The Gray Man Ending, Explained
"The Gray Man"'s Explosive Ending Gives Us Hope For a Sequel
Watch out! This post contains spoilers.
Netflix's "The Gray Man" exploded into theaters on July 15 — a week before its streaming release — with an action-packed spy caper deserving of its 129-minute runtime. The Russo Brothers-directed adaptation — based on Mark Greaney's 2009 book — stars Ryan Gosling as prisoner turned CIA operative Sierra Six and Chris Evans as his psychopathic colleague Lloyd Hansen, both on a global manhunt as their organization's darkest secrets threaten to be exposed.
After a mission in Bangkok to take out one of their own, led by Regé-Jean Page's agent Denny Carmichael, goes terribly wrong, Six goes on the run in Europe to prevent the CIA's classified information — stored on a hard drive — from falling into the wrong hands (aka Carmichael's). With assistance from agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas), former CIA chief Margaret Cahill (Alfre Woodard), and mentor/CIA retiree Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), Six wrestles with near-deadly encounters and Lloyd's trigger-happy tactics as the CIA stops at nothing to stop his inevitable betrayal.
At the end of "The Gray Man," Six finds himself at a crossroads when the CIA hard drive is unexpectedly stolen by hired assassin Avik San (Dhanush). The hunt for the device leads Six and Dani to a castle shootout with Lloyd and his team — which includes CIA senior officer Suzanne Brewer (Jessica Henwick) — as well as a rescue mission to save Fitzroy and his 12-year-old niece, Claire (Julia Butters), who are being held captive.
Armed with weapons galore, both parties duke it out in a battle of good against evil until only a few are left standing. The good news is, Dani manages to get the hard drive back from Avik, who willingly gives it up after he realizes Lloyd and his crew "are not honorable people." But Fitzroy sacrifices himself to a hand grenade on the castle's walkway to take down Lloyd, leaving him dead. Thankfully, Six escapes somewhat unscathed from the scene with Claire in tow. That is, until he and Lloyd engage in yet another altercation on the castle grounds, but Claire shoots the latter with a flare gun, knocking off two of his fingers.
Fed up that Six won't back down, Lloyd kidnaps Claire again and disappears into the shadows of the castle's maze. Eventually, Six finds them by a fountain with Lloyd holding Claire at gunpoint threatening to shoot. Meanwhile, Dani is perched atop the maze with an assault rifle locked, loaded, and aimed at Lloyd. Ready to finish their brawl, Lloyd tosses his last gun, and Lloyd lets Claire go so the two can finally fight man to man. Worried for his safety, Six assures Claire he'll be fine, telling her, "It's just another Thursday," per their inside joke from earlier in the movie. She then tells him to "kick his ass."
Lloyd and Six exchange punches and tussle before the former stabs and almost drowns Six in the fountain. However, justice comes when Six nearly strangles Lloyd to death and Suzanne surprisingly delivers the final blow with a shot to the latter's chest, killing him. But the story doesn't end there. Suzanne puts a bullet in Six's knee to make him cooperate with her plan, but not without sharing a shocking story about the CIA's history. Before she, Lloyd, and Carmichael began fighting on the same team in the CIA, the trio actually went to Harvard together, she reveals to Six. According to her, Lloyd and Carmichael's "absurd bromance" made it impossible for her to inform the latter just how much of a liability their colleague was to their organization.
So as part of her revenge, Suzanne tells Six that the rogue contractor will posthumously take the rap for the entire failed mission — including all the destruction left behind in the castle and half of Prague, per his fatal police shootout in the middle of the city. To do that, she enlists Six as one of her witnesses to attest to Lloyd's crimes. In exchange, she ensures Claire will live peacefully while Six goes back to prison.
Back in Washington DC, two weeks after the tragic events, Dani, Carmichael, and Suzanne are all exonerated of their involvement, which Carmichael takes as his cue to destroy the incriminating hard drive against him that could've revealed his illegal affairs of using CIA agents to commit murder for him. Considering how Lloyd died, neither Suzanne nor Carmichael see eye to eye anymore, as the former begins to tap into her authority. If there's a continuation of "The Gray Man," there's surely more to tell of that story.
Fast forward, Claire has been taken to a residence in Virginia, which is heavily guarded by CIA agents to ensure she doesn't escape. Meanwhile, Carmichael and Suzanne take a trip to the facility Six is being held at, where a US army guard tells them he's been "unresponsive" as of late. Turns out, he escaped the prison and made a beeline to rescue Claire, once again.
As she enters her room, Claire discovers Mark Lindsay's "Silver Bird" record with a note attached to it: "Play me loud." She complies, and soon after, multiple gunshots ring throughout the house before Six walks through the door and they happily hug each other. The final scene shows the two jetting off in a black truck, making their escape. To where? Perhaps we'll find out if/when "The Gray Man" is given the green light for a sequel.