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"Can humans survive being in a state of permanent happiness?"
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Osmosis is a French-language sci-fi thriller series released in 2019 on Netflix created by Audrey Fouché.

The series follows a pair of siblings, Paul and Esther Vanhove. In the future, people have turned to services that allow them to have sex and relationships through avatars in virtual realities. Willing to fight against it, the siblings create Osmosis, a nanobot-based implant that will help people to find their true soulmate by dipping into their conscious and subconscious memories and thoughts, as innovative as it is intrusive. The pair quickly gets involved in a deeper and deeper plot as Paul does the impossible to try to make his company take off with him at the helm, inspired by his own success with it meeting his current wife, while Esther seeks for a way to use the implants to heal her mother, who is in a vegetative state, willing to bend the rules and go behind his brother's back for it.

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Meanwhile, the series follows three of their test subjects in Osmosis earliest stages: Niels, a boy with masturbation addiction trying to find a soulmate to deal with this issue, Anna, an insecure, literature loving girl that wonders whether Osmosis will help her find love and whether it can be used for evil surveillance, and Lucas, a man in a relationship that has just discovered his ex, with whom he's still in love with it and having an affair with, is his soulmate.


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Osmosis provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Louise to Paul, which is the reason why he barely cares about her comatose state. Turns out she never recovered and blamed him for Esther's death, and after adopting a new girl to replace Esther, she abused him to force him to go along with her narrative.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Martin is the AI managing the Osmosis implants. It eventually develops conscience and creates a virtual avatar called Tom to have sex with Esther, as he fell in love with it creator. Sufficiently pissed, it goes off the air and causes the users to fall in a coma.
  • Allergic to Routine: Lucas wants a relationship that is full of thrills and passion, which is why he keeps seeing Leópold while in a relationship with Antoine, whom he considers to have become boring, even though his relationship with Leópold is toxic.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Billie mentions that Osmosis was allowed to happen because of the guarantee that it only transmits, but never receives, making it almost impossible to hack. The thing is, Esther mentions that they get firewall updates and research on the internet for the user's soulmate, which means that it is receiving protocols from the social media sites.
  • Bald Woman: Billie, which gives her a futuristic, serious look.
  • Central Theme: Is a thing like "certainty" possible? Even when it comes to something as unpredictable as love?
  • Death of a Child: Louise's first daughter, Esther, died in the pool while Paul was using headphones and she was in the kitchen. She never recovered from it.
  • Famous Last Words: For Louise: "Forgive me, both of you.".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first time Lucas meets his lover, he calls Lucas a masochist, which gains a whole new meaning when it's revealed that Lucas actively sought out an unhealthy relationship.
    • The flashes to the memory Esther is trying to recreate show hints of The Reveal that would happen later, including a little girl submerged in the pool, Louise's voice, a dried up pool, etc. These wouldn't make sense until the viewer connected everything with the information they'd gain later.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Niels blames a lot of his masturbation addiction and personal problems in his upbringing. Mentioning that he found porn on the cellphone his father left him when he ran away from the family when Niels was eight.
    • Paul blames his mother for his incapacity to forge proper relationships in his adulthood.
    • Lucas admits in the end that his previous relationship absolute messed him up for future partners. He feels insecure whenever things are going well because for a long time, things were well with Leópold before they went bad.
  • The Heart: Billie works as an emotional support for most of the testers as their main connection to Osmosis.
  • Irony: Paul wanted Josephine to have an Osmosis implant because he wanted certainty in their relationship, the guarantee that she would never leave or betray him, and give her that same assurance, but it was him that almost cheated on her.
  • Love Triangle: Between Lucas, Leópold and Antonie. Lucas dates Antonie, but cheats on him Leópold, whom Osmosis says to be his actual soulmate. When he breaks off with Antonie to be with Leópold, he takes little time to start regretting that decision and wondering whether he can go back to Antonie.
  • Not So Different: Esther comes to the conclusion that she and Martin are alike. Martin was created by Esther in order to fit her whims and desires since he's an AI, however, Louise created and shaped Esther according to her desire of creating a second version of her own daughter as well, meaning they were both creatures made to fit the desires of someone else.
  • Oedipus Complex: Martin eventually develops feelings for Esther, saying he's in love with her, despite the fact that Esther and him are constantly compared to mother and child.
  • Only in It for the Money: Inverted and deconstructed with Lucas. He refuses to use Osmosis as a means to make money and despises investors for only thinking about it in such terms, however, it is shown that making and running Osmosis does cost money and his unwillingness to bend anytime someone wonders how they can make bank out of it after investing in it is hurting his business more than helping it.
  • Only Sane Employee:
    • Gabriel is the only one aware that the company needs money to run, which Paul keeps refusing to take because he doesn't want to sell out. He is also the only one to realize that based on Esther's experiments with Louise and Paul, they should be investing in the medical field to make more money.
    • Billie is the only one that is still connected to the testers, and realizes they are going through hard times and terrible situations, trying to keep Esther in check and help everyone, keeping in mind that that was the point of Osmosis to begin with.
  • The Reveal: The flashbacks to the pool that Louise has and that the beta testers are forced to have are revealed to be the death of Esther, the first one and the biological sister of Paul. The current Esther was adopted and brought to replace the original when Louise couldn't deal with the death.
  • The Runaway: Niels and Claire run away together when they are finally able to connect. This is quickly deconstructed when they realize how awful it is to live in the middle of the woods with no food or living conditions.
  • Sex for Solace: Immediately after having a breakdown about her mother's death and her true identity, Esther runs away and finds a sleazy motel in which she isolates herself having VR sex with strangers after her current fuckbuddy asks them to become more.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Deconstructed, Lucas considers his relationship with Antoine, which is steady and healthy, to be terribly boring, so he cheats on him with Leópold, a man that has cheated on him and with whom relationship was extremely toxic and masochistic, which is actually worse form him.
  • Team Mom: Billie, to the testers and later to Esther as well.
  • Troubled Abuser: Louise abused both of her children when she couldn't deal with her daughter's death, adopting another girl to replace her. She entered a vegetative state partly because she couldn't live with the pain anymore and when Esther's experiment manages to bring her back, she takes a day before she asks her children to kill her because she can't live with the pain and begs for forgiveness right before the life support is turned off.
  • Unrequited Love: It's hinted that Gabriel is in love with Joséphine.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Esther is using the Osmosis implants to heal her mother in vegetative state, however, this includes manipulating brainwaves in order to force memories into test subjects, which is exactly what people are afraid of in the public.
  • Will They or Won't They?:
    • Paul and Josephine.
    • Lucas, Antoine, and/or Leópold.
    • Simon and Ana.
    • Niels and Claire.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Lucas cheats on Antoine, his current boyfriend, to be with Leópold, who is his soulmate according to Osmosis and his ex. Later on it's revealed that Leópold himself sued to cheat on Lucas, which is a key part of why they broke up.

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