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Tyler Rake's Return In Extraction 2 Explained

Contains spoilers for "Extraction"

At the end of Netflix action film "Extraction" — and while technically a spoiler, this plot point is a openly incorporated into promotion for its sequel — Chris Hemsworth's lead character Tyler Rake's fate is in question after he completes the extraction mission referenced in its title. Of course, once the streaming service announced that Hemsworth would return in "Extraction 2," that ending's ambiguity was nullified, and Tyler's survival became canon.

In fact, the first teaser Netflix shared for "Extraction 2" in September of 2021 opens on footage of the first "Extraction" movie's ending, before closing with some brief, new footage of Tyler opening his eyes underwater in the wake of his seemingly-fatal injuries. Then, Netflix encourages viewers to share the hashtag #Rakelives.

The first full "Extraction 2" trailer elaborates on the manner of Tyler's survival, without quite clarifying through what means he was capable of living through the brutal wounds he sustains at the end of "Extraction." "You were clinically dead nine months ago. But you fought your way back," a voice that Tyler remembers says midway through the trailer. Meanwhile, his final moments in the first film transition into footage of Tyler receiving treatment in a hospital, confirming he was successfully rescued. With that in mind, a couple of details about the film's production provide some additional insight into just why Tyler is capable of returning for the upcoming "Extraction" sequel.

Tyler Rake survives in the comic that Extraction adapts

"Extraction" is based on a comic titled "Ciudad" by author Ande Parks, and as it turns out, the comic's ending is less ambiguous the film's conclusion. That said, "Extraction" alters "Ciudad" in certain key ways, the most notable of which is the fact that, whereas in "Extraction" Tyler Rake is escorting a boy named Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), in the original story Tyler is responsible for a girl named Eva.

Nevertheless, the climactic "Extraction" scene in which Tyler's pursuers shoot him and he falls into a river is adapted from the "Ciudad" comic. But, while that moment may be the last viewers see of Tyler in the film, the comic continues, and reveals that Tyler arrives intact at a hospital in Argentina.

Viewers, then, can simply presume that in the "Extraction" film series, just as in "Ciudad" before it, Tyler survives both his bullet wounds and the possibility of drowning long enough to ensure his rescue.

The first film's ending is intentionally ambiguous

Tyler Rake wasn't always supposed to survive "Extraction." In fact, director Sam Hargrave revealed in an interview with Collider that Tyler's death was explicit in the film's original script. Netflix even produced a version of the film in which Tyler's death is canon, but a mixed reception among test audiences led the "Extraction" team to decide upon a more ambiguous conclusion.

Hargrave went on to explain that, when he started working on "Extraction," he believed Tyler's death to be a worthy sacrifice for Ovi's sake. However, after a conversation with Netflix executive Scott Stuber about intellectually satisfying versus emotionally satisfying endings, Hargrave came to the conclusion that viewers might feel more emotionally satisfied knowing that Tyler's attachment to Ovi helped him defy death and keep on living.

Because some viewers might find the story of "Extraction" more satisfying if Tyler survives and others if he dies, Hargrave and co. settled on an ambiguous ending that provides enough evidence for either conclusion. "Extraction 2," then, was only possible because its predecessor's original ending was changed, and allowed for the possibility of Tyler's survival. Of course, "Extraction 2" will likely reveal more details about the nature of Tyler's return when it premieres to Netflix on June 16.