Swan Song (2021) ending explained – it doesn’t matter if life goes on

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 18, 2021 (Last updated: February 1, 2023)
ending of the Apple TV+ film Swan Song (2021)

This article discusses the ending of the Apple TV+ film Swan Song (2021) and will contain spoilers.

Benjamin Cleary’s debut feature Swan Song ended on an ambiguous note. The ending may be not confusing as other sci-fi classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Inception, but it is quite a thought-provoking finale that left the audience in a mix of emotions of melancholy and cheer.

Towards the end, we see that Cameron becomes paranoid about Jack’s (his clone) involvement in his life. He doesn’t like his mimicking of becoming him. But as fate strikes, Cameron gets a massive seizure the day he is going to confront his family. The doctors hurriedly get him to the facility and give Jack the green light to live Cameron’s life without getting Cameron’s content on the matter. There is a condition applied though. Jack has to stream all the live events via his contact lenses.

When Cameron gets his consciousness back, he is quite angry with the decision of the doctors. Though, he finds some assurance when he watches the live videos of Jack’s interaction with his family. But, this soon falls apart as Jack removes his contact lenses more often and Cameron doesn’t get much of the assurance about his family.

This leads Cameron leads into paranoia. One day, he gets a nightmare about Jack is getting angry with his son, Cory after he doesn’t listen to him. So, he decides to take matters into his own hands by visiting his family. So, he sneaks out of the facility without informing the doctors. Eventually, he comes home. There he finds that everything is normal. He sees Jack and Poppy sleeping together happily. Then he sneaks out of his workspace, finding his drawings there.

Swan Song (2021) ending explained

At that moment, Jack wakes up and goes to the workspace, finding Cameron. At this moment, when we expect of having a confrontation between Jack and Cameron, Jack gently says, “Just do what you have to do”. Then we see Cameron and Jack swap their clothes. Cameron goes to Cory and has a drink with him with edamame. During that time, Cameron breaks down into tears, hugs Cory. Then he goes to Poppy and tells her how much he loves her. By hugging her, he understands how important he is to his family. At that moment, he accepts his fate and leads Jack to take his place.

The scene cuts to the facility island where Cameron, now sitting and drawing the beauty of nature. Doctor Scott comes to him and announces that Jack now becomes officially Cameron Turner. She also says that he leaves something for him. As Cameron goes to see that, he finds that Jack has sent a video telling Poppy that she loves him. As Poppy tells him that she loves him, the camera focuses on Cameron’s face. Tears roll down his cheeks; don’t know whether they are of the joy of having seen his responsibility on the right hand or melancholy of being left behind.

Maybe that’s upon us. But with his last interaction, it gets clear that the show must go on. Cameron gets that. And, that’s why it doesn’t matter what are the emotions Cameron feels at the end. For him and his family, life will go on. And, that is the biggest takeaway from it.

What do you think of the ending of the Apple TV+ film Swan Song (2021)? Comment below. 

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