The Suicide Squad Ending, Plot Twists & Future Explained
Warning: This article contains .
Task Force X takes on Starro the Conqueror in the climactic ending battle of , and not everyone makes it out alive. But as the dust settles, a pre-credits stinger and post-credits scene bring two members of the team back from the dead.
, The Suicide Squad brings together a new group of indentured supervillains for a top secret mission with poor odds of survival. When the infiltration of Corto Maltese leaves most of Task Force X dead, it's up to returning team members Rick Flag and Harley Quinn - along with newcomers Bloodsport, King Shark, Peacemaker, Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2 - to get inside a former Nazi fortress called Jotunheim and destroy all traces of "Project Starfish." Needless to say, things don't go according to plan.
With the fate of Corto Maltese hanging in the balance and a giant psychic starfish rampaging through the city, Bloodsport defies Amanda Waller and leads the surviving members of the Suicide Squad into battle. Here's a breakdown of The Suicide Squad's ending, the movie's layered timeline, and the set-up for the .
In DC Comics, earns its name by being hell-bent on taking over planets and enslaving their people. In The Suicide Squad, however, the giant cosmic starfish is as much a victim as it is a villain. "The Conqueror" was an ironic nickname given to Starro by the Thinker, designed to mock his test subject as it was held captive and tormented for decades. By the time Starro breaks out, however, it's angry and vengeful enough to want to earn its title as "Conqueror."
How did Corto Maltese end up falling prey to an alien kaiju? Well, once upon a time Starro was peacefully floating through space, minding its own business, when it crossed paths with a ship full of American astronauts. They brought it onboard with little thought for the trouble they might be unleashing, and as a defense mechanism Starro spawned several mini-starfish drones that took control of most of the crew, with only one astronaut escaping by shutting himself in a different part of the ship. at around the time that the Cold War was ending, but the U.S. government was interested in its potential as a super-weapon and assigned Dr. Gaius Grieves a.k.a. The Thinker to conduct experiments on it.
As Gaius explains to Task Force X when they reach Jotunheim, the American government wasn't comfortable with keeping Starro on U.S. soil. Instead, a deal was struck with the Herrera family - the rulers of Corto Maltese - to allow Grieves to hold Starro inside Jotunheim and use enemies of the Herrera family as test subjects in his horrible experiments. This state of affairs continued for thirty years, until General Silvio Luna led a military coup that ended in the public execution of the Herrera family and the Corto Maltese military seizing control of Jotunheim and everything in it. Fearing that the truth about Starro would get out, given the new Corto Maltesian government's anti-American stance, put together a Task Force X team with the goal of destroying all evidence of U.S. involvement in "Project Starfish."
The Suicide Squad weren't aware of the true nature of their mission - with one exception. Waller privately tasked Peacemaker with making sure that any records linking Starro to the U.S. government were destroyed, and making that his main priority. As Bloodsport and the other survivors learn when Starro breaks free of Jotunheim, Waller doesn't really care about the monster starfish getting loose and killing people; in fact, she admits that creating unrest in a nation that's hostile to the United States is a bonus rather than a drawback. Once again, Waller proves that she's more ruthless and cruel than any of the super-criminals she's recruited to her team.
Task Force X is split into two teams at the start of The Suicide Squad: Team 1, whose job is essentially just to distract the Corto Maltese army and make a lot of noise while dying horribly; and Team 2, whose job is to quietly sneak onto the island and actually accomplish the mission of destroying Project Starfish. The surviving members of Task Force X split up again at the end of the movie, with one group setting explosives on the higher levels of Jotunheim while the other descends into the bowels of the fortress to reach the Thinker's laboratory.
Rather than cutting back and forth, instead doubles back at these two key points - first showing one team's progress, and then jumping back in time to show parallel events with the other team. After the bloody prologue with Team 1's assault on the beach, the movie goes back in time three days to show how Bloodsport was recruited as the leader of Team 1, and to explain exactly what Task Force X is doing on Corto Maltese. The movie's final act then shows Rick Flag, Peacemaker and Ratcatcher 2's role in the Jotunheim assault, before going back in time eight minutes to show what Bloodsport, Harley Quinn, King Shark, Polka-Dot Man and Milton were doing on the upper levels (and why the explosives were set off early).
This zig-zagging timeline allows The Suicide Squad to jump straight into the action at the start of the movie, rushing through only the bare minimum exposition via Savant's recruitment rather than getting bogged down in explaining Task Force X to newcomers. By the time Amanda Waller is giving her presentation on Project Starfish to Team 2, the audience has already been drawn in and given a taste of the chaos to come. The second timeline jump at the end of the movie creates eight minutes of suspense as Ratcatcher 2's fate is left uncertain, and also for a particularly badass entrance. It's not so convoluted as to become confusing, and it's a fun way of shaking up the usual superhero movie formula.
