What did the ending of Netflix’s sci-f thriller What Happened To Monday mean? Netflix has been upping its original movie content over the past few years and has dipped its toes into the sci-fi genre a few times with films like Alex Garland’s critically acclaimed sci-fi horror Annihilation and, more recently, director Grant Sputore’s feature debut I Am Mother.
What Happened To Monday was released in 2017 and while it didn’t receive the acclaim of Annihilation or I Am Mother, it was nevertheless a timely, topical sci-fi story with a unique premise. Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola (Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters), the film is set in a not-too-distant dystopian future in which overpopulation has led to a strict one-child policy being enacted. The policy is enforced by the creepy-sounding Child Allocation Bureau (CAB) which is headed by conservation biologist and aspiring politician Dr. Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close). The CAB puts any additional children born into cryo-sleep with the intention of waking them once the overpopulation crisis is handled. Or so they say.
Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) plays seven identical septuplet sisters – each named after a day of the week – that were raised in secrecy by their grandfather after their mother dies in childbirth. To keep that major violation of the one-child policy under wraps, the sisters pretend to be one person – Karen Settman. The sisters are only allowed out in public on their namesake day and must ensure their appearances are identical and are all up to speed with what’s going on in ‘Karen’s’ life.
One day, when the sisters are grown up, Monday fails to return home from their job at a bank so her sisters set out to find what happened to her. Tuesday is first to investigate but is apprehended and detained by the CAB who remove her eyeball and use it to bypass the retinal scanner system at their home. CAB agents then pick off the sisters one-by-one until just Thursday, Tuesday and Monday – who is alive and well after all – are left.
It turns out Monday was having a relationship with CAB security guard Adrian, played by Marwan Kenzari (Aladdin), and got pregnant with twins. She bribed Dr. Cayman with a massive donation to her political campaign and sold her sisters out so she could keep her twins. Thursday also discovers the excess kids supposedly being put into cryo-sleep are really being incinerated and killed. She captures video evidence of this and broadcasts it during Cayman’s campaign, letting the public know all about CAB’s nefarious dealings. In the commotion, Monday is shot and mortally wounded by a CBA agent but it’s later revealed her twins are safely gestating in an artificial womb. The one-child policy has also been repealed and Cayman is facing the death penalty.
It seems like a happy ending but in the final scenes of What Happened To Monday the camera pans out from Monday’s twins to reveal a pediatrics ward full of hundreds of newborn babies. Newborn babies the overpopulated world What Happened To Monday takes place in simply can’t sustain. Morality may have prevailed but humanity and the planet are still doomed.
Next: Netflix’s I Am Mother Ending Explained