Awareness Ending Explained – Who is the American?

By Lori Meek
Published: October 11, 2023 (Last updated: October 16, 2023)
Awareness Ending Explained - Who is the American?

Streaming on Prime Video, the sci-fi thriller Awareness follows a young man with supernatural powers caught between two fighting organizations – the Agency and the Awareness. In the end, we get a twist and a convoluted explanation that fails at clarifying anything, so let’s see how Awareness ends and try breaking down what it means for our hero. 

Ian and his father, Vicente, have been using his ability to create illusions for petty crimes. When things get out of hand, the boy finds himself hunted by a killer known as the Perceiver and rescued by Adriana and the Agency. Both sides want to use the boy for their gain. Ian does, however, build trust with Ester, a young woman who helps him escape the Agency. 

The film has Ian and Ester on a quest to try and figure out who Ian is and understand where his powers come from.

Awareness Ending Explained

During the runtime, the film gives as little information as possible about what’s happening and whether Ian can trust anyone from the two sparring sides desperate to get their hands on him. After seeing what the Agency’s experiments did to his poor mother, Ian goes on a murderous rampage and uses his abilities to get Agency fighters, including Adriana, to point their guns at themselves. 

Who kills Vicente?

Vicente tries to stop Ian from killing everyone, but the Perceiver uses his powers to get Ian’s only known father figure to shoot himself in the face. Before Vicente dies, he allows Ian inside his head to learn the truth. 

As it turns out, it was Ian’s mother who asked Vicente to take him and hide him from the Perceiver. 

Ian goes after the Perceiver, who is hiding inside a neighboring house where the owners are conveniently holding a rich-people party. He’s holding Ester at gunpoint and wants Ian to give him the formula hidden inside his head so he can create more Perceivers. 

Is Ester a real person?

When Adriana shows up and kills an innocent civilian whose mind was controlled by the Perceiver, she tells Ian that Ester is, in fact, an illusion placed inside his head. You’ve read that correctly, our hero’s manic pixie dream girl is actually a… well, a manic pixie dream girl. 

After a flashback recapping the entire movie, Ian shoots through Ester and kills his biological father. He then hugs his hallucinated girlfriend. 

In the final scenes, Ian and Adriana pay their respects at Urzula and Vicente’s graves. Adriana wants Ian to work with the agency and help them in their war against Awareness, but the young man is not ready to commit to either side. He just wants to go traveling and spend some quality time with Ester. 

It’s unclear what war Adriana is talking about as the Perceiver was supposedly the last of his kind. Does this so-called Awareness even exist now that its only member died? 

And why is the Agency allowing Ian to just walk away, especially now they know he has the formula inside his head? 

Who is the American?

As Ian is about to drive off with Ester, we learn he is not the only one with an implanted imaginary friend. The American guy who kept giving Adriana the order to kill Ian is not some higher-up in the Agency, but a loop inside her head. 

The ending sets the scene for a sequel. But considering how convoluted this feature was, it’s hard to believe a second part could coherently explain the convoluted world of Awareness.  

What did you think of the ending of Awareness? Comment below.

Additional reading:

Amazon Prime Video, Movies, Movies - Ending Explained, Streaming Service