Though Bloodsport does embrace his leadership role at the end of The Suicide Squad, his initial attack plan hits a snag when Starro squashes and smashes King Shark into a building. Ultimately the final death blow is struck with a bit of teamwork from Ratcatcher 2 and Harley Quinn, while poor Bloodsport is left to cower under a living wave made up of what looks like every rat in Corto Maltese.
Despite dying at the very start of The Suicide Squad, Javelin also plays a part in Starro's death as Harley Quinn uses his signature weapon to stab Starro through the eye and create an access point for Ratcatcher 2's rats. Once inside the giant starfish, the rats chew through its nerve endings and eat their way inside its brain until Starro dies. With its last words (delivered via one of the human drones), Starro mournfully remembers how peaceful it had been to float through space and look at the stars.
For a death that involves an army of rats swimming through the eye juice of a giant alien starfish, Starro's demise is surprisingly poignant. As she directs her rat friends to attack Starro, recalls a happy memory from her childhood when she asked her father why he had chosen to focus his genius as an inventor on controlling rats. Ratcatcher 1 explained that rats are the "lowliest of creatures," and if they can be useful and have purpose then so can anyone in society who is hated and unwanted - including homeless, penniless petty thieves like themselves. Task Force X is similarly made up of hated and unwanted people whose lives are considered expendable, and yet by working together they're able to save the people of Corto Maltese from total annihilation.
Though Rick Flag had wanted to use the Project Starfish hard drive to tell the world the truth about America's role in bringing Starro to Earth, the rather more pragmatic Bloodsport uses it as leverage to regain his freedom, and that of the Suicide Squad's surviving members. After uploading the contents of the hard drive to a secure server, Bloodsport warns Amanda Waller that unless she allows him and his new friends to go free and remain unharmed, the evidence will be released to the press. Waller begrudgingly accepts his terms, but still claims her own personal victory of having turned Bloodsport into a leader against his will.
The Suicide Squad being set free doesn't mean that Bloodsport, Ratcatcher 2, King Shark and Harley Quinn can't return for . As Amanda Waller said in the 2016 movie, her speciality is getting people to do things that they don't want to do. Now that these four have proven their worth as members of Task Force X, it's probably only a matter of time before Waller finds another way to get leverage over them - whether it's threatening Bloodsport's daughter again, or promising King Shark another opportunity to eat some tasty humans.
Weasel appeared to be the most short-lived member of Task Force X, thanks to Amanda Waller's control room team failing to check whether or not the creature knew how to swim. However, it seems that the only links between the control room and the members of the Suicide Squad are the team's radios and the explosive devices in their necks, and Waller has no direct way of monitoring their vital signs. So, when Savant declares that Weasel is dead after dragging it from the water, Waller simply takes his word for it. A pre-credits stinger reveals that Weasel didn't actually die from drowning; instead, it regains consciousness long after the battle is over and scurries off into the jungle.
This is probably bad news for the people of Corto Maltese, since includes the murder of 27 children. Even if Waller finds out that Weasel is still alive, getting the creature back to Belle Reve probably won't be much of a priority for her (after all, it's not particularly useful in the field). For now it looks like Weasel is destined to become the resident cryptid of Corto Maltese, preying on anyone unfortunate enough to venture into the wrong part of the jungle.
will return as the great lover of liberty in , an eight-episode spinoff TV series created by James Gunn that will be coming to HBO Max in January 2022. Cena recently wrapped filming on the first season of Peacemaker in Vancouver, and according to the show's official synopsis it will "explore the origins of [Peacemaker]... a man who believes in peace at any cost - no matter how many people he has to kill to get it."
Peacemaker is left for dead after being shot in the neck by Bloodsport, but reveals that he was retrieved from the ruins of Jotunheim and brought back alive. Peacemaker's blind willingness to do whatever he's told in the name of liberty - from killing his own teammates to eating a beach full of penises - makes him a very useful tool for Amanda Waller. Her employees are considerably less enthusiastic about being put in charge of Peacemaker as punishment for their mutiny against Waller, but considering that Waller murdered her last control room team in cold blood, they're probably getting off easy.
Despite his violent love of protecting the peace, Peacemaker's spinoff series may also see him start to question the orders that he's given. Peacemaker is visibly shaken after killing Colonel Rick Flag in order to stop him from releasing the contents of the hard drive; killing the men, women and children of a foreign nation is one thing, but killing an American war hero is a little harder to rationalize. The chrome-helmeted killing machine also seemed conflicted when he was about to shoot Ratcatcher 2, but told her that he couldn't let her live because "I'm thorough."
Speaking to , Cena teased that Peacemaker "turns up the volume" compared to The Suicide Squad and James Gunn said that the show is "giving me a way to deal with some things politically that are going on in the world." It sounds like the show will test the boundaries of just how far Peacemaker is willing to go in the name of peace and liberty, and whether there's a line he won't cross.