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The Ending Of Run Explained

The duo of Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian made a major splash in 2018 with the mystery thriller "Searching," about a father looking for his missing daughter. Starring John Cho and Debra Messing, the film was told entirely through screens, with vlog entries, video calls, and news reports telling the story. This helped add a distinct flair that set "Searching" apart from its contemporaries in the genre. The movie marked the feature film directing debut of Chaganty and the first collaborative effort between Chaganty and Ohanian, who co-wrote the script together. With such a strong debut, film fans were eager to see what they'd do next.

Their follow-up project turned out to be the thriller "Run," featuring veteran performer Sarah Paulson and newcomer Kiera Allen. The film was especially notable for Allen's casting, as the character she was chosen to play was in a wheelchair, which matched Allen's real-life disability and ensured that Chaganty and Ohanian avoided casting an able-bodied performer in the role of a physically disabled character. Allen plays Chloe Sherman in the film, a homeschooled teenager with a series of health issues, with Paulson playing her mother and caretaker, Diane Sherman.

While Diane initially seems supportive of Chloe's desire to move away from home and go to college, it soon becomes clear that she has not been telling Chloe the truth about everything. When Chloe tries to sneak some chocolate from the groceries, she discovers a pill bottle prescribed to Diane. When she catches Diane giving her one of those pills, Chloe's investigation causes Diane's web of lies to begin unraveling. Let's dig into the ending of "Run" and explain what it all means for the story.

Chloe discovers just how deep Diane's lies go

While locked in the basement, a part of the house notably inaccessible to Chloe due to the lack of a stairlift, the teenager notices a big envelope in the trash. This turns out to be a college acceptance letter from the University of Washington, which Diane had assured her had yet to arrive in the mail and which Chloe had been eagerly anticipating. Distraught at this latest irrefutable proof of Diane's betrayal, Chloe trashes the room and discovers a box labeled "Diane Baronway." With some difficulty, caused by having to abandon her wheelchair after discovering that it was chained to limit her mobility, Chloe opens the box to discover a picture of her running on her 4th birthday, proving she wasn't always disabled.

But that's not the most shocking discovery Chloe makes. She also finds a death certificate for someone named Chloe, with the age of death listed as 2 Hours 11 Minutes. She then discovers a newspaper clipping of a baby abduction at a hospital, and as she reads the story, the movie flashes back to Diane at the hospital shortly after giving birth. This time, the audience sees the baby in the incubator once again, but unlike the beginning of the movie, it doesn't end there, as it shows Diane holding the body of her dead child and crying. She is startled out of her thoughts by the nurses wheeling a new baby into the nursery, and as Diane stares at the new arrival, Chloe cries in the present, putting the pieces together.

This comes as a major shock both to Chloe and to the audience. Despite Diane's abuse of Chloe, the teen never had an inkling that Diane was anything other than her biological mother, let alone that she'd been abducted from the hospital at birth. Having seen Diane's baby in the incubator at the beginning of the film, audiences could've been forgiven for assuming Chloe, who seemingly suffered from numerous medical conditions, was the same child. This revelation, however, is crucial to showing Diane's true colors, as it strips away even the faintest possibility that Diane was abusing Chloe out of a misguided sense of love.

Chloe takes charge of her own life

Having finally realized Diane's true nature, Chloe takes drastic steps by ingesting organophosphate, forcing Diane's hand to get her to a hospital immediately. Doctors manage to save Chloe but tell Diane she cannot be discharged because a suicide attempt automatically triggers an evaluation by a mental health professional. Realizing that Diane intends to kidnap her again, Chloe tries to alert a nurse, asking to write out a message as she's still unable to speak following the surgery. Before she can finish, however, an alarm pulls the nurse away from the room.

In the ensuing commotion, Diane tries to kidnap Chloe. The nurse finds Chloe's message, however, and alerts security, while Chloe literally puts her foot down, preventing Diane from moving her wheelchair. Security arrives and shoots Diane, who tumbles down a flight of stairs, marking the end of Chloe's ordeal. The movie then flashes to seven years later. Chloe is now engaged, a mother, and able to walk short distances with a cane. She visits Diane in prison, who's now nearly physically unresponsive herself. After telling Diane about her life, Chloe pulls out three Ridocaine pills she had hidden in her mouth, telling Diane to open wide.

The ending of "Run," with Chloe finally taking a stand against Diane, is crucial to Chloe's eventual liberation. Chloe starts the movie thinking of Diane as the person who's helping keep her alive and is keeping her going, but throughout the course of "Run," she realizes that she's just the opposite. Chloe putting her foot down is the ultimate sign of her standing up to her abuser and taking away the power that Diane holds over her. It's no coincidence that Chloe's life blooms in the years after Diane's arrest.

But more than that, Chloe feeding Diane Ridocaine the way Diane did her also shows how she hasn't forgiven Diane for what she's done. Quite the opposite; Chloe is intent, by any means necessary, to ensure that Diane suffers the way Chloe suffered, especially given that Diane was ready to inject Chloe with paint thinner to keep her dependent on Diane for care. Diane and Chloe have effectively switched positions by the end of the movie. It started with Diane deliberately poisoning Chloe to keep her sick, and ends with Chloe doing the same to Diane, only for different reasons.