Predestination : Plot Explained

http://www.thisisbarry.com/single-post/2015/9/18/Predestination-2014-Plot-Explained
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A predestination paradox occurs when a time traveller is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" or "predates" him or her to travel back in time. The paradox suggests that those people who travel back in time would have no way of changing a situation.
This is what this movie Predestination is about.



Basic Plot:

Let us give the spoiler out straight away as that will help understand what the movie is about.
We see 4 main characters in this movie – Jane, John, the Barkeep and the Fizzle bomber. They are all the same person from a different timeline. Yep, the same person.

The movie starts off with a man in a coat and hat trying to defuse a bomb. He gets distracted by a gun shots and before the bomb can be safely diffused, it blows up burning the face of the man in the coat and hat. Another person walks up to burnt man and helps him reaching out to a violin case. The burnt man uses the violin box and disappears. There are three people in this scene. The man trying to diffuse the bomb, this is John. The man who fires at John, this is the Fizzle bomber and the man who helps John with the violin case, this is the Barkeep. The point to be noted here is that they are all the same person from 3 different timelines. Don’t give it too much thought right now. Read on further.

Burnt face man, John, goes back to a future time – 1992, and gets his face grafted. Since his face is completely destroyed, they give him a new face. This is the face that we will refer to as Barkeep. John/Barkeep has been trying to hunt down a chain bomber that they call the Fizzle bomber. John/Barkeep has been trying to stop a major New York event in 1975 which kills over 10,000 people, but has been unsuccessful so far. John/Barkeep is a temporal agent of a mysterious Temporal Bureau who have the ability to travel through time.

Barkeep has one final mission he has to embark on now. For which he travels back to 1970 and plays the role of a barkeep. His younger self, John from the 1970 timeline, arrives at the bar. They start talking. John reveals that he is the author – Unmarried Mother. John starts telling the story of his life where he was born a girl and was called Jane. Jane was a baby abandoned at an orphanage in 1945. Jane never ends up getting adopted and she eventually tries to join the Space Corps program headed by one Mr. Robertson. Jane gets rejected from the program because something in her physiology is “odd”. But they don’t tell her that when they disqualify her.

Jane gives up and attends night school where she bumps into a stranger. She falls in love with him, but the stranger disappears on Jane one day, leaving her waiting on a bench. We will get back to who this stranger is in a bit. Jane realizes that she is pregnant. She delivers a baby successfully but the doctor tells her that Jane has an “odd” physiology – she has fully formed male and female organs. Complications in delivery result in the doctors only being able to save the male organs. Jane will need to change to a man as a result. Soon after this, her baby gets stolen.  Jane becomes John over time.

John completes telling this story to the Barkeep. However, the Barkeep knows all of this. It is his own life’s story after all. He doesn’t reveal that yet. Barkeep tells John that he knows the location of the “stranger” who ruined Jane’s life. Barkeep promises that he will give John the opportunity of revenge, of killing that stranger free of any consequences. John and Barkeep use the violin box to travel back in time to the point where Jane was attending night school. John equips himself with a gun and goes looking for the stranger. John bumps into Jane. John soon realizes that he is that “stranger”. He falls in love with Jane and has sex with her.

Yes folks, the male self goes back in time when he was female and has sex with him/herself. Bizarre, we now know another one of those things that is apparently possible. Talk about self-sufficient! Hang on, there is more to come.

While all of this is happening, Barkeep quietly slips out and goes forward to 1970 - to the event of the bomb defusal, the first scene of the movie. Barkeep reaches to see the Fizzle bomber placing the bomb; they get into a gun fight, then into a fist fight. Barkeep gets his ass handed to him and faints. Barkeep wakes up just in time to see John’s face getting burnt trying to defuse the bomb. Barkeep helps John with the violin box. The Fizzle bomber escapes.

Barkeep heads to the time when Jane has given birth. Mr. Robertson joins him there. It is shown that he too has a little violin box of his own and can travel through time, he seems to head the Temporal Bureau. Barkeep steals Jane’s baby and travels back to 1945 with the baby. He abandons the baby at the orphanage.

