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The Ending Of 'Fast X' Explained

There's a lot riding on "Fast X," the latest installment in the massive, globally successful "Fast Saga" franchise. It's not only a continuation of the story that began with "The Fast and the Furious" more than 20 years ago, or even just a continuation of the events of "Fast Five" more than 10 years ago. It's the setup for what's promised to be the epic conclusion to one of the most successful action movie franchises ever created, which means it has a lot of work to do even before you get to the ending.

By the time the ending does arrive, of course, we're left with a lot of really interesting loose ends that pave the way for what's going to come next, as Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family of racers are set up for the biggest challenge of their lives, and the franchise is set up for its long-awaited endgame. So, now that the film is out in the world, let's take a closer look at where we leave things in this installment. This is the ending of "Fast X," explained.

SPOILERS for all of "Fast X" ahead.

Dom's dilemma

Dominic Toretto has faced a lot of adversaries in his life, from international super-criminals to members of his own family. But he's never faced someone quite like Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), a psychotic mastermind with a major grudge against the whole Toretto crew. Because Dom and his friends kill Dante's father and steal the family's money stash back in "Fast Five," Dante views Dom as the source of all of his suffering and makes it his mission to exact as much revenge on Dom as possible.

To do this, Dante sets to work dismantling the entire Toretto family. He more or less succeeds by the end of the film, leaving pretty much everyone in some kind of dangerous limbo. Dom himself narrowly escapes Dante's wrath atop a dam in Portugal, but soon finds himself in the water below with no car and, seemingly, no escape left as Dante prepares to blow up the whole dam and bring it down around Dom and his son Brian (Leo Abelo Perry).

Earlier, Dom remarks that Dante's one mistake was leaving him with a car, but by the end, he doesn't even have that. Dominic Toretto is a man with tremendous survival instincts, as well as a near-superhuman instinct to protect his son, but it's hard to imagine how he finds his way out of this one. We'll have to wait until the next film to find out.

Jakob's sacrifice

It's worth remembering as you go into "Fast X" that Jakob Toretto (John Cena) was only recently welcomed back into the family fold after years of estrangement, resentment, and even all-out war. In this film, after redeeming himself at the end of "F9," Jakob devotes his time and considerable talent to protecting Little Brian at all costs, taking him to a secret hideout and then trying to help him escape with Dom. But it's clear throughout that Jakob is also still carrying a lot of guilt over his previous place in the family and where it all went wrong. He wants to be a good uncle, and a good brother, to prove that he deserves to be where he is now.

That desire, and the guilt behind it, culminates late in the film, when Jakob realizes that he's lost Brian to Dante and only has one move left — sacrificing himself so Dom can get to his son. Despite Dom's protests, he goes down in a blaze of glory, taking out Dante's men and clearing a path for his big brother to keep fighting.

The film is moving so fast at this point that we don't really get time to mourn Jakob, or to even confirm that he's actually dead. It seems like he's probably gone, but the fallout of his sacrifice is very much still to come.

Letty's survival

Dom's wife Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) is sort of the odd woman out of the Toretto crew after the job in Rome goes very wrong. In the end, that makes her the last fighting chance the family has against Dante. While Dom is taken by The Agency separately and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Tej (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), and Han (Sung Kang) are on the run, Letty gets picked up by The Agency early on and taken to a black site where she's forced to share a cell with Cipher (Charlize Theron), who's already had a run-in with Dante.

The two women don't get along, of course, but when Letty realizes Cipher has a way out of the black site and gets word from Tess (Brie Larson) that there's hope for the family yet, she decides to team up for an escape. What she thinks will be a quick way out, though, eventually leads to the reveal that she's stuck in Antarctica, and that Cipher really is her only way out. We leave Letty alongside her former enemy with no real idea of what's happened to the rest of her family, and no clue what her next move is. If we've learned one thing about Letty Ortiz, though, it's that she never stops fighting.

The plane crash

Once Dante's operation in Rome throws the family into chaos, the Toretto crew spends the rest of "Fast X" divided. But at least Tej, Roman, Ramsey, and Han have each other. With few resources and, due to Dante's hacking, no money, they hop around the world in search of weapons they can use to help Dom, and finally get a planeload of support that will drop them right into the fight in Portugal.

