‘Flashback’ (2023) Ending Explained & Short Film Summary: What Did Mr. Bones Personify?


Directed by Jed Shepherd, the Netflix short film Flashback leaves you feeling a bit nostalgic and sentimental. It delves into that notion by which each and every individual has been fascinated at some point in time, i.e., what if you could go back in time and change your past? A lot of filmmakers over the years have tried to make films around a similar topic, but it just doesn’t get old. It is that facet of our mortal lives that will never fail to intrigue us, probably because of its impracticability (as of now) and knowing that it would remain the biggest “what if” of our lives. Just thinking about the past gives rise to so many feelings inside us, some of which just cannot be described in words. I often say that thinking about the past and reminiscing about the good old days is like the smell of mud after the first rain, and no matter how many times you have smelled it, you just can’t get enough of it. Flashback, in a limited amount of time, throws a concept at us, and then imagines how it would be if it came true in real life. The character of Jess, played by Jemma Moore, finds herself in a difficult situation, and she realizes that if she has to save herself and her partner, then she will have to implement what she has been teaching all this time in her yoga classes. So, let’s find out what happens with Jess and if she is successful in her experiment.

Spoiler Alert

What Happened With Jess And Scott?

Jess was just about to call it a night when she heard a thud and felt like something had fallen in the living room. She asked her partner, Scott, who at that moment was about to propose to her for marriage, to go and check if someone was at the door. Scott had kept a ring in his drawer, and he felt that it was about time to express to Jess that he wanted to spend his entire lifetime with her. Seeing them both, it looked like they adored each other, and the best thing was that apart from being lovers, they were best friends, too. Scott jokingly told Jess to avenge his death if he didn’t come back after checking what that sound was. At that moment, Jess had no clue that she would actually have to do something like that. Jess heard a commotion, and she went out to find that Scott had been killed by someone who had broken into their house, probably with the intention of stealing. That thief got scared, and he shot Jess, too, and then escaped from the house. Jess didn’t know what she should do, and in that moment of panic where she was about to die in a matter of seconds, she remembered something that she used to teach her students in the yoga class.

Was Jess Able To Change Her Past?

Jess taught her students how to have control over their breathing. She told them that, through it, they had better control over their lives. Jess knew that when one person was just about to die; his entire life flashed in front of his own eyes, and she believed that if an individual had better control over their breathing, they could live any moment from their lives all over again and alter the course of events. When Jess was about to die, she told herself to breathe in a controlled manner, and she was able to transport herself to a day in her life from the year 2008. It was Jess’ birthday on that day, and she had taken all her friends to a gaming arcade. She found Scott and told him everything that would happen to them approximately 15 years from then. Scott didn’t understand what she was rambling about, and he didn’t know why she was acting so strange all of a sudden. Jess made Scott promise not to be in a relationship with her at any cost, as she believed that if he was not with her, he would be alive. Scott did promise her, after which Jess was taken by Mr. Bones. Jess came back to her senses in 2022, and she realized that she had been able to change her past successfully and that now Soctt was not with her but married to her friend, whom we had seen chatting with Jess at the beginning of Flashback. Jess felt a pang in her heart when she saw Scott with another woman, but she knew that now she would have to accept this reality and be grateful for the fact that they were still alive.

What Did Mr. Bones Personify?

Jess often saw this vague figure waiting for her in her dream, which she knew was Dr. Bones. When Jess was about to die, we came to the realization that Dr. Bones symbolized time. There was a digital clock installed on its front, and that probably was a reminder that the most precious resource in the world is time for all those who felt that they had all the time in this world. The director at the end of Flashback wants to tell us that no matter what we do, there will be some or another regret that we will end up having. So, instead of mulling over what’s lost, we should try to make the most of what we have. In Jess’s case, she was able to deceive death and alter the events of the past, but that meant that she would have to spend her life without that one person who understood her the most and whom she loved madly.

Flashback ends on a positive note, where our protagonist understands the value of time and a resolve not to cry over spilled milk. She decides to be in charge of her life and consciously tries to find happiness no matter what the situation is. She had understood that life was fragile, and wasting any moment grieving about things that were not in one’s hands was a sheer waste of time.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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