This is a third and concluding part of M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable Film Series (or the Unbreakable Trilogy) which began first with Unbreakable, then Split, and we finally have Glass as the finale. Glass movie cast includes James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard. In case you’re wondering, yes the same actor who played Bruce Willis’ son in Unbreakable reprises his role in Glass 19 years later.
Here’s an article for you in case you’re looking to understand the Unbreakable and Split connection. Glass is part of the Unbreakable Series, so you’re going to have to watch the other two films before this one.
The context of all these films is that it’s based on the Comic Book universe. It’s based on the theory that comic books are a reflection of our world. That there are people with extraordinary skills and their intentions can either make them Heroes or Villains. Let’s quickly go through the three main characters:
Elijah Price / Mr. Glass’ Powers
While he has fragile bones and has had 94 fractures by simply tripping and falling, Mr. Glass’ power is his mind. He is super smart and to keep him at bay, the mental institute has had to keep him sedated. Or so they think. Mr. Glass has been switching out his medicines with simple Aspirins.
The Overseer / David Dunn’s Powers
David is super strong and is an empath, meaning he can feel a person’s emotions or their actions on coming in contact with them. He ages like regular people and his weakness is water. David’s son Joseph knows about this and over the years has teamed with his dad (now called The Overseer) to bring people to justice. But we’re talking most petty crimes. The authorities are currently on his tail too.
Kevin / The Horde’s Powers
Kevin has 24 personalities. These personalities were born because of his abusive mother who he was alone with after his father left on a train to never return. The personalities you need to know are Hedwig (a 9-year-old), Dennis the orderly, Patricia, the High Priestess, and The Beast who is super strong and animal-like. Kevin is the base personality and is suppressed most of the time, he is the weakest. Read more about The Horde here.
Glass Movie: Plot Summary
Glass Movie: Who is Dr. Ellie Staple?
The film Glass is pretty straight forward. There is a secret society who have been responsible for finding and eliminating super-powered people once they emerge and start to become a threat. They’ve been doing this for 10,000 years and have been trying to track down David Dunn and The Horde. The person in charge of this is operation is Dr. Ellie Staple. Lucky for them they subdue David and The Horde together as the two end up fighting.
The film begins with a set of cheerleaders who have been kidnapped for The Beast to feed on. David saves them, and he fights off The Beast. The authorities take them both in. The Beast is kept at bay through the use of bright flashing lights. However, the lights randomly bring in other personalities of Kevin’s. David’s cell is fitted with water jets as water is his weakness. The two of them are taken to an institution for the criminally insane where Mr. Glass is being held.
Glass Movie: Dr. Ellie Staple’s Plan
Dr. Staple presents herself to be a specialist in dealing with people who believe themselves to be super-powered beings. She tries to rationalize how each of them has damage in the front portion of their brains which is causing them to imagine themselves to be super-heroes. She schemes on getting each of them to believe that they are insane and are not actually super-human.
Glass Movie: Mr. Glass’ Plan
David and The Horde begin to believe that their grandeur is merely in their heads. However, Mr. Glass begins to plot for the world to get a glimpse of David’s and The Horde’s powers. He believes that other super-powered people will rise when they see the powers on display. Mr. Glass puts his plan in motion the minute Dr.Staples tells him that the institution has been fitted with a hundred cameras.
Mr. Glass talks to The Horde and arranges to meet The Beast personality to confirm that he is for real. After that, he tells The Beast that the world needs to see him battle it off against David, and that is the only way people will believe the existence of The Beast. Mr. Glass suggests that the opening of the tallest building is the most ideal event to show off the powers as many news channels will be covering it. Mr. Glass sabotages the lobotomy machine preempting that Dr. Staples will try to shut him down. He uses the element of surprise to break The Horde out and then informs David that he’ll be blowing up the tallest building if David doesn’t stop The Horde.
Mr. Glass’ master plan doesn’t involve the Tallest Building at all. He simply streams all the camera’s to send their recordings to his private servers. He sets it up to be sent to Mrs. Price – his mother, Casey Cooke – who empathizes with Kevin, and Joseph – David’s son.
Glass Movie: The Final Battle
David breaks out of his cell and faces The Beast in a battle outside the Institution. Casey, Joseph and Mrs. Price land up at the institution to meet Dr. Staples and tell her that super-heroes might actually be real. Dr. Staples dismisses them stating that it is only a fantasy. Just then she notices that her patients have broken out. She calls for backup.
The Beast is unable to subdue David so Mr. Glass gives up David’s weakness of water. Joseph intervenes and tells The Beast the truth about his dead father. That the train his father left on was the same train that Mr. Glass had bombed to locate David. The Beast thanks Mr. Glass for technically giving birth to him, but also mentions that he cannot trust him anymore. The Beast fatally wounds Mr. Glass and throws David into a water tank and tries to kill him. The water tank breaks open and David is barely alive. The cops arrive and The Beast proceeds to leave for the Tallest Building to continue the fight so that the whole world can see. Remember, nobody but Mr. Glass knows about the streaming videos yet.
The Horde’s Death
Dr. Staples’ men arrive. She has convinced Casey to bring the Kevin personality out. Casey, who is played by Dr. Staples, intercepts The Beast and calls out to Kevin Wendell Crumb. Once The Beast is gone, Dr. Staples orders her men to shoot Kevin. He dies from his gunshot.
Mr. Glass’ Death
He’s been badly wounded by The Beast and he dies from the wounds. Before he does, he tells his mother that what has happened was part of an “Origin Story”. We’ll get back to this in the end.
Dr. Staples’ men drag out a weak David to a tiny little puddle and begin drowning him. Dr. Staples interrupts and allows David to touch her hand to allow him to know that she’s part of the secret society. She mentions that they don’t take sides. Good guy or bad guy, as long as they are super-human, they either try to convince them to live a normal life or terminate them. They don’t want gods amongst men. David was almost convinced, but thanks to Mr. Glass he embraces his powers. And as a result, Dr. Staples’ men drown and kill David.
Glass Movie: Ending Explained
Dr. Staples thinks she’s done her job and is commended by her people. After that, she overhears a couple of guys talking at the comic book store stating that a real mastermind sets everyone up and there always a real plan. Dr. Staples rushes back to the institution to check if the camera recordings were safe, but the engineer says that the videos were being streamed to a private site. She realizes that she’s been played by Mr. Glass and breaks down screaming. Mrs. Price, Joseph, and Casey get copies of the recordings. Together they release it to the world, and it begins to reach people’s devices and eventually the news.
An Origin Story
Mr. Glass calls this an Origin Story because this event, of the whole world getting to know about The Beast and David, will result in other people, who suspect Super Powers within themselves, to embrace it and come out with it. This is what Mr. Glass has always dreamed of. I leave you with his closing monologue.
There are unknown forces that don’t want us to realize what we are truly capable of. They don’t want us to know the things we suspect are extraordinary about ourselves are real. I believe that if everyone sees what just a few people become when they wholly embrace their gifts, others will awaken. Belief in oneself is contagious. We give each other permission to be superheroes. We will never awaken otherwise. Whoever these people are who don’t want us to know the truth, today, they lose.
Here’s a detailed plot analysis and explanation of the movie Split and Unbreakable:
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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