Breaking Down the Surprising ‘Hit Man’ Ending

hit man l r glen powell as gary johnson and adria arjona as madison in hit man cr brian roedelnetflix
Sooo...About That ‘Hit Man’ EndingBrian Roedel / Netflix

The less you know going into Netflix new release Hit Man, the better, so turn back now if you haven't already watched the movie or aren't totally sure you want it spoiled. The Richard Linklater film is full of twists and turns that make watching it so much fun. But, if you have seen Hit Man and just want some more clarity on what went down when the wacky plot became even more wild and a lot more sinister, read on to find out what happened to the main characters in the end.

First, a summary of the Hit Man plot:

Hit Man follows Gary Johnson, played by the always hot Glen Powell, a college psychology professor, who works part-time with the New Orleans Police Department as an undercover agent working to catch people who are attempting murder-for-hire schemes. Gary is very committed to his job as a fake hitman, donning disguises and taking on new identities that he thinks will appeal to each of the people looking to hire him, so that he can more easily get them arrested. (By the way, Gary Johnson was a real guy. The movie is based on a 2001 Texas Monthly article about him, but takes some pretty clear liberties. Not to get too far ahead, but the real Gary Johnson didn't actually end up killing anyone.)

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One woman Gary meets, Madison (Adria Arjona), wants to hire him to kill her abusive husband, Ray (Evan Holtzman), but because he believes that she is just in distress and doesn't actually want to have her husband killed or deserve to be arrested for seeking this way out, he tells her to start a new life and to contact him if she needs support. This is all while Gary is in character as "Ron," a hitman who has a much more suave and confident personality than the real Gary.

Madison and Gary end up starting a romantic relationship, while she still believes him to be Ron the hitman. While it seems like the movie could just be about Madison eventually finding out that Gary is lying about his identity, it becomes so much more. And so much darker.

What happens to Madison's ex-husband?

While out on a date, Madison and Gary run into Ray, who begins yelling abusive words at Madison. Gary then pulls a gun on him to threaten him, but does not shoot.

Soon, Gary meets up with someone named "Mike," who wants to hire a hitman to kill his wife, but who turns out to be Ray. When Ray recognizes Gary, he's shocked and threatens to take care of the situation himself. So, Gary (still as Ron) warns Madison that Ray wants to kill her.

The next thing you know, Ray is found dead in what Gary's police colleagues (Retta, Sanjay Rao, Gralen Bryant Banks) initially think was related to a drug deal gone wrong, but they soon accuse Madison of being the murderer when they find out that Ray had recently increased his life insurance policy and that Madison was the beneficiary.

hit man l r adria arjona as madison and glen powell as gary johnson in hit man cr brian roedelnetflix © 2024
Brian Roedel / Netflix

How do Madison and Gary get away with it?

Gary suspects quickly that Madison really did kill Ray, because he knows what type of gun she owns and had previously talked to her about the best place to shoot someone to kill them. (The cops say Ray was shot in the aorta with a.38 caliber.) Gary confronts Madison, who says that she killed Ray because Gary (or, uh, Ron) had told her himself that Ray was going to kill her. She also says that Ray increased his life insurance because he's from a rich family and they do stuff like that. At this point, Gary confesses that he is not Ron, but Gary, a guy who is in way over his head and who works with the police. It's like a twisted rom-com reveal. Instead of "this started as part of a bet," it's "this started because I was an undercover fake hitman sent to arrest you."

Anyway, the police—thinking that Madison only vaguely knows Gary as Ron—have him go talk to her undercover while wearing a wire to see if he can get her to confess. But, Gary secretly tells Madison what to say by typing the messages out on his phone. He instructs her to angrily say that she is innocent and then kick him out of her home for even doubting her.

The cops hear this all go down and accept that Madison is not Ray's murderer, except...

hit man l r austin amelio as jasper, sanjay rao as phil and retta as claudette in hit man cr brian roedelnetflix © 2024
Brian Roedel / Netflix

What happens to Jasper?

One of Gary's police colleagues is Jasper (Austin Amelio) a sketchy undercover agent, who was previously suspended for assaulting a group of teenagers. When Gary shows up at Madison's house thinking that they're in the clear, he finds that she is sitting there with Jasper, who is attempting to extort them for the insurance policy money since he figured out the truth.

But, while giving his big gotcha speech, Jasper begins choking and passes out. Madison admits that she drugged a beer she gave him, but adds, "I hope I didn't overdo it." Gary sees only one way out: Jasper must die, so that he cannot wake up knowing both the truth about Ray's murder and that Madison drugged and nearly killed him. So, Gary puts a plastic bag over Jasper's head. He suffocates in the background while Gary and Madison confess their love to one another and start to hookup. Didn't see that coming, huh?

hit man austin amelio as jasper in hit man cr brian roedelnetflix 2024
Brian Roedel / Netflix

What do Madison and Gary do afterward?

A flash-forward in time shows that Gary and Madison live a typical life with a house, two kids, and two dogs. Almost like they didn't secretly kill two people and start a passionate romance while one of them was faking his identity. Madison is shown working with the PTA at her kids' school, while Gary is still a professor. In a voiceover, Gary says, "I eventually found the proper cocktail of Gary and Ron." The final scene shows one of their children asking where they met. While they name the diner where they first met, they don't share the circumstances. This does raise the question of what the police co-workers thought of Gary starting a life with the woman he was sent to try to arrest—twice. But either way, yeah, probably best not to tell their kids the real story.

hit man l r glen powell as gary johnson and adria arjona as madison in hit man cr brian roedelnetflix
Brian Roedel / Netflix

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