Spiderhead Ending Explaining In Detail & The End Of Spiderhead Tells Us To Open Our Eyes.
It’s crazy, Spiderhead. The new Netflix film featuring Chris Hemsworth as drug trial lead Steve Abnesti keeps viewers guessing the entire time. It’s equal parts Black Mirror and a twisted experimental piece a la The Cabin in the Woods. The Spiderhead conclusion, which is also appropriately outrageous, gives Miles Teller’s Jeff numerous fresh truths before bidding him farewell with one more confounding query.
Let’s recognize (see what we did there?) what came before and go through a review of the Spiderhead conclusion so that we’re all on the same page before we go deeper into the movie’s primary themes and perplexing concerns. Warning: It becomes really gloomy. Or is that Darkenfloxx instead?
What is B-6 Drug?
Even though we only get small glimpses of the other experimental drugs Abnesti is working on, the most important one is B-6. Without it, all the other drugs are just lab waste.
Steve seems to have been dreaming of a miracle drug his whole life, or at least since his father left him. The “medicine” is supposed to make people submissive and obedient, so they always obey authority, or at least the person giving them the drug. Jeff first says the word “B-6” out loud when he asks what the red vial attached to his bloodstream is for. Even though Steve keeps saying they’ll never use Darkenfloxx again, it’s still attached to him through the MobiPak (the device on his lower back). Jeff also seems to have N-40, which is called the “love drug,” ready to be pumped into his veins at any time. But what is this red one that everyone keeps switching out in their MobiPak?
Mark (Mark Paguio) tries to convince Jeff and the audience that it’s just a placebo, but he doesn’t do a good job of it. In fact, Steve only cares about this drug. Steve planned to sell it to businesses (and maybe even governments) under the name O-B-D-X once it was finished (Obediex). What kind of authority wouldn’t want something that “could get you to follow an order that goes against your deepest values and emotions”? So, Steve would try to give Jeff “love” for Heather (Tess Haubrich) by giving him N-40. The point of the experiment wasn’t to show that N-40 could make people fall in love so much that they’d take off their clothes in front of voyeurs. A few tests pretty much proved that the drug works, right? But Steve wanted Jeff to care so much about Heather as a person that when he did what B-6 told him to do and gave Heather Darkenfluxx, it was because B-6 was more important to him than his love for a woman he had just made love to.
Why do they always agree to “acknowledge” whatever Steve asks of them, no matter how bad it is, as Lizzy said? Yes, the implied threat is that Steve’s company will send them back to high-security prisons if they don’t agree to these tests. There won’t be any more copper pots in the kitchen or trips to tropical islands. But Jeff still agreed to things he might not have done otherwise, like giving Heather the Darkenfluxx in the end. Was he too weak to stand up to Steve? Possibly. But he was also clearly under the influence of B-6, which he had agreed to unknowingly when he “acknowledged” taking part in these tests when he first arrived at Spiderhead.
Jeff’s decisions are affected by his self-loathing guilt, his new life of ease, and the B-6. But Steve wanted to get B-6 to the point where anyone would do anything, even if it meant putting Darkenfluxx into a woman he really loves. Jeff’s biggest regret is that the last woman he loved died in a drunk driving accident when he was younger.
So, for the final test, Steve gives Jeff more B-6 and tries to persuade, threaten, and harass the prisoner into giving Lizzy a drug that is basically torture. The day Lizzy was in danger, she wasn’t the only one…
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How did Jeff reverse the situation with Steve?
The short and simple answer is that Jeff made Mark feel sorry for him. The assistant technician might laugh when a patient is given N-40, but giving someone Darkenfluxx is almost as scary to him as it is to Jeff. When Heather killed herself because of their Darkenfluxx test, Mark was ready to see Jeff and the other prisoners as victims instead of guinea pigs. I think that when Mark saw the Etch a Sketch of Lizzy in Jeff’s room, that was the final push he needed.
So, Mark took all of the drug vials out of Jeff’s MobiPak and put B-6 and Darkenflux in Steve’s, which Steve probably thought was the laughing drug. Mark must have also shown Jeff how to use the app on his phone that controls how much drug he takes. This way, when Steve asks Jeff to give Darkenfluxx to Lizzy to make her sleepy, Jeff can turn the tables on the crazy scientist.
The end of Spiderhead tells us to open our eyes.
Yes, the movie says, we are all made up of chemical reactions, but if those reactions are controlled or dulled artificially, it takes away our humanity. If we want to live, we have to be able to see and accept life as it really is, in all of its often gut-wrenching glory, without fooling ourselves into thinking we’re in charge, happy, or getting a break.
The movie doesn’t say that using any kind of drug that affects or heals the mind is bad in and of itself. It’s important that the drugs aren’t shown as pills, because that helps show that Abnesti’s mixtures are more symbolic than literal. The idea isn’t that dealing with our negative emotions is “bad” in and of itself, but that erasing them completely and trying to fill the void instead of facing it makes us dependent, slaves, and at the end blind to any joy we might be able to find in our lives.
Amnesty blasts the one-hit-wonder Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science.” This is one of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s more cheeky moves, and it emphasizes “Spiderhead” as a reminder that so much of the science and technology in our modern world makes us (figuratively speaking) able to fly straight into a mountainside. The beautiful, awesome landscape around the building is both regal and dangerous; it is both peaceful and dangerous. But in his last, drug-hazed look at it, Abnesti only sees goodness, purity, and light, and he dies because of it. He may be in charge, but he has no idea what’s going on. The ending suggests that we might feel the same way if we don’t want to see things as they really are.