The Wonder ending explained

Okay, so here’s *that* mysterious ending of The Wonder on Netflix fully explained

Why does Florence Pugh sound exactly like Mel B in this film?

Genuine question – does Florence Pugh ever have a day off? Does she take annual leave? I’m not complaining: I would walk on hot coals for her and most of her movies, but I’m concerned for her wellbeing. The Pugh is back, and this time she’s in the new Netflix mystery film The Wonder – and it’s time to explain the confusing ending for once and for all. The Wonder shot straight into the top 10 this week, but if you can’t be arsed with its kinda sluggish runtime and period piece vibes here’s the full plot and ending explained.

What’s The Wonder about?

The Wonder starts jarringly from the off – it breaks the fourth wall. The film opens in a studio, with actress Niamh Algar saying “Hello. This is the beginning. The beginning of a film called The Wonder. The people you are about to meet, the characters, believe in their stories with complete devotion. We are are nothing without stories. And so we invite you to believe in this one.

“It is 1862. We left England, bound for Ireland. The Great Famine still casts a long shadow, and the Irish hold England responsible for that devastation. There sits a nurse. An English nurse, traveling all on her own. And it’s with her, we begin.”

It’s an interesting choice to start the film with, and the pan into the set really takes you to the film story in a fascinating way. From there, we meet Florence Pugh as nurse Lib Wright. Lib has been summoned to Ireland to watch over Anna O’Donnell – an 11-year-old girl who’s miraculously survived without eating for months. For two weeks, Lib and a nun called Sister Michael. Lib represents science, Sister Michael religion.

Upon watching over Anna, Lib suspects that Anna’s mum has been feeding her by passing her food through her goodnight kisses. To prove her theory correct, Lib banishes Anna’s family from coming into her and Anna begins to actually starve. Anna’s mum refuses to accept Lib’s evidence and blames Anna for the death of Anna’s brother. Anna’s mother has convinced Anna that if she fasts she will sacrifice herself for her brother, saving his soul from permanent damnation. Twisted!

The Wonder ending explained

Lib presents her findings to the council that brought her to Ireland, and none of them believe her. With Anna actually dying and starving now, and no one willing to help by choosing science over religious zealousy – Lib hatches a plan. With help from Will, a journalist who Lib befriends (and shags) whilst she’s in Ireland, she plans to fake Anna’s death. Will takes Anna to safety, and Lib sets fire to the O’Donnell household.

She then tells the council that Anna burnt to death in the house. After that, the final shot of the story is Anna, Will and Lib on a boat to Australia – ready to start life as a new family. We then cut bacj to Niamh Algar in the studio, closing the film by saying “In. Out. In. Out.”

The final line is a reference to a moment earlier in the film where Will showed Anna a thaumatrope of a bird that looks both caged and free at the same time .”Is it trapped or is it free?” Anna asks him. Will responds, “That’s for you to decide. Inside. Outside. Inside. Outside.” Anna echoes what he says, saying, “In. Out. In. Out.”

If the ending explained didn’t ruin it for you, The Wonder is streaming on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image courtesy of Netflix.