Unfortunately for the foursome, what they didn't count on was a last-minute betrayal. Aimes (Alan Ritchson), who had been acting director of The Agency and was supposedly helping Dom, revealed himself as Dante's longtime ally just in time to hop up with a missile launcher and shoot down the plane. The last we see of Tej, Roman, Ramsey, and Han, they're running for cover in the back of the plane — then the plane crashes around the side of a mountain and bursts into flames.

Now, it certainly appears that a crash like that would kill all four of them, but does it really? Remember, the back of that plane is loaded with all kinds of cool tech they could use to escape, and if Han's very existence has taught us anything, it's that Toretto crew members are pretty hard to kill.

Aimes and The Agency

We don't really know how Aimes manages to get such a significant post within The Agency, but we do know that because Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) is in hiding and Little Nobody (Scott Eastwood) is seriously injured in the Rome incident, Aimes is the man left in charge. Tess tries to fight him on it, but Aimes' standing with the organization is such that she can't usurp his authority and can't prevent him and the Agency's hidden leaders from voting to take down the Toretto crew.

Of course, Aimes' initial posturing is just the setup for a double-cross, as he later endears himself to Dom, then even later doubles back and betrays him. It turns out that Aimes has been working alongside Dante for a full decade, ever since the Reyes heist back in "Fast Five," and his presence in The Agency was the leg up that Dante needed to achieve his goals.

So, now we know that Aimes and Dante are working together, but what does that say about The Agency? It's not completely without voices of reason, as we'll discuss in a moment, but Aimes is clearly deeply embedded, and no one within the organization necessarily saw him launch his betrayal. Does that mean the whole Agency is compromised? We'll find out soon.

Dante's victory

Dante Reyes spends a lot of time talking about suffering, and about the bond between father and son that he lost when his own father was killed 10 years ago. His goal with Dom is to squeeze out every ounce of suffering that he possibly can, no matter how much Dom fights back or refuses to give up. By the end of the film, Dante has pretty much gotten what he wants.

In the final moments of "Fast X," Dominic Toretto has lost his car and is trapped at the base of a dam that's about to collapse down on top of him and his young son. His brother just died in an explosion, and four of his best friends just went down in the plane that was on the way to rescue him. His sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) is in hiding, and he has no idea where his wife Letty is at all. Plus, his allies in The Agency are either injured or in hiding, and his bag of tricks seems to be empty.

So, does that mean Dante wins? We know the long answer to that question is some version of "no," because there's still at least one more movie to go after this one. But for the moment, there's definitely an air of victory here, if only because it's going to take time for what's left of the Toretto crew to pick up the pieces. For the moment, the bigger question is whether Dante will let all this winning go to his head.

Shaw's mission

Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) pops up in "Fast X" briefly when Han decides to go to him for help in securing resources to keep up the fight against Dante, but it's a significant little stretch of time. For one thing, it's the first time the pair have met since Shaw seemingly killed Han years ago. For another, it reveals something even bigger about Dante's fight.

While in Shaw's hideout, Ramsey discovers that the Toretto money Dante stole from their accounts has been used to hire mercenaries from around the world and send them after every single person who's ever helped the Toretto crew do anything. That means dozens of people are now targets, including Shaw's own mother, Queenie (Helen Mirren), who tried to help Dom get out of Rome earlier in the film. 

With his mother in the crosshairs, Shaw springs into action, loads up his gear, and heads out to "dig some graves" in the hope of keeping Queenie safe. He's not part of the main fight against Dante, but he is heading into something dramatic and probably very bloody, leaving us with a key question: How does that fight go? More importantly, how long does it last? What will the next film reveal about Shaw's personal mission? Whatever it is, it'll probably have big implications for the next phase of this war.

Tess and Isabel

We meet several new faces throughout "Fast X," including Tess, Mr. Nobody's daughter who believes in Dom no matter what the rest of the Agency says, and Isabel (Daniela Melchior), a Brazilian street racer who also happens to have ties to Dom's past. It turns out that Isabel is the sister of Elena (Elsa Pataky), Dom's former lover and Little Brian's mother, who died in "Fate of the Furious." Isabel's ties to the Toretto family push her to help Dom fight Dante, and Dom's instinct to protect his family pushes him to protect Isabel at all costs.

By the end of Dom's adventures in Rio, Tess is seriously wounded, and Isabel is very nearly killed by Dante. Dom makes the decision to put the two women together, asking Isabel to drive Tess to a hospital, leaving them both seemingly safe from Dante for now. So far, they're relatively minor Toretto allies, but thanks to the mercenaries looking for every Toretto ally, they're in the crosshairs once again. It'll be interesting to see how they recover and work together to stay in the fight.