Yep, not only does the male from a future timeline has sex with his past girl self. The baby born as a result is the origin of him/herself too. Messed up right? That is truly self-sufficient indeed! This also explains why the baby would grow with both sex organs. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s your predestination paradox right there. Jane/John is a self-created entity because the “himself” from a future time has sex with the “herself” from a past time.

Once Barkeep leaves the baby, he returns to the time John and Jane are still together. He signals for John, John leaves Jane waiting on the bench. Barkeep tells John that they need to leave this timeline and travel forward. At this point Barkeep tells John that he too is John from a future timeline with a different face – however in the movie, this portion is disclosed only in the end. Barkeep and John travel forward to 1985. Barkeep meets Mr. Robertson and leaves John to recover there and travels back to 1975 for retirement. By now Barkeep has made an audio recording for John to hear and follow. Barkeep heads off to 1975 (just before the New York event date).

John recovers and uses the tape left to him by Barkeep to prep to become a temporal agent. Seven years later, in 1992, John jumps back to 1970 wearing a coat and a hat to diffuse a bomb set by the Fizzle bomber. John gets into a gun fight with the Fizzle bomber and ends up getting distracted. The bomb goes off burning John’s face.
There you have it. That explains why in the first scene of the movie you have 3 people - John, Barkeep and Fizzle bomber who are the same person from 3 different timelines.

Barkeep reaches 1975 to retire after leaving John in 1985, he decommissions his time device, but it shows an error in decommissioning. He checks the file to notice that Mr. Robertson has left him clues to get to the Fizzle bomber who is just about to commit the New York event of 1975. He heads to the Laundromat where the Fizzle bomber is. When Barkeep reaches the Laundromat, he encounters the fizzle bomber. The Fizzle bomber is the Barkeep from a future timeline. Barkeep has been basically chasing his own self from a future timeline. The time leaps have caused Barkeep to grow maniacal and turn into the Fizzle bomber. In the focus of stopping terror attacks, he’s been killing innocents. Barkeep kills the Fizzle bomber. However, Barkeep does not report the time device which he’s unable to decommission. That is the end of the movie.

Here is a timeline diagram describing the life of
Jane -> John -> Barkeep:

Does The Barkeep Become The Fizzle Bomber?
Barkeep does not report the time device which he’s unable to decommission. This indicates that he continues to use the device; time jumps are indicated to have an effect on the mind. Let’s not forget about the fact that every other event in this story is predestined to happen. This should be no exception to the rule. It only makes sense that Barkeep grows old to become the insane Fizzle bomber.

Has The New York Incident Been Stopped?
Well looks like it has but then again, predestination right? This even has already happened. Barkeep’s killing the Fizzle Bomber doesn’t necessarily mean that the bombing has been stopped. An older Fizzle bomber may have been killed by Barkeep. A younger Fizzle Bomber who is not as lost could be responsible for the New York event. After all the Fizzle Bomber also has the ability to travel through time as he pleases. We would like to stick to the theory that the New York event happens.

A Remix like never before. Check out Wonderwall by Oasis:



Check out the explanation of Moon!


By popular demand, we've done an explanation for the movie Primer.
The movie with the least budget and most unique thought to the process of time travel. Happy reading!


Here is another movie that will blow your mind, we've explained Triangle (2009) for you:

Triangle Explained : Plot Holes Explained

http://www.thisisbarry.com/single-post/2015/09/13/Triangle-2009-Explained-Reviewed
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We finally are doing this explanatory post on the movie - Triangle. Did it take us from the year 2009 to understand this movie? No, we just saw it, umm, yeah.. moving on.

This movie didn't do too well, but re-watching helped us appreciate the keen eye director Christopher Smith.


The basic plot:


The movie opens with Jess comforting her autistic son Tommy who’s suffering from a nightmare. She’s dressed up and prepping to go someplace. She cleans paint of the floor, messes her dress up. She hears a door bell and no one is there. She’s packs a bag, hops into her car and drives out to the harbour.

Here’s what we are going to do to help you understand the movie’s convoluted plot:
The group of people who go sailing are – Jess (main focus person), Victor (single chap), Downey and Sally (married couple), Greg (boat owner), Heather (extra, you can ignore her, the director does too).
We are going to separate them in to groups to help understand what in the blazes is happening.

