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The Ending Of Heart Of Stone Explained

Contains spoilers for "Heart of Stone"

Netflix's latest attempt to deliver an explosive and enthralling action blockbuster in the comfort of your own home — "Heart of Stone" — has finally arrived and sees Gal Gadot lead an ensemble cast in a spy thriller full of tech anxiety. Gadot plays Rachel Stone — a talented operative of a secret organization known as The Charter — who has been covertly working in MI6 for quite some time. Under the persona of the Nine of Hearts, Rachel has been collecting information for The Charter and secretly aiding missions with the help of an AI program called The Heart — which helps Charter agents complete missions and guides them through its predictive abilities. Now though, someone has not only discovered Rachel's true identity, but also plans to steal The Heart for their own destructive purposes, putting The Charter and the entire world in jeopardy. 

"Heart of Stone" is a star-studded affair that delivers plenty of thrilling fights and chases as well as a character-driven story that deals with AI. In between the explosive action, there are some interesting thematic threads that weave throughout Rachel's personal arc that force her to make tough decisions. By the end, there are many changes to Rachel's life and the world of the film that signify the impact of this mission and The Heart's capabilities. So, let's delve into the finale of "Heart of Stone" and dig deep into the film's biggest moments and themes. 

What you need to remember about the plot

Before we dive into the action-packed ending of "Heart of Stone," let's do a quick recap of what's important to the film's twists and turns — starting with an early betrayal from Rachel's teammate, Parker (Jamie Dornan). After her MI6 team is suddenly ambushed, she breaks from The Charter's orders to abandon her team and ends up finding out that Parker is a mole himself when he brutally kills their teammates. It turns out that Parker is working with a hacker named Keya (Alia Bhatt) to try and steal The Heart so that they can expose corruption in the world and get revenge. While Keya wishes to expose the criminal activity of the man who killed her parents, Parker wants to get revenge on The Charter for nearly killing him on a past mission.

Eventually, Keya and Parker are able to secure The Heart for themselves, but Rachel starts to make Keya debate whether Parker is worth trusting. So when Parker starts going too far and killing off the different Kings of The Charter, Keya temporarily disables The Heart and makes it useless without her. This infuriates Parker, essentially ending his partnership with Keya, and gives Rachel enough time to reach their base. Now, Rachel is in a race against time to save The Heart team and put an end to Parker's destructive plans. 

What happened at the end of the movie

Once Rachel infiltrates Parker's base, she confronts him while he's holding a gun toward Keya's head. While it seems like Parker has the upper hand, Rachel distracts Parker enough to give Keya the opportunity to free herself. Once Keya is free, she sprays Parker with some type of gas that disfigures his face, but it's not enough to keep him down. He quickly knocks Keya down with a swift punch and proves himself to be more than a match for Rachel when they start fighting. Parker delivers some brutal blows to Rachel and nearly puts her in a fatal chokehold. Just before Rachel runs out of breath though, she's able to bring Parker to the ground and shoot him with a gun that Keya slides over to her. Before Parker dies, he and Rachel exchange some final words wondering if they'll possibly meet again in another life — touching on the fated nature of their rivalry. 

With Parker dead, Keya and Rachel are able to escape and take control of The Heart to restore the air ventilation back in The Charter's bunker and save everyone there. Rachel then calls the King of Hearts (Sophie Okonedo) to check on everyone. 

So now that The Heart is back in better hands, Rachel must make some tough decisions about her future in The Charter and her life going forward. 

What happens to Rachel and The Charter at the end

Even though Keya had a change of heart at the end to help Rachel defeat Parker, that doesn't mean that she could escape jail time. A few weeks later, Keya is seen sitting in jail for conspiring with Parker and doesn't have many options to escape her punishment. That is until Rachel comes and visits her. Even after everything Keya and Parker said about The Charter and the power they have with The Heart, Rachel decides to continue working for The Charter — on two conditions. The first is that The Charter stops using The Heart to make decisions since she's come to realize that overly relying on odds predicted by The Heart keeps agents from using their own hearts to go beyond the odds.

The second is that she gets to make her own team — which is likely going to be something Joker themed, given the Joker playing card that Rachel slides towards Keya. Sometime later, Rachel is shown talking with Jack (Matthias Schweighofer) in preparation for a mission. However, Jack is now out in the field with Rachel, along with Keya. Their teamwork is still developing in fun ways and Rachel even gets to say the "stay in the van" line that's been said to her so many times. With a flashy distraction, Rachel and her team head out on a new mission to keep the world safe. 

What does the end of the movie mean

As Rachel goes through this treacherous mission, she comes to question The Charter's overreliance on The Heart's ability to predict the success rates of missions. When her MI6 team is about to be taken out, she struggles to believe that leaving them behind is the best option and goes against The Heart's ideology. Throughout the film, Rachel is constantly thinking about the impact that The Heart has and wonders whether The Heart is really as beneficial as it seems. After all, even with The Heart being able to guide Rachel toward escape routes and success in her missions, it still wasn't capable of alerting Rachel of Parker's betrayal, nor able to keep itself from being hacked. Rachel's questioning of The Heart leads to a big change in her arc as she starts to understand the power of listening to her own heart. 

Rachel comes to realize that The Heart has a much colder mindset and doesn't account for someone's ability to push past the odds to achieve something monumental. So, it's maybe not as effective as following her own heart and reminding herself that her job is to save everyone she can — especially those close to her. That's why she has a change of heart and asks The Charter to stop using The Heart's prediction capabilities so that agents can go above and beyond to beat seemingly insurmountable odds. 

