The Gray Man ending explained — will Six save Donald and Claire?

By Marc Miller
Published: July 17, 2022 (Last updated: July 19, 2022)
The Gray Man ending explained — will Six save Donald and Claire?

This article contains spoilers for The Gray Man’s ending.

Ready Steady Cut film critic M.N. Miller called The Gray Man,Gripping, tense, and action-packed.”

Based on the book of the same name by Mark Greenway, the Russo Brothers’ adaptation of The Gray Man follows an agent with no file for the last 25 years. His name is Six (Ryan Gosling). He is the last agent from the defunct Sierra program, run by his mentor Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton). Donald pulled him out of prison for killing his abusive father to be a secret agent. This is like Catch Me If You Can, but deadlier. 

The Gray Man ending explained

While on a mission with his partner Dani (Ana de Armas), his target hands over the information about illegal CIA dealings. This target was also a former Sierra agent called “Four”. This was the real mission of the operation that Six was kept in the dark about. The mastermind behind the plan is Denny Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page). His right hand is Suzanna Brewer (Jessica Henwick). The devious Carmichael keeps her around in case he needs a fallen agent if anything goes wrong. 

Six secretly sends Donald the information, then sends it off to his former ally in Portugal, Maurice Cahill (Alfre Woodard), who is retired and is dying of lung cancer. Carmichael hires a psychopath on the payroll who loves his job a little too much. That man is Lloyd (Chris Evans), who oversees tracking down the damning evidence. He kidnaps Fitzroy’s niece, Claire (Julia Butters). Donald gives up Six, who is on a transport he set up for him. (Later, it is communicated that it was understood Six would survive the attack, but that means Donald gave up a team he trusted). However, Lloyd and the CIA do not realize that Donald and Claire are the only “family” in Six’s life. 

When Six survives the attack on the flight, he is trapped by an illegal document forger, but before this man gives him the serial number of Claire’s pacemaker. (He later takes that number to a hospital where Six tracks for her location). That forger traps him and calls in Lloyd for the reward, but Dani saves him after Carmichael accuses her of helping Six. (She figures out his location by looking at the reflection of text messages on his glasses). 

When they eventually leave Germany and make it to Prague to meet Maurice (all while Llyod tortures Donald to get his former colleagues’ information), she reveals what was on those government files. They include unsanctioned assassination, murders, and bombings. Lloyd’s team storms her home, but Dani and Six escape with the information. Maurice stays behind. Since she only has a few months to live, she blows herself up with most of the bad guys with her. How? She fills the home with gas from her stove and lights her zippo. 

Six and Dani locate where the CIA is holding Claire. Six infiltrates the house while Dani covers his back with a sniper rifle. While he sneaks her out with Donald, she tries to get back the evidence stolen by a Llyod hired gun, a man name Avik San (Dhanush), who eventually gives her the drive because he says these are not honorable people. Donald’s shot and has Six escape with Claire while he blows himself up with a grenade. Lloyd survives, tracks down Six and Claire, and takes her while trying to escape through the hedge maze. Six catches up to them and tells Claire to go meet his partner at the end of the trail, and while she begs him to come with her, he tells her it is just another Thursday. 

So, they have a showdown. We watch Six dominate the fight until Lloyd pulls out a sharp knife. As the tables have turned, Llyod attempts to drown Six in the fountain (I would have killed for “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts to start playing at that point), but our guy remembers how his father did the same thing to him as a boy. This gives him enough motivation to fight back. As the tables turn again for Six, he is about to finish him off when Brewer comes running up and kills Lloyd with a gunshot to the chest. 

She even shoots Six but explains he will live. Brewer and Carmichael pin the blame on Lloyd, a rogue government contractor. The CIA does not want to look further, so everything is brushed under the rug. Dani, who made a deal to protect Claire, backed this up. She tells Carmichael that the deal is off if anything happens to her. Eventually, Brewer and Carmicheal head to see Six being kept in an underground used prison hospital, but they find he has escaped. 

The film ends with Claire being forced to stay in a safe house set up and guarded by the CIA. Claire returns to her room and finds a note asking to play Mark Lindsay’s Silver Bird loudly. When she does, she hears noises around and in the house. Fist’s punching, bullets flying, and maybe even some fierce leg kicks punching in some doors or even some bad guys’ torsos. She sits on the ground, covering her ears, and begins to rock back and forth, upset. 

Suddenly, as Lindsay’s soaring vocals ask that silver bird to take her away, a man opens the door. It is Six, and he asks Claire if he is “allowed to chew gum in here?” She begins to cry and hugs him. Six and Claire then leave the safe house by car. 

You’ll be able to stream The Gray Man on Netflix from 22/7. Do you have any thoughts on The Gray Man’s ending? Let us know in the comments.

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