Possessor Ending Explained (With Plot Walkthrough)

Possessor is a 2020 science-fiction psychological-thriller written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg. The story revolves around an Agency that uses mind-control to get dastardly acts done for high-paying customers. The film presents a fresh take on consciousness transfer and its uses and has a sinister ending. Heads up, the ‘Uncut’ version has a lot of gore. Possessor’s cast has Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh in the leading roles, and we also see Sean Bean in a small part. Here’s the plot walkthrough and the ending of the movie Possessor explained; spoilers ahead.

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Contents

Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:

Possessor: What happened? What is the meaning?

Possessor is a movie that shows a woman, Tasya Vos, completing her transformation into a completely remorseless, cold-blooded assassin.

Possessor: Plot Explained

Before getting to the ending of Possessor, let’s go through the plot quickly.

Possessor: What does the Agency do?

Possessor Girder Tasya

The Agency operates by taking control of people and getting them to do their evil deeds for them. When a job needs to be done, that is, someone (target) needs to be killed, the Agency identifies a person who can access the target. They then kidnap this person and implant a chip in their head. Then a field agent takes control of this person for a short couple of days and uses this person to assassinate their target.

Possessor: Who is Tasya Vos?

Tasya is one such field agent who’s really good at her job of mimicking people when in control of their bodies and taking down targets. The opening kill of the movie is one of her assignments. Tasya has a family, an ex-husband, Michael, and their son, Ira. Tasya is an ice-cold killer who enjoys her kills and prefers to use a knife instead of a gun but still has some humanity left in a far corner of her brain thanks to her family.

megalomaniac

Tasya gives out vibes of a megalomaniac as she can’t get herself to terminate her host after her job is done. Field agents are required to put a bullet in their head when they are still in the host’s body to get out. Tasya can’t get herself to do it, and in the opening kill, she prefers to get killed by the cops to exit back into her own body.

Who is Girder? What does she want?

Girder is a retired assassin looking for a suitable replacement as the long term use of this technology seems to mess with the mind. Since Girder can’t continue, she hopes Tasya could take her place one day. But Girder finds that the only flaw in her plan is Tasya’s family that ties her back to a normal life. 

Without Tasya’s knowledge, Girder has embedded a chip in Ira’s brain. It appears that Girder has been keeping an eye on Tasya’s personal life by occasionally taking control of Ira.

What is Zoothroo?

Zoothroo is an organization that the Agency wants control over. It’s a data mining company owned by a man named John Parse, whose only daughter, Ava, is engaged to be married to a poor ex-drug dealer named Colin Tate. 

John has a stepson, Reid, who appears to have reached out to the Agency for help to get rid of John and Ava so that he can inherit the company. The Agency seems to have a deal at the ownership level of Zoothroo. This way, they’ll have access to all the insights they’ll ever need. The company mines data by peeking into and collecting feeds from various home video devices and tagging them.

Possessor: What is Colin’s job?

possessor what is colin's job

John has very little respect for Colin and has even given him a menial job in his company. All John has to do all day is look at home video streams and identify and categorize the curtains that appear in them. This is called tagging, where items in the footage are identified and labelled. Another operator would observe sofas and so on.

Possessor Explained: Tasya’s mission connected to Zoothroo

The Agency kidnaps Colin and embeds a chip in his head. Tasya takes over Colin’s consciousness and controls him. Prior to this, Tasya spends weeks watching and observing Colin’s mannerisms. Initially, Tasya-Colin blacks out because her mind appears to be unstable inside Colin’s head. But she wants to complete her mission and doesn’t report this to the Agency. 

At a party, Tasya-Colin gets some alcohol into the system, gets into a fight with John, calls Ava names and is thrown out of the party. This very public display of anger is in preparation for “Colin’s motive” to strike at night.

Tasya-Colin returns at night and attacks John in a prolonged and gruesome manner. She really likes sharp objects and enjoys her kill slowly. Ava interrupts, and Tasya-Colin shoots and kills her, also brutally. John survives but is left fully paralyzed (yes, that’s right folks, Sean Bean’s character doesn’t die).

