Everything Everywhere All At Once Ending, Explained
How the Multiverse Chaos of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" Wraps Up
Watch out! This post contains spoilers.
The new A24 science-fiction film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is a sweeping multiverse saga in which one woman, Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), just wants to finish her taxes, but ends up having to save literally everything and everyone in existence. The movie, written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, also stars Stephanie Hsu as Evelyn's daughter, Joy, and Ke Huy Quan as Evelyn's husband, Waymond. The action hops between countless universes, which range from the realistic — one where Evelyn is a movie star — to the absurd — one where everyone has hot-dog fingers. All this chaos leads to a thrilling ending, but with all the talk of multiverses, it can be a little confusing. Let's break down what happens at the film's conclusion.
As Evelyn learns, in the original universe where they discovered that people can hop between universes, Evelyn pushed Joy to become the best at it. But Evelyn went too far, which broke Joy's mind, sending her ricocheting through all universes at all times. Joy turned into the villain Jobu Tupaki, who's made it her mission to hunt down all Evelyns in all universes.
To fight her chaotic onslaught, Evelyn decides to become just like Jobu. Evelyn accesses as many universes as she can, giving herself the powers of other Evelyns. She starts rapidly moving through the different timelines, too, and she and Joy face off in almost every one. Joy reveals that she really searched out Evelyn not to destroy her, but so that she wouldn't be alone, and that her plan to destroy the universe using a giant, all-consuming "bagel" of her own creation was really an attempt to stop existing herself. The noise in her head from all the different universes is too much.
Yeoh and Hsu bring such depth and warmth to Evelyn and Joy, no matter what wacky universe they find themselves in.
Evelyn starts to see things Joy's way — everything is meaningless, and it would be best to end it. But Waymond is the one who convinces Evelyn it's the wrong way to look at things. They still have love, and that's the point of everything. The pair ping between universes — the one with the bagel, the one where she and Joy are fighting at the IRS office, the one where she and Joy are fighting in the parking lot at her Lunar New Year party, the one where she and Joy are just rocks — and Evelyn tries to convince Joy that there is another way, and another choice behinds endless cynicism. At the IRS office, Evelyn uses love to subdue the fighters Joy has amassed, utilizing information she's learned about them in the different universes to give them the things they've desired. But Joy still wants to accept the "bagel" and end the constant noise in her mind.
Joy confesses in the parking lot that being around Evelyn is painful for her and that she thinks they should just stop being together at all. Evelyn admits that sometimes she feels the same way, but she can admit now that she's hurt Joy, mostly because she sees herself in her. She begs Joy to understand that with work, time, and love they can make it through this multiverse nightmare they're experiencing.
Joy finally accepts her mother and her love. At the end of the movie, we see the family — with Joy and her girlfriend — head to the IRS building again to fix their taxes. The camera focuses on Evelyn, who's having a hard time staying present in the moment with the voices of all the other multiverses in her head. She starts to pull away for a second, but, grounded by her family, she stays right there. Though we don't see inside Joy's mind the same way, we know she's going through the same thing, too — holding all the other universes in her mind, but choosing to stick right there.
Ultimately, the ending is hopeful. Everything might be falling apart around us, and maybe there's nothing we can do to stop it, but if we connect to others with love and kindness, anything is possible. Yeoh and Hsu bring such depth and warmth to Evelyn and Joy, no matter what wacky universe they find themselves in (even the one where their rocks), that the ending is an earned and sweet resolution to the chaos.