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The Ending Of Hypnotic Explained

Like all relationships, working with a new physiatrist requires a certain level of trust. That's especially true if you're going under hypnosis. Unfortunately for Jenn (Kate Siegel, who you'll recognize from "Midnight Mass"), the protagonist of Netflix's latest hit thriller "Hypnotic," by the time she realizes she can't trust her new psychiatrist Dr. Meade (Jason O'Mara) it's already too late.

When "Hypnotic" begins, Jenn is in a tough time in her life. She's reeling from a recent late-term miscarriage, the end of her engagement to Brian (Jaime M. Callica), and experiencing a prolonged bout of unemployment. Things begin to look up for Jenn when her best friend Gina (Lucie Guest) introduces her to her psychiatrist Dr. Meade. Not only is he undeniably handsome, but after just one session of his hypnosis-based therapy, Jenn is already beginning to see improvement in her mood and her life. However, that progress is short-lived.

One night after receiving a phone call from an unknown number, Jenn has a lost time episode and comes to having poisoned Brian without any memory of how or why she did it. And things only unravel from there. Jenn quickly realizes that Dr. Meade's hypnosis is much more powerful than she first thought. With just a phone call, he was able to hypnotize and compel Jenn to poison Brian and he uses the same technique to kill Gina after she and Jenn go to the police.

In the film's riveting final act, Jenn learns that Dr. Meade is not the man she first thought he was, and that he has a horrifying plan in store for her.

Jenn realizes that some of her memories are not her own

After the death of Gina, Jenn decides she needs to fight fire with fire. She goes to another psychiatrist, Dr. Stella Graham (Tanja Dixon-Warren), who hypnotizes her to try and find out what's going on. Jenn has visceral visions when she goes under this time. She sees herself in front of a house she's never been to, which she somehow knows is the house of Dr. Meade's mentor, a man named Dr. Sullivan. She also has a memory of herself on a romantic date with Dr. Meade, which involves him giving her a gold bracelet with "March 6" enraged on the plate.

When Jenn later investigates the things she saw in her visions, she makes some startling discoveries. Dr. Sullivan wasn't just any psychiatrist. He worked on the MK Ultra project, a real-life CIA program that aimed to use tools like hypnosis to control people's minds (if you watch "Stranger Things," you know exactly what we are talking about). Specifically, Dr. Sullivan specialized in implanting false memories. The things Jenn saw in her session with Dr. Graham weren't random visions. They were memories that Dr. Meade implanted in her mind during their own hypnosis sessions.

That begs the question of why Dr. Meade wanted to give Jenn memories that are not her own and why those memories in particular? When Jenn goes to the house she saw in her vision in hopes of speaking with Dr. Sullivan, she gets her answer.

Dr. Meade's true identity and plans are revealed

"Hypnotic" begins with a woman named Andrea (Stephanie Cudmore) dying in an elevator after receiving a mysterious phone call. Later in the movie, we of course learn that Andrea was another victim of Dr. Meade. There is one important detail about Andrea that doesn't seem pertinent until all the cards are on the table at the end of the movie: she kind of looks like Jenn.

When Jenn goes to Dr. Sullivan's house, she does not find the elderly psychiatrist. She does find, however, a photograph of Dr. Meade with a woman in a red dress that kind of looks like both Jenn and Andrea. Dr. Meade appears and the film begins to deliver a cascade of revelations. Dr. Sullivan wasn't just Dr. Meade's mentor, he was his father and, in fact, Dr. Meade's real name is Julian Sullivan.

The woman in the photograph is Julian's ex-wife Amy (Jessie Fraser), who we learned earlier in the film died some time ago. Julian puts Jenn under hypnosis and when she comes to, she is wearing Amy's red dress. When Julian places a gold bracelet on Jenn's wrist — the one commemorating his and Amy's March 6 anniversary — she realizes that the visions she saw during her session with Dr. Graham were Amy's memories.

Julian's plan all along has been to use hypnosis to trap Jenn and basically turn her into his deceased wife. He used his father's MK Ultra techniques to implant Amy's memories into Jenn's mind to make her transformation even more complete and we can assume that he also tried to do this on Andrea, as well. Before she died, Gina had wondered why Dr. Meade/Julian never used hypnosis on her until she asked for it. It turns out that the answer was simple: Gina doesn't look anything like Amy and therefore she never factored into Julian's plans.

Jenn breaks free from the hypnosis

Before being captured by Julian, Jenn told Detective Wade Rollins (Dulé Hill) — the cop who had been investigating Andrea's death — the location of Dr. Sullivan's house. He shows up and has a scuffle with Julian that results in Jenn firing a gun at the entangled pair. In the next scene, Detective Rollins is comforting Jenn and assuring her that everything is safe now ... but when he refers to Jenn as "my love," which Julian has called Jenn before, she realizes that she is still under Julian's influence. But she and Dr. Graham developed a plan for this.

When Dr. Graham hypnotized Jenn, she implanted a kind of emergency alert system in Jenn's mind. If Jenn hears the term "my love" she will be triggered to break free from Julian's hypnosis. She does just that, shooting and killing Julian and then saving Detective Rollins' life.

In the end, Jenn was a victim of circumstance. She found herself on Julian's radar for no reason other than that she bore a slight resemblance to his wife, whose death he was clearly unable to cope with. During one of his scenes with Jenn, Julian tried to convince her that they are in a similar position. Both of them have lost someone dear — in Jenn's case, her stillborn child — and are struggling to make sense of the world in the aftermath.

But the end of the movie proves that he was wrong in that assessment. While Julian tried to keep himself tethered to the past, Jenn is interested in moving forward. In the film's final moments, we see that she has a new job, a new haircut, and seems to be in a good place, all things considered. While Julian was mired of his own grief, Jenn rose above and managed to break free.