We will number them group-3. Jess-3, Victor-3, Downey-3, Sally-3 and Greg-3 … ok fine Heather-3.
They go sailing and get hit by a storm. Greg-3 also receives a distress signal from a woman in panic. He loses the signal, the boat upturns and they are stranded. Heather-3 gets flushed into the ocean and gets out of the plot after that (see we told you, she’s dead, let’s move along).

On the upturned boat, group-3 sits helplessly waiting for someone to come rescue them. And out comes a huge liner to their rescue. They see someone on the deck and they board the liner. On the liner, there seems to be nobody and the group starts searching. Jess-3 feels like she’s having a déjà vu and that she knows this liner. They continue further. Jess-3 finds her own keys lying around but no one knows how it got there, they suspect Heather is already on the liner (yeah sure).

They reach the dining area, still unable to find anyone on-board. Jess-3 sees someone running away and informs the group. Victor-3 runs after that someone. Greg-3 and Jess-3 go around further looking for someone from the ship. They ask Downey-3 and Sally-3 to wait in the dining area. Greg-3 and Jess-3 find a room with “Go To Theatre” written on a mirror in blood. Jess-3 freaks out about the blood and wants off the liner but Greg-3 wants to head to the theatre and they separate. Jess-3 goes to the dining area and no one is there, Victor-3 comes all bloodied. Victor-3 attacks Jess-3 but in the process Jess-3 locates a wound to the back of Victor-3’s head and aggravates it, killing him.

Jess-3 hears a gun shot, she follows it to the theatre. Greg-3 is lying dead. Downey-3 and Sally-3 are blaming Jess-3 for this. Greg-3, before he dies, tells them that Sally-? shot him. From above a masked person shoots both Downey-3 and Sally-3 and kills them. Jess-3 escapes and is chased by the masked person. Jess-3 over powers the masked person and masked person mumbles something before falling off the liner. Jess-3 is the lone survivor. She then hears a group shouting from over board. Jess-3 sees the entire group waving from an upturned boat, even herself (but no Heather, duh!). Jess-3 is the ‘someone’ group-4 now sees on the liner. Which also means group-3 saw Jess-2 as the ‘someone’ on the liner.

We will now refer to this as group-4 (Jess-4, Victor-4, Downey-4, Sally-4 and Greg-4). Jess-3 runs around in disbelief following group-4. In the process Jess-3 drops her keys, which Jess-4 picks up saying it was hers (in the same way Jess-3 does). Jess-3 gets spotted by Jess-4 and makes a run for it. Now Jess-4 informs group-4 about the ‘someone’ running away. Victor-4 runs after Jess-3.

Victor-4 catches up to Jess-3. Jess-3 tries to explain what has just happened. Obviously, Victor-4 doesn’t understand and thinks she is crazy. By mistake Jess-3 moves Victor-4 back on to a sharp protrusion impaling him on the head. Jess-3 freaks and runs for it. She finds a room with shotguns and notes on the floor saying “kill everyone who boards”, the notes are all written by previous versions of Jess. Jess-3’s locket gets pulled off her neck to only fall into a bunch of replicas; lockets that belonged to the previous versions of Jess. She picks up a gun and heads to save the people from group-4. First, Jess-3 intercepts Jess-4 and Victor-4’s meeting. This helps stop Jess-4 from aggravating Victor-4’s wound and killing him. Jess-3 doesn’t kill Jess-4, Jess-4 runs away.

Jess-3 runs to the theatre and saves Downey-4 and Sally-4. Greg-4 is dead however.  The Jess-3 shoots the masked shooter on top and causes a flesh would on the head. Downey-4, Sally-4 and Jess-3 make a run for it. Jess-3 momentarily separates from the two of them.
At this time they reveal that the masked shooter with the flesh wound is Jess, we have identified her to be Jess-2. Who is Jess-1 then? Jess-1 is the masked attacker who guns down Downey-3 and Sally-3, Jess-1 doesn’t have a flesh wound on her head and never takes the mask off. Jess-3 makes Jess-1 fall off the liner. So at any given time, there would three Jess.

