‘Trigger Warning’ ending explained: Why does Jesse kill himself?
(Credits: Netflix)

Film Flashback

‘Trigger Warning’ ending explained: Why does Jesse kill himself?

Trigger Warning starring Jessica Alba is the latest all-action blockbuster Netflix have sent straight to the little screen. It’s a story of personal duplicity, political corruption and illegal arms sales.

The film is the second big-hitter Netflix has released in quick succession, which relies on the star quality of its female lead. In the case of Atlas, it was Jennifer Lopez driving the mech. Here, it’s Alba taking care of the bad guys with the help of her trusty machete.

Alba isn’t new to this kind of role. She already features in several action movies currently available to stream on Netflix, including installments from the Fantastic Four franchise and the 2015 flick Barely Lethal. In the latter film, Alba was playing the arms dealer. Here, in Trigger Warning, the tables have turned.

In her latest action role, Alba’s character, Parker, must come to terms with the role of her ex-boyfriend’s family in her father’s death. It turns out that the Swann family, whose patriarch is a corrupt US Senator, is running an illegal arms trade in the town of Creation.

In the process of interrogating the senator, Parker comes to learn that his son, her ex-boyfriend Jesse, was the one who shot and killed her father. “Pops”, as she calls him, found out that the Swanns were using a tunnel to smuggle illegal arms in and out of the town. “And he went to blow it up.” In the process, he was discovered by Jesse, who “shot him in the back” in a cowardly attempt to save his family’s business.

In the movie’s climax, having already dispatched the other Swanns with the blade of her sword, Parker comes face-to-face with Jesse. After the two grapple, Jesse pulls out a grenade and releases the pin from it, while still keeping the trigger locked with his thumb. Parker initially thinks he plans to blow her up with the weapon, and reasons with him that it’s already too late. “Everyone in town knows what you’ve done,” she tells him, so there’s no point in killing her too.

Instead, Jesse tells her, “I’m getting out of here.” Even if he’s taking her with him, his main aim now is to kill himself.

Why is Jesse suicidal?

When Parker realises what his intentions are, she approaches Jesse, takes his hand, and tries to stop him from blowing himself up by handing the grenade over to her. As she calms him, he cries, revealing to her his guilt about her father’s death. “I offered to cut him in,” he sobs, suggesting that her father refused to be bribed or blackmailed by the Swanns.

With his father and brother already dead, his illegal trade and murderous actions revealed, and his ex-girlfriend now his sworn enemy, Jesse feels he has nothing to live for. He expresses regret that he didn’t leave the town as Parker had done to get away from his criminal family. “This place is a black hole that fucking eats you up,” are his final words.

He pushes Parker to safety as he drops the grenade. Amazingly, his body somehow remains intact after the explosion, as does the ground he was standing on. This allows Parker one last anguished look at his corpse before we cut to the movie’s happy ending.