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Netflix’s ‘Spinning Out’ Ending, Explained

January 1, 2020
6 min read

Netflix’s new drama series, ‘Spinning Out‘, weaves the tale of a family that revolves around the sports of figure skating. The show takes a “cause and effect” approach and portrays how mental illness can often have a huge impact on one’s athleticism and relationships. It fleshes out several simultaneous stories in context with its huge cast of characters and at times, as a viewer, it can get a little overwhelming to keep a track of all of them. So in this article, we’ll be explaining how all the subplots of the show lead towards its ending. SPOILER AHEAD!

Plot Summary

‘Spinning Out’ centers on Kat, who aspires to compete in the Olympics as a figure skater. Unfortunately for her, she gets gravely injured in the skating rink one day and is eventually forced to give up on the sport. Despite being reluctant about it, she later partners up with her ex-boyfriend for paired figure skating and embarks on a journey to achieve her dreams all over again. But along the way, nothing really goes as planned and while her commitment towards figure skating is constantly tested, even her relationship with the ones around her goes through several trials and tribulations.

The Ending – “Not Everyone Gets a Happy Ending”

To an extent, we’re all programmed to believe that overcoming challenges and then eventually finding love will lead us to eternal happiness. The characters of ‘Spinning Out’ are pretty much the same. As they try to turn around their imperfect lives, they learn that a happy ending may not really exist, but they can still move forward with their lives and focus on what truly matters in the present. So we’ll be further breaking down the storylines of the primary characters of the story and along with that, we’ll also explain how all of them converge towards the show’s ending.

Dasha

Almost an entire episode is dedicated to Dasha’s past. The convivial Soviet-born coach was once a brilliant skater herself and she even won herself several medals. She was also madly in love with another woman. However, just because she lived in an era where queer relationships were looked down upon, she decided to give up on it. Years later, in the present events of the show, she still seems to be lost in the memories past. She even finds her lost lover on Facebook and asks her if they can meet again. And though she gets a “No” for a response, Dasha eventually learns to move on. All her life, she was full of regret and hated how she gave up on that one person she loved. But she finally learns to come to terms with her past.

Kat and Justin

Kat’s struggles begin when she suffers from a life-altering head injury. Even after she completely recovers from it, the PTSD from the injury just paralyzes her and affects her performance in the skating rink. When she’s almost on the verge of quitting, Justin approaches her and asks her to become his partner in pairs figure skating. Being familiar with his ladies’ man reputation, she unanimously disagrees at first. But much later, out of desperation, she ends up becoming his partner. After breaking free from her toxic mother, she starts living at her new coach’s place. 

As Kat and Justin start training under Dasha, they initially fail to trust one another and this, in turn, affects their chemistry as partners in the skating rink. However, with time, Kat begins to realize that Justin’s not half as bad as she thought he was and they start getting closer. The more their relationship grows outside the rink, the more it begins to reflect during their figure-skating performances. But eventually, when Kat decides to quit on her bipolar medication, everything comes crashing down. Kat begins to go through phases of mania and depression that not only land her trouble but also affect the ones around her. 

She eventually realizes that in order to have her old life back, she’ll have to tell everyone the truth about her bipolar disorder. With this, she is finally able to train again with Justin and her coach Dasha. However, when Justin asks her if she actually loves him, she gives him a very uncertain response and tells him that she doesn’t know. This, again, fractures their relationship and though Justin does not give up on figure skating, he ignores her. Kat eventually does realize that she is in love with him and confesses it to him. 

With this, their relationship gets a pretty optimistic conclusion in the first season. Even so, their final performance remains a mystery. This could either be a cliffhanger for the second season or it could be intentional. The sport of figure skating was seemingly a narrative device in the series which took a back seat in the second half. And since the emphasis of its entire second half was solely on the relationships of the characters, the ending was left uncertain only to highlight its focus on what truly mattered.

Carol

No character of the series fits the “icy witch” antagonist trope. However, to an extent, Kat’s toxic mother, Carol, initially comes off as a negative character. Even when she intends to do something good for her family, all of it just backfires on her because of her bipolar disorder. And as much as she loves her daughters, her episodes of mania often get in her way of being a good mother to them. In the final episode of the show, she ends up screwing up her relationship with her daughter’s coach and even her relationship with both of her daughters’ wavers. But she still decides to take full responsibility for her family when she realizes that her daughters need her.

Mostly because of her bipolar disorder, Carol ends up losing her relationship with Mitch and clearly, things don’t end too well for her either. But she does eventually prove to be a good mother by standing up for both of her daughters. In the final moments of the series, there is a scene that shows a flashback in which Carol surprises her young daughters by pulling off a whole backyard camp for them. This scene perfectly encapsulates how much she loves her daughters regardless of all of their arguments and misunderstandings. She is in no way a perfect mother and will probably never be one. However, she still chooses to deal with it and protects her daughters in every possible way she can.

In the end, Carol, Kat, and Serena are all forced to face the consequences of their past actions. But they learn that, no matter what happens, it’s their family that comes first.

Read More: Where Was Spinning Out Filmed?

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