Netflix kicked off 2020 by dropping Messiah onto their streaming service, a new drama about a man who claims to be a divine figure and gains a huge following all over the world.
As the series goes on, we find out more about where exactly he came from but the same lingering question is present throughout: is he telling the truth or is he merely the world’s most effective conman?
The final episode of the first season doesn’t give us a concrete answer but drops some tantalising clues that will certainly be followed up on if the series is renewed.
Is Al-Masih really the messiah?
While we’re yet to find out for sure what the exact nature of Al-Masih (Mehdi Dehbi) is and what his true intentions are, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to disprove he has supernatural abilities.
In the season one finale, not only does Al-Masih survive a devastating plane crash which would have killed any regular person, but he seemingly displays an ability to resurrect people as well.
Mossad agent Aviram Dahan (Tomer Sisley) is on the plane with him as it goes down and initially it looks as if he perishes in the disaster.
However, within mere moments Al-Masih is able to bring him back to the world of the living, prompting a first responder on the scene to cry out: “You were dead. He raised you!”
This sequence of events is so elaborate that it’s difficult to argue that it’s a hoax, meaning that the episode confirms (or at least gives very strong evidence) that Al-Masih is more than human.
But is he the saviour of mankind? Some viewers have a more sinister theory…
Is Al-Masih really the antichrist?
It could well be that Al-Masih’s powers are very real, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he should be followed.
After all, he shares the name of an evil figure in the Islamic faith called Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, also referred to as “the false messiah” or “the deceiver.”
The show’s writers must have included this detail for a reason, but it’s unclear whether it’s a hint about his true identity or a red herring intended to throw people off the scent.
If the former turns out to be the case, some fans have speculated the second season could see the real Messiah emerge to oppose Al-Masih’s wicked ways.
One person who could potentially fill that role is Jibril Medina (Sayyid El Alami), who has also accomplished stunning physical feats in the first season, including surviving the blast of a bomb from very close range.
How could Al-Masih have powers if he was born a human on Earth?
CIA agent Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) confirmed that Al-Masih was born Payam Golshiri and raised to be a conman in Iran.
But, just because he was born a normal human doesn’t necessarily mean his powers are bogus.
After all, religious texts are full of stories about divine figures acting on Earth, using regular people as a vessel to accomplish their will.
Netflix’s Messiah doesn’t provide the answers that fans are desperately craving, but does set up some big ideas for a potential second season…
Messiah is streaming now on Netflix