Those Who Wish Me Dead ending explained — what’s next for these smokejumpers?

By Michael Frank
Published: May 14, 2021
ending of the HBO Max release Those Who Wish Me Dead

This article discusses the ending of the HBO Max release Those Who Wish Me Dead, so it will contain major spoilers. 

Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead Western, forest fire thriller finds Angelina Jolie filling the shoes of Hannah, a smokejumper protecting a boy whose father was murdered for valuable government secrets. Jolie outruns a growing fire in the Montana woods, lightning strikes, and two assassins (Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult) in an attempt to save herself and young Connor (Finn Little). Jon Bernthal joins as a sheriff, hopeful of keeping the peace. Oh, and Tyler Perry pops up.

As the fire grows towards the end of the film, Hannah must decide to save herself, save Connor, or find a way to save the both of them. Stung by flashbacks of a deadly decision when fighting a previous fire, Hannah must travel across the forest, continually staying out of the grasps of natural and human captors. Who survives the fire? Who dies in flames? And what’s next for those that somehow come out of this whole ordeal with their lives?

HBO Max’s Those Who Wish Me Dead — the ending explained

Once Hannah unites with Finn, they race across the landscape, hoping to outrun the assassins. She survives a bolt of lightning bolt mere feet away and heads towards the fire. Jack (Gillen) and Patrick (Hoult) Blackwell pursue them, running into trouble from Ethan (Bernthal) and Allison (Medina Senghore) Sawyer, a sheriff, and his pregnant wife who run a survival school. 

So, who survives once the dust settles and the flames die down? Allison shoots and kills Jack, while the assassins manage to hit Ethan, leading to his eventual death following the fire-filled night. Allison survives by breathing through a gas mask and staying in a watchtower, rescued by Hannah’s fellow smokejumpers. Her survival school training came in handy, and their unborn baby seems to have safely made it through a precarious 24 hours. 

Patrick Blackwell follows Hannah and Finn into the fire. She tells the boy to head towards a river, holding his breath from the smoke of the fire. Instead, he sticks back, and together, they team up to fatally injure Patrick with the use of an ax and a little help from the impending fire. They run down to the river and jump in, laying on their backs and breathing the outside air as little as possible. And they survive! 

On the next morning, Finn has a chance to talk to reporters to share his dad’s secrets, implicating government officials and others in some sort of scandal. Hannah looks at Finn like she might be willing to adopt him, or at least find him a home in which she can still be a part of his life. The fire has stopped, and there’s a stillness in the Montana forest. Most likely, Hannah will go back to fighting fires and jumping from planes and joking about parachutes, and saving lives in the process. 

For Jolie and Sheridan, a sequel makes little sense, but the collaboration could last into future projects. Sheridan currently has a full plate, as a co-creator of Yellowstone, now in its fourth season on the Paramount Network. Still, he looks content to continue making films about the Midwest and the expanse of the Northern U.S.

What do you think of the ending of the HBO Max release Those Who Wish Me DeadComment below with your interpretations and opinions.

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