Upload Season 3 Ending Explained: We're Left With A Major Question About Nathan, So Let's Talk It Out

 Robbie Amell in a press image for Season 3 of Upload.
Robbie Amell in a press image for Season 3 of Upload.

Major, major spoilers for Upload Season 3, specifically the season finale, are ahead. If you want to stream the latest installment of the comedy, you can watch every episode with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Well, Upload Season 3 has officially come to an end, and much like the Season 2 finale of the Amazon comedy, it left us with a major cliffhanger. However, instead of the show ending with two versions of Nathan, it ends with one, because it seems like one of the variants of Robbie Amell’s protagonist is gone.

At the very end of Upload Season 3, it seems like everything is hunky-dory… for like two seconds. Real World Nathan and Nora are in a good place with their relationship, they settled the case against Freeyond and Horizen, and he isn’t afraid that his head will explode. Meanwhile, Ingrid and Back-Up Nathan have found themselves in a healthy relationship too. However, all these seemingly happy endings get thrown out the window when the Nathans get captured by Horizen at the very end of the episode.

Ending the show’s run on the 2023 TV schedule with such a massive question mark is commonplace for Upload. However, we’re truly entering uncharted territory now, especially when it comes to the two Nathans' futures. So, let’s talk about it.

A press image of Robbie Amell as Nathan looking at Nathan on his phone in Upload.
A press image of Robbie Amell as Nathan looking at Nathan on his phone in Upload.

Breaking Down Who Caught The Two Versions Of Nathan

Despite Luke, Aleesha, Nathan and Nora giving over lots of valuable information for the Horizen and Freeyond case that had been going on, the corporation still won in a way. While Nora and co. won the case, it was settled and the information they gave over was sealed. So, it only feels like a temporary solution.

After that, it’s revealed that legally, there can only be one brain working at a time regarding Uploads. So, as Nora and Nathan walk out of the building after the case, he’s cuffed and taken away.

Then, as we learn about Horizen's new program called Betta, it becomes clear that nothing about the company is changing, they simply changed their name. Meanwhile, Lakeview Nathan is running for his life, trying to get away from the Horizen people who are trying to catch him. But, in the end, he’s captured too.

A screenshot of Nathan talking through a computer screen.
A screenshot of Nathan talking through a computer screen.

So, Is There Only One Version Of Nathan Now?

After the big battle at Lakeview, where Back-Up Nathan is seen trying to take down Horizen he disappears, and like Real World Nathan, he’s captured by Horizen.

Eventually, Ingrid, Nora and Nathan’s family are able to get ahold of him, however, the thing is, it’s only one version of him. He says in the episode:

I’m going to be OK, because those bastards brought us down to one person. I saw other Nathan, they destroyed him.

You Know Who There Will Never Be One Of? AI Guy

A press image of Owen Daniels as AI Guy standing between two Uploads in Season 3 of Upload.
A press image of Owen Daniels as AI Guy standing between two Uploads in Season 3 of Upload.

Upload Director Compares Picking His Favorite Version Of AI Guy To ‘Picking A Favorite Taylor Swift Song,’ And I Feel His Pain

To me, and seemingly everyone seeing Nathan, it’s unclear which version we’re looking at. While Robbie Amell worked to differentiate the two, ultimately, they are essentially the same person. And in this moment, it’s basically impossible to tell which one we’re looking at. Nora and Ingrid don’t even know which variant is talking to them, as Nora asks which version of Nathan they're talking to at the end of the episode. This leads me to a few theories regarding which version of Amell’s character we’re seeing.

The first, and wildest, theory is somehow Horizen merged the two versions of Nathan into one. I have absolutely no idea how they’d do this. However, I had the same thought when a clone of Amell’s character came into the picture at the end of last season. And if I’ve learned anything from Upload, it’s that we need to always expect the unexpected. This would certainly be unexpected.

The other two theories center around one version of Nathan being alive, while the other is dead or hidden. These theories hinge on where the bad guys took them. Maybe Real World Nathan was the one on that video because he is the original version, and they’re on Earth. However Back-Up was taken in Lakeview, so it’s possible that they’re in the Upload land instead.

In the end, no matter how much we pick this apart, it’s truly unknown which version of Nathan we’re seeing, to the point that even the director of the episode doesn’t know, because they shot multiple iterations of the scene.

Nathan confused in office on Upload
Nathan confused in office on Upload

What The Director Said About Nathans’ Future

Even Sarah Boyd, the director of Upload’s Season 3 finale, doesn’t know which version of Nathan we’re seeing. While speaking to CinemaBlend about Nathans’ wild final scene, she said:

Well, we definitely don't know which Nathan survives. And they purposefully asked me to make sure it was not going to be clear. So, I mean, to the point where they didn't tell Robbie, right? So nobody knows, nobody knew. But that's why we filmed it with a gray background. And clearly whichever Nathan it is, has been through hell.

So, it seems that there are even people who were part of the Upload cast and crew who don’t know which version of Nathan we’re seeing. As we discussed, it seems like there’s only one version of Robbie Amell’s character now, because he said the other was "destroyed," and it’s unclear who exactly we’re seeing.

Personally, I’m in the camp of the two being merged into one being. However, that’s a wild theory. Thinking reasonably, we might be seeing Real World Nathan on the footage, and maybe Back-Up Nathan has been locked even further away.

If the show is renewed for a fourth season, the Nathans and their loved ones are in a real pickle no matter what happens. We had finally gotten to a point where Ingrid and Nora were satisfied with their relationships, and so were the Nathans. Plus, Real World Nathan wasn’t living in fear anymore about his head exploding. So, it’s a real shame that all that got so messed up. However, there’s no question that whatever happens next will be wildly entertaining.

Much like how we don’t know which version of Nathan we were left with, we don’t know anything about Upload Season 4, because it has not been renewed yet. However, the minute we know more, we’ll be sure to keep you updated. In the meantime, you can stream one of Prime Video’s best shows on Amazon.