Another explanation

Although "Heart of Stone" can be seen simply as a big action blockbuster, it also acts as a cautionary tale when it comes to people's use of AI and the destructive power the technology holds. Even though The Heart provides The Charter with unlimited access to technology around the world and predictive capabilities that give missions a clearer path, it sort of leads to their undoing. It's a power so strong and versatile that anyone would want their hands on it and it's a big reason that Parker targets the AI system so that he can enact his revenge. When Parker does obtain control of The Heart, we see its destructive power firsthand and it's horrifying to watch. Not to mention, Rachel discovers how cold The Heart makes The Charter's perspective on missions and it's a big reason why she goes against that ideology at the end. 

"Heart of Stone" perfectly adds to the growing conversation around whether AI should be considered a good thing and shows how an overreliance on AI can lead to horrific destruction. It's certainly one of those stories that leaves you thinking more about AI and leaves viewers with some thought-provoking caution about whether we're better off without it. 

What the end means for the Charter and the rest of the world

While Rachel is able to stop Parker from destroying The Charter completely, he's still able to leave a devastating impact that alters the organization forever. With The Heart, Parker was able to kill two powerful Kings and cause innocents to be killed in the process. Not to mention, he's also shown that The Heart is incredibly vulnerable to hacking and falling into the wrong hands. The Charter will never be able to operate the same again and without this organization being fully operational, the world isn't as safe. However, even though The Charter has faced massive setbacks because of Parker's actions, there are ways that they're finding to move forward. For instance, not all the Kings were killed, as Heart and the lesser-seen Spade are still around to direct the remaining agents. And there are likely plans in place for people to take over the fallen Kings' positions. 

With The Heart now being scaled back, Rachel and other agents won't be restricted in breaking past the odds to save those in need and there will likely be fewer casualties in missions because agents will now possibly save each other. Sure, Parker has left a massive hole in The Charter that's tough to fix, but there are signs that Rachel and the others can help The Charter rebuild and become something better than it was before.  

What does the ending mean for the franchise?

Now for the biggest question coming out of "Heart of Stone," it's worth asking whether the film has franchise potential. With the film ending with Rachel and her new team embarking on a new mission, the answer, of course, is that it has franchise potential. A sequel could easily see Rachel and her team go on a new mission to keep the world safe and discover hidden truths. Or, maybe the franchise can expand in a different way. With there being other sectors of The Charter, there could easily be spin-off films or tv series focused on the groups outside of the Hearts. It would especially be interesting to see a film focused on the Diamonds or Clubs as they rebuild during the fallout of their leaders being killed by Parker. We could even get a spin-off looking at the Spades, who seem to be much more covert since they aren't seen or talked about much in the film aside from the meeting between the Kings. 

"Heart of Stone" is full of franchise potential and feels like the perfect jumping-off point for a big blockbuster franchise to form. There's so much world-building done and different factions set up that the film's universe is just begging to be further explored. With this in mind, it wouldn't be surprising if Netflix sees "Heart of Stone" as a possible avenue for a new original film franchise in their growing library. 

Does Heart of Stone fit into Netflix's bigger plans?

With Netflix continuing to show their efforts towards making original films that could potentially rival theater releases, "Heart of Stone" could be a film with the kind of franchise potential they're looking for. Given the lore and wider world-building that's established, the film could easily follow in the footsteps of other blockbuster Netflix original films like "Extraction," "Army of the Dead," and "Red Notice." If it does, a sequel is almost guaranteed and it could become a notable original franchise within Netflix's library. As Netflix continues to try and be in-step with larger studios by releasing big-budget blockbusters that viewers can enjoy at home, "Heart of Stone" could easily be that film franchise they're looking for to further their reach. 

Now it just has to do well. The only obstacles that could really keep "Heart of Stone" from becoming the franchise it has the potential to be are if subscribers either don't like the film or simply don't watch it at all. If "Heart of Stone" has a steady life cycle in Netflix's Top 10, it could definitely catch the attention of Netflix. Or, if audiences openly love the film — hopefully more than critics currently do – then Netflix will give subscribers more of what they like. Basically, Netflix could have a potential franchise on their hands and if everything falls their way, then it could lead to more stories within this film's world. 

Does Heart of Stone fit into Netflix's recent trends?

While "Heart of Stone" is a new and original film for Netflix, it does fit into two big trends seen in how Netflix is making its films. The first is the streaming service's big stake in the action genre, as they've delivered countless big-budgeted action flicks every year. As said before, Netflix is undoubtedly trying to compete with other action-packed blockbusters hitting theaters and signifying that they can deliver the same thrills at home. "Heart of Stone" is simply another example of that and its ending signaling a potential future as a franchise further hints at Netflix's efforts to deliver big action blockbusters.

The other trend that "Heart of Stone" represents for Netflix is their big focus on crafting female-led action movies. Given that Netflix has pumped out quite a few female-led action movies over the last couple of years — including "Kate," "Gunpowder Milkshake," "Kill Boksoon," and "The Old Guard" — "Heart of Stone" is another fitting example of their efforts for more female-led action films. Plus, the ending of the film basically has the potential to kick off a wide franchise, giving Netflix the opportunity to have a female-led action franchise — something that's rarely been done. So, "Heart of Stone" actually helps Netflix on two fronts it's been trying to capitalize on for a while and its ending hints at a bigger potential that Netflix will surely want to take advantage of.