New to Netflix is the Norwegian rom-sitcom Home For Christmas, which stars Ida Elise Broch as Johanne, a 30-year-old single nurse who’s being hounded by her family to get a boyfriend. The six-episode first season follows her over the course of December as she hunts for a suitable beau to bring to her family’s Christmas Eve dinner. However, its ending has left fans with questions.
Spoilers ahead for the end of Home For Christmas (also known as Hjem til Jul).
Who Was At The Door?
At Christmas Eve dinner, Johanne flips the script by not bringing a boyfriend, but several good friends, including her best friend Jørgunn, the charming clown Raul, the chain-smoking sage Mrs. Nergaard, and a tearful Jeannette. However, just when it seems this seasonal story is coming to a close, there’s another ring at the doorbell. Who could it be? Johanne tells her mother she has no idea, but when she answers the door, she smiles and says, “Hi.”
home for Christmas on Netflix is so good that ending has me ruined pic.twitter.com/tZrTeTSWBf— crackdaddy 💵 (@meghandunnex) December 9, 2019
So, who came for Christmas? Let’s consider the possibilities.
There’s no way it was the hipster academic who hated Love Actually, the bar-fighting plumber, the 19-year-old f*ck boy, her lesbian almost-lover, or the wealthy widower, as each had a distinctive end to their would-be relationship with Johanne. So, as I see it, this leaves four suspects.
Sebastian: Despite his prickly attitude, Johanne bonded with this young man who is suffering from a serious heart condition. Considering the last she saw of him was his being whisked away on a gurney for life-saving measures, she’d definitely be happy to see him. However, he was just whisked away on a gurney for live-saving measures. There’s no way that if Sebastian survived his heart attack he is walking out of the hospital on Christmas Eve. Besides, how would he know her parents’ address?
Stein: This athletic suitor tried to share his love of spinning and skiing with Johanne, his zeal didn’t impress her. She describes him “nice but kind of pathetic, like a wounded puppy,” or as “safe” and a “pushover,” depending on if you watch the overdubbed or subtitles options. In both, she complains Stein reminds her too much of her father. So, it seems less likely she’d be stoked to see Stein if he came by unannounced. However, she is feeling high on the Christmas spirit and has mended her relationship with her dad, so maybe. Plus, it’s easy to imagine how Stein would know the address. Her father could have invited him at the biathlon, after Johanne bailed to go to work. After all, the two were hitting it off.
Heinrich: Moments before Sebastian’s heart attack, this clever doctor was confessing his feelings for Johanne over cups of breakroom coffee. He said all the right things. He’s handsome and a doctor. He’s exactly the kind of love interest that Johanne’s mom and rom-com conventions tell us she deserves and should have. It’s conceivable that he came by after his Christmas Eve shift to give her news about Sebastian, especially if it’s good news. It’s likely she’d be happy to see him. Plus, it makes sense he’d know where to go, because it’s previously implied he’s friends with Raul, who is already there. Therefore, Heinrich seems like the most likely surprise guest. However, this is a show that gleefully upends the expected by giving us a 19-year-old f*ck boy who was strikingly emotionally mature and the message that being coupled up is not an instant happy ending. So, with that in mind…
Tom: Early on, viewers might have thought this charming bartender would be Johanne’s ultimate date. The show certainly feinted his way a few times. He protected her from the ranting plumber after they were booted from the escape room. He was a shoulder to cry on when her love cake was rejected. He showered her with compliments and then was a half of her getaway ride when Johanne caught her dad kissing another woman. Again and again, Tom was there when she needed him. However, on that fateful night, Tom didn’t end up in bed with Johanne but her married-with-children friend Jeannette. On Christmas Eve, Jeannette turned up unexpectedly at Johanne’s parents because her husband booted her for cheating. Is it possible that the heartbroken Jeannette texted Tom, and he came to see her, not Johanne? I’d say so. But there’s only one way to know for sure.
Will there be a season 2?
Home For Christmas only hit Netflix on December 5. So, it’s not surprising there’s been no announcement just yet about season 2. However, the show’s cliffhanger suggests its creators have a second season in mind. Plus, it’s been said that Netflix doesn’t make a show unless its runners have three-seasons mapped out. So, if Home For Christmas proves a hit this holiday season, you can bet Netflix will present a second offering next winter.
Where would season 2 of Home For Christmas go?
Let’s assume Home For Christmas would pick up at its cliffhanger moment. If the guest is Heinrich or Stein, the second season could explore how Johanne navigates a romantic relationship now that the pressure to pair up is off. Over the course of season 1, Johanne learned a lot about her boundaries and wants. So, while she’s in no rush to find a husband or baby-daddy, she has two potentially good—but not perfect—matches before her.
I predict season two would have her weighing the options of Stein and Heinrich, and likely would introduce newer, flashier possibilities as Johanne continues to figure out what she wants in a romantic partner. But in a second season, I expect her love life wouldn’t be the only one of interest to fans.
Season 2 could also follow the blossoming romance of big-hearted baker Jørgunn and the playful clown Raul. The finale ep of Home For Christmas had Jørgunn lamenting that she feels like a screw-up, and through this new love perhaps she’ll find confidence, or a the very least a new audience for her unusual but delicious-sounding concoctions.
There’s also room to follow relationships on the rocks. Will Johanne’s parents get divorced? Will Jeannette and Trim split up for good or reconcile? I suspect one couple will stay together and the other will break up, allowing two different storylines to develop about these pivotal moments. One couple will go through the complicated process of rebuilding a broken bond. The other will have to learn to rebuild their lives after the one they made together has ended. Based solely on how well we know the characters, I’d bet on Johanne’s parents staying together and Jeannette/Trim splitting, as the latter’s husband was a non-entity as a character. Plus, this route gives Tom’s development somewhere to go. Was it just a one-night-stand, or is he interested enough in Jeannette to consider being a stepdad to two young kids? Or…is he really interested in Johanne after all?
Season 2 would also take us back to the hospital, where we can follow up with Sebastian. However, if he lives, I suspect we’ll soon lose the terminally diagnosed Mrs. Nergaard. That would be a tough blow to Johanne, who views the frank old broad as a guardian angle, so such a loss would push her to seek comfort in the arms of…who?
Here’s hoping we’ll find out next Home for Christmas.
Home for Christmas is now on Netflix.
Header Image Source: Netflix