The Passenger (2023) Ending Explained – does Randy escape from Benson?

By Adam Lock
Published: August 10, 2023
2023 MGM+ film The Passenger Ending Explained

We discuss the ending of the 2023 MGM+ film The Passenger, which will contain significant spoilers.

The Passenger is a road trip movie with a difference. Starring Kyle Gallner (Smile) and Johnny Berchtold (Gaslit), this horror thriller follows the unhinged killer Benson as he tries to improve his hostage Randy’s life with extreme exposure therapy.

The Passenger (2023) Ending Explained

What did Randy do to Miss Beard?

After confronting Randy’s ex-girlfriend down at the mall, Randy starts to open up to his captor about his childhood. He tells Benson about an incident in the second grade where he accidentally mutilated his teacher’s face. Randy was told off by his teacher Miss Beard and retaliated by launching an eraser into the teacher’s eye.

This incident ended with her losing her eye permanently, and then she had to wear an eye patch for the rest of her life. Randy still feels extreme guilt and shame for what he has done, and he is unable to move on with his own life because of it.

Benson suggests Randy meet up with Miss Beard to make amends. They head to the elementary school where she works and manage to sweet-talk the secretary into handing over her address. Out in the parking lot, Benson notices his old teacher, Mr. Sheppard. Benson is triggered by this interaction and starts to violently assault the teacher.

This may be spurred on by his own repressed childhood trauma. Benson beats his abuser outside the school. The teacher lies motionless on the floor. Benson draws his weapon, but Randy manages to stop him from killing the man.

Does Randy apologize to Miss Beard?

They travel to Miss Beard’s home. She is happy to see Randy, and the student apologizes for what he has done. Randy thought that he had ruined her life, but she now has a daughter and is content with her life. Miss Beard was actually more concerned about Randy, worrying that the incident would have messed him up, which it has done.

Meanwhile, Benson vomits in the toilet after the assault. He hides his bloodied fists from Miss Beard. Unfortunately, she receives a phone call from the school and is informed that Mr. Sheppard died on the way to the hospital. Benson then uncovers his weapon and goes to shoot Miss Beard.

Again, Randy is able to persuade Benson not to kill the teacher. Benson takes her hostage instead. The trio travels to a local diner, where Benson hopes he can formulate a new plan. Unbeknownst to the killer, Randy has stolen Miss Beard’s phone. He calls 911 in the diner’s toilets, finally finding the courage to fight back.

Benson argues with a waitress that he demeaned earlier and then shoots her in the leg. At this point, Randy intervenes. He orders Benson to stop all this pointless violence, saying that Benson himself has done nothing with his life. He judges others, but he hasn’t achieved anything himself.

Police sirens then fill the air, and Benson thinks Miss Beard has called the cops. Benson goes to shoot the teacher but hits Randy in the shoulder instead. Randy confesses to calling the police, finally finding the bravery to stand up to his captor.

Does Randy escape from Benson?

Benson admits that he was never in control of his life. He steps outside, draws his weapon, and is subsequently shot dead by the police. This in effect means that Randy has finally escaped from his captor and is free.

We then cut to the near future. Randy has fully repaired his relationship with Miss Beard and is seen looking after her daughter Tessa. The teacher returns home and pays Randy for babysitting. Randy thanks Miss Beard for everything and leaves after a promising conversation with his mother on the phone.

The camera then pans to Tessa’s toy collection. She now owns the two stuffed toys that Randy and Benson had both decorated down at the mall. This innocent final shot could signify many things. It proves that Randy has formed a bond with both Miss Beard and Tessa, which in turn shows that he has improved his own life.

Does Randy improve his life?

Randy is a much more rounded individual now; he may have even repaired his relationship with his ex, Lisa. The future is looking a lot brighter for Randy now. The ordeal helped him to overcome his childhood trauma and find his inner bravery. He can now be the person Benson had always wanted him to become. Ironically, Benson helped Randy face his inner demons and progress, while he couldn’t bring himself to face his own and fell apart instead.

What did you think of the ending of the 2023 MGM+ movie The Passenger? Comment below.

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