‘Bionic’ Ending Explained & Netflix Film Summary: What Happens To Maria And Gabi?


Bionic, or Bionicos in native Portuguese, is a new Brazilian film streaming on Netflix that combines elements of science fiction and action to predict what human life might be like in the next decade. Set in the near future, the film’s plot follows the ambitions of two sisters, both exceptionally talented as long-jump athletes, in a world where bionic modifications to human bodies are a very common and accepted practice. Although the plot of Bionic is not extremely intriguing or convincing, the crime and action elements, together with the neon-soaked visuals, still make up for a decent watch.

Spoiler Alert

What is the film about?

Set in 2035, Bionic begins with a young man walking into a bank in Brazil for a seemingly regular visit. Although the metal detector goes off as soon as he walks into the place, the man explains that his shoulders have titanium joints since one of his arms is prosthetic. After a full scrutiny of his body, the authorities allow him to enter and access the three lockers that are in his name. While a single guard is present inside the vault with the man at the time, he unlocks the safe boxes to reveal a heavy metal bionic prosthetic arm inside them. Very quickly, he attaches the bionic mod to his body, replacing his prosthetic arm, and wreaks havoc on the bank. The man’s intention is to steal a batch of diamonds from a different safe box, and he succeeds in doing so as well, only to get injured by the bullets of the guards. Although he is able to escape the bank, the man ultimately takes his own life to avoid trouble after handing off the diamonds to his brother.

A police investigation into the matter is started, and it is revealed that the attacker was a man known as Squirt, who had trained to become a professional boxer in life. However, the world of Bionic has already experienced a significant development of bionic prosthetics and bodily modifications, leading those without any such attachments to face failures in life. When a company named Biona first started manufacturing bionic prosthetics in Brazil, their target customers were war veterans who had lost limbs in combat, and they wanted to help them reintegrate into society. However, a rush of popularity for these modifications both in the country and globally led to bionics becoming a mainstream staple, even in the world of sports. Thus, those athletes with such attachments gained a superior advantage over competitors, and ultimately, those with all their natural limbs intact were at a loss. The detectives figured out that Squirt was one such boxer who initially faced disadvantages against the bionic attachments. Therefore, just like many other athletes, Squirt had himself cut off his own limbs to get bionic modifications installed on his body.

While the police try to find leads regarding the diamond heist at the bank, the film’s focus shifts to a young woman named Maria Santos, the daughter of renowned Brazilian long-jump athlete Helena Santos. Although Maria had been trained by her mother to follow in her footsteps from a very young age, she too faces a similar disadvantage against participants with bionic modifications. In fact, Maria’s own younger sister, Gabi, who had been trained by their father, Ricardo, is herself an example of a bionic para-athlete. Having lost a leg due to an infection during her childhood, Gabi is now fitted with a bionic leg, because of which she also holds the current world record in the long jump. As Maria remains frustrated with her sister’s success, she is introduced to a man named Heitor, who wants to hire her for a very specific mission.

Who is Heitor, and what does he want from Maria?

Heitor is actually the brother of the man named Squirt, who was seen at the beginning of the film robbing the diamonds from the bank. It is indeed Heitor who gets hold of the diamonds from his brother and flees the place while the latter takes his own life. It is revealed that Heitor originally worked as Squirt’s manager as well, back when he was still trying to make it into professional boxing. However, when the popularity of bionic upgrades took over the entire world, the two brothers immediately protested against them and even formed their own anti-bionic support group. It is not very difficult to guess how the introduction of bionics in the world of sports angered people who had no need for such body parts. The bionics have clearly given superhuman physical abilities to athletes, which is evident from the very records that are set in this world of “bionics.” While the current long jump record in our real world is about 8.96 meters, the athletes in the film are seen making jumps twice as long with the help of their bionics.

There is no doubt that the bionic upgrades are like easy cheats when seen from the perspective of athletes who do not have any mods on their bodies. Therefore, it is quite obvious that they are extremely angry with the authorities themselves for accepting cheating as the norm and allowing individuals to make superhuman upgrades to their bodies. When Heitor and Squirt first started their movement, they wanted to provide support to athletes who did not have any bionics on them. Easily identified by their symbol of a human skull, Heitor’s team is still seemingly very much invested in helping athletes train and get the right supplies for their bodies since these people are almost entirely out of jobs. The entire focus of the world has shifted to bionic competition, meaning tournaments where athletes with bodily mods participate, and so the other athletes have no support whatsoever.

It is very natural that people would try to get bionic attachments in a wrong and illegal manner in such a lopsided world, and a blackmarket selling such products had also been created.  Once Squirt realized that his pro-boxing career would get him nowhere, the young man cut off his own limbs in order to get bionic prosthetics installed. However, the company manufacturing and providing these attachments, Biona, does not let people who harm themselves use the products, and so Squirt was left without any of the advanced attachments that he wanted. Instead, the man got hold of some regular prosthetics, which completely ended his career, and together with Heitor, he focused on their group’s activism. An interesting thing about the attachments is that, along with the physical bionic limbs, an athlete also needs an electronic chip, known as NIM, to be inserted into their brain, which essentially lets them use the bionic parts like any usual limb.

