In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Knives Out, we will explain the film’s ending.
- Benoit Blanc – Daniel Craig
- Detective Lieutenant Elliot – LaKeith Stanfield
- Marta Cabrera – Ana de Armas
- Harlan Thrombey – Christopher Plummer
- Linda Drysdale – Jamie Lee Curtis
- Richard Drysdale – Don Johnson
- Hugh Ransom Drysdale – Chris Evans
- Walt Thrombey – Michael Shannon
- Donna Thrombey – Riki Lindhome
- Jacob Thrombey – Jaeden Martell
- Joni Thrombey – Toni Collette
- Meg Thrombey – Katherine Langford
- Trooper Wagner – Noah Segan
- Fran – Edi Patterson
- Alan Stevens – Frank Oz
- Written by – Rian Johnson
- Directed by – Rian Johnson
The end of Knives Out explained
Knives Out ends following the revelation that Ransom was behind the events that led to Harlan Thombey’s death. The police had escorted the family outside. We see shots of Ransom escorted from the house, past the family, to the car. The first shot is Ransom behind Walt. The next is him behind Joni, while Meg gets details from another officer. Then it’s Ransom’s father pleading to the police while Liinda, Ransom’s mother, watches from a distance, unconcerned. Linda then uses a lighter to reveal a secret message from Harlan.
My heart. It’s time to cut the dead wood. He’s cheating on you. I have proof I know you don’t want to see. Untether yourself. It’s time. -Dad.
Linda then gives her husband a shocked look. And he seems to understand what it means. Blanc and Marta share a final moment. Marta tries to reckon with the responsibility of having Harlan’s resources. Does she help the Thrombeys or not? Blanc says he believes she’ll follow her heart. Before Ransom enters the police cruiser, Marta appears on the mansion’s balcony. They share a look. The rest of the family turns to behold the house’s new owner. Linda blows out a breath of smoke. Marta sips from her mug. The mug reads, MY HOUSE MY RULES MY COFFEE!!
To appreciate the last shot of Marta on the balcony and the Thrombeys on the front yard of what had been their family home, you have to understand Knives Out is primarily political commentary about the state of America circa 2015-2019 in regards to immigration.
The Thrombeys represent a group of established, wealthy, White elites. Some are politically progressive. Others conservative. But they all, in their own way, keep up the appearances of trying to be good people. Especially when it comes to Marta. They all make a point of saying the family will take care of her in the aftermath of Harlan’s passing. Except when Harlan gives everything to Marta, the family reveals just how ugly they can be, All the progressivism? Gone. All that “you’re like family”? Over. It’s threats and vitriol and anger.
Harlan’s assets are essentially the benefits of America. The Thrombeys felt entitled to these benefits. The money, the land, the infrastructure that creates generational wealth. When the family finds out that Harlan had cut Ransom out of the will, prior to finding out about their own removal, they all agreed it was for the best. That Ransom was too dependent and needed this in order to grow up and become a better person. The irony being none of them realized they’re in need of the same medicine. In their own ways, they’re just as bad as Ransom.
Johnson calls out a segment of people who think they’re more deserving than others simply because of birthright. It almost seems like a direct response to the cry of “They’re taking our jobs.” Being born American does not make you more worthy than someone born in another country. The important thing is character. And of the relevant people Harlan could have left his resources to, he went with whom he judged as having the highest character.
You can view that showdown on the balcony as almost a tipping point between an old establishment and the next generation of the melting pot.
The moments leading up to the balcony scene simply reinforce the moral quality of the Thrombeys. Ransom’s being arrested for the murder of Harlan, yet people are too caught up in their own drama to notice. They don’t care about justice for Harlan. They only care about themselves.
What are your thoughts?
Is there more to the ending that you think should be part of the Colossus Movie Guide for Knives Out? Leave your thoughts below and we’ll consider adding them.