The Changeling has been one of the most interesting TV series in 2023. Based on the book of the same name published by Victor LaValle in 2018, the plot follows the story of Emma and Apollo, a married couple with a child, Brian, and a sequence of surprising events that occurred to them. We already explained the full plot recap in this article, but a few more things needed to be described separately: what was Emma’s third wish? What is the Kinder Garten? And how can the plot continue in Season 2? Let’s discover everything together.
You can watch the official trailer for The Changeling here on Youtube.
The Changeling explained: the Kinder Garten, Emma’s third wish, and what can happen in Season 2
As we explained in this article, the plot of The Changeling follows Apollo and Emma, a married couple with a newborn child, Brian. However, after the child is born, something strange happens to Emma: she doesn’t develop the proper bond with the newborn and starts receiving mysterious messages that get deleted automatically. In a horror interpretation of post-partum depression, Emma snaps: she kills the baby and disappears, leaving Apollo shocked.
As we discover while the plot evolves, the baby was not really Emma and Apollo’s baby. It was a changeling: another creature who replaced Brian, brought by a fairy, a supernatural entity who stole the original baby. Emma discovers this through the “wise ones,” a secret group of moms, all victims who had their babies stolen. Emma finds them in the hidden island we see in The Changeling, then leaves again: she intends to find Brian, his actual baby.
In the ending episode of The Changeling, the series explained more about what happened, introducing the Kinder Garten. William, the man who follows Apollo on the island, is one of those evil people who steal little babies. As he reveals, he’s part of the Kinder Garten, a group of 10,000 men who identify with this name and cooperate for the same purpose: stealing newborns, replacing them with a changeling, and offering the original babies to the supernatural creature they worship. If you’ve read the book by Victor LaValle, you know that a troll lives under the island, and Brian is there with him, offered by the Kinder Garten as a sacrifice.
To understand the ending of The Changeling, another aspect needs to be explained, related to Emma’s third wish. Emma and Apollo are out there with only one purpose: to find Brian again. It’s something nobody ever managed to make true. As Cal explains, no victim of the Kinder Garten ever reconciled with their baby. However, Emma and Apollo believe they have a chance. Because Apollo is “the God Apollo.” And because Emma understood something crucial: her third wish has a lot to do with what happened to her.
What is Emma’s third wish in The Changeling? This is not revealed in the TV series, but we will disclose the answer to you, coming from the book by Daniel LaValle. When Emma meets that woman in Brazil, she expresses three wishes: a good husband, a healthy kid, and a third wish revealed only at the end of the book. Emma’s third wish was a life full of adventure. As the woman in the forest warned, we must be careful what we wish for. Emma’s first two wishes were impossible to misinterpret, but her third wish can be translated into many forms. What Emma understands is that the incredible events that happened to her after Brian was born are the way her third wish is coming true: this is her life full of adventure. But this also means that the wishes are really working, suggesting to Emma that at the end of the journey, she will have again her healthy baby Brian and her good husband Apollo.
Now that the Kinder Garten, Emma’s third wish, and the ending of The Changeling have been explained, we can better understand how the plot can follow in a possible Season 2. The final part of the TV series on Apple TV+ marked some differences with the book, leaving the possibility for a continuation inspired by how the book ends. In the final episode, we see the men of the Kinder Garten secretly operating for their evil purposes. We see the eye of the troll under the island and Apollo touching a baby in the woods. Therefore, in the eventual Season 2 of The Changeling, Apollo and Emma will find Brian and save him, returning to their normal life as a happy family. For the record, this is precisely what happens in the book by Daniel LaValle, which shows a plot slightly different, longer than the TV series.
Apple has the chance to renew The Changeling for a Season 2 and let the plot continue, following Emma, Apollo, and their adventures looking for Brian: in a new Season, we would have the chance to see them fighting the Kinder Garten directly, and we would watch Emma revealing to Apollo what her third wish for. Given the talent the creators showed in enriching the story with new elements, the series The Changeling has a good chance to continue.