‘The Lost Patient’ Ending, Explained: Who Was The Man In The Hooded Jacket? Where Had Laura Disappeared?


 When a man wakes up from a coma after three years, he is forced to recall memories that he had buried deep within. “The Lost Patient” is about Thomas Grimaud, who lost his entire family in a single night. He was found stabbed in the stomach, but he managed to survive. He seems to be the only hope for understanding what led to the deaths of the family members. Thomas struggles to encounter traumatic memories, and he is often visited by a person in black hooded clothes. He believes that person is responsible for the deaths of his family, but who is this person? Can Thomas trust the hospital staff to protect him from the unknown?

Spoilers Ahead

Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

The bodies of the Grimaud family were found one morning when a kid threw a ball onto their property. It had been three years since the incident, and Thomas Grimaud regained consciousness. At night, he saw the person in black approach his bed and attack him. He initially tried to defend himself, but he soon gave up. Anna Kieffer greeted him the next morning; she was the therapist who was entrusted with studying his case. While Thomas was confident that he had been attacked the previous night, Anna explained that he had suffered from a panic attack. She reminded him that three years ago, his parents, Betty and Marc, were shot dead, along with his cousin, Dylan, who was shot and then strangled to death. Thomas was stabbed with a knife in his stomach and was discovered on the brink of his death. Other than the man in black, Thomas remembered his sister, Laura. She meant the world to him, and he was curious to find out what had happened to her. Even though he believed she was with him on the night of the murder, she was not found with the rest of the family. Anna explained that she had disappeared, and she hoped that Thomas would help her join the pieces.

Thomas remembered the house they lived in and the room that was kept empty all the time. From the window of the room, he saw the person in black. He remembered that he and his sister had gifted their mother a bracelet, but she was not too happy about the gift. That night during dinner, the phone kept on ringing, and the neighbor’s dog barked endlessly. We later get to know that his mother’s lover would call their house number even though the relationship seemed to be over, and Betty had asked him not to call her. Later, when Laura and Thomas were walking through the driveway, they came across a man in hooded clothes who seemed to be their mother’s ex-lover. When they returned home, Laura had injuries on her forehead. It is not revealed how she was injured, and she did not share the reason with their parents. Thomas did not remember what had happened that night, but he believed his mother’s lover was somehow responsible for what had happened to Laura. Meanwhile, he found a friend in a patient, Bastien. Bastien had lost his parents in a car accident, and Thomas felt a connection with him. Would the past help Thomas heal, or would it simply make his life worse than before?

‘The Lost Patient’ Ending Explained: What Was Responsible For The Grimaud Family Murder? Where Had Laura Disappeared?

Even though Thomas had regained his senses, his leg muscles were still weak. He wanted to walk, but he struggled to do so. But Thomas was determined to find Laura and the person responsible for the deaths. He believed that the nurse who acted suspiciously was responsible in some way. The nurse would often peek into his room and try to create distance between him and Bastien. But Anna explained that he was mixing up his memories and creating scenarios that did not occur in the past. She wanted him to recall his relationship with his cousin, Dylan. Dylan’s mother pressed him to stay with the Grimaud family while she was treated at the hospital. She trusted them to take care of him while she was away. But Laura could not stand Dylan, especially because he dared to enter the room that was kept empty. Thomas was angered when Dylan proposed staying in the empty room instead of the basement room he shared with Thomas. While Dylan did not demand any change, Thomas was irritated by his gut. He was particularly disturbed by how Dylan had become important to his mother. He was provided with the love and attention that Thomas craved. That night, when Dylan entered the bedroom, Laura disclosed the reason why the upstairs room was kept empty. She believed it was because a gun was kept in a box that was buried in a closet. She had seen it when they started staying at the house, and she believed it was still there. She thought that their father had gotten the gun to kill himself or kill their mother and her lover or maybe the entire family. Laura had taken the bullet out of the gun to make sure that never happened.

