Harry Styles and Florence Pugh lying in bed in Don't Worry Darling

‘Don’t Worry Darling:’ Let’s Talk About That Ending

Darling, I'm with you all the time.

After all the behind-the-scenes drama, Don’t Worry Darling finally hit theaters on September 23. Despite all the controversial rumors, I was still excited about the release. Director Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) took us into the 1950s dreamy town of Victory where Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) lived in martial bliss. In a town of vivid colors, the ability to “charge” all of your purchases, and your husband being home in time for dinner, how could a girl be anything but happy?

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Of course, after watching the trailer, we know the picture-perfect always hides something sinister. Alice (played flawlessly by Pugh) goes from a happy housewife to questioning everything around her, making her feel like she’s going crazy. Even her beloved husband Jack seems to think she is having a break from reality. In a twist ending, we all learn the horrible truth about the Victory Project. Let’s go over what exactly that ending was all about.

The rest of this post contains spoilers for Don’t Worry Darling.

I can’t get that song out of my head

The company community founded by esteemed boss and charismatic cult leader Frank (Chris Pine) is supposed to be ideal. Men who work for the top-secret Victory Project go to work every day. Their wives stay at home to cook, clean, shop, and go to ballet classes (for some strange reason). How could these women want more from life? Even if you count all that as normal, Alice keeps humming a song no one can place the origin of (obviously not one of the songs from the amazing soundtrack), letting us know something creepy is on the way.

After Alice sees her estranged friend Margaret kill herself, she starts to see things much differently. She begins to hallucinate and question everything around her. She sees strange patterns, like no one talks about their lives before Victory, all the people are from the same major cities, and the couples have similar “how they met” stories. Frank confirms her suspicions that things are not alright, but when she tries to convince others they think she is having mental issues.

Finally, Alice tells Jack they need to leave town. After some convincing, he agrees to pack up and go. However, when Alice joins him in the car, a group of men in ominous red jumpsuits pull her from the vehicle. They take her to a hospital where doctors administer electroshock therapy. And Alice sees what Victory truly is.

The real enemy: men

Florence Pugh looking terrified in Don't Worry Darling
(New Line Cinema)

Turns out the movie doesn’t take place in the 1950s. It is set in the modern day. Alice used to be a doctor (a surgeon no less!) whose boyfriend Jack struggled with finding employment and purpose. Styles went from trophy husband who pleased his wife to skeevy dude you don’t want around you very quickly. To make sure their financial needs were met, Alice worked extra shifts at the hospital while Jack stayed home. Instead of cooking, cleaning, or doing anything important, he expected Alice to make their meals when she got home.

While he could have been looking for a job or taking a class or supporting his beloved, Jack listened to a podcast by Frank that proclaimed the modern world has made us unhappy and that society must return to “better” times of the past (Alex Jones much?). Jack got on board with the toxic worldview and signs up to be part of the Victory Project that Frank was offering to a select few. The Victory Project turned out to be a virtual reality where Jack (and most of the other men we saw in the movie) hold their female partners captive without their consent. In the real world, Alice’s body lies motionless in a bed hooked up to an IV for sustenance.

We find out the song Alice always sings is something Jack used to sing to her before he turned into a disgusting excuse for a man. When Alice goes back into Victory with her mind supposedly wiped from all this knowledge, Jack sings the song again and it triggers her memories, causing everything to come flooding back to her. Alice confronts Jack, only for him to say this is for her benefit and he hates leaving her to work so she can stay in the fantasy land men built. They get into a physical altercation and Alice accidentally kills Jack (which is justified). With the help of her friend Bunny (who knew they were in a made-up world), Alice makes a break for the Victory headquarters/simulator exit. While being chased by the men in jumpsuits, she makes it to the headquarters and touches it before the screen goes black. We can hear her breathing, meaning that she made it out of Victory before anyone could stop her.

Basically, the toxic masculinity is coming from inside the house the entire time and Alice barely makes it out alive.

(featured image: New Line Cinema)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.