now!

Why doesn’t the countdown return for Auggie?

At a later point in season 1 of 3 Body Problem, Auggie starts the Nanofiber project again. The countdown does not return because something has changed. This means the aliens no longer have the same fear about this particular invention.

What do the nanofibers do?

One of the Oxford Five is Auggie (Eiza González), who invented nanofibers. While her wish was that this invention could be used for good, it is first used for… well, evil.

A necessary evil, some would say, as it’s used to slice through the huge ship that was formerly an oil tanker. Now, it’s a base for those wanting the San-Ti to come to Earth. The former oil tanker is named “Judgment Day” now.

Yes, very ominous indeed!

Why is the oil tanker base destroyed?

The destruction of the ship has the sole purpose of getting a hard drive from Mike Evans (Jonathan Pryce).

However, in the process, many people – including many children – die. Their bodies are sliced apart by the nanofibers and they all die almost instantly.

Relatively painless, it would appear, but they all still die.

Why does Auggie leave?

Seeing the destruction caused by her nanofibers, Auggie walks away. She no longer wants to work with the military and intelligence agencies. They may be ready to battle aliens, but she wants to help human beings.

That’s why she heads to Mexico where she uses her nanofiber invention as she dreamt; To help those that nobody else helps because there is no money in it!

Her first point of action with the nanofibers is creating a filter that will make water safe to drink in poor areas in Mexico.

What are Sophons in 3 Body Problem?

Sophons are essentially two things. A proton-sized super-computer sent by the Aliens to spy on us (and even kill us if deemed necessary) and there’s a character named “Sophon”.

The actual sophons that most people are curious about in 3 Body Problem are the ones that cover the world. Sophons are proton-sized super-computers sent to Earth by the Santi.

As a super-computer, the Sophons can be everywhere and anywhere. We cannot see them, but the Sophons enable the Aliens (Santi) to always see and hear us.

They can also make us see a countdown in front of our eyes or make an airplane malfunction. In many ways, the Sophons appear to be all-powerful. And they are scary as all hell.

What is the Sophon character?

Then there’s the character portrayed by Sea Shimooka. We first see “Sophon” in the hyper-advanced video game, but we also see her once the San Ti have revealed themselves to humans on a large scale.

Her character is “Sophon” in the credits of 3 Body Problem.

Once Tatianna is used as an assassin for the San-Ti again, it’s Sophon who appears on her TV screen.

How many sophons are on Earth?

The San-Ti (or SanTi) has sent two Sophons to Earth which are enough to cover the entire planet. All of humanity learns this as they cover the planet. This results in a mirror reflection of the ground up in the sky.

Actually, the first indication is when the stars are turned on and off repeatedly one night. When the universe first “winked at us”.

Who are the San-Ti?

The quick answer is that the San-Ti are the aliens coming to Earth as their own planet suffers from a “Three-Body Problem”.

Sometimes, the name of the San-Ti is also written as either “Santi” or “San Ti”, so we also use them interchangeably here.

Netflix series 3 BODY PROBLEM ending explained

Who wants to kill Saul?

Saul has been a kind and very laidback character in all of season 1. However, in episode 8, he gets a lot of attention. First, because someone clearly wants to kill Saul.

His latest one-night stand is actually killed in his place, simply because a skateboarder knocks him over and out of a car’s path.

All the cars involved in the accident meant to kill Saul were autonomous (as in driverless) cars. This can only mean that the San-Ti wants to kill Saul. And fast, it would seem!

What happens next is that Clarence “Da” Shi (Benedict Wong) takes Saul to the UN headquarters in New York. There, he is named a “Wallfacer”.

He is wearing armored clothing to protect him – at the insistence of Da Chi. A good thing as yet another attempt on his life is made.

Clearly, the San-Ti don’t want Saul to be a Wallfacer, so they are recruiting humans to kill him.

What is a Wallfacer?

Due to the Sophons, we can’t plan anything without the aliens knowing about it. The solution: Three people are selected as Wallfacers. People who must plan and execute ways to fight the San-Ti.

However, a Wallfacer can never tell anyone what their plan is. It must all remain inside their private thoughts in their heads as they execute the plan.

This also means that no one can question the orders or wishes of a Wallfacer. As long as it doesn’t go against the law.

The UN Secretary-General (CCH Pounder) directly states: “The Wallfacers never need to explain their actions and commands, regardless of how incomprehensible their behavior may be”.

Why won’t anyone accept that Saul isn’t a Wallfacer?

Wallfacer is a job you are given and you cannot leave it. As stated when the Wallfacers were presented, they can say and do whatever they want, but they can never reveal their plan as it must stay inside their head.

This means that Saul’s refusal to be a Wallfacer is seen as part of his plan.

After all, the SanTi does not understand lies or stories, so when Saul insists that he is not a Wallfacer, it’s exactly the kind of thing he should say to confuse the SanTi aliens.

Who are the other two appointed Wallfacers?

The other two Wallfacers are General Hou Bolin (Clem Cheung), he is a military historian, and Professor Leyla Ariç (Salem Murphy), she is a Kurdish war hero who fought ISIS in Raqqa.

Some real heavy hitters next to Saul, who is clearly a stranger choice. But also one that the San-Ti is against, which means he must be the right choice!

Who is Tatiana Haas in 3 Body Problem?

We first meet Tatiana Haas (Marlo Kelly) when she helps Auggie figure out what she must do to stop the countdown she sees before her eyes. Later, we discover that she is working directly for the San-Ti when she kills Jack Rooney (John Bradley).

