Lou: The Netflix thriller’s ending, explained


Lou is a 2022 thriller movie where young girl is kidnapped amidst a brutal storm in a secluded island town. Her mother enlists help of a woman named Lou to find her.

Beware, spoilers ahead!

The day of the storm- and the people involved

Lou is an old retired woman shown hunting and living alone in the forest with her dog Jax on Orcas Island. Her personality seems no-nonsense. She is seen withdrawing a large sum of money and talking to the town sheriff.

Coming home, she reminds Hannah of her due rent. Hannah lives on Lou’s property a distance away with her young daughter Vee. A man named Chris, probably Hannah’s romantic interest, pays a visit to them too.

This particular day, there’s a huge storm coming. At her home, Lou burns some Farsi written papers, photographs etc. and writes that she has left enough meat for Jax and money on the table. She locks Jax in a room, she prepares to shoot herself.

The storm poses a perfect ploy for the kidnapping

Thunder, rain and winds lash the island by evening. When Hannah tucks Vee in her bed, the electricity suddenly goes out. She goes to check the meter in storm but discovers something horrible. Chris’s dead body in his van.

Earlier, when going back, he gave lift to a man drenched in storm who kills him. Scared, Hannah rushes back home where she finds Vee missing. She knows the kidnapper is her husband- Philip, an ex- trained army man- whom she’d believed dead by his own explosion.

Hannah can’t contact the police so she frantically goes to Lou’s and upon discovering the situation, Lou prepares herself to help. They embark out in the storm.

The sick adventure and chase

Vee’s father, Philip, convinces Vee that they are out on an adventure. They leave a dilapidated cabin and in a windowed carrier, he carries her. Meanwhile, Lou and Hannah find 2 men who are apparently Philip’s accomplices. Lou disguises and kills them, finding relevant information to know Philip is going to Eagle Bay.

Lou reveals she was a part of the CIA. Hannah also tells how Philip seemed to be tormented by a hurt so bad, her love couldn’t heal him. They eventually reach the bay, where waves are impassable. Lou finds yet another cryptic note and photo in an abandoned ship. She asks Hannah to go get a signal to the sheriff via the radio she found.

A twisted truth comes to light

As she goes, Lou moves in direction of the forest where she saw smoke. She finds Vee sleeping in a cave but Philip corners her. A huge secret is spilled: Philip is Lou’s son. She apparently used him on her mission in Iraq to get close to a target. He attacks her and tells her to come to the lighthouse before leaving.

As Hannah comes and sees the notes, she confronts Lou about her past. Lou tells a brief and Hannah connects the dots and leaves Lou with the flashbacks of her young son calling her to save him.

Hannah finds Vee and confronts Philip

Early in the morning, the sheriff comes and helps Lou. She sends him in for the first-aid kit but escapes to the lighthouse. Hannah has already come face to face with Philip. Using the warning code when Philip used to get in his ‘moods’ earlier, she sends Vee away, pointing a gun at him. He mocks her and she shoots him on the shoulder.

Another shot and then he throws the gun away, engaging in a hand combat. Hannah sneakily immobilizes him with a knife and runs down the lighthouse. In the basement she finds explosives set to go off and Vee. Lou comes there and Vee escapes through a hatch. She changes the frequency of the detonator ruining his plan. They escape at once.

Outside, Lou see’s CIA approaching. Using a makeshift detonator, she blasts the lighthouse, gaining their attention. Lou gets Hannah to go with Vee and confronts Philip herself. They fight in the currents and lastly, Philip tearily hugs Lou. She says sorry just before the CIA helicopter open fires.

What’s in Hannah’s future and is Lou dead?

The scene cuts off to the present, CIA paying Hannah a visit, yet again. The sheriff is there, talking to Vee, showing her his two bracelets. After they leave, sheriff wishes Hannah well for her journey to Seattle.

They’re on a ferry, looking happy. Jax is with them and curiously looks behind. Just as the movie ends, we see a short glimpse of a brunette watching them, a bracelet just like the one the sheriff wore, on her hand. This kind of makes us believe that Lou might not be dead after all and is keeping a watchful eye on her family, with the sheriff’s help, no less.

Motherhood is a big theme in the film. While talking to Decider, Allison Janney- Lou- says, “Lou has regrets about what happened with her role as a mother and the choices she made. I think she thinks was making the best choice she could to protect her son. It didn’t work out so well, as most things didn’t in her life.”