Jess-2 tricks Downey-4 and Sally-4 to follow her into the room with the bloody mirror. Jess-2 kills Downey-4 with a knife and fatally wounds Sally-4. Sally-4 makes a run for it. Jess-3 spots Sally-4 and runs behind her to help. Sally-4 finds a control room and tries to send out a distress signal. This signal is the same as what Greg-3 is shown receive in the start of the movie. Sally-4’s signal is now being received by Greg-5 who’s not yet hit the storm. Sally-4 run to the upper levels to a location which has a whole bunch of dead Sally’s. Just like the many lockets and notes, Sally has died over and over. Jess-3 sees Jess-2 being hacked to death by Jess-4. Jess-2 is the shooter with a flesh wound to the head and Jess-4 is the one who Jess-3 spares while trying to save Victor-4.
The fight between Jess-2 and Jess-4 (the even ones) is different from the fight between Jess-1 and Jess-3 (the odd ones). This is because of the interference that Jess-3 introduced.

Sall-4 dies of bleeding, Jess-3 and Jess-4 are alive, watching a new group of themselves come to the liner. This is group-5. Group-5 sees Jess-4 as the ‘someone’ on-board. Jess-3 realizes that this is going to keep happening until everyone – including herself is killed and no one enters the liner. She is desperate to go back to her son. Jess-3 now goes ahead and cleans up all the bodies and starts doing all the actions Jess-1 did. She removes Downey-4’s body and writes “Go To Theatre” with his blood on the mirror. Jess-3 sees Jess-4 wounding Victor-5 to the head.
The conversation that Victor-5 and Jess-4 have is also very different from the conversation Victor-4 has with Jess-3. Again, this is because of the interference Jess-3 has done.

Jess-3 goes to the dining hall and tells Downey-5 and Sally-5 to go to the theatre. Jess-3 gets a gun, puts on a mask and follows Greg-5 into the theatre and shoots him. Greg-5 recognizes that the shooter is Jess. Down below, we can see Downey-5 and Sally-5 blaming Jess-5 for the death of Greg-5. Jess-3 shoots and kills Downey-5 and Sally-5 (exactly in the way Jess-1 kills Downey-3 and Sally-3). Jess-5 escapes and Jess-3 (the masked person) chases. The same fight ensues between Jess-3 and Jess-5 (that we earlier see between Jess-1 and Jess-3). Jess-5 gets the upper hand, Jess-3 mumbles to kill everyone and falls off the liner.

This marks the end of the liner episode. What we would like to point out here is that there are two loops of events:

1) Where Jess never sees a past Jess. In this example the odd Jess. While the odd Jess sees a future Jess, the past Jess she meets and fights has a mask on and never gets to see the past Jess’ face. The odd Jess also doesn’t get hacked to death; she simply falls off the liner. The odd Jess also never gets intercepted by a past Jeff and ends up fighting a Victor in the dining area, killing him
    2) Where Jess meets her past Jess. In this example the even Jess. The even Jess gets intercepted by her past self at the dining area and is spared. This Jess however goes on to get a flesh wound to her head when she’s shooting. The even Jess also gets hacked to death and thrown overboard.

The story continues following Jess-3 who falls off the liner alive. She gets washed on to shore. She heads back home. From outside she sees the events of the morning in her house. This means that she has returned at an earlier point in time. Jess-3 sees her morning self shout and abuse her son. Tommy sees Jess-3 outside the window and causes the paint to spill. The Jess inside the home further shouts at Tommy and starts cleaning up and messes her dress up (exactly like in the first scene). Jess-3 from outside rings the bell and hides. Jess from inside hears the door bell, but no one is there. Jess-3 sneaks up behind Jess in the house and bludgeons her with a hammer.

Tommy sees this. Jess-3 holds Tommy and tells him that he just had a nightmare (so that’s the nightmare in the first scene). She puts the dead Jess into a bag and packs it with other clothes (so there was a dead body in the bag in the first scene). Loads the car and drives off. On the way she hits a seagull. She stops to dispose of the dead seagull and notices a whole bunch of dead seagulls. This only means that other Jess’ (the odd ones who survive on the liner) have been around doing the same actions. The seagulls are shown to be somehow connected to the time vortex on the liner and hence like everything on the liner, their versions from other timelines keeps accumulating (eg: multiple lockets, multiple notes, multiple dead Sally, etc).