When Heitor and Squirt arrange the robbery at the bank to get hold of the diamonds, their plan is to steal a batch of NIM from Biona since the corporate company is the only one who makes the chips. They want to use the value of the diamonds to pay off some hackers who can lead them to the exact location of the NIM batch, but what exactly Heitor wants to do with the chips is intentionally left unclear. Since the diamonds ultimately turn out to be of inferior quality, the group has to once again run an operation to steal cash from some bank trucks, but for this, they once again need someone with bionic attachments on their body. This is where the third Santos sibling, Gus, comes in and gets involved with Heitor and his gang. Gus actually feels quite left out in his family, for he is not an athlete like the rest of them, and he is also perplexed by the current scenario of the world. He wants to do something significant for people without bionic attachments, and he proposes his sister Maria’s name to Heitor. Gus knows very well that Maria has a deep-rooted resentment against bionic athletes, and so she would definitely agree to help out the group in their activities. Indeed, the protagonist soon becomes a part of the group and hopes to help non-bionic individuals in her own way, but her life witnesses a major shift when Maria faces a horrific road accident.

What is the mystery behind Maria’s accident?

While returning home from a party at the Biona office, during which she confronts her sister about her selfish acts, Maria’s motorbike is rammed into by a van. This accident leaves the woman terribly injured, and her right leg has to be amputated very soon. Thus, in order to continue with her normal life, Maria has to become the very thing that she wanted to fight against—a bionic athlete. The protagonist is fitted with an advanced bionic leg, which immediately boosts her ability and performance, with which she ultimately breaks the world record in the long jump category. However, the police detectives who were investigating the bank robbery case also looked at this accident, and they immediately found something very odd about it.

The authorities had been informed about the accident by an anonymous caller on the road, who had supposedly come across the crashed bike and an injured Maria. While this is a very common practice in the world and has nothing suspicious about it, the timing of the call and the incident, as ascertained from security camera footage, made things extremely fishy. The anonymous call had been made a couple of minutes before the accident took place, meaning that the caller knew that the crash was about to happen. When Maria’s sister, Gabi, repeatedly listens to the audio recording of this call, as provided by the police, she is able to hear a certain tune in the background. This tune is from a musical piece very close to Maria’s heart, and she had only recently introduced it to Heitor as well. The two had decided to time their calls with the help of this classical music piece, and it ultimately solved the secret behind Maria’s accident.

In reality, it was Heitor himself who had crashed his van into Maria’s bike, ensuring that she was terribly injured and had to get her leg amputated. His main motive with the woman was to have her become a bionic athlete so that he could convince her to make use of the bionic leg for all the wrong reasons. He does get Maria involved in the ATM van robbery in order to get hold of cash, and the mission becomes very easy with her new physical upgrade. Heitor had earlier used his brother in a similar manner, for his real intention was not to help any non-bionic athlete but just to earn money for himself. He uses the stolen money to pay the hackers in exchange for getting to know about the location of the NIM chips, which he intends to sell off to some illegal buyers and collect a heavy payout for himself.

Is the Biona Corporation responsible for Maria’s situation?

Considering the plot and the sci-fi world presented in Bionic, it does initially seem like the influential corporation, Biona, might have some evil involvement in Maria and Gabi’s situation. However, this is actually not the case, although the athlete’s over-ambitious father, Roberto, deserves to take part of the blame. Along with being Gabi’s trainer, Roberto is also her manager, and he also actively helps bring sponsors to the Biona company. When Maria suffers the tragic accident, Roberto does not waste a moment and makes use of his other daughter as a cash cow as well, turning her into a bionic athlete. He then struck a deal with Biona and a wealthy sponsor to have both Maria and Gabi represent Biona products in the upcoming competition, and he promised that either one of them would break the record this time. While this does come true, it is only because Roberto technically pits his daughters against each other, and it also leads to Gabi injuring herself in the process. At the end of Bionic, it is revealed that the head of the bionic unit in Biona, Dario, is actually a friend of Maria and Gabi, as he personally helps them with supplies, keeping it a secret from the corporate company. 

What happens to the Santos siblings?

Bionic‘s ending shows Maria realizing that she had simply been used by Heitor, and she decides to stop the deal that the man makes with the client interested in the NIM chips. As she manages to do so, the police arrive at the scene with the intention of arresting Heitor, as well as her since she, too, had been involved in criminal activities. Instead of giving up, Maria managed to run from the place, sacrificing her bionic leg, and Gabi helped her escape. The police arrest Heitor, and his illegal business is finally over as well. Meanwhile, the younger brother, Gus, had also been horribly injured, when Maria mistakenly ran over him with her car, thinking that he was Heitor. 

When Bionic‘s ending skips forward six months, all three of the Santos siblings remain missing, with the police still looking for them. Their father, Roberto, has now lost all interest in business and longs to be reunited with his children, whom he had once neglected because of his greed. However, the siblings are actually alive and doing quite well, having settled in a semi-rural area somewhere in Brazil. Maria and Gabi now run a training facility for children, hoping to help them turn into athletes someday. The siblings are also in the process of executing a different plan, though, in order to earn enough money for their livelihood and also for the children they are helping train.

Dario helps them with this project, as he brings them a stash of bionic parts from the corporation, and they once again make these modifications to their bodies. While Maria and Gabi only need legs, the extent of Gus’ injuries requires him to be almost covered with bionic modifications, and this makes him an extremely overpowered fighter. The client, whom Heitor had approached to sell the NIM chips, basically wanted an army of bionics for some unlawful acts. Maria, Gabi, and Gus now present themselves to the same man, agreeing to work for him in exchange for money, becoming the first mercenaries in Brazil with bionic attachments. 

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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