another netflix sci-fi movie is hot. This time is how 2018 ends, starring Theo James, Kat Graham and Forest Whitaker. when this movie first came out, it wasn’t particularly well received. now, after four years and a looming Russian threat, this film is finding a new audience. here’s everything you need to know about the ending and the mess that started it all.
The world ends the day after Will Younger(James) and his girlfriend find out they are having a baby boy. Unfortunately, he had flown to Chicago to ask her father, Tom(Whitaker), for her hand in marriage when all hell started breaking loose. They have a tense relationship as Tom worries Will can’t provide in the same way he has despite Will’s current success. When a mysterious catastrophic event happens in Seattle, where Sam and Will live, the two men are forced to work together and drive across the country to save Sam.
As reports of seismic events, communications and power outages sweeping the country begin to trickle in, it’s clear this is no minor earthquake. All flights have been cancelled, and Will and Tom have no choice but to drive away. Will is terrified of his girlfriend, and Tom is a man of action who served in the military for decades.
what is the apocalyptic event in how it ends?
While the disaster hitting Seattle is never explicitly explained, there are several clues that could hint at a possible event. Military planes fly over Chicago in a hurry to get somewhere, making it seem highly likely that whatever happened was an act of war. In addition, a military blockade is established that Tom and will speak to pass. a foreign enemy or terrorist likely coordinated a devastating attack on US soil. With the recent threats from Russian hackers, it is not only possible but likely that power plants and communication systems have been infiltrated simultaneously.
It is more plausible that multiple weapons were deployed, including bombs and emplas, because a single event would not destroy the entire system. In the United States, the electrical grid is not one giant interconnected grid, but rather a group of regional grids that serve areas. If power plants in California were shut down, they would not be able to get power from the Midwest, for example, because they are not properly connected. This means that whatever happened to the West Coast may have had little relation to the rest of the country, unless multiple attacks occurred in the United States. Since we saw that Chicago also lost power, it is assumed that multiple strikes occurred in various areas. presumably these would be in critical locations and on specific targets.
However, if the power plants that were attacked were nuclear, it could have a cascading effect that would not only lead to power outages but also nuclear meltdowns. these single events would be catastrophic in the region. think of the chernobyl and fukushima plants in ukraine and japan. targeted attacks on this type of critical infrastructure would not only shut down power but also affect the environment. both cyberattacks and bombing could explain the seismic activity and climate changes we see in how it ends.
as tom and will stop to heal and fix their vehicle, they hear news reports on ham radio speculating that there was a nuclear bomb dropped somewhere in the united states. someone also questions that this is the beginning of the third world war. we never get any definitive proof either way, but all signs point towards some act of war. If a nuclear bomb were targeted at Los Angeles, that could create emps throughout the region. EMPs or electromagnetic pulses are likely caused by nuclear weapons deployment or solar flares. emps would also disturb the birds and cause the lights in the sky.
The radio chatter we hear sporadically could be paranoid rambling, but it could also be anecdotal accounts of what was going on. After Will manages to reach Sam, his neighbor explains that he is a software engineer who has seen exactly this type of war game scenario and speculates that someone attacked the United States, and it is only the beginning. It sounds paranoid, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. the ending of how it ends never explains what or who exactly attacked the us. uu., but it seems very likely that it was an act of war.
The Ending of How It Ends
will, tom and ricki (grace dove), who have agreed to travel with them, manage to avoid being robbed, beaten, killed and arrested by the authorities, only to drive straight into a massive forest fire. Tom has a serious rib injury that has caused a collapsed lung. After Ricki is forced to shoot out the tires of a pursuing car and all the passengers are killed, she leaves the group.
The two men go through numerous car accidents and tragedies and are eventually stopped by a group of motorcyclists on their way to Seattle and try to take over their car. Having learned a lot from Tom in a very short period of time, Will no longer trusts. he runs over several men and tom shoots others, but succumbs to his wound and dies. now alone, will burns the car with tom’s body as a respectful tribute to the man who became his friend. he traveled on foot until a family picked him up and agreed to take him as far as possible.
will guides them to his father’s house and offers them a trade for his jeep. he agrees to give them everything, including the car in the garage, in exchange for his jeep, which he needs to get on with sam. heading into town, he finds what appears to be the aftermath of a significant explosion. the air is toxic, ash is raining from the sky, and much of the city is on fire or buried in rubble. However, her apartment complex is largely untouched and she finds a note from Sam explaining that she is elsewhere.
will drives to the new address and finds sam with a neighbor who kept her safe. it would be a happy ending if the neighbor didn’t see sam as a commodity like water and gas and didn’t want to give her up. She saved Sam because she secretly hoped that they could forge a life together. when she came back, she tried to take him into the woods and shoot him. Luckily Ella Will has learned a lot from her time with Tom and shoots the neighbor before he gets shot. will and sam drive north in hopes of reaching canada as a massive cloud of ash, smoke, earth and fire descends on them. as the movie ends, the smoke appears to fall again, indicating that they might survive after all.
what does all this mean?
Although the way it ends is about a world or at least one event destroying a country, it’s really about the collapse of society. even before twenty-four hours have passed, civility has begun to deteriorate. at the gas station outside chicago, a woman and a group of men become willfully belligerent. our group is attacked multiple times along the way, including a violent stunt that culminated in a fatal car accident and ricki decided to leave the group.
the family that took will in were good people. they helped him when they didn’t have to, and they helped them in return. Tom and Will’s relationship also grew. the weaknesses of society are exploited in events like this. the world falls apart instead of coming together, and most people go back to their baser instincts. they fear everything and everyone and survive at all costs. the two men get heated discussing what caused all this, but it only highlights the difference in philosophy. one chooses fear and scare tactics, while the will wants to focus on hope and progress. that’s the real message of how it ends. we don’t see if they come out of the fire because it doesn’t matter. life and hope always find a way, and as long as there are people like that, all is not lost.