When the San-Ti appear to give up all hope in the human species, Tatiana pulls away from everyone and lives secluded in an old camper van in the woods.

While there, the San-Ti reach out to her again as they see something in her. She resumes her work for the San-Ti which consists largely, it appears, as some sort of hitman. Or mercenary, if you will.

We don’t see her much in season 1, but having Marlo Kelly portray Tatiana Haas, I feel confident, we’ll see a lot more of her in season 2 of 3 Body Problem.

Why are the aliens coming to Earth in 3 Body Problem?

In the extremely advanced video game, select humans are invited to understand why they must leave their own planet.

The short answer is that their planet is no longer inhabitable. The longer answer is something we cover in the below Q&A.

What is the Three-Body Problem in 3 Body Problem?

The three-body problem refers to the Tan ti’s planet having three suns. They are in a three-sun solar system. As such, their environment is never permanently stable.

We’re relying on our one sun here on Earth. Because they have three suns that give different levels of warmth and light. This results in immense instability when one sun takes over from another sun.

As such, life is knocked back in one apocalyptic event after the next. Sometimes hundreds of years apart, sometimes only decades. After each catastrophic event, the San-Ti have to start over.

Bonus fact: In the original novels by Cixin Liu, the planet is called “Trisolaris” which means “Three Suns”. The aliens are called “Trisolarans”. In the Netflix series adaption, they are called the “San-Ti”.

Why do the aliens (the San-Ti) suddenly want to eliminate humans?

Short answer: The Aliens in 3 Body Problem cannot understand stories, lies, or jokes. Basically, anything “made up”. When they realize humans can make things up and say things that are not facts, they become scared of us and the trust is gone.

Longer answer: Mike Evans reads “Red Riding Hood” during one of his many communications with the San-Ti (which he addresses as simply “My Lord”), and it becomes obvious that the San-Ti cannot understand the concept of stories.

The San-Ti are incapable of lying themselves, so they only speak the truth and state facts.

Learning that humans can say things that are not true scares them.

It means they cannot trust us when we say we welcome them. They do not understand stories, jokes, or lies as these are made-up things. This concept of “making things up” does not exist for the San Ti.

What does “If one of us survives, we all survive” mean?

“If one of us survives, we all survive” is the motto of the San-Ti.

They have been living on an unstable planet and cannot stay there. However, they also know that not everyone can make it. As such, they recognize that as a species, they are relying on at least one survivor to bring them back as a species.

The San-Ti motto of “If one of us survives, we all survive” is almost endearing in the sense, that they are ready to die as individuals for the greater good of their species.

What is “Project Staircase”?

Project Staircase is a joint effort to create something that can travel at light speed to intercept the San-Ti on their way to Earth. One of the Oxford Five volunteers to be sent along. Or rather, it was only his brain, which didn’t weigh too much, and as he was dying of cancer, it felt like the right thing to do.

The brain onboard the vessel belongs to Will Downing (Alex Sharp), who was hopelessly in love with Jin, who is one of the main scientists working on the project.

In order to succeed, hundreds of small nuclear bombs have to be detonated at exactly the right time. Each of them gives a boost to the nanofiber sail moving the vessel faster and faster into space until lightspeed is reached.

Why doesn’t Project Staircase work?

Everything is off to a good start when one tiny anomaly happens. A tether loosens and the sail collapses slightly on one side, taking it off course.

This results in the end of Project Staircase and means Will is gone for good. Jin is heartbroken as she knows he wasn’t really gone as long as his brain was preserved, but now his brain is lost in space.

As a result, Jin tells Saul as they look up at the stars: It will be millions of years before Will even leaves the Milky Way.

Does the 3 Body Problem ending offer hope?

It does actually. When Saul reflects on how the San-Ti has called human beings “bugs”, he notices that bugs are important to Earth and have always survived. We cannot get rid of bugs – even when we try – any more than the San-Ti can get rid of us human beings.

If the San-Ti wants to call us bugs, then we will do what bugs have always done and persevere!

Does the 3 Body Problem Netflix series follow the books closely?

While the creators loved the books and wanted to stay true to their essence, some characters and locations are different from the books.

However, it’s also important to note that the three creators (Benioff, Weiss, and Woo) did speak to the author of the trilogy, Cixin Liu, about this. They had Zoom meetings early in their creative process and received the novelist’s blessing to adapt his work.

Apparently, he even encouraged them to make necessary narrative changes. Among these key changes are chronological shifts, character changes, and expansions as well as additions.

Also, perhaps most notably, setting the present-day story primarily in the UK. We are still in China for the origin of the story.

Will there be a Season 2 of 3 BODY PROBLEM?

There should be a season 2 of 3 Body Problem as the creators have expressed a wish to make four seasons of the series. Hopefully, this will be popular enough that the original plan of four seasons will happen.

At the very least, we should get 3 Body Problem season 2 to deal with the many open-ended storylines.

That’s it. We hope the above little Q&A helped answer any questions you had about the ending or plot of the 3 Body Problem series on Netflix. 

I usually keep up-to-date with all the horror news, and make sure Heaven of Horror share the best and latest trailers for upcoming horror movies. I love all kinds of horror. My love affair started when I watched 'Poltergeist' alone around the age of 10. I slept like a baby that night and I haven't stopped watching horror movies since. The crazy slasher stuff isn't really for me, but hey, to each their own. I guess I just like to be scared and get jump scares, more than being disgusted and laughing at the grotesque. Also, Korean and Spanish horror movies made within the past 10-15 years are among my absolute favorites.
Nadja "HorrorDiva" Houmoller
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