Warning: This post contains spoilers for Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece.
THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED Netflix live-action adaptation of One Piece has, at long last, set sail. Across eight episodes of the first season, viewers learn about the voyages of Monkey D. Luffy (Iñaki Godoy) as he begins the journey to navigate the Grand Line in search of the famed One Piece treasure and become King of the Pirates.
Throughout the first season, we’re introduced to the core cast of the Straw Hat pirates across a series of four two-episode stories that provide a deep dive into a member of Luffy’s crew. The final two episodes turn their gaze to Nami (Emily Rudd) and why she’s been such a mysterious cipher for most of the season. The answer sets up a stunning finale that brings a tremendous amount of closure—and excitement—to One Piece’s first season.
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In case you missed any of the details or need some extra clarification on what all went down, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the One Piece Season 1 finale.
What Happens to Arlong and Nami in the One Piece Season 1 Finale?
One of the biggest questions throughout the course of Season 1 is about Nami’s true allegiance and why she’s loyal to Arlong (McKinley Belcher III). In short, Arlong shows up to the Conomi Islands and holds its citizens captive. He imprisons a young Nami to draw him world maps to eventually use them to set sail and take over the globe. The last map he needs is the Grand Line map, which Nami stole for him (alongside Luffy) at the start of the series.
While Nami is working undercover for Arlong, it’s all a ruse for her to earn enough money to buy back Cocoyasi Village from him and get freedom for herself, the villagers, and her sister Nojiko. Once she reveals to Arlong that she’s successfully gathered the funds, he chooses to betray her instead of keeping his promise, opting instead to turn her over to dirty Marine Captain Nezumi, whom Arlong is bribing to look the other way with regard to their activities.
The first half of “Worst in the East” focuses on how the Straw Hats end up dispatching Arlong and his crew; Zoro (Mackenyu) and Sanji (Taz Skylar) fight most of his crew in the bar area of Arlong Park, while Usopp (Jacob Romero Gibson) lures a Fishman away and kills him using a special exploding pellet from his slingshot. Luffy takes down Arlong by using his powers to bring down the tower of Arlong Park on top of them. Miraculously, Luffy survives—and Arlong is defeated. But in the ensuing chaos, Buggy (Jeff Ward) is reunited with his body and escapes to fight another day.
What Else Happens in the One Piece Season 1 Finale?
While the Straw Hats celebrate in Cocoyasi Village, Vice Admiral Garp (Vincent Regan) finally meets with Luffy as grandfather and grandson reunite. Given the well-established tensions between Marines and Pirates, the two immediately come to blows, except for Koby (Morgan Davies) and Helmeppo (Aidan Scott), who ask Garp not to pursue Luffy. As the fight rages on, and Garp begins to pull away, Luffy begins laughing—not unlike how Gold Roger did at the start of the series—and Garp realizes nothing will deter Luffy from his dream. Garp then stops his attack, saying he did this as a test to determine Luffy’s level of seriousness about his quest. Garp then retreats, pulling away his squad to hunt down the corrupt Captain Nezumi.
In Garp’s office, Koby and Helmeppo appear to the Vice Admiral for their punishment, only for Garp to state he won’t reprimand them and officially takes them under his wing to train them. Elsewhere in the East Blue, Buggy swears revenge on the Straw Hats while Alvida (Ilia Isorelýs Paulino), last seen early on in the season, in the booth over from him, suggests a team-up to take down Luffy and his crew.
As for the Straw Hats, all five are fully reunited together on the deck of the Going Merry, where they participate in a ceremony declaring their intentions before sailing off to the Grand Line. Usopp also shows off Luffy’s first bounty poster, which includes the largest bounty in the East Blue. Luffy has officially arrived as a pirate.
Elsewhere, we check in with Shanks (Peter Gadiot) for the first time since he departed a young Luffy. Mihawk (Steven Ward) finds a hungover Shanks and presents him with Luffy’s wanted poster, and Shanks and his crew begin to break out the reverse booze in celebration.
Who Is the Guy at the End?
After the final title card, we see a grey-haired man holding two cigars in one hand and Luffy’s “Wanted” poster in the other. As the military music swells, he uses a stoogie to burn Luffy’s eye before setting fire to the rest of the paper.
One Piece fans will know that this famed toker is the aptly-named Captain Smoker, a Marine who very much has Luffy on his radar. Whenever Season 2 rolls around, not only will the Straw Hats have Buggy and Alvida after them, but a new Marine who is likely to do all in his power to capture Luffy once and for all.
William Goodman is a freelancer writer, focused on all things pop culture, tech, gadgets, and style. He’s based in Washington, DC and his work can also be found at Robb Report, Complex, and GQ. He’s yet to meet a jacket or cardigan he didn’t love. In his free time, he’s probably on Twitter (@goodmanw) or at the movies.