Meanwhile, Thomas started to doubt Anna and the nurse. He believed they were all conspiring against him and manipulating him. Anna tried to win his trust by discussing how Laura suffered from behavioral issues and how he turned into a violent kid because of his parents’ detachment from him. But Thomas was not ready to face the truth. He was fascinated by a crack in the wall; he believed Laura was watching over him through the crack. The hospital walls turned into the walls of the empty room, and he tried to rip the wallpaper and find out what his parents kept hidden beneath it. He found paintings of a nursery room, and he was traumatized. He ran out of the hospital room, but the corridor had pictures and wallpaper from his house. He walked into the room that was left empty and saw his parents apply the wallpaper while he was lying in his crib. His parents were visibly irritated by Thomas’s whimpers, and they lacked the parental affection that one would expect. Even though he wanted to hold on to Laura, he remembered visiting her gravestone with his mother when he was a little boy. It is finally revealed that Laura passed away when she was only four. The death of their daughter affected Betty and Marc to the extent that Marc kept a gun handy. Their trauma made it difficult for them to take care of Thomas, and they neglected him. Unable to understand what his parents were going through and the overall lack of affection during his childhood years led to Thomas’s aggressive behavior. He was a violent kid, and perhaps his violence was a way to grab their attention. He remembered injuring his mother when he was forcing her to stay home. He would imagine himself to be both Laura and himself. Laura was his violent self, the one with behavioral issues. When he imagined a girl staring at him, he believed she was staring at Laura (that is, his violent side). He was convinced that the girl wanted him to be aggressive, but she was disgusted by his behavior and ran away.

He protected Laura, which meant that he protected his vicious personality. Even the violent act that he committed was not something that he did but something that Laura did. He dissociated from the guilt of his acts with the help of Laura. He was responsible for attacking his mother’s ex-lover, and he was the one who discussed the gun with Dylan. He lost his cool the moment he saw Dylan in his sister’s room. Dylan had once complained about the barking of the neighbor’s dog, and the moment he heard that the dog was killed, he informed Betty and Marc that Thomas was responsible for it. Even though Thomas denied the allegation, his parents had decided to allow Dylan to stay in a separate room. The fact that his parents trusted Dylan over him enraged him. That night, Thomas decided to kill his family. Thomas loaded the gun with the bullets he had kept hidden. He shot his father in the head and then his mother in the stomach. He wanted to shoot Dylan in the mouth, but he felt weak when he begged for his life. But he immediately shot him in the stomach and then strangled him to death. He walked out of the house wearing a black hooded jacket, but after walking through the driveway, something overcame him, and he rushed back home. He was sympathetic to his parent’s death, and he decided to stab himself. Thomas tried to absolve himself of his sins by blaming the death on the man in the black jacket. He convinced himself that Laura was with him that night but had disappeared during the murder.

Anna was interested in analyzing Thomas’s thought process which was why she did not reveal his sister’s death to him. Laura had died even before Thomas was born. She died in a car accident, which explains why his mother was shaken when she was about to hit a girl while driving. It also explains why there were no pictures of Thomas after he was born in his aunt’s album. Because Thomas always imagined Laura to be by his side, his parents perhaps never shared any pictures of him, or it might be their neglect that they never considered sending Thomas’s picture to their relatives. Since they struggled to cope with the loss, they could never provide Thomas with a normal childhood. Even though Thomas had not spent time with Laura, he somehow felt deeply attached to her. He used her as a coping mechanism to deal with his parents. By keeping Laura alive, he was, in a way, relieving his parents of the loss they struggled to deal with.

Anna wanted to understand how he used Laura to overcome his guilt and whether he was aware of the crime he had committed. But many did not agree with her methods, including a nurse working at the hospital. Thomas was a monster who did not deserve any treatment. The nurse believed that Thomas needed to know that he was responsible for his family’s death the moment he regained consciousness instead of feeding into his delusions. But Anna knew that Thomas deserved treatment; no matter what, he did not commit the crime in a sane mind. Thomas was cold when he committed the murders, but after stepping out of the house, he realized what he had done. While committing the murders, he was not Thomas with empathy; he had become Laura, the one who never feared committing crimes. Perhaps he realized that he had become a monster and was tired of living with himself, which is why he committed suicide. After coming out of the coma, he believed in the story in which he was the victim of the crime committed by the man in black. It was his way of protecting himself from the overwhelming guilt. We get to know that the woman Thomas imagined to be, Laura, was a television personality, an image he often came across.

Maybe Thomas was holding onto Bastien, knowing that he had lost his parents in a car accident. As an unborn child, he, too, perhaps suffered the trauma of the accident, and he knew what it was like to lose someone. The moment he realized that he was losing Laura, he was looking for someone else with whom he could run away. But his aggressive behavior scared Bastien. “The Lost Patient” throws light on the question of whether a mentally unstable person should be punished for the crime they committed. While many believe that such criminals must be executed, mental health specialists consider that they must be provided with treatment, which is why the mental health of criminals is assessed before declaring their sentence. Life for Thomas seems bleak; he only has Anna by his side, while the rest of the world is scared to interact with him. He might be consumed by the guilt of his crime and struggle to live.

“The Lost Patient” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Christophe Charrier.

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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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