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Palm Springs Ending, Explained

July 10, 2020
5 min read

Hulu’s ‘Palm Springs’ is a movie that brings several genres into one mix and serves an entertaining cocktail of humor and emotions. It follows the story of two people who are trapped in a time loop and have to come to terms with the new situation of their eternal reality. Despite the morbid nature of their condition, they refuse to give up. By the end, they land on something that seems to open the door to a different possibility for them. But does it work? If you haven’t seen the film yet, head over to Hulu. SPOILERS AHEAD

Plot Summary

Sarah and Nyles attend a wedding that both of them don’t want to be at. Sarah is the bride’s sister and the maid of honor. She gets drunk and forgets to prepare a speech, and is ready to take the flak for ruining the day when Nyles swoops in and saves the day with his unexpected speech. While most people don’t know him at the wedding, he is the bride’s best friend’s boyfriend. While his girlfriend cheats on him with the best man, Nyles hits it off with Sarah. They find a secluded spot in the desert to make out, but things take an unexpected turn when Nyles is shot with an arrow. A mysterious man seems to be hunting him. When both the man and Nyles go into a mysterious cave, Sarah follows them. The next day, she discovers that she is caught in a loop reliving the same day over and over again, with no escape in sight.

The Ending: Do Nyles and Sarah make it out of the loop?

After spending a lot of days in silly antics and meaningless fun, Sarah’s attention goes back to her messed up life before the loop when she wakes up another day on her sister’s fiancé’s bed. The realization that she might be stuck with her mistake for the rest of eternity throws her into a meltdown and she decides to dedicate her days to find a way out of this nightmare. Every morning, she packs up her things and leaves the wedding venue to research. She pours through the books on quantum physics, listens to lectures and talks with experts on the matter to pinpoint the nature of her situation.

Eventually, she discovers that the time loop is a box that she, Nyles, and Roy are stuck in, and the only way out of it is to explore their way out of it. She uses the goat in the desert for the experiment. She sends it through the cave which ensures that the goat is caught in the loop as well. The next day, she ties explosives around the goat and once it enters the cave, she makes it explode. She knows that her experiment is a success when the next day, there is no goat to be seen.

Now that she knows how to get out of November the 9th, she comes back to Nyles. He apologizes for hiding the truth about their past from her, and she tells him about the experiment. Instead of being excited about leaving the place, he asks her to stay there with her. It turns out that he has become comfortable in these predictable set of circumstances and is now afraid to go out of the loop and open himself to the real challenges that are waiting for him out there.

But Sarah is not ready to live with her one mistake for the rest of her life. She wants to move forward from it. So, this time, she does everything right. She behaves well for the rest of the day, gives a great maid-of-honor speech, and wraps up the day without any mistakes. She makes her way to the cave, wrapped in explosives, ready to test the theory on herself. Just as she is about to walk inside, Nyles shows up and expressing his love for her, decