Looper: about that ending... (MAJOR SPOILERS)


Been thinking a lot about the ending of Looper since I saw the film this past weekend. A question that has been bugging me about the ending. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD, if it wasn't clear from the headline that says "I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THE ENDING" in so many words. This is also not necessarily a proper interpretation, just a knee-jerk reaction — feel free to jump in and tell me I'm wrong.

Okay, you've been warned. Let's continue.

(This is also the part where I said "Looper was awesome and one of my favorite films of the year." Just to get that out of the way. Okay, actually continuing now.)

So to sum up the ending as presented: Joe from 2044 (henceforth: "Joe") has a revelation about the current sequence of events. "Old Joe" (that is, Joe from the future) shoots Sara, Cid runs away full of anger at the loss of Sara, grows up to be Rain Maker. To prevent this, Joe shoots himself, thus creating a paradox that negates Old Joe's existence. Sara and Cid are united and we're left wondering what the future holds.

So let's take a step back and look at the timelines.

  • Timeline 1: Joe closes his loop properly. He gets addicted, grows old. Cid still becomes the Rainmaker and Fucks Shit Up. Thus Old Joe travels back to create...
  • Timeline 2: the events we see in the film, culminating with Joe offing himself to prevent a scenario that would create the Rain Maker.

And Joe's revelation makes sense to me – it's very likely the loss of Sara would drive him to hate "break bad" – but... who makes the Rain Maker in Timeline 1? It wasn't the situation as presented in Looper, since Joe closed his loop.

Two possible scenarios come to mind:

  • Scenario (A) The other change in Timeline 2 is that Cid accepts Sara as his mom - presumably due to the trauma of Old Joe hunting them. This changes everything for the better: in Timeline 1, Cid and Sara never connect and he grows up bitter at the loss of "his mom" / Sara's sister.
  • Scenario (B) Joe and Older Joe's actions are futile. Even after saving Sara, Cid grows up to be the Rain Maker and Fuck Shit Up. I imagine puberty for a hyper-evolved telekinetic is particularly horrific.

So unless you think the Sara and Cid's newfound love in scenario (A) is strong enough to change the course of events, whereby Cid becomes a Force of Good, then Cid will be the Rain Maker regardless.

Which means Joe and Older Joe might've been better off teaming up for a fucking insane manhunt seeking out a telekinetic child for the next 30 years. Thus, Looper 2: Telekinetic Boogaloo.

Which would've been badass. But for now, I'm happy thinking of the Looper ending as incredibly dark and depressing, with Cid breaking bad no matter what.