‘Under Paris’ Ending Explained: Is Lilith Dead Or Alive?


Directed by Xavier Gens, Under Paris is a horror thriller that revolves around a mutant shark that ends up in the Seine. Marine scientist Sophia had been studying the movement of the shark she named Lilith through a beacon she had tagged with it. Sophia and her team embarked on a mission to protect marine life on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She had sent members of her team to collect Lilith’s sample to get a better grasp of her condition. Her team members were surprised to see the body of a sperm whale with a massive bite mark when they dove in to find Lilith. It suggested that there was prey on the loose, but they had no idea what they were dealing with.

The team was in complete shock when they came across Lilith, who had grown significantly in size. Sophia requested her teammate Chris to bring back the sample, even though Lilith’s growth was a sign of concern. Sophia did not expect things to escalate as quickly as they did. Lilith turned vengeful when Chris attempted to take her sample, and it resulted in a bloodbath. Sophia tried to save her teammates, but it was too late. After the traumatic event, Sophia gave up on her project, but three years later, the problem came knocking at her doorstep once again.

Spoiler Alert

How did Sophia plan on dealing with Lilith?

Sophia was pleasantly surprised to find out that young environmental activists like Mika had formed a non-profit organization named Save Our Seas, and they had been tracking the sharks using the beacons to ensure that they were well protected and on the right track. Sophia initially struggled to believe that Lilith had made it to the Seine River. She thought it was simply impossible for a mako to end up in freshwater, but Mika had reasons to believe that climate change could have triggered Lilith’s adaptability. As impossible as it seemed, Sophia soon realized that Mika was right.

The police did not believe Mika and Sophia’s concern, and they decided to dive into the Seine to confirm the threat. Sophia decided to accompany Sergeant Adil and his team, knowing the danger that Lilith could pose. Mika was afraid that the police would kill the shark upon sighting it, and she endangered the lives of the police officers to protect Lilith. With the help of her partner, Ben, Mika turned off Lilith’s beacon. Thankfully, no one was harmed, but it could have been yet another bloodbath. Adil and his team were now certain that there was a shark in the Seine, and they had to find a way to direct it to the ocean. Meanwhile, Sophia tried to talk sense to Mika, but the young activist did not have faith in the system. The heated argument resulted in Mika accusing Sophia of being responsible for the fatal attack three years ago. Sophia realized that it was pointless talking to Mika, and she walked out of the room. Mika was driven by passion, but she failed to understand the intricacies that such a rescue operation required.

Sophia joined Adil and his team to plan the rescue. With just one week until the triathlon championship, the mayor of Paris refused to put a pause on the celebration. She did not take the threat seriously, and she assumed that a military presence would be enough to bring the situation under control. Sophia tried explaining the danger that Lilith could pose, and she warned the mayor that her PR stunt would turn into a massacre. However, the mayor was more concerned about her media image and the money that was spent on the triathlon than the threat in question. The mayor allowed Sophia and Adil to come up with a plan to bring the situation under control. Since the beacon was turned off, Sophia proposed they bait Lilith and tranquilize her. After that, they would transfer her to the locks at the Port de l’Arsenal, and the Oceanography Institute would handle the release.

How did Mika die?

Sophia had to immediately change her plan when Ben begged her to save Mika. Sophia was shocked to find out that Mika had appealed to the common people on social media to support her effort in directing Lilith to the ocean using sonar. Ben had turned on the beacon to help Mika spot the shark. Lilith was hiding in the old catacombs, and Mika and her team had found a way to the underwater reservoir. Mika had requested activists and common people to gather and support her endeavor. The narrow entrance to the catacomb was all the more concerning since a sudden disaster could lead to panic and block the only way out of the catacomb.

The police and Sophia arrived at the catacomb and requested that the people who had gathered there slowly start evacuating. Mika begged her audience to wait since she was certain that they were almost about to attract Lilith using sonar. And it worked; Lilith and her baby approached Mika. Sophia begged Mika not to touch the baby, but Mika did not follow her instructions. Instead, she caressed the baby to prove to Sophia and her audience that sharks were not dangerous. Sophia believed they had invaded Lilith’s nest, and she repeatedly asked Mika to get out of the water. Adil dove to save Mika, but she resisted. Lilith attacked Mika and swallowed her whole. Her death resulted in panic and hysteria. Many slipped into the water, and by the time they tried to get back up on the edge of the catacomb, Lilith attacked them. Sophia had predicted the massacre, yet she was not taken seriously. She blamed herself for Mika’s and her friends’ deaths, but Adil believed she had done her best to protect them.

