Netflix’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ is a horror series created by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. It follows an anthology format, and each episode focuses on a unique short story that explores the theme of human curiosity through strange and inexplicable events. The third episode is titled ‘The Autopsy’ and is based on a short story of the same name by Michael Shea.
It focuses on a medical examiner who is called in to help investigate a strange incident at a mine. The episode introduces some interesting concepts and ends on an ambiguous note. Therefore, viewers must be looking for answers to the episode’s conclusion. In that case, here is everything you need to know about ‘Cabinet of Curiosities.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Cabinet of Curiosities Episode 3 Recap
‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ episode 3, titled ‘The Autopsy,’ opens with an explosion at a mining facility that kills ten workers. A few days later, Sheriff Nate welcomes his old friend Dr. Carl Winter to Braddock Fort, a small town in Montague county. Carl is a medical examiner, and Nate seeks his help in uncovering the truth about a series of inexplicable events leading to the bombing at the mining. While an explosion at the mine killed the workers, the Sheriff’s Department found no evidence of any explosive materials on the scene. Therefore, Nate wants Carl to perform an autopsy on the bodies to find evidence of the bomb blast.
However, before Carl can inspect the corpses, Nate explains the nightmarish situation through flashbacks. A few months ago, a series of disappearances occurred in the small town, and Nate and his deputy failed to gather any evidence or leads. One day they discovered a dead body in the woods, which led them to a man named Joe Allen. Formerly known as Edward Sykes, the man was reported missing a few months ago during a mentor shower. The disappearances in the town commenced after the metro shower. Therefore, Nate believes there is a connection between Sykes and the missing people in the town.
Sykes lived at a motel under the name Joe Allen. While inspecting the motel, Nate discovers Allen possesses a mysterious item. Nate tries to arrest Allen, but he escapes with the team leading to the explosion at the mine. After learning all the details about the baffling case, Carl reveals that he has cancer. However, he prepares to perform an autopsy on the mine workers and starts recording his findings. Soon, the real force behind the disappearances and deaths unveils itself and threatens Carl’s life.
Cabinet of Curiosities Episode 3 Ending: What Is the Traveler?
While inspecting the dead bodies, Allen’s body suddenly reanimates and reveals itself as an alien parasitic creature. The alien survives on human blood and resides within the human body. The creature attacks Carl and holds him hostage. It calls itself a “Traveler” from outer space. The alien species has been traveling to earth for years and has mastered fusing with human physiology. As a result, the Traveler needs a human host to survive on earth. The first step of their transportation requires the destruction of their spaceship so that other species cannot learn about their physiology.
However, the Traveler explains to Carl that his current host’s body is becoming unusable as he is starving inside the corpse. Therefore, the Traveler is searching for a new host. Since Carl is a medical examiner, his body would provide the Traveler with an endless supply of corpses it can suck blood from. Therefore, the Traveler will no longer have to hunt for food and fear being discovered. However, the alien parasitic being is arrogant and cannot control its hubris. Hence, it is evident that the creature is not superior to humans. Moreover, the alien does not have its own senses and relies on its host body to hunt and gather food.
Is Carl Dead? What Happens to the Traveler?
After revealing its true motivations, the Traveler starts the process of transferring its true form into Carl’s body. It ties up Carl and uses the remaining strength inside its host body to operate. The Traveler cuts itself free from Allen’s body and starts entering Carl’s body. However, during the operation, Carl engages the creature in a conversation of wits. Carl reveals that the Traveler’s arrogance will lead to its downfall. After the creature makes an incision on Carl’s body to fuse with it, Carl formulates a last-ditch effort to stop the alien’s plan.
In the end, Carl destroys all his sensory organs and leaves a message with blood for Nate on his body. He also damages his brain and only keeps one cord attached so that he can talk with The Traveler. Soon, the Traveler completely fuses with Carl’s body. However, it is trapped inside as none of Carl’s sensory organs work. Therefore, the body is of no use to the Traveler as it does not have any sense of its own. Soon after, Carl dies, and the Traveler also perishes with the seasoned medical examiner. Nate arrives on the scene and discovers Carl’s final message and the recording, which contains proof of the Traveler’s existence. Thus, the Traveler’s sole purpose is also destroyed.
The Traveler’s arrogance causes it to ignore the tape recording. Thus, Carl’s prediction about the alien proves to be true. Moreover, Carl is able to trump the creature as he is already surrendered and made peace with death. On the other hand, the Traveler sees death as a prison and wants to continue living through different host forms. Hence, Carl defeating the Traveler with his wits proves that the alien is nothing more than a parasite. Ultimately, Carl sacrifices himself to stop the Traveler from continuing its charade and succeeds in destroying the creature once and for all.
Read More: Are Cabinet of Curiosities Real?