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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About 'Don’t Worry Darling’s' Nail-Biting Ending

A plot twist no one saw coming.

By Ava Gilchrist
Warning: This story contains spoilers for Don't Worry Darling.
Alice, we have a feeling we're not in Victory anymore.
After a highly-publicised press tour and allegations of on-set drama, Don't Worry Darling was finally released in cinemas. And yes, it is a real "'go to the theatre', film, movie".
Don't Worry Darling's plot twist and ending exceeds all expectations of what we expected from Olivia Wilde's sophomore film-but still has some head scratching moments that require further explanation.
With the Don't Worry Darling hashtag running rampant on TikTok—seriously, we can't scroll through our FYP without seeing a video of Harry Styles stans leaving the cinemas with that gushing water sound—avoiding snippets from this psychological drama is an Olympic sport in itself.
Many creators are using the platform to break down all the Easter eggs, hidden clues and allegorical messages woven into this subversive tale of female subjugation, (not to mention the countless Reddit threads unpacking this foreboding Matrix-esque story that's dominating at the box office.)
If you're anything like us, then you've already travelled through these theories and endings explained to get a firmer understanding of what exactly you just witnessed, including the modern-day montages and the NSFW scenes depicting "female pleasure",
So, we've taken it upon ourselves to wrap this story's ending up in a nice little bow à la Florence Pugh's hairstyle in the shocking final scene.
Below, we explain the ending of Don't Worry Darling in all its horrific glory.
Still from Don't Worry Darling Courtesy of Warner Bros

What Is The Twist In ‘Don’t Worry Darling’?

"Look closer", Olivia Wilde teased way back in August when she released another promotional poster for the film, and honestly we should've heeded her warning.
The premise see's the film's protagonist Alice, who is perfectly portrayed by Florence Pugh, begin to grapple with her reality as cracks in her seemingly idyllic desert town of Victory begin to appear.
If you've seen the film, you'll know that under the surface of Victory's shiny, vintage-inspired exterior lies a much darker truth.
As the movie unfolds, we learn that all the women part of the 'Victory Project' are actually trapped in a Matrix-like simulation which see's their bodies imprisoned by their male captors so they can take part of this virtual reality, albeit against their will.
Think the most spine-tingling episode of Black Mirror meets Stepford Wives.
But how did we get here?
Well, throughout the film we see Alice's neighbour Margaret (Kiki Layne) allude to the fact that this seemingly utopian paradise isn't all that it seems.
Rife with Orwellian undertones, like Frank's (Chris Pine) daily broadcast to the wives à la Big Brother in 1984, Alice begins to have hallucinations of dancing women and visions of her husband, Jack (Harry Styles) in modern day clothing.
This all accumulates with Alice venturing to the outskirts of town to the ominous 'headquarters', where the men work and the women are forbidden from setting foot in.
There, she finds a strange portal, which is ultimately revealed to be how the men enter and exit the simulation everyday.
The simulation proposes that the men spend their days working on developing progressive materials, but as it turns out the men are actually leaving the simulation so that they can maintain their lives in the real world and afford to stay in the 'Victory Project'.
After finding this pathway, Alice begins to suffer from hysteria and is ultimately taken away by Victory security to be effectively 'rewired'.
Her simulation self undergoes electric shock therapy, where the audience actually finds out the truth about what is going on.
It's not actually the 1950s, and Victory isn't real. Jack and Alice aren't actually married, and their real-life relationship is seemingly fractured due to Jack's unemployment and Alice working overtime as a nurse.
Their idyllic relationship in Victory is far from reality, with their modern day apartment unkempt and sordid—just like Jack's real appearance.
We see Jack make several attempts to instigate sex, which are rejected by Alice, so it provides pretty good insight into his incel-like psyche.
He stays up all night listening to misogynistic propaganda from Frank which believes that society would be "better" if men had total control over women.
It's only alluded to, but we can gauge that Jack's isolation and alienation (which he believes is caused by Alice) prompts him to join the Victory Project, which promises complete domination over a female counterpart.
We see him go through a series of mental evaluations, complete with a montage of him choosing his wife and new identity in the Victory Project. The only caveat is that Alice has no knowledge of this or say in her involvement.
As a result, she is kidnapped by Jack so that he can take part in the simulation so he can lead the romanticised life she believes he's entitled to have.
Alice is constrained, tied to the bed with straps so her consciousness can be permanently uploaded to the futuristic tech, her autonomy completely stripped. She's reduced to a stereotypical role of a woman in a nuclear family.
The entire film is basically an allegory for the dangers of patriarchal society intersecting with the increase of modern technology.
The rise in popularity of dangerously misogynistic voices like Andrew Tate and the stripping of women's liberties like in the wake of Roe v. Wade highlights the stark similarities between our world and the world of Victory where women are subjugated and their individual sovereignty dismantled.
Still from Don't Worry Darling Courtesy of Warner Bros

How Does ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ End?

After Alice undergoes electric shock therapy, she is effectively rewired as the perfect housewife.
However, it's not until Jack rubs her lips, similar to how he does in the real world, that her consciousness is reawakened and she realises the truth.
When Alice finds out the truth, she becomes enraged by the fact her life was literally taken away from her, screaming "it wasn't yours, it was mine".
In a fit of rage, she ends up killing Jack, and on the advice of Bunny (Oliva Wilde) begins a nail-biting chase through the desert to reach the portal so she can escape from the simulation.
The film ends with Alice making a break for it, with the screen fading to black and all the audience is left with is Alice's breath, suggesting she indeed did wake up in the real world—although being tied down and waking up next to her deceased boyfriend.
This ties back to something Jack foreshadowed at earlier in the film. Although Twitter tore this scene to shreds, the snippet where Jack berates Alice for questioning their reality because "not everybody gets this opportunity" and that their lives could be at risk is actually super important.
As they are in a simulation, their lives we're literally in danger the entire time should they not conform to Frank's idealised society.
Still from Don't Worry Darling Courtesy of Warner Bros

All Your Unanswered Questions About ‘Don’t Worry Darling’, Explained

Of course, this ending left many an unanswered question.
Sure, Alice learns the truth and escapes, but she's effectively still left trapped by the actions of Jack as she's tied up and unable to get out. Perhaps this ambiguous ending is Olivia's way of saying that no matter the situation, women are ultimately effectively under the control of men.
Another unanswered twist? Shelly (Gemma Chan) suddenly stabbing and killing Frank, which is never really thought out or answered in the film. Her motives? We're still not sure.
Lastly, the film doesn't fully explain the mechanics of the Victory Project. How was Alice kidnapped? Which characters in the film are participants in the simulation, or are just 'NPC's' used to world build, like the bus driver?
It's safe to say that Don't Worry Darling will be one of the most talked about film for years to come, now that we're given something to discuss other than the onset drama.
If only someone is planning a sequel…
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  • undefined: Ava Gilchrist