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Fast X ending explained (and what it means for the Fast & Furious franchise)

Fast X's final moments were certainly both fast and furious, and seemingly deadly for multiple characters

Fast X
Image credit: Universal Studios

If there’s one thing that the Fast and Furious franchise loves, it’s a good surprise return, as everyone who saw Han show up in F9: The Fast Saga is all too aware. So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the ending of Fast X ups the ante in that regard… as well as maybe killing off a fan-favorite character in the process.

Spoilers for Fast X follow, so beware!

What happens in the Fast X ending?

It should be remembered that Fast X was never intended to be a stand-alone chapter of the Fast & Furious series; from the very start, it was intended as the first of a two-part story and now even that might be extended — all of which is to say,Fast X ends on what isn’t literally a cliffhanger, but comes pretty close.

Fast X
Image credit: Universal Pictures

Throughout the entire movie, new villain Dante (Jason Momoa) has revealed himself to be the man with a plan, as ridiculous as it may seem — which makes it entirely reasonable under the explosive logic of the movie that he manages to seize seeming victory from the jaws of defeat by revealing that it has always been his plan to let Dom (Vin Diesel) rescue his son Brian from Dante, so that they could end up in the same car, on top of a dam, just in time for the first of two shocking climactic moments: Aimes, the head of The Agency in the wake of Mr. Nobody’s disappearance in F9, is actually working for Dante, allowing him to apparently shoot down a plane containing Han, Tej, Roman, and Ramsay, with all four apparently dying in an explosion as their plane crashes.

But wait, that’s not dramatic enough, leading to a second shock moment… albeit one that’s been glimpsed in trailers for the movie. After watching his friends die, Dom then has to race into action as two gas tankers surrounding him explode on the top of the dam, leaving Dom and Brian to speed down the front of the dam to escape the explosion as it reaches for them… but even when they get to the bottom in one piece, they’re still in danger, because as the movie ends, Dante blows up the entire dam with Dom and Brian right there in the face of both the explosion and all of the water that looks as if it’s about to drown them both.

Things aren’t looking good for the extended Toretto family, safe to say. (And that’s ignoring Jakob’s death earlier in the movie; sorry, John Cena fans.)

Wait, is that how Fast X ends?

Fast X
Image credit: Universal Pictures

Actually, no; the real end of the movie cuts back to Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and Cipher (Charlize Theron), who have escaped a CIA black site in Antarctica (don’t ask) and look set to make a long trek to freedom, only to be interrupted by a submarine. Who’s in charge of the submarine? None other than Gisele (Gal Gadot), who everyone thought was dead after the events of Fast & Furious 6. See what I mean about the series’ love of a good return?

So, the movie ends with the shock return of Gisele?

Well, only if you ignore the mid-credit scene, which features another surprise return, in the form of Luke Hobbs, as played by Dwayne Johnson — he gets a call from Dante, in which he’s told that Dante holds Hobbs as responsible for his father’s death as he does Dom and crew… which doesn’t entirely make sense, as Hobbs was actually the guy who directly killed Hernan Reyes way back in Fast Five, surely making him more responsible than anyone else, but… sure, whatever; we didn’t think we’d ever see Hobbs in a core Fast & Furious movie again after he fell out with Vin Diesel, so who cares about if it makes sense or not?

(Director Louis Leterrier has said that Johnson returned after seeing a rough cut of the movie and loving it.)

Does this mean that Fast X kills off the main cast of the series but sets up a final chapter with an entirely different cast?

Fast X
Image credit: Universal Pictures

That would only be true if this wasn’t a series that loves surprise returns… because in doing so, it’s established that it’s very hard to actually kill the good guys in these movies. Remember, both Han and Gisele were seemingly definitively killed off in earlier installments before coming back, so at this stage, it would be entirely in keeping with the franchise’s logic if Vin and Brian survived the destruction of the dam by growing gils and swimming to safety before catching a nitro-powered jet ski back to dry land. Are Tej, Ramsay, Han, and Roman dead in a plane crash? Of course not. But seeing just how they survived, that’s the fun part.

The Fast & Furious franchise is one of the most exciting, over-the-top thrill rides in contemporary blockbuster cinema — and it got that way by concentrating on the spectacle more than the common sense. Fast X, in that regard, upholds the series’ tradition in fine form, and leaves everything well placed for a follow-up that is almost guaranteed to be just as much fun.

Check out our Fast & Furious watch order now, so you can know which movies to check out to try and keep track of who killed what where and why it doesn’t count anyway.

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Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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