This article discusses the ending of the Amazon film Master (2022) and will contain spoilers.
The story is essentially about three black women striving to find their place at a prestigious New England university whose frosty elitism may disguise something more sinister. Professor Gail Bishop (Regina Hall) has been promoted to “Master” of a residence hall, the first time at storied Ancaster College that a Black woman has held the post.
Gail finds herself wrapped up in dramas of Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee), a Black freshman who is staying in a room that is meant to be haunted. Gail, whilst trying to fulfill the duties of Master and maintain order, must question not if the school is haunted, but who is it haunted by. Liv Beckman (Amber Gray), a professor in the middle of her own racially charged tenure review, is friends with Gail and plays a pivotal part in the story.
Amazon film Master (2022) ending explained
Towards the end, there is a powerful scene where Jasmine is found hanging in her dorm room by Gail, who screams and pleads for her life. The next shot is of Gail packing her things away. This death isn’t surprising but is still shocking and is a movement in pushing Gail’s character and storyline along. This death is a driving force for the last twenty minutes of the film. Gail’s energy and motivations have changed.
Gail visits Liv’s mother who reveals that Liv is white and has been lying the whole time. This causes Gail to have an outburst where she declares she was never the master; she was the maid and was brought in to clean things up. Liv insists she is black, that she is the bastard child of a black man. This conversation brings up a lot of angst and confusion around identity, who they are, and who they want to be. The final scenes are with Gail looking at the room around her, and all the people around are the people in the photos around her. As if they are preserved in history. Gail softly whispers, “it’s never going to change”. With the dark scenery, this line is delivered perfectly. The next shot is of Gail leaving the campus and being approached by security for her campus ID. Yet the white people around her aren’t challenged for their IDs. Again, a subtle hint at casual social racism and inequality that black people experience every day. We then watch Gail walk through the campus, in the dark, into the night.
This is a very powerful ending. The realization that you can’t change anything, the racism and opinions and inequality, is a powerful and awful reminder that whilst we have progressed, it still isn’t enough, and is that progression as powerful and as long-lasting as we hope to believe?
With a gentle pace, this ending is about discovering identity, not necessarily about giving up, but about acceptance. Racism shouldn’t be accepted, but there are some battles we are still fighting, and unfortunately, there are some that are never going to be won. History will always repeat itself, and this isn’t always a good thing.
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