Jess-3 gets back in the car and starts driving, distracted by Tommy she hits a truck and the car tumbles. This kills Tommy and the body of dead Jess is lying out. Jess-3 is however not killed and is standing watching this. A taxi guy offers a ride and she heads to the harbour. When she enters the harbour she meets a Victor, a Greg, a Downey, a Sally and Heather. They are just preparing for the sail. The loop has started all over and they head out. This explains why Jess-3 is having a déjà vu in the liner, the shock of her son dying makes her thing that her son is in school and she’s come for a sailing trip without him. Her guilt is not that she’s left him in school, but that she resulted in his death.

Plot Holes:

The one plot hole that stood out was the point of accident. How is she outside the car, unscratched? Why does a random taxi driver want to drive her to the harbour? That scene is a little out of character.


The liner is stuck in a time vortex. Therefore the people and objects brought into the liner will keep increasing. There will be more and more dead bodies of the same person as more loops happen. There will be more lockets as well. But back in town, when Jess hits a seagull, she sees a pile of dead seagulls. If that were the case there should also be a pile of dead Tommys and Jess too. We made a gross assumption on this one that the seagulls also happen to get to land from the liner and therefore have the property of sticking around even when the time loop is reset.


Only alternate Jess' (in this case the odd Jess') make it out alive from the liner. This Jess who makes it alive is who goes back to her house, kills her "dressed up self" and takes Tommy in the car, gets him killed, ends up in the harbour and back at the liner. The even Jess' get killed, hence they can't land up to kill the "dressed up Jess" and restart the loop. But we already know that Jess' keep coming non-stop. So how does that happen. One plausible explanation is that something else causes Jess' dress to get soiled and she needs to change up. Hence she changes into shorts and tees, gets into another accident killing Tommy and gets to the harbor to meet the rest. This is not really explained, it's just an assumption. Another assumption is that the Taxi man is the angel of death and is "waiting" for Jess to accept that she has died along with Tommy, not very satisfying but brings us to the philosophical point of discussion.


Philosophical Discussion:

Aeolus is the name of the liner. Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus breaks a promise he makes to death. As a result he is punished to by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. Ring a bell? This is mentioned in the movie.

The analogy to this is Jess making a promise to the cab driver that she would return. She says “I promise”. Jess breaks her promise too. She goes to the harbour but decides to go on the sail trip. This analogy also means that Jess is dead and her soul is refusing to cross over in the ferry (taxi). When in the movie does she really die then?

Let’s list down the points of time when Jess dies in the movie:
-          Gets bludgeoned to death
-          Dies in a car accident (perhaps?)
-          Gets axed to death on the liner
-          Falls off the liner and drowns (perhaps?)
-          Gets killed when the sail boat upturns (perhaps?)

The events of the loop are all analogous to the act of ‘roll an immense boulder up a hill’. So we can safely assume that events of the loop, hence the liner events, are all post death. What we need to locate is the start point of the loop. The harbour seems the logical point where the loop starts as that is right after her breaking her promise to the taxi man (death).


The Jess who is in the loop is wearing shorts; the Jess in the dress is out of the loop. This can mean that the Jess in shorts is dead. The Jess in the dress possibly starts the day by shouting at her son and is heading to the harbour to meet her friends with Tommy. On the way she meets with an accident where both she and Tommy are killed. This event is not shown in the movie. The one shown in the movie is the one where Jess in shorts is driving the car, which is post death and part of the loop. The actual event was possibly just Jess in the dress with her son meeting with an accident and dying. She is met by the taxi man (death), to help her cross over. The time on her watch matches the clock on the ship, perhaps it’s the time she died. 8:17AM. oooh!



Here is a 2014 Time Travel film that will simply blow you away, we've explained it out for you:

And on popular demand, we've explained out another brilliant Time Travel movie - Primer

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