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The ending of Helstrom season 1 explained

Sure, all families have their dramas and their secrets — but were you and your sibling raised by an unstoppable serial killer while slowly realizing the dark powers you both commanded might one day take you down similarly bloody roads? Did your mother lose most of her adult life to demon possession? Were you and your sister estranged for years until coming together in the hopes of freeing your mother from her demonic bonds and stopping the birth of a demon whose power could mean the end of humanity? If not, then we can all agree we probably shouldn't cry on the Helstrom siblings' shoulders, because that strange and violent story is quite simply their biography. 

Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon) are the stars of the new Hulu original horror thriller Helstrom. Chock full of demons, gore, and occasionally an obnoxious little kid who's just faking it to mess with his parents, Helstrom's first, bloody season is available on Hulu and we've had the chance to watch all ten episodes. While the first season purposely ends with some pretty big questions, we're getting the jump on the season's conclusion to answer as many of those queries as possible.

Whether we're talking about demon babies, traumatized heroes, or unveiled secrets, here's the ending of Helstrom season 1 explained.

Chris becomes a Keeper in Helstrom

In "Mother's Little Helper" – Helstrom's premiere episode — Chris Yen (Alain Uy) wants as little as possible to do with the darker side of his employer's life. Ana is his boss, and while Chris seems to know about Ana's abilities and the fact that she uses them to execute violent men too rich and powerful for the law to constrain, he seems very happy sticking to the more mundane side of Ana's business. 

Unfortunately, due in no small part to Chris' curiosity, by the end of Helstrom's first season he doesn't have much of a choice. Chris is possessed early in the series and by the penultimate episode "Vessels," he believes he's been freed of all mystical influence. However, when Chris removes his bandages after noticing the blood leaking through them, he sees symbols carved into his arm and — even more disturbing — a giant eyeball emerging from his throat. A panicked visit with the Caretaker (Robert Wisdom) reveals that Chris' experiences have turned him into a Keeper — a guardian tasked with the guardianship of demons.

In the season finale, Chris knows important things without knowing why. He's able to give Ana the knowledge that helps her save her brother, though as we'll see, he doesn't know quite as much as he thinks.

Victoria and Ana Helstrom reforge a powerful weapon

Now that he's become a Keeper, Chris tells Ana the only way to save her brother Daimon — who's been possessed and is working with the other demons — is to reforge her father's mystical knife. No one gives the weapon a name, but we know that it's the same instrument that scarred Daimon's chest, and the only weapon that's succeeded in leaving any kind of mark on him. Taking the relic with them into one of the padded cells of St. Theresa's, together Ana and Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel) embrace and use their power to remake the blade. 

Once we see it in use, we see it's Helstrom's version of the fiery trident Daimon's comic book counterpart is almost never seen without. While tussling with the possessed Daimon, Ana is able to extend the knife into its true, powerful form. With it, Daimon and Ana are able to achieve something rarely seen on the show — stabbing a possessed person with the trident exorcises the demon from them without killing the person. Daimon and Ana are both able to do this on their own in the series, but at a greater physical cost to themselves and not nearly as quickly.

We learn part of the Caretaker's origin in the Helstrom season finale

Sometimes referred to simply as the Taker, the Caretaker has proven one of the most mysterious characters on Helstrom. We know he raised Ana for much of her childhood. Besides Ana and Daimon, he seems the most capable when it comes to handling himself in the face of the supernatural. While he has a healthy dose of respect and perhaps even fear for the Helstroms' power, unlike his colleagues in the Blood — an unforgiving organization who would slaughter all the Helstroms if given the opportunity — he sees the good inside Ana and Daimon, and would rather tap into that than damn them. We also know he has a past with Dr. Hastings (June Carryl), but beyond that we don't know a lot about him.

We get at least a bit more of a peek into Caretaker's past in the season finale. In the hospital, while waiting for more word about the injured Dr. Hastings, the Caretaker tells Victoria they have more in common than she knows. He tells her that years earlier, he came home from a trip to learn not only was his brother possessed, but that he had been marked by the same demon who had inhabited Victoria's husband. 

Dr. Hastings gets another chance

You wouldn't be blamed for assuming Dr. June Hastings wouldn't make it to the end of Helstrom's first season. Not only is she part of a team making war with the forces of darkness, but early in the series we get hints that she's not well. Eventually our suspicions are confirmed — she confides in the Caretaker that she's dying of lung cancer. 

The writers play with our expectations, setting Hastings up as the obvious sacrificial lamb, particularly in "Vessels" when she tells the Caretaker that she has changed her mind and decided to undergo the difficult treatments necessary to fight the cancer. It comes as little surprise when, in the series finale, she's stabbed from behind with a fireplace poker. She survives the stabbing but scares everyone when all of the devices surrounding her hospital bed start their alarms and doctors and nurses rush to her bed.

Surprisingly enough, she pulls through, although she's far from unscathed. After she wakes up in the hospital, the Caretaker tells her the doctors had to remove one of her kidneys and part of her lung. But she survives, possibly to once again help the Helstroms battle demons in future seasons.

