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The Ending Of Now You See Me 2 Explained

It's no mystery that audiences are fans of heists: They're thrilling, require delightful team-ups, and showcase clever problem solving that's far more fun than any other fictionalized crime. Now, add a dash of flashy, improbable magic to the mix and you've got the "Now You See Me" movie series.

Taking center stage are the Four Horseman, a group of performing Robin Hood-esque magicians that includes illusionist Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), hypnotist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and card trick specialist Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). The first film saw them steal from insurance businessman Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) before being welcomed into a shadowy organization called The Eye and disappearing from the public.

"Now You See Me 2" finds the Four Horsemen a) down one Horseman as Isla Fisher, who played Henley Reeves, did not return for the sequel and b) in hiding, waiting for their leader, the FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), to give them a new mission. However, upon coming together with newcomer Lula (Lizzy Caplan) and enacting Dylan's plan to expose a CEO's nefarious data mining, they're kidnapped by said CEO's supposedly dead ex-partner Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe). He forces them to steal a special computer chip with the power to access any computer, but the Horsemen devise a clever plan to expose him for his illegal power bid.

First off, the movie isn't called the far more cheeky "...Now You Don't" because of a marketing decision that even the director didn't agree with. Now, here's the rest of that twisty ending explained.

Thaddeus was behind The Eye the whole time

While the Horsemen theatrically explain their final trick to a river-full of audience in the middle of the Thames, "Now You See Me 2" contains a few more twists after their cunning win over Walter and his father, Arthur Tressler, who were really just out for revenge over the events of the first movie. However, it's the very premise of the previous installment that gets turned on its head in these final moments.

At the end of "Now You See Me," the entire film is revealed to be Dylan's elaborate revenge plot to frame up the magic-debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) for stealing because he goaded Dylan's father into a deadly escape performance 30 years prior. In "Now You See Me 2," Dylan reluctantly seeks the now-incarcerated Thaddeus' help in rescuing the Horsemen, leading to a back-and-forth of scenes that leave Thaddeus' true motives a mystery.

About two-thirds in, it's revealed that Thaddeus has been colluding with Tressler to kill Dylan. However, in the last scene of the film, the Horsemen meet up with two members of The Eye, the magic shop owners, and discover that Thaddeus is the head of the organization. He and Dylan's dad were actually partners, playing up their rivalry in public. Thus, the plot of this movie is revealed to have been a long-con devised by Thaddeus to shape Dylan into a great magician leader — aka the new head of The Eye — and the Horsemen into a top-tier team. To do so, he manipulated Walter and Tressler into doing everything they did; even the guy guarding the computer chip was in on it.

In a tease for more to come — a potential "Now You See Me 3" — the film finishes on a shot of the Horsemen spiraling down a set of stairs to uncover further secrets of The Eye. What did they find? Well, that remains a mystery.