‘The Killer’ Ending Explained & Film Spoilers: Did The Assassin Not Kill The Client?


The Killer, directed by David Fincher, makes us privy to a “gun for hire” who leads a disciplined life and knows how the world functions and what he should do to increase the chances of his survival. He knows how to differentiate between skepticism and cynicism, but at times, he feels compelled to go against the rules he has established for himself, and it becomes very difficult for him to come out of that internal conflict. Based on the works of Alexi Nolent and Lucamon, The Killer left us craving for more, and I personally felt that it wasn’t able to leave the kind of impact that you would expect from a David Fincher film. We agree that full marks have to be given for the execution, the camera angles, the gripping narration, and the stoic expressions of Michael Fassbender, but somewhere, the narrative was not as strong, and we never really got invested in the characters, and additionally, the film was not able to build up that suspense and thrill it would have wanted.

Spoiler Alert

What Happens During The Job?

At the beginning of The Killer, we saw our assassin sitting on the topmost level of a building and constantly keeping a watch on the apartment that lied right in front of him. Our protagonist talked about how mundane the job could be and how, in his opinion, any man who does not have the patience to sustain through boredom must never come into this profession. During the time he was waiting, he shared a lot about what he thought of life and how his experiments with truth had led him to certain revelations. Our man did not believe in the concept of karma, and he said that life beyond death is a figment of the imagination of those who are too scared to believe that this is all we have, and after this, we proceed to one great, cold void.

We witnessed that our Killer led a very disciplined life, and from his pulse rate to the number of hours he was having some well-needed shuteye, everything was calculated. He liked to be precise in his approach, and that was one of the cardinal rules he abided by. The assassin said that in his line of work, one cannot trust anybody, and moreover, there is no scope for empathy. He said that empathy led to weakness, which made a man vulnerable. He had followed the rules up until that time, but what he didn’t know was that one misstep could trigger a chain of events that could completely turn his life upside down. Finally, the target he had waited for all this time arrived in the apartment, situated on the opposite side. The assassin calmed his nerves down and then finally took the shot. To his dismay, he missed the target. He panicked for a moment, but he knew that now, he would have to make amends to his existing plan and exit the scene so that he doesn’t get caught by the law enforcement authorities.

What Happened To The Killer’s Family?

After the botched-up job, the assassin went to the Dominican Republic, where he found out that someone had broken into his house and attacked his partner, Magdala. He went to the hospital, and he found Marcus, his partner’s brother, who told him that two people had come out of the house in a green taxi and brutally assaulted Magdala. Marcus said that they needed information about him, but Magdala didn’t say a word to them. The assassin talked to his partner and told Marcus that he would make sure that such a thing did not happen again. The assassin soon found the taxi in which those two people had come to his house. The taxi was driven by a young man named Leo, and the Killer got into it and asked him what he knew about the passengers he had three days ago. Leo, in a petrified state, told him everything about the physical appearance of those two people and begged him to leave him alive. But the assassin knew that he could not afford to have any loose links, and that was why he shot and killed Leo in his own cab.

What Happened To Hodges?

Edward Hodges was the assassin’s handler, and the latter had doubts that he was the one who had ordered an assault on his family. Very easily, the assassin went inside the building and asked Edward whose decision it was to attack his family. Edward said that it was confidential information and that he wouldn’t be able to give any names to him. The assassin killed him with a nail-punching machine, and seeing that, his assistant, Dolores, begged for mercy and told him that she could help his cause. Dolores gave the killer the names of the subcontractors and the main client who was involved. At this juncture, too, the Killer had no clue that it was Hodges who had acted on his own discretion and decided to kill him. He had sent people over to Magdala to get information about the Killer, and when she didn’t give in, they made sure that she bore the consequences of her silence. After getting the information from Dolores, the assassin murdered her, too, in cold blood. He kept telling himself to not be empathetic, and even when he didn’t really want to kill Dolores, he did the cruel act as he knew that he didn’t have much of an option.

Why Did The Assassin Not Kill The Client?

The assassin first went to St. Petersburg, Florida, where he found the man, who was one of the two people who had come to his house to gather information about his whereabouts and almost killed his partner. The Killer made preparations, drugged the dog of the man, trespassed on his property, and fought him, at the end of which he killed him. After that, he straightaway went to New York to meet the other lady who had accompanied the brute. The lady, referred to as the Expert, was confronted by the assassin in a restaurant and caught off guard. The conversation between them was nerve-wracking because it felt like anything could happen. After the dinner, the lady and the assassin went out, where the latter shot the lady point blank before she played any sort of trick on him. The assassin reached the final stage of his quest, and he very easily found where Claybourne, the client, stayed, how he spent his day, and where he hung out. It was not very difficult for the assassin to break into the high-security apartment of the billionaire, and once again, he caught his prey off guard.

During The Killer‘s ending, the titular character found out that it was Hodges who had acted on his own accord and decided to kill him for an additional 150 thousand dollars that he took from the client. Claybourne had no clue who the assassin was, and he had just contacted Hodges and agreed to whatever he had advised. The Killer left the apartment after giving a warning to Claybourne, and he said if a situation arose where he would have to come back once again, he would make sure that Claybourne did not get a very easy death. A petrified Claybourne said that he didn’t have anything against him and that he would never come after him and forget that this encounter ever happened. We believe that for the first time, the Killer showed empathy, and there is a possibility that in the future, it might backfire on him. In the epilogue we saw the Killer was sitting with his partner and enjoying peace and quiet, and thinking about that beautiful time he spent with Magdala he realized that maybe he was also one of many, as he had broken his cardinal rule even after being aware of the consequences it could have.

See More: Why Did The Client Want To Kill The Hitman In The Book?

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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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