The Helstrom siblings clash

In "Hell Storm" — the Helstrom season 1 finale — Ana is forced to fight her brother in order to save him. Taking their cue from the Joker, the possessed Daimon and the other demons use an abandoned carnival as their base of operations. It's there that they bring the pregnant Gabriella (Ariana Guerra), hoping she'll soon give birth to the demon Mother and die herself soon afterward. 

Wandering into an old haunted house, Ana finds the possessed Daimon waiting for her. With similar telekinetic abilities and strength, the two are evenly matched, though the possessed Daimon has the advantage as — unlike Ana — he's looking to kill, not to save. 

While neither Ana nor Daimon's comic book counterparts are the most visible of Marvel's heroes, usually if one of them is saving the day in a comic book, it's Daimon. But here, the tables get turned. It's Ana who saves her brother, by unveiling the mystical knife in its full glory, extending it into a fiery trident and stabbing her brother with it from behind. Nothing about Daimon's reaction seems very pleasant, but thankfully the weapon drives the demon from him and gives him back control of himself.

The child is born

At the end of "Underneath," both Daimon and Gabriella are possessed by demons with the goal of conceiving a new form for the demon Mother. In "Vessels" and "Hell Storm" we see Gabriella go from newly pregnant to close to labor in a single night. While both Gabriella and her colleagues consider finding a way to terminate the pregnancy, the baby is born to Gabriella in the season 1 finale, though thankfully Ana and Daimon are able to intervene and save Gabriella before the demons can complete their plan by cutting her throat. 

At first it seems like no one is even sure if Mother's plan to be reborn worked. All of the heroes, including Chris with his new Keeper abilities, seem to believe there is nothing strange or mystical about the child, but that changes fairly quickly. While the rest of the heroes gather for a celebratory dinner, the camera pans to the baby's crib, but she's missing without explanation.

A prompt then tells us it's one month later, and we see Chris about to board a ferry with a young girl he calls Lily. The implication seems to be that this is the girl Gabriella gave birth to, that it was Chris who abducted her from her crib, and — just as Gabriella's pregnancy happened in record time — her aging process has sped up. Lily appears to be at least 6 or 7 years old. And if we doubt this is supposed to be the same child, what happens next confirms it.     

Gabriella changes dramatically in the season finale of Helstrom

Of all of Helstrom's regular characters, no one is more changed by the events of the series than Gabriella. In the beginning of season 1, while Gabriella is certainly more naive about the world of the supernatural than veterans like Daimon and the Caretaker, she's no fool. Even after being confronted by some of the darkest things heroes like Daimon and Ana are capable of — like when Daimon makes members of the Blood believe he's going to murder them in "Underneath" — she still sees the good in them. But the events of the episodes that follow make her lose faith in her friends. 

After giving birth and being saved from the demons who kidnapped her, Gabriella makes it clear to Daimon she wants nothing to do with him. When Daimon visits her in the hospital, she refers to demons as "your kind" and tells Daimon she believes she's being punished for wanting to have sex with him in "Underneath."

Gabriella is the focus of one of the more surprising scenes toward the end of the season finale. We see Gabriella drinking with members of the Blood. When she first encounters the organization earlier in the series and learns of how they keep possessed people in comas for the rest of their lives to keep the demons within them imprisoned for as long as they can, she's disgusted by their methods. Now, it looks like she's a card-carrying recruit.

Daimon Helstrom is traumatized

"Hell Storm" opens with a flashback in which we see a young Daimon Helstrom try to leave everything behind. Daimon, as a young boy, looks over the edge of a bridge, clearly contemplating something serious. Predictably Daimon leaps from the bridge, but inches from the water an invisible force stops him. A spectral voice tells him "you'll always be my son," and the same force that saved him throws him clear of the water. 

By the end of the season finale, Daimon seems to once again feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. He returns to the same bridge and peers over the side, presumably either contemplating his past suicide attempt, considering a repeat performance, or both. 

But thankfully, Daimon finds enough to keep living for. The scene cuts to Daimon standing at the edge of the water where he's soon joined by Ana. They share a rare, touching moment. As much as Daimon has been through in this first season of Helstrom — and it's a lot — he's found enough to hold on to in order to keep going. 

The Helstrom father returns

In the closing moments of "Hell Storm," we get a look at a villain who's been with us the whole season, though we still know little about him. The unnamed father of Daimon and Ana, played by Mitch Pileggi, intercepts Chris and the young Lily as they're about to board a ferry. At first Lily doesn't seem to have any idea who the bald man is, but when he asks her to remember, Lily smiles and calls him "Papa." 

Though he's intimidated by him, Chris has no intention of turning over Lily. Earlier in the episode, he has Ana mark him with her father's knife, and this appears to be why. Chris tells Papa Helstrom that he can't hurt Chris because he's been marked by his bloodline. The father stares at him darkly, and soon the other people waiting for the ferry — one by one — begin to drop. Chris is apparently right that Papa Helstrom can't hurt him, so instead he starts killing everyone else. Horrified, Chris lets go of Lily. Papa Helstrom leaves with the girl as the people waiting for the ferry continue to drop. 

In the source material, Daimon Helstrom was originally introduced on comic book covers as the "Son of Satan." So far in Helstrom, it hasn't been made clear exactly who his father is. But whoever he is, this final scene makes it clear he's no run-of-the-mill demon, and he'll likely be back for any future seasons.