The ending & meaning of In Good Hands, explained

In Good Hands

The latest Netflix release In Good Hands is a movie about the last five months of Melisa (Asli Enver), a single mother diagnosed with terminal cancer. During this period, she comes to terms with her illness and deals with her overly protective son Can (Mert Ege Ak), while looking for a future that would keep her son secure.

In a tear dropping story about love, commitment and acceptance set in modern-day Istanbul, the movie delivers a vague ending without directly showing what happens. However, Ketche, the director of the film, leaves small breadcrumbs during the whole story for the reader to understand this tragic ending.

Caution: Spoilers ahead

Key points of the film

  • The strong relationship between Firat and Can towards the end of the film helped them both to cope up with Melisa’s death.
  • The incomplete puzzle of Melisa shows an unfulfilled space in her life; a void later filled by Firat.
  • The toilet roll is a constant reminder of the lack of a father in Can’s life.

Melisa is diagnosed with a terminal illness

The film starts with Melisa in an eerie doctor’s office where she narrates that she was just diagnosed with a terminal illness giving her only 5 months to live. Melisa’s friend Fatos (Ezgi Senler) suggests she start dating to look for a potential father figure for her son Can. Although Melisa declines this offer, she stumbles onto a not so friendly businessman (Kaan Urgancioglu) at a coffee shop and decides to pursue him.

The movie also shows Melisa’s house filled with toilet rolls and a jigsaw puzzle with one piece missing, although the reasons behind this aren’t explained yet.

Leaving Can with Fatos, Melisa goes to a karaoke bar where she meets the businessman again; he introduces himself as Firat. Melisa spends the night with Firat eating mussels and drinking beer. During the night, Melisa jokingly says that she only has 5 months to live; a claim that Firat perceives as a joke.

Firat tries to bond with a reluctant Can

Firat invites Melisa and Can to dinner at a high-end restaurant. Having resentment towards Firat, Can sets the tablecloth on fire and they come home wet after the fire triggered the water sprinklers.

Firat does everything he can to gain Can’s approval. He tries to spend time with Can and takes him to the races but Can doesn’t comply. Finally, Can gives in and starts to like Firat after he confronts a customer who made advances on Melisa. Firat also gets Can a dog.

Melisa reveals Can’s dad had left home one night to get toilet rolls and had passed away in an accident. Due to this past trauma, Can keeps lots and lots of toilet rolls so that Melisa wouldn’t be succumbed to the same fate, revealing the reason behind the toilet rolls.

Firat finds out about Melisa’s terminal illness after a shocking revelation

One night after the three protagonists attend a party, Can sees a man and recognises him as his dead father and runs towards him. The man, visibly shaken asks Melisa if this is true. Melisa faints and is rushed to a hospital.

The doctor tells Firat about Melisa’s illness. A shaken Firat accuses Melisa of manipulating and tricking him to love her so that he will take care of Can after Melisa’s death. Melisa also gets hallucinations of being on a beach wearing shoes on a quiet evening watching the sun go down.

Firat is revealed to be the father of Can

Melisa tells Firat a story of how she met him many years ago in the same Karaoke bar. They had danced together and later they spend the night together. Firat then leaves Melisa promising to come back. He takes a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and draws a face on it and takes the piece with him revealing the missing piece of the puzzle. “I was far along when I found out about Can. There was no turning back. It was the smartest stupidity of my life,” Melisa says. She also says that she told Can that her father is a school friend of hers who went to Germany.

Melisa then goes home with her illness getting more serious where she coughs up blood. She then decides to leave Can with her friend Fatos and move away.

Meanwhile, Firat gets drunk and goes to the Karaoke bar and fights with some people as a vindication of his actions. The next morning Firat tracks Can down and go to see Melisa where she is wakened up to the sound of Firat and Can preparing breakfast. They all eat together and Firat gives the missing piece of the puzzle to Melisa. That night Melisa indirectly reveals that she is close to dying. The movie shows the sunset that Melisa was hallucinating before. The sunset and the beach are now empty with the waves taking away Melisa’s shoes revealing she had passed away.

Melisa passes away and Firat takes responsibility for Can

The next day, Firat wakes up to see Melisa gone. She had completed the puzzle and had left with all the toilet rolls. The puzzle symbolises that Can’s life is now complete because he is with his father. The toilet rolls are also not needed now since Firat will be there.

The movie ends with Firat and Can spending a day at the beach. Can say he cannot find the right words to express his sadness. Firat gives Can a book Melisa had compiled with scribbles and paintings of Can and Firat. Firat asks Can be his roommate and Can agree under some conditions. Can also reveal that Melisa had written another book titled ‘Understanding Can’ as a user guide to parenting her son. The film ends with Firat and Can spending time together at the sea.

The ending of the movie is sure to bring tears to any viewer with a strong performance by a talented cast. The ending also teaches the viewers about the inevitability of death while giving a strong message about accepting past mistakes. However, the movie had got mixed ratings from critics.