A white man with glasses has his reflection mirrored three times in "Saltburn"

Does the Ending of ‘Saltburn’ Leave Us With the Chance for More Stories of Oliver Quick?

Saltburn seems to be a movie that you either love to love or love to hate.

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A divisive look at the rich and elite by Emerald Fennell, the film stars Barry Keoghan as Oliver Quick. Oliver goes to Oxford in 2006 with Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), whom Oliver quickly becomes obsessed with because of his charming nature and popular schoolboy antics.

Oliver’s obsession quickly spirals, leading him to do anything to get as close to Felix as possible until Oliver finally gets invited to Felix’s home at Saltburn. The Catton family is beyond rich (old money), and Oliver isn’t—or at least that’s what we’re told in the beginning. Oliver tells Felix that his family is not well off, that he’s at school on scholarship, that his father died of a drug overdose, and he doesn’t want to answer his mother’s calls for the same reason.

Oliver initially gets the invite to Saltburn because of Felix’s sympathy, but Felix questions Oliver’s motivations. Slowly, Oliver’s intentions and his obsession with Felix and the Catton family’s wealth and lifestyle are revealed. Oliver observes, watching everything behind cracks in doors and windows. He sees Felix’s time in a bath and is a voyeur, he preys on Felix’s sister Venetia (Alison Oliver) to push the family’s buttons, and Oliver even gets Farleigh (Archie Madekwe) kicked out of the family. All this just to try and take over the Cattons.

The most shocking twist comes when celebrating Oliver’s birthday reveals that Oliver has been lying to Felix the entire film about everything. Oliver is not poor—he is a well-off middle-class kid with a loving family that just wants him to call more. When Felix brings Oliver back to his hometown to get him to talk to what Felix assumes is Oliver’s “now clean” mother, he discovers that Oliver has been lying to him. He brings them both back to Saltburn and wants Oliver gone.

What we get to see is just how far Oliver is willing to go.

Eat the rich, no matter how f**ked it might be

The twist of Saltburn comes when, during Oliver’s birthday party, Felix Catton is found dead. From there, slowly but surely, the Catton family begins to be picked off one by one, as what Oliver has wanted from the beginning is revealed.

He did seem to love Felix and his allure, as proven by what he ends up doing to Felix’s grave in the film. But more than that, Oliver wants a life he believes should be his—the Catton family was just lucky enough to be born into it. Waiting until Sir James is gone, the ending of the film depicts Oliver coming face to face with Elsbeth Catton (Rosamund Pike), and we see just how much Oliver wants to take from the Cattons.

Saltburn is really about what Oliver believed he was entitled to and how far he was willing to go to get it, and that’s what makes it so deliciously twisted.

Will there be a Saltburn 2?

The ending of Saltburn has left many with questions. Is Oliver really happy with what he did? Will someone come to ruin that happiness? Is he safe at all in the walls of Saltburn? Which then makes us wonder if there will be a second movie to explore what happens to him after the Catton family is almost dead.

Emerald Fennell spoke with Time about what happens to Oliver after everything is said and done: “Well, Farleigh is still around somewhere. Duncan [the butler] knows. The way that Duncan looks at Oliver at the final funeral is clear. He didn’t cover his tracks enormously well. And you can’t win. You can’t really get in. So you know, it will be a Pyrrhic victory I think.”

She went on to say that even with everything Oliver did, he didn’t get what he wanted. “Whether it means that he lives there alone for the rest of his life or not, he didn’t get what he wanted. You know, not really.” Whether that means she will return to Oliver’s story, we do not know.

(featured image: MGM)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.