‘The Mother’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Was Zoe Saved By Her Mother?


Director Niki Caro, together with writer Misha Green, tries her best to weave a story that is soaked in emotions, but it just does not translate impactfully on the screen. The Mother was supposed to be a story about the beautiful bond shared by a mother and a daughter, a story about sacrifice and love, among many other things, but instead, it is just a cluster of big-budget scenes that fail to cohesively tell an interesting story. The film Jennifer Lopez as the mother while Lucy Paez plays the part of her teenage daughter. So, let’s find out what happened in their lives, why they got separated in the first place, and how a mother fiercely protected her daughter against all odds.

Spoilers Alert

Plot Summary: Who Were Hector Alvares And Adrian Lovell?

An informant (Jennifer Lopez) was being held in a safe house in Linton, Indiana, as she was being interrogated by two agents from the FBI. The informant had worked closely with Hector Alvares and Adrian Lovell, names that were on the FBI’s most wanted list, and brokered an arms deal between them. The informant had been in the armed forces and was posted in Afghanistan when she met Adrian Lovell for the first time. Lovell was ex-SAS, and he was the trainer of the informant’s sniper unit. Lovell had seen the kind of potential the informant had, and he knew that she could prove to be a great asset and that, together, they could build an empire. Lovell was basically a headhunter who provided the influential and powerful people of the region with anything they wanted that they couldn’t get through legitimate means.

The informant was posted in a guard tower in Guatemala when she came across a man named Hector Alvares, who used to steal weapons from her base, and she thought that she could use that to strike a deal with Lovell and make sure that she earned a lot of commission in the process. The informant had found out that Alvarez and Lovell were running a child trafficking racket, and that’s when she decided to press the buzzer and inform the FBI about them. The FBI had taken her to a safehouse, and they believed that the perpetrators wouldn’t be able to find them there. The informant kept on repeating again and again that they were not safe in that house, but the FBI officials thought that it was one of her ploys to distract them from the topic. Though agent William Cruise was keeping his patience and talking to the informant very politely, his colleague’s bloated ego was getting bruised every time the informant said that Lovell and Alvares would get the better of them no matter what.

The inevitable happened, and Adrian Lovell attacked the safehouse with his men. The informant was pregnant at that time, and she wanted to save her baby at all costs. Adrian Lovell stabbed her in the belly, but she was able to survive and even the baby was unharmed. Though the informant believed that Adrian must have died due to the explosion, his body was never found at the scene, which is why the FBI entertained the possibility that he was still out there. It was a miracle, and the informant knew that the baby was a godsend who would have a very prosperous life. Special agent Willaims told her that the baby would have to be separated from her and taken into foster care because, as long as the informant stayed with her, the baby’s life would be in danger. The informant didn’t want to give up her baby, but she knew that special agent Williams was saying the right thing and that the baby would be better off without her. With a heavy heart, the Mother bid adieu to her own baby and sacrificed her desires to bring her up.

What Happens To Hector Alvares?

The informant had told William Cruise that her only condition for leaving her daughter in foster care was that every year, on her birthday, he sent pictures of her and informed her whenever she was in danger. Twelve long years had passed since that fateful day when she had been separated from her daughter. The informant was trying to forget about what had happened in the past and started living the life of a recluse in Alaska. She knew a man named Jons who stayed there and had served alongside her in the army. But once again, the ex-snipers’ past caught up to her, and she received a letter from William Cruise to meet, and she knew there and then that her daughter was in danger. The ATF had busted a stash house in Nuevo Laredo, and they had found a photo of the informant’s daughter. Cruise knew that they were planning to kidnap her, and as he had promised, he informed his old friend about it. Cruise told her that her daughter’s name was Zoe, and she had been very lucky as she found the best foster parents anybody could ask for. Like a tigress, the Mother tried protecting her daughter, but Hector Alvares got the better of her, and his men took Zoe with them. Cruise and the informant reached Cuba, where they first killed Tarantula, one of the top lieutenants of Hector’s army, and then reached the mansion of the devil himself. The informant rescued her daughter and then went on to confront Alvarez, kill him, and burn his entire mansion down.

‘The Mother’ Ending Explained: How Was Zoe Saved By Her Mother?

Zoe was taken to Alaska by her Mother, who wanted to train her so that when the need arose, she would be able to defend herself. The ex-assassin hadn’t planned to bring her daughter to her hideout in Alaska, but after Adrian Lovell killed Agent Cruise, she wasn’t left with much of an option. The informant knew that sooner or later, Adrian Lovell would come for her, and she wanted Zoe to be prepared for that time. She taught her how to shoot, drive, and survive in extreme conditions. She trained Zoe’s mind and body, and she didn’t understand why she was being made to go through all that stuff. There was a very interesting conversation that the mother-daughter duo had when Zoe refused to eat the meat at the dinner table, as she perceived killing animals as an act of violence. Her Mother told her that every diet she had consumed in her life had come from violence. Though any propagator of veganism would have had a heated argument with The Mother at that time, Zoe let go of her anger and didn’t say anything. Zoe was fond of animals, and one day she was playing with a wolf pup when she got bitten by one of them, and her hand started bleeding profusely. Zoe was immediately taken to the hospital by her Mother, where she accidentally gave her real name, which they uploaded into their database. The informant had realized that Zoe had committed a blunder, and now there was no going back.

As expected, Adrian Lovell found Zoe and her mother, and came with his men to hunt them down. The informant had already left Zoe at Jons’ so that she was safe, but Zoe loved her mother and she couldn’t just leave her Mother to fend for herself. Zoe took Jons’ truck and came to help her Mother. Zoe took a gun and aimed it at the enemy, just as her Mother had taught her. Towards the end of The Mother, Zoe shot a rock salt bullet towards Adrian Lovell, but she missed him and hit her mother instead. Zoe’s mother was severely injured, and Adrian Lovell took Zoe with him. Any human might have accepted defeat in that situation, but a mother just couldn’t see her daughter being taken to her doom. The informant gathered all the strength she had left in her body and shot Adrian Lovell, who was driving his car and escaping from the scene. She hit the bull’s eye, and Adrian Lovell died in his car. Zoe came back to her Mother, and both of them went back to their normal lives. Though Zoe lived with her parents, she used to meet her biological Mother quite often, and the Mother kept an eye out for any danger that might come her way.

Final words

After watching The Mother, you just don’t understand why the actors and the producers came on board after reading the screenplay. The Mother is directionless, to say the least, and has so many half-baked plots that you just cannot understand what the makers wanted to show. There is nothing intriguing about the storyline, and there are millions of titles in the same genre that are much more impactful. We cannot even say that it is a lighthearted watch because The Mother tries its best to make its audience take things seriously, but without having impactful scenes backed by a strong narrative and characters that have some substance and weight to them, it only feels like a pretty bland affair.

- Advertisement -
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This