‘A Good Person’ Ending, Explained: Did Allison Recover? What Happens To Daniel?


After a fatal accident, Allison got hooked on the prescription drug OxyContin. She struggled to process her emotions, and she gradually started to depend on drugs to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy. Unexpectedly, the wisest advice came from the person who hated her the most after the accident. “A Good Person” is about the relationship that Allison and her ex-would-be father-in-law, Daniel, developed over time. While for Allison, it was about getting her life in order, for Daniel, it was about proving to God that he was a good person under any circumstance. Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman save the show with what is essentially an average watch at best. There were certain moments that hit the right cord, but it was mostly quite one-dimensional.

Spoilers Ahead

‘A Good Person’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

Allison and Nathan were madly in love, and they had recently announced their engagement. It was her mellifluous voice that immediately caught Nathan’s attention on their first date. She was not a professional singer and worked as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. Her job required her to push drugs, and even though she might have felt a little guilty at times, she brushed it off because she was only dealing with drugs related to skin diseases. Allison planned a day out with her sister-in-law, Molly, and her husband, Jesse. They were supposed to decide on a wedding dress and catch a play after that. Just as they were discussing the play they would watch later, the car ran into a backhoe. Jesse and Molly died in that tragic accident. Allison survived, but the physical and emotional pain was too much for her to bear. She was the one behind the wheel, and she looked at her phone to check the map when it all happened. But living with the guilt of being, in a way, responsible for the deaths of two people was impossible for Allison, and she chose to direct the blame at the driver of the backhoe. While she convinced the people around her that she was innocent, she continued to live with the guilt. She distanced herself from Nathan after the accident, even though he was ready to marry her. Every day she struggled to live with herself, and pills became her only solution.

How Did Allison Meet Daniel?

Allison was driven into complete madness the day Diane, her mother, refused to give her any more pills. The doctors wanted her off the drugs, but she was convinced that OxyContin was the only way to deal with the pain she experienced. During a scuffle that led to her mother flushing down the pills, Allison was injured. Frustrated with her mother’s decision, Allison left as her elbow continued to bleed. She tried to get a hold of the drug, but the pharmacy refused to hand her any more pills. From her disgruntled appearance, the pharmacist concluded that she was another victim of OxyContin. Allison was not interested in any solution to her problem; she was simply on the hunt for the drug. The next day, she cleaned up and met with her ex-colleague, Becka, at a restaurant.

While Becka hoped to catch up with Allison, she was there for her own reason. She decided to cut the conversation short and requested that Becka provide her with OxyContin. The request soon turned into a demand and ultimately blackmail, but Becka refused to give in to it. Frustrated and disappointed, Allison headed to a pub, hoping to score. She met her junkie high school classmates there, and they were quite surprised that the once popular girl in school was asking for pills. Allison was stripped of her self-respect as she admitted to being a junkie in exchange for heroin. She returned home in tears, realizing that she had completely lost herself. As the pills were gradually coming to an end, she found herself drawn to an AA meeting held at a church. As she entered, she noticed Nathan’s father, Daniel.

Why Was Daniel At The AA Meeting? What Was The Reason Behind His Distance From Nathan?

After losing his daughter and her husband, Daniel took on the responsibility of raising their daughter, Ryan. The generational gap often led to conflicts between the two. Daniel realized that he was drawn to the bottle of alcohol he kept hidden in his cupboard after staying clean for ten years. He started to attend AA meetings to keep away from his temptation, and one morning he noticed Allison enter the room. He had blamed Allison for the accident, and he surely was not too pleased to see her. When he noticed that she was hesitant about attending the meeting after seeing him, he encouraged her to join. He gulped down his anger and eventually developed a friendship with Allison. His personal experience helped him guide her, and she did not mind having someone by her side who could comprehend what she was going through. It was Daniel who made her realize that everyone around her was imperfect and that life has its own course. He bared himself in the meetings and discussed how he was responsible for his son’s inability to hear from one ear.

As an alcoholic, most of his nights were a blur, and one morning when he woke up, he noticed an ambulance and realized that his son was hurt. Over the years, he had come to accept that the damage done was beyond forgiveness. His confession helped Allison face Ryan when she unexpectedly met her at Daniel’s house. Ryan immediately lashed out at Allison, but she remained calm. Just like Ryan, she too felt it was unfair that she survived, but that was the truth that she had to live with. After a rough start, Ryan took an interest in her. Allison encouraged her to join the soccer team, and she did so in the hopes of learning more about her parents. Ryan barely had any friends, and she found an elder sister in Allison. The only problem was that she was too young to realize how her words could affect Allison, and Allison had not completely recovered to maturely deal with everything. When Ryan mentioned Nathan and his girlfriend, Allison lost control of herself and consumed pills. She wanted to commit suicide, but she could not do it thinking about Nathan.

‘A Good Person’ Ending Explained: Did Allison Recover? What Happens To Daniel?

Even though she was high on drugs, Allison agreed to accompany Ryan to the city. Ryan’s entire plan of bringing Nathan and Allison back together was ruined when he attended the party with his girlfriend. Allison was shocked to see Nathan there, and she could not figure out why Ryan forcefully wanted her to confront Nathan and his new life. When the band members asked Ryan and Allison to join a closed-door party, Allison immediately agreed. She was struggling to cope with the sudden encounter, and that led to more drug abuse. While Allison was lost in her own world, Ryan was taken to another room, where Quinn attempted to force himself on her even though she repeatedly tried to leave. By the time Allison realized that Ryan was missing, Daniel had already arrived at the party after tracking Ryan’s phone.

After ten years, Daniel consumed alcohol, and he was not in his right state of mind. He brought his gun along and threatened to shoot Quinn, but Nathan intervened and calmed him down. While Ryan was rescued from the situation, Daniel could not forgive Allison for being irresponsible. He did not mince a word when he accused her of the car accident, and even though it was all too hurtful, the words stuck with her. Allison was determined to change her life, now more than ever. With the money she got in exchange for the watch left by her father, she enrolled herself at a rehabilitation center and gradually recovered. After sobering up, she met with Nathan once again. She apologized to him for abandoning him when he was suffering the most. She admitted to being self-centered and running away from her responsibilities. While they were not in a position to get back together, they believed that maybe someday in the future, they would have a reason to be a part of each other’s lives.

Daniel wrote a letter to Allison before his death. He wanted her to accept her fate, even though it was not the life she perhaps had dreamed of. But over the years, he realized that perfection could only be achieved while designing a model train and not in real life. He wanted Allison to love her fate just like he did, and he believed that was the reason why he was gifted a year with his son, building happy memories in the end. While Nathan had taken Ryan’s responsibility, Daniel knew that he needed help, and he hoped Allison would support him. “A Good Person” ends with Ryan, Nathan, and Allison together on the porch of Daniel’s house. While Daniel had made mistakes in his life, he had positively impacted the lives of those around him, especially Ryan, Nathan, and Allison. He accepted every challenge and adversity to prove to God that nothing would stop him from being a good person, and in the end, even though he faltered several times, he will be remembered for being a good man.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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