Netflix's The Mother ending explained — a setup for a sequel

Jennifer Lopez in The Mother
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Mother, one of the big new movies to watch this weekend online stars Jennifer Lopez as the titular assassin, whose name we do not know. What we do know is that she and her estranged daughter Zoe (Lucy Paez) only come back together because of some very bad men.

Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes), one of The Mother's exes, is out for revenge, and is one of the last foes in their path. The Netflix film's ending, though, is a chaotic and blood brawl that has at least one moment of confusion.

Fortunately, I've watched The Mother, and I can explain it all below. Of course, we have to put a spoiler warning first and foremost!

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

The Mother ending explained

The Mother's ex-boyfriend Adrian, the big villain of the film, is the last baddie alive at the end of the film. In Alaska, he tracks them down after The Mother has taught Zoe how to defend herself in case Adrian actually gets there. Of course, he does, after they go to a hospital — putting them on his radar. 

Before Adrian gets there, The Mother sends Zoe off to stay with her friend Jons — which should be safe. Of course, Zoe doesn't want to let her mom be at risk, and leaves. She comes back as Adrian and his thugs have tracked down The Mother, and they manage to kidnap Zoe, even though she gets a good stab in. 

(L, R), Lucy Paez and Jennifer Lopez, who holds a gun, are in the wintery woods, in The Mother

(Image credit: Eric Milner/Netflix)

But Adrian's men manage to get up and take Zoe captive. The Mother soon frees Zoe, and the two work together to pick off his men.

Then, Adrian or one of his goons has Zoe in their scope, as a red dot appears on her forehead. Adrian demands The Mother meet him, or he'll kill her. She leaves, and demands that she run. Zoe does not obey the orders, and observes her mother and Adrian fighting — from a perch, with a sniper rifle. 

Zoe manages to get a clean head-shot that leaves blood on the window and the car slows down. Zoe kicks Adrian's body out, and runs across the snowy plain to her mother.

As Adrian's got The Mother captive, Zoe takes a shot on them that we soon learn was not with a real bullet. In an ensuing fall, The Mother dislocates her shoulder (or is it her elbow?) when colliding against a rock, and Adrian also hits many an object?

The Mother sees Adrian driving away with Zoe in the car, and struggles to set up a sniper rifle on the moving target. While she screams "no!," which suggests she's not sure who she shot, we see she got a clean shot on Adrian that leaves his blood on the window as the car slows down. Zoe kicks Adrian's body out, and runs across the snowy plain to her mother. 

Lucy Paez as Zoe in The Mother

(Image credit: Eric Milner/Netflix)

Then, we cut back to "reality" as The Mother is driving Zoe to reunite with her adoptive mother. She tells her "Go to your mother," which prompts Zoe to hug her, and say "I love you." The Mother says "I love you too."

Lopez then dons her sunglasses after Zoe and her adoptive mother embrace and cry. The mothers share a look, and our hero drives off. We then flash-forward to Zoe in a park, roller-skating — as The Mother looks down from above, keeping a watchful eye.

Zoe sees her from outside, pantomimes shooting her, and The Mother whispers "you got me." Zoe's adoptive parents walk up, and The Mother goes away.

Outlook: The Mother 2 seems all too possible

The Mother may have trained Zoe for survival, but we don't know what other evil men lurk in the shadows. If this movie is a success for Netflix, which it feels possible, another reunion could very well happen.

Right now, The Mother is not on Netflix's Top 10 Movies in the US list yet, so its performance is to-be-determined. Rotten Tomatoes, audience approval numbers are solid, though, at 90%, which beats the tepid 47% critics score.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.