‘The Circle’ finale recap: Emotional reveals, surprising meetings, and a shock winner

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of Netflix’s The Circle.

After three weeks of messages, catfishing, and some pretty intense gameplay, The Circle officially crowned its Season 1 winner in Wednesday’s finale. So who took home the top prize of $100,000 as the game’s most popular player? It was none other than family man Joey Sasso who came out as the top player. But how did we get here? Let’s rewind and recap the final four episodes, shall we?

Episode 9

Things pick up with Sean’s shocking decision to reveal her true self to “Rebecca”, Chris, and Sammi. She sends them a picture of herself but to her surprise, they are actually really supportive. They tell her she’s beautiful and respect her for coming clean.

With all the mushy stuff over, it was time to get serious. The players submitted their next ratings and taking the top two spots were Rebecca and Shoobie and the bottom two were Adam and Bill. However, there was a twist. The bottom-ranked player would automatically be sent home, which that meant Bill was being banished from The Circle.

See, this is what surprises me here. As weird and creepy as Adam is, how the hell did he not rank last among the group? It makes zero sense. With that said, another twist saw Shoobie and Rebecca decide on a second person to go and they chose Adam. THANK YOU BABY JESUS! I don’t know what I’d do if Adam made it to the finals. The guy is just so… ew.

“Adam” reveals himself to be Alex and everyone is stunned. The other players think Rebecca is heartbroken because they were flirty in chats and he was not who he said he was. Oh players, if you only knew that “Rebecca” is actually a dude. Wait, it looks like Ed (and his weird-ass mom) may be on to it!

Episode 10

We pick up with the chat over Rebecca. Chris quickly suspects that Rebecca is being too quiet while Sammi feels she’s too emotional. Uh oh! Is Seaburn about to be exposed? The Circle announces there will be no new players added, meaning one of the final seven will be the winner of the $100,000.

With the money in sight, the claws came out thanks to a game of “State You Case”, where the players said why they deserve to win. Things got catty between Sammi and Sean, with Sean saying she’s been real since arriving (message: Uh, what about that fake photo, Sean? Yeah. So real. *eye roll emoji* Send!). Joey, Chris, and Ed all pick Rebecca as their biggest threat to win and I’m sure by now, he’s feeling the heat.

The players submitted their next set of ratings and this is where viewers should’ve gotten the first sign that Joey was in the driver’s seat straight to victory. This time, the ratings were not revealed but a super influencer would be named and solely hold the power to send someone home. Joey is named the super influence and now has the tough decision of blocking someone. He decided on Sean, who is bitter AF. Her goodbye video is such a pity party; I’m just going to not even go there. She seemed to make a dig at Joey by saying someone isn’t being real and that’s right after Joey confessed to being the super influencer to the group.

Episode 11

After some more games and messages, it was time for the players to submit their final ratings. This would determine who would take home the cash prize. Would they be tactical or vote based on friendship? The only one who voted Joey low was Rebecca while Sammi, Chris, and Shoobie all gave him No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.

In one final twist, The Circle revealed the lowest rated player would go home. That would be Ed (and his weird-ass mom) and once again, I say THANK YOU BABY JESUS. Ed went to meet Sammi before departing and creepily hit on her. You can tell she was pretty turned off and I can’t blame her one bit.

With the ratings locked in, it was time for the players to have one last group chat… FACE TO FACE. That’s right, after three weeks of messaging, the group will finally meet in person for the very first time. How will Shoobie react to “Rebecca” actually being Seaburn?

Episode 12

The finale kicks off with the group meeting face to face. Shoobie is first to enter the dining room followed by Seaburn. He’s pretty stunned to find out the girl he has been talking to was actually a guy but Seaburn explains that sensitive men are viewed as “weak” and he played as Rebecca to break that stigma. Sammi was next to enter and her “no fucking way” reaction to Seaburn being Rebecca was priceless!

As the entire group gathers to eat and talk, you really feel this cast is going to stay friends after the show ends. This is the first time in a really long time that I’ve liked a cast on a reality show; they all seem genuinely happy to be friends.

Host Michelle Buteau returns to interview the final five before revealing the final ratings. Seaburn finished fifth, Chris was fourth, and Sammi was third. That left only Shoobie and Joey before it was revealed that Joey was the topped rated player and ultimately the winner.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I’ve loved The Circle since covering it for the UK. I’ve gotten my friends hooked on it and I’m so glad the US viewers finally got to see this amazing show. While Netflix doesn’t release viewing figures, the fact the show was in both the “Trending now” and “Popular on Netflix” sections of the website are a good sign. I have a strong feeling it’ll be back for a second season.

What did you think of the finale? Did the right person win? Let me know in the comments below!

Season 1 of The Circle is streaming now on Netflix.

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