Apple TV+’s Changeling Finale Was Baffling in Purpose

Apple TV+’s adaptation of Victor LaValle’s novel The Changeling wrapped up last week with “Battle of the Island.” The episode ended the season—overall, a fascinating exploration of parenthood, grief, folklore, and the hidden realms of New York City—with several gigantic question marks.

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At just 30 minutes, it was significantly shorter than any other Changeling episode, and though it ends approximately where LaValle’s novel does, it diverges from the book after presenting a fairly faithful adaptation up until that point. It was so enigmatic about the fates of its characters it actually felt rather frustrating—particularly since Apple TV+ has yet to announce a second season. Turns out, that was the intention of showrunner Kelly Marcel and LaValle, an executive producer on the series, who spoke about “Battle of the Island” and their hopes for the series’ future in a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

“One of the things Kelly did in the adaptation that was so great was that she expanded, in particular, [the stories of The Changeling’s major female characters, Emma and Lillian]. We got to have so much more of their journeys, but there was no way to just jam all of the book and all of that into eight episodes,” LaValle told the trade. “Then people would be like, ‘It was just too rushed.’ So it felt like two seasons to tell the whole story, make everything bigger, wilder and even more disturbing.”

Marcel full-on admitted she wanted viewers to exclaim “What the fuck?” at the end of season one. “If there is a season two, which we obviously hope there is, we would continue the story from where we left, but you will also be taken back. Season one was a setup of a lot of questions, and season two is the answer to all of those questions,” the showrunner explained. “There’s so many secrets and Easter eggs and hidden things in the show that I’m sure people haven’t seen. I’m surprised at how many people are not seeing that there’s something in the water. Every time you see the water, there’s something in the water. But we’ll go back and have a look, and then we’ll answer all those.”

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A second season of The Changeling would indeed be most welcome, and here’s hoping Apple TV+ delivers.

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