Major spoilers for Jupiter’s Legacy on Netflix are ahead. From the very beginning of Jupiter’s Legacy, something is obviously up with supposed Sampson family “hero” Walter (Ben Daniels). In the premiere episode, Walt gets to stand to the side of the latest deadly super battle “doing telekinetic stuff” as his Union teammates, including brother Sheldon (Josh Duhamel), are beaten to a pulp by a nuclear-powered supervillain. On the mental plane, Walt offers hulking baddie Blackstar (Tyler Mane) cake, mocks him for his inability to harm in this alternate realm, and sneers, “In here, I am God.”
It’s easy to assume Walt is somehow involved in this scheme, even as Blackstar punches Walt out of the fantasy.
Jupiter’s Legacy’s season 1 finale, “How It All Ends,” confirms that theory is true. Walt is the ultimate villain of Jupiter’s Legacy and has been puppet mastering the unprecedented uptick in hero-versus-baddie animosity since the beginning of the series. Skyfox (Matt Lanter), aka George Hutchence, has been framed for everything by Walt. Even Walt’s finale “battle” with George in Clone Blackstar’s collapsing brain was a carefully planned — and completely fake — ruse meant to distract the Union. While Walt’s convoluted plan is quickly revealed in the final five minutes of “How It All Ends,” the breadcrumbs towards his villainy can be seen throughout the season.
As the finale comes to a close, Walt meets with his estranged daughter Raikou (Anna Akana). The fact that Walt already appears at ease with an assassin for a daughter — while Sheldon is constantly brooding over Chloe’s (Elena Kampouris) comparatively low-stakes rebellions — immediately suggests Walt’s moral compass is far murkier than his Utopian brother’s strict Code. Walt spends his conversation with fellow telepath Raikou needling her for the information she gleaned while in his head earlier that day.
“All I know is that you cloned Blackstar and made it look like Skyfox was behind the whole thing,” Raikou finally admits.
It is here that the full breadth of Walt’s plan is unveiled. Walt sicced a clone of Blackstar on the Union in the premiere episode, using the kind of elaborate technology that is George’s signature. Walt also placed a copy of the Sampson brothers’ dead father’s watch in the clone. This decision is so bizarre and esoteric that everyone would assume puzzle-obsessed George, who is already an established Union traitor, did it. Walt then hid a device in the real Blackstar’s cell in the penultimate episode “Omnes Pres Uno” that would spring him from prison in time for the finale. Walt freed Blackstar because he knew Sheldon and his son Brandon (Andrew Horton) would be the superheroes dispatched to stop him; Walt created his “fight” with George in Blackstar’s mind to ensure the rest of the Union would be too busy helping Walt to join Sheldon and Brandon.
“You want to split apart the Utopian from his son,” Raikou explains. “That creates instability within the Union. Instability that would force new leadership.”
Walt aims to be that “new leadership.” Walt blames his brother, and his Code, for the current global chaos endangering the world. Raikou, understanding all of this, attempts to extort her father to maintain his secrecy — rather than try to join him. This is when we find out Walt and Raikou’s conversation is a well-built fantasy. In the real world, Walt kills Raikou for her perceived betrayal.
Jupiter’s Legacy telegraphs Walt’s mounting need for power from the very first episode. In premiere “By Dawn’s Early Light,” Walt and Sheldon discuss the increased division and terror in America and beyond. “It doesn’t have to be that way. If we played a more active role In helping the administration shape policy...” Walt reminds his brother, who tries to shut down such ambitious thinking. As Sheldon says, any leadership work goes against The Code. “Yeah, how’s that working out?,” Walt asks darkly, suggesting “free will” is what is “bringing the world to its knees” these days.
“Do you really think just putting away bank robbers is going to make the world a safer, better place?” Walt continues, citing the threat of corrupt politicians, corporations, and would-be mass shooters.
It is this perspective, we are meant to assume, that has led Walt to his grand scapegoating of George — who has actually been MIA for years — to pull apart Sheldon and Brandon. We see it in fifth episode “What’s the Use?” when Walt is pragmatically supportive of Brandon after he went against the Code and “killed” the Blackstar clone. Walt offers Brandon the kind of absolution his father refuses to even consider. It’s there when Walt visits the real Blackstar to threaten him with mental collapse, cut off his respiratory system to near-death, and announce, “I’m not my fucking brother.” The finale goes so far as to confirm Walt has always had these controlling leanings. In a flashback soon after the Union gains their powers, Walt’s future sister-in-law Grace (Leslie Bibb) asks why everyone was given their gifts in the first place.
“So we can rule the world. Obviously,” Walt shoots back. Everyone responds as if Walt’s words were a joke. Walt’s behaviour 70 years later reveals he was never really kidding.