Many will be looking for a deeper exploration of what happened at the end of Foe, the Garth Davis film starring Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal.
The movie, based on the 2018 book written by Ian Reid, follows a couple living in the future on a rural farmstead on a dying Earth, who are told that Mescal’s Junior will need to be sent away to spend time on a large space station. While he is away, his wife, Hen, will be left with an artificial human replacement version of her husband.
The story features one big twist halfway through, giving audiences another before the credits roll.
The Ending of Foe Explained
Foe's first twist pulls the rug out from under everyone’s feet halfway through the movie. As it turns out, the version of Paul Mescal’s Junior that audiences have been watching is not the original.
From the very first scene, viewers have been following the Human Substitute of Mescal's character. Those two years the couple had to wait for was the amount of time the real Junior was on the space station.
There were hints of it throughout the film, such as a dead beetle or Junior’s spontaneous jog in the desert.
Without much warning, the real Paul Mescal is brought back. His AI replacement proceeds to be inhumanly stripped down and put to sleep—a horrible scene that proves to be a heavy burden for everyone in the house, especially Hen.
This leads to how the movie ends.
Anyone watching the movie should be able to lock in on how unstable and suboptimal Junior and Hen are together. But, with this new Junior, Hen starts to fall back in love with the man she once knew.
So, when this duplicate is killed, it takes a toll. As one would expect, the complication of her connection to this other man proves troublesome for the original Junior, and their usual arguments start anew.
This leads Hen to finally take off, leaving an empty letter for Junior. But there is another gift: her human substitute.
At first, Junior does not seem to know. But then, it is implied that he knows this is not the real Hen, though he does not seem to care.
After all, this is his perfect wife. Meanwhile, the actual Hen gets to live her life and go on the adventures she has wanted to experience her whole life.
Why Audiences Aren't Loving Foe Movie
While it is widely agreed that the lead actors, Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal, give honorable performances, they cannot quite save the story itself. It also does not help that the characters and their relationship, the heart of the story, are far from likable.
Watching the film, some felt Mescal’s Junior was just a miserable human being. So it was unexpected that not only was it revealed this was the replacement, but somehow Hen started to fall back in love with him.
The film's sci-fi elements also beg further exploration and could have used a little more focus. It's also unclear how Hen would have just casually gotten herself a replacement—especially as she wasn't being drafted to go onto the space station.
For those wanting to explore the story further, be sure to check out the original book.
Foe is now streaming on Prime Video.