Black Crab on Netflix: What is in the mysterious canisters?

Black Crab - Netflix / Jonas Alarik
Black Crab - Netflix / Jonas Alarik /

Black Crab is a new Swedish thriller directed by Adam Berg and starring Noomi Rapace released on Netflix on March 18. The name “Black Crab” stems from the secretive operation where six soldiers must trek across a frozen archipelago toward Odo to deliver mysterious cargo that could end a devastating war.

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Black Crab on Netflix.

Along the way, the six soldiers will have to skate across the ice sideways (like a crab), in the dark and behind enemy lines. That’s how the operation got its name. Whether you’ve watched the movie and you’re confused by the ending or you just want to spoil yourself, we’re diving into the Black Crab ending and what you need to know about those canisters.

What is in the canisters in Black Crab on Netflix?

One of the main mysteries in Black Crab centers on the canisters the soldiers are told to transport across the ice. The soldiers are told that by getting the cargo where it needs to go, they have a chance at ending the war once and for all.

A little past the halfway point, after Malik, Karimi and Forsberg have died, Granvik loses his patience with the entire operation as all the death starts weighing on him. He steals one of the canisters and opens it, revealing a deadly bioweapon inside. Each canister contains a virus, meaning biological warfare is on the horizon.

Caroline, Granvik and Nylund realize that General Raad didn’t send them on this mission to just “end the war,” but to end everything. Releasing this virus will wipe out most of the remaining human population. So yes, technically it will end the war, but at a devastating cost.

Black Crab
Black Crab – Jonas Alarik / Netflix /

What happens at the end of Black Crab?

Since Caroline is motivated by the chance to see her daughter more than completing the mission, seeing what is inside the canisters isn’t enough to dissuade her. But Nylund and Granvik have begun to doubt the mission.

The next morning, Nylund steals the canisters and sneaks away with the intent of dropping them beneath the ice and into the depths of the sea. Caroline quickly realizes what he’s done after waking up. She rouses Granvik and the pair take off after him, though they’re delayed by an ambush. Granvik is killed in the fight after lunging on a grenade and Caroline sustains a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Caroline heads after Nylund alone, shooting him in the back to get the canisters from him even as he begs her to reconsider facilitating the end of humanity. But nothing will keep Caroline from her daughter.

At Odo, Caroline and Nylund are hailed as heroes for completing the journey and awarded medals of honor. All Caroline cares about is being reunited with Vanja. But unfortunately, Vanja was never in Odo. General Raad just told her what she needed to hear to keep her motivated. Devastated by this betrayal, Caroline realizes the only way to potentially keep Vanja alive (if she’s still out there somewhere) is to destroy the virus.

She and Nylund work together to infiltrate the base and retrieve the virals at gunpoint. Nylund recommends they blow the place up with a grenade. Considering that would cause the entire base to get infected and defeat the purpose of their plan, that’s not exactly an ideal solution. Instead, they need to get the virus out of the base and blow it up in the ocean or on the ice, somewhere away from people, meaning Nylund and Caroline will have to escape the base with the virus containers.

They dress in hazmat suits and blend into the evacuating crowd. Easier said than done when you’re nursing a gunshot wound in the stomach and just had several toes amputated due to frostbite. Even worse, Caroline realizes the nurses lied to her yet again–her wound was never stitched. Needless to say, it’s not looking good for her chances of survival.

By the time they get past the guards and make it outside to the emergency evacuation helicopters, Caroline is on the verge of succumbing to her wound. The security team catches up to her. They demand she hand over the virus canisters, but Caroline has strapped them to a grenade. She makes sure Nylund is on board a helicopter before walking to the edge of the roof and plummeting to her death, triggering the grenade and destroying the virus in the process.

Out of all six members of the Black Crab operation, only Nylund survives. But at least Caroline is reunited with her daughter in the afterlife as the final seconds of the film show her underwater with Vanja in a touching ending sequence.

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