The Mother Ending Explained – does Mother regain custody of Zoe?

May 12, 2023 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
M.N. Miller 3
Ending Explained, Film, Netflix, Streaming Service

We discuss the Ending of the 2023 Netflix film The Mother, which will contain spoilers.

Global superstar Jennifer Lopez stars in The Mother, an action film by Whale Rider director Niki Caro. The story follows Lopez, simply known as “Mother,” a former extraordinarily successful military operative with over 40 confirmed kills from two military conflicts.

It also helps that Mother is great at hitting a target with a sniper rifle from over 1,300 kilometers away.

After her discharge, she went to work with illegal arms dealer Adrian Lovell and connected him to Hector Álvarez. Mother then decided she wanted out, trying to strike a deal after being eight months pregnant.

After attempting to make a deal with Special Agent Cruise, Adrian infiltrates the safe house, killing agents and stabbing Mother in the stomach.

Mother saves herself by making a makeshift bomb that injures Adrian. The authorities rescued her and placed her child into witness protection.

Mother goes on the run, living in Alaska, until her former employers use her now 12-year-old daughter, Zoe, as a pawn to lure her out of hiding.

The Mother (2023) Ending Explained

Is Hector Zoe’s father?

The question of whether Hector is Zoe’s father is never answered clearly by Mother. In the movie, the script states that Mother dated both arms dealers, including Adrian and Hector Álvarez. However, when Alvarez’s henchmen kidnap Zoe, the question is raised.

Mother and Special Agent Cruise can rescue Zoe, but Alvarez corners her with a gun and asks if the little girl is his. Mother replies, “Does it matter?” She ends up killing him to escape.

Is Adrian Zoe’s father?

Whether Adrian is Zoe’s father is never answered directly, but there is enough evidence to conclude he is, in fact, the father. This all despite stabbing Mother in the stomach with a large, sharp knife to kill her and her unborn child. For one, at the 57:31 mark, Adrian attempts to kidnap Zoe after her initial rescue and holds her head in his hands lovingly.

At the 38:17 mark, Mother arranges for Hector and Adrian to work together. She challenges him that he cannot dance as well as Hector in a flashback, where Adrian then grabs her ass. She tells Cruise she became pregnant, which hints at Adrian being the father. It should be noted, though, at the 40:52 mark, Mother means Cruise that Zoe is not either’s, only “mine.”

What did Mother try to make a deal with the FBI?

After becoming pregnant, Mother discovered that Hector and Adrian were not only smuggling weapons but had also become human traffickers. Suspecting that there was more going on than just moving guns, she checked Adrian’s shipping crates.

In the first crate, she only found assault rifles in wooden boxes, but she heard coughing and whimpering coming from another container. Upon opening it, she found dozens of neglected children. Mother called the authorities and tried to strike a deal

How does Mother save Zoe?

Mother saves Zoe from Adrian in Alaska by shooting him in the head with her sniper rifle while trying to drive away from him. After being bitten by a wolf puppy, Mother takes Zoe to a clinic but gives the doctor her real name. Mother knows Adrian will be shown that information because it was put into a public database.

Mother leaves Zoe with her former commander, who lives nearby, but Zoe escapes and returns to Mother. Adrian’s associates then capture Mother, but after killing a dozen or so bad guys on snowmobiles, Mother gets her back. Adrian holds Mother at gunpoint, but Zoe shoots at both of them, trying to defend her biological parent.

The bullets, however, are packed with salt, which is used to scare away wolves.

Adrian is injured but grabs Zoe and throws her into a truck. From a couple of football fields away, with her arm injured, Mother takes a shot, killing Adrian and saving Zoe after the car stops.

Does Mother regain custody of Zoe?

No, Mother does not regain custody of Zoe. After rescuing her, Mother returns Zoe to her adoptive mother. However, the Mother rents an apartment where she can watch Zoe play outside at school. One day, Zoe stops skating and looks up at the apartment window, making a fake rifle-shooting sound with her mouth and hands.

Mother touches her heart, revealing a bracelet with the word ‘mom’ on it

What did you think of the ending of the 2023 Netflix film The Mother? Comment below.

More Stories

Find where to watch this and more with our Discovery Tool

Explore Now

3 thoughts on “The Mother Ending Explained – does Mother regain custody of Zoe?

  • May 13, 2023 at 11:36 pm

    I think that the ending could’ve been better if Mother and Zoe ended up together. I did not like the ending, but after some thought, maybe Zoe’s adoptive mother would’ve been able to take better care of her, and she already has an actual father figure too. But also it still doesn’t make sense why they scripted it to be that Mother and Zoe don’t end up together since Zoe already knows Mother is her mom. Really weird and confusing ending. Really wish there was more info to why they chose the ending they did.

  • May 15, 2023 at 1:53 am

    I believe that a happy ending with Mother and Zoe would have been preferable. Although I didn’t like the conclusion, I realized that Zoe’s adoptive mother could have been able to care for her better since she already has a father figure. The fact that Mother and Zoe don’t end up together, despite the fact that Zoe already knows Mother is her mother, still defies logic. Really strange and perplexing conclusion. I wish there was more explanation as to why they decided on the conclusion they did.

  • May 29, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    There is a possibility that Zoe does live with Mother at the end of film. Mother wears a “MOM” bracelet and Zoe knows which apartment Mother is in. Zoe could in fact be spending time in the park with her adoptive parents and will return home to Mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.