‘The 355’ Ending, Explained: How Did They Destroy The Device?


“The 355,” directed by Simon Kinberg, is a spy action film starring Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger, and Lupita Nyong’o. It is a tale of four international spies, along with a therapist, who form a team to destroy a device that has the potential to start World War III. While it is always exciting to watch an all-female star cast, “The 355” has nothing else to offer with a run-of-the-mill story and generic filmmaking.

‘The 355’ Plot Summary: What Is It About?

The title of the film is inspired by Agent 355, a code name coined during the American Revolution for a female spy. “The 355” introduces a device that could control every event taking place all across the globe, which could lead to worldwide chaos and could start another war as well. The powerful wanted control of the device that could not be replicated and would self-destruct if an attempt was made. The deal was taking place in Bogotá, Columbia, where a criminal leader, Elijah Clarke, decided to fire shots in an attempt to steal the device without paying the price. 

A DNI agent hides the device in the midst of the chaos, where the Columbian intelligence agency, DNI, has also entered the scene to disrupt the deal. From the CIA to the DNI, as well as the German BND, everyone sent their best people to work in the hopes of recovering the device. While initially, they worked separately, the female agents quickly realized that the enemy was a lot stronger than they estimated. Thus they joined forces to destroy the device that was the crucial agenda.

“The 355” journeys from Paris to Morocco, to Shanghai, with hurdles at each step. It lacked the newness that could be expected from the stellar cast, who were brilliant in their performances.

Who Was Marie? 

The CIA assigned Mace to the job, where the idea was to make a quick deal with the DNI agent who had the device. Mace was accompanied by Nick; they had a romantic inclination and shared moments of intimacy. They pretended to be a couple who were on a honeymoon in Paris. To conduct the deal, they took their positions at a Parisian café right beside the DNI agent. 

The idea was to exchange the bags; one had the device, the other had the money. Mace went inside the café to order, and that is when she first met Marie at the café counter. Marie was a BND agent who was ruthless and fierce. As soon as Marie realized that the meeting was taking place, she tactfully grabbed hold of the bag and ran. Mace followed Marie, and meanwhile, Nick watched the DNI agent escape. But after escaping from Mace, Marie discovered that she had grabbed the bag that had the money. Later, Mace was informed by her senior that Nick had died while chasing the agent. Her senior, Larry, advised Mace to do whatever was required to get hold of the device.

Mace was later joined by Khadijah, a retired British MI6 who was a computing expert. Graciela, a DNI psychologist, was assigned to retrieve information and also help the DNI agent who had the device. As infiltrators from the DNI murdered the DNI agent, Marie tracked down Graciela. Marie and Graciela were later joined by Mace and Khadijah at the hotel room, who had arrived hoping to find the device. While Graciela did not have the device, she had access to the tracking system planted on it and helped the three locate it as it headed towards Morocco.

Though Marie and Mace were initially rivals, they were able to put their egos aside and work together due to their similar fields but differences in agencies and loyalties. The women, thus, embark on a journey to stop the world from being destroyed. While the three women had expertise in their fields, Graciela was a psychologist who had a family back home and hoped to return soon.

Spy agents, Marie and Mace
Credits: Universal Pictures

Who Killed Larry? What Happened To The Device In Morocco?

As the device traveled to Morocco, so did our agents. Khadijah tracked the device while Mace, Marie, and Graciela chased the man who carried the device. The device was transferred to another man, and the women took advantage of the chaotic Moroccan streets and retrieved it. Initially, Marie objected to handing the device to the CIA, but Mace reasoned with her. The CIA had their men in Morocco, and all the agencies would receive their respect. After Marie agreed, Mace handed the device to Larry, and the women celebrated their victory. At the bar, Mace noticed that planes were crashing, and many cities went on complete blackouts. They realized it was caused by the device when, as Khadijah tried to track it, she realized that the tracking system was turned off. They rushed to find Larry. Larry was lying on the floor, dead.

The CIA and BND expressed their distrust of their agents. They doubted the women for stealing the device for personal benefit. The women were now on their own, hoping to destroy the device and complete their mission. We later learned that Larry was murdered by a Chinese agent who aimed to destroy the device as well.

At the bar, when the four women shared a cheerful moment celebrating their success, they discussed their lives as agents. The lack of trust disrupted their personal lives. Khadijah had her partner at home; she lied to him each day about her safety. Graciela had her two sons and husband in Columbia, who were unaware of the mission she was a part of and looked forward to her return. In the process, we get to learn about Marie’s personal life as well. Marie had to shoot her father when she was just 15 as her father had betrayed the BND. Her lack of personal relationships was rooted in her childhood trauma.

‘The 355’ Ending Explained: What Did The Chinese Agent Want? Did The Agents Kill Nick?

The agents, after interrogating a man who was carrying the device in Morocco, learned that the device was in Shanghai. They traveled to Shanghai, where an auction was taking place. At the auction event, valuables were being sold offline as per usual, but that was just the front. Behind it all, gangsters and drug lords were betting on the device. Khadijah used her skill and managed to enter their names for the auction event. While the women monitored the auction, Mace spotted Nick. Nick took Mace aside. He confirmed that he did not die, but rather that he changed teams. He worked for the underworld and was at the auction to bet on the device on behalf of his new boss. Khadijah’s system was also disrupted, but Graciela managed to tag the device with a chip in her handbag. Nick managed to buy the device and took it along with him as Mace continued to shoot at his car in anger.

Soon, the Chinese host of the event asked them to come along with her. She comforted them, saying that they were on the same team. She explained that when the agents were unable to contain the device, her agency had to interrupt. Larry was working with Nick for the underworld, which was the reason why she had to shoot him. They conducted the event to collect information from those who attended, and instead of the actual device, they simply gave them a fake device.

Nick went on a killing spree. He sent men to murder the ones who were close to the agents. Graciela finally stopped him, and Mace gave him the device. Lin Mi Sheng, the Chinese agent, went along with him as he distrusted the women. She helped him unlock the device, and, in the meantime, the agents planned their way inside the hotel room where the operation was taking place. Mace climbed up to the room and started shooting. Marie devised a bomb wire and blew up the place. She entered the spot and helped Mace shoot the men who were still alive. The women managed to destroy the device and murder all of their enemies except for Nick. Two months later, Nick rejoined the CIA and was living a comfortable life. The women who were still on the lookout for the CIA showed up at his place, his drink was spiked, and he lost consciousness. They planned to send him to a foreign prison for the rest of his life. The women parted ways, but they knew they would unite again if the world needed them.

The ending was interesting, as Mace spoke about how the CIA was looking for the women for their misconduct, while Nick managed to find a position at the CIA even though he betrayed his people. She knew he was providing valuable information to the agency, and in exchange, he got a senior position. The corrupt allow the other corrupt to thrive. The women finally sought revenge from the man who ruthlessly murdered their loved ones and was in the process of destroying the world for personal gain.

Before bidding goodbyes, they pondered how they would always remain invisible to the common people, who are unaware of the many dangers they are saved from by such personalities. They yearned for a normal life, but they knew that would never be their reality as they had submitted their lives to a greater cause.

While the ending touched the right notes, it still did not add up to why the planes crashed and cities blacked out when the device was in the hands of the Chinese agency. The plot is too jumbled, and the execution is mediocre, so “The 355” is best enjoyed as light entertainment with little room for thought.

“The 355” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Simon Kinberg.

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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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