We discuss the ending of the 2023 Taiwanese Netflix film Eye of the Storm, which will contain significant spoilers.
It specifically follows a surgeon called Dr. Zheng Xia. When a deadly virus breaks out in the hospital where he works, they’re put into a complete hospital lock-down. Dr. Xia faces a brazen journalist called Jin Youzhong to investigate the virus’s origin.
Together they make a shocking discovery, and with the threat of the virus looming, they are faced with difficult decisions.
The film has a powerful, emotive origin with compelling acting. However, it’s too long with too many characters, not giving the audience a chance to engage.
Eye of the Storm (2023) Ending Explained
How does Eye of the Storm end?
In the beginning, Dr. Xia is headstrong about leaving the hospital, even after a nurse tries to convince him not to. It’s his daughter’s birthday, and he wants to be with her. As the film continues Dr. Xia has the opportunity to leave the hospital but chooses to stay and perform a C-section on a pregnant woman who has also contracted the virus. At every turn, he is worried about contracting the virus but performs his duties.
In the concluding scene, Dr. Xia is talking to his daughter over the phone, crying, and he looks to the right side and sees Nurse Tai-He, sitting on the floor, looking seriously unwell. Both show symptoms of the virus.
While he’s on the phone, the sun begins to rise behind him as he smiles.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus in Eye of the Storm is SARS. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1), the first identified strain of the SARS coronavirus species, severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV).
In the real world, the first known cases occurred in November 2002, and the syndrome caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. There were roughly 8,469 cases, and no cases of SARS-CoV-1 have been reported worldwide since 2004.
However, in December 2019, another strain of SARS-CoV was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a disease that brought about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eye of the Storm is set in 2003, right in the middle of when this outbreak first happened. In the film, the first case is inside the hospital, causing a full lockdown quarantine.
Do they survive the outbreak?
This film has parallel storylines running throughout, with the main arc being Dr. Xia. We see that nurse Tai-He was possibly in contact with SARS-infected patients and is forced to the “B” wing, where he fails to help the head nurse as she dies in front of him. There he gets progressively ill but is barely alive at the end of the film. We can assume that our caring Taxi driver and the head nurse’s daughter, whom he takes care of, survive. Dr. Xia does survive, as we see him last on the phone to his daughter.
Does Dr. Xia contracted the virus?
During the film, Dr. Xia takes his temperature and we see it rise. We can suspect that he did catch the virus, being around so many infected patients. However, audiences can hope that he didn’t and he is able to leave the hospital to be with his daughter.
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