Mia in hiding

Mia Toretto has been in and out of her family's battles in recent years, spending a lot of time off in hiding with her husband Brian (the late Paul Walker) and their children. In "Fast X," she hangs around to visit with her Abuela (Rita Moreno) in Los Angeles, then watches Little Brian while Dom and Letty head to Rome. When The Agency comes for them both, Mia works to fight them off alongside Jakob, who takes Brian and tells Mia to head back to her own family.

By the end of the film, as far as we know, Mia is safe with her husband and children, back in hiding while the fight goes on without her. But we also know that Dante has sent hired killers after the entire family, and while Mia is good at keeping a low profile, she might not be able to stay hidden forever. For that matter, once she hears about what's happening with Dom, she might feel like making herself more conspicuous, so don't be surprised if she pops up again in the next movie ready to fight alongside her brother.

The Nobodies

For years, Mr. Nobody was a crucial ally for the Toretto family — a leader with seemingly infinite resources who saw potential in Dom and his family and shielded them from fallout over their missions. His protege, Little Nobody, picked up that baton after Mr. Nobody's injury and remained a major supporter of the family while Mr. Nobody went into hiding.

Now, thanks to Dante's machinations, both Nobodies are out of commission. Mr. Nobody is gone, Little Nobody is injured, and The Agency is in the hands of a turncoat. That means Dom and his entire family have lost some critical support at the time when they need it most, but it doesn't mean they've lost that support for good. After all, neither of the Nobodies are dead. Furthermore, they occupy leadership positions in an international spy agency because they're smart, they're strategic, and they know people. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see one or both of them come roaring back in the next film, particularly since Dom and company could use a boost.

Cipher's plan

Cipher begins "Fast X" in a pretty low place. Dante manages to track her down, blackmail all of her men, and uses her own resources against her, leaving her nearly dead and in the hands of The Agency. But while Cipher's been down before, she's never been down for long, and she reveals she has an escape plan early in the film.

When Letty ends up at the same Agency black site as Cipher, she reluctantly follows her enemy as the two make their way out into Antarctica. It's there, hundreds of miles from just about anything, that Cipher reveals that she's not out of options after all and summons a submarine — quite like the one she commands in "Fate of the Furious" — up out of the ice.

That's impressive enough, but then the film offers one more reveal about Cipher's plan: She's working with none other than Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), who seemingly dies in "Fast & Furious 6." Gisele's presence after years away raises a whole new round of questions, including how Han might react when he sees her again. What we do know, though, is that Cipher is still full of surprises, and those surprises might just force Dom to team up with her.

Hobbs returns

"Fast X" leaves the Toretto family in a tough spot, and through the reveal that mercenaries have been hired to go after their allies, sets in motion a broader plan that will keep Dante's war going well into the next film. It's a big story — so big that it keeps going after the credits roll.

In the film's mid-credits sequence, we learn that Dante has also targeted another former Toretto ally who played a major role in the death of his father. Luke Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), who delivered the fatal shot to Hernan Reyes in "Fast Five," discovers that Dante has tracked him down, and hears a message that "the devil" is coming for him.

Naturally, Hobbs doesn't back down from the fight. The question now is how his fight with Dante will connect to Dom's, and vice versa. The last time we saw them together, they were allies who'd just finished a mission that reunited the family. But Hobbs has been off on his own for a while, so it's hard to tell just how close they'll get at this point.

Abuela's strength

Dom's grandmother is only present in "Fast X" for a few minutes early on while things are still peaceful and the Toretto crew is enjoying some well-earned family time, but she leaves a lasting impression. While Dante spends the movie full of rage, Dom has his own concerns — namely, that he won't be able to protect his family forever. Like him, his grandmother has endured tremendous loss, and she's learned through that loss to value and protect the family that she has left. But for Dom, the fight is much closer, much more tangible, even when all he's doing is teaching Little B to drive. When his grandmother tells him that with his family by his side, he can do anything, that really means something.

For the entire film, Dom clings to the idea that if he sticks with the ones he loves and has faith, they can survive what's coming for them no matter how bad it gets. We don't get to see how he deals with the latest round of losses right away, because the film leaves us with a cliffhanger, but we do know where his focus is, and what he values. We know because Abuela told us, and Dom's not likely to forget that, even with his back to the wall.