How did Sophia and Adil try to save Paris?

Sophia studied Lilith’s baby, killed during the chaos, for the first time up close. She noticed signs of adaptation—such as organs that helped the shark adapt to the salinity of the water and protrusions that helped in navigating fresh water. Sophia guessed that the sharks were looking for the perfect place to breed, and they chose the catacomb to give birth. She could not believe her eyes when she found out that the two-month-old shark was already pregnant. She realized that they were not dealing with a mako but with a new species altogether. Unlike makos, the newly adapted species could reproduce by parthenogenesis. They posed a massive threat to human lives since they had adapted to expand even in unfavorable conditions. The more they reproduced, the more difficult it would be to bring them under control.

Adil and Sophie realized that they had to take immediate action. They approached the mayor in the hopes of convincing her to stop the triathlon but to no avail. The mayor blamed them for not bringing the situation under control as they should have. She refused to go on air and warn Parisians about the shark in the Seine. Sophia could not believe that the mayor was hellbent on hosting the triathlon, even after finding out about the dozen deaths. She rubbished the claim of a shark in the Seine during interviews, and it was evident that she had no plans for dealing with the crisis.

Sophia decided to take matters into her own hands, and Adil joined her. They were both living with the guilt of not saving their teams; Adil abandoned his team in Burkina Faso during his time in the army, and Sophia could never recover from losing her partner and her team to Lilith. So, this time they hoped to save the thousands of lives that were in danger. A few hours before the triathlon, they gathered a small team who were aware of the risk they were about to take. They planned to bomb the nest in the crypt with the help of explosive experts. While the rest of Paris was in a celebratory mood, Sophia and her team were busy taking care of Lilith and her babies. They had to contain the situation before the swimmers got into the Seine for the competition. 

Sophia and Adil were bewildered upon realizing that they were not dealing with a few sharks but hundreds of them. Sophia was right; they had already started to multiply in great numbers. The problem began when one of the explosives failed to turn on. The sharks felt threatened by the sudden presence of humans. By the time Poiccard could initiate the blast, the sharks attacked him, and he was killed on the spot. Sophia warned her team to stick together and not to make any sudden movements, but Adama risked his life nonetheless to turn on the explosive. Adama was killed by the sharks, and Adil struggled to deal with the crisis. Sophia helped Adil swim to the surface, and they watched Lilith move in the direction of the swimmers.

What happened to Lilith?

During Under Paris‘ ending, Lilith attacked the swimmers, and a wave of panic started to spread at the event. The military did not consult the local police before shooting at the sharks. The police warned the military to seize the fire, but they did not pay heed to the warning. There were live shells in the Seine, and the police were afraid that the gunshots could result in a massive massacre. As was anticipated, the shells started to go off, resulting in the destruction of bridges and an overflow of water. People ran for their lives, but with everything going underwater, there was barely any chance of survival. Sophia searched for Adil, and she was relieved to find him, though his condition was critical. 

In Under Paris‘ ending, Adil innocently asked Sophia if the threat was over, and Sophia remained silent. Sharks were swimming all around them, suggesting that there was barely any chance of survival. Sophia and her team had failed to contain the situation, and given their adaptability the sharks would multiply and spread all across the globe. While humans had threatened marine life for years, all of a sudden, a species was about to dominate and take over. Without any access to water, it would be almost impossible for humans to survive, and the rate at which the new species reproduced would make it impossible to contain them. The map in the end credits goes on to show how the new species would spread all across the world. With the controversy surrounding the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Under Paris can be interpreted as a commentary. Parisians have raised several concerns, some of them being that the government is exhausting taxpayer money by hosting the event and that the games are going to disrupt their day-to-day lives. But the government has no intention of backing out. The bigger problem is once again ignored in the hopes of image creation and global attention.

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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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