Now that it’s time to put a bullet in her head, Tasya-Colin can’t get herself to. Colin’s consciousness begins to take control. Now, remember, the mind and the memories are Colin’s, not Tasya’s. While Colin’s consciousness is pushed inward, it was awake and he knows what’s been going on. The chip in Colin’s head only inhibits his consciousness to take control but remains a spectator to what Tasya has been doing. Once Colin regains control, he pulls the chip out of his head and makes a run for it. Tasya’s consciousness remains inside Colin’s mind, but now she is pushed deeper into his subconscious.

Who is Reeta?

Reeta is a friend of Colin’s, who seems to be an old flame. When Colin takes control of his body, he’s confused and goes over to Reeta’s place to take refuge. Unfortunately for Reeta, Tasya is able to lunge forward and take control of Colin and kill her in the shower.

Who is Colin’s friend, Eddie?

Eddie works for the Agency. He’s not a field agent but is tech support. When a field agent loses control of their host, people like Eddie show up to “fix” it. After the bloody episode that Tasya’s body goes through because of Colin taking out the device, the Agency sends Eddie to tail Colin. Eddie shows up at Reeta’s place and shoots a tranquillizer at Colin, and restores Tasya’s control over him.

Possessor: What does that mask scene mean?

possessor uncut mask scene meaning

An essential thing to understand in Possessor is that though Tasya’s consciousness has taken control of Colin’s body, his mind is imprisoned and witnessing everything Tasya is doing using him. Tasya is shown to be having trouble keeping control of Colin. Just as Eddie thinks he’s restored Tasya’s control, Colin’s consciousness overpowers Tasya’s. This is depicted in the scene where Colin crushes Tasya’s face on the bed. 

Colin goes on to wear Tasya’s face as a mask. This metaphor is to show that Colin’s consciousness is able to access Tasya’s memories to learn that she has a family. Colin, now in control, kills Eddie. 

Using Tasya’s memories, Colin locates and goes over to Michael’s place to try and get Tasya out of his head.

Death of Tasya’s family

Colin lands up at Tasya’s house and holds Michael at gunpoint, demanding that his situation is fixed. He hopes that Tasya will get out of his head and set things straight for him for the love of her family. Suddenly, Michael knocks the gun out of Colin’s hand. Tasya’s self-preserving instincts come forward, and she takes control of Colin and hacks Michael to death. There is also a secondary layer here; Tasya feels limited because of her family. ‘Retaliation’ appears to be an excellent excuse to kill her husband. She could have come up with other ways to disarm Michael, let alone hacking him with a meat cleaver.

Finding this to be an opportune moment, Girder, who is in control of Ira, steps forward and fatally stabs Tasya-Colin in the throat. Tasya-Colin retorts by turning around and shooting Ira. Remember, at this point, Tasya doesn’t know that Ira is being controlled. This is just her raw, murderous nature lashing out. This is Tasya severing her ties to her regular life.

Possessor Ending Explained

possessor ending butterfly

The ending of the movie Possessor reveals that Girder was in control of Ira and has successfully got Tasya to eliminate her family. Now Tasya is free of any worldly connections and can be the ice-cold assassin to replace Girder. 

Possessor Ending: What is the meaning of the butterfly?

At the beginning of the movie, Tasya goes through an exercise to check if her consciousness is back in her own mind and there are no gaps in memories. For this, she’s given various objects and is asked for a reaction. When she picks up a framed butterfly, she says, “I killed and mounted it one summer when I was a girl, and then I felt guilty about it. I still feel guilty about it.

In the end, after killing her family, when Tasya returns to her own body, she picks up the same butterfly. She says this, “I killed and mounted it one summer when I was a little girl.” and stops. Girder says, “good“. This shows how Tasya feels no more guilt for her kills, be it the butterfly, her ex-husband, or her child.

What did you think about the plot and ending of the movie Possessor? Do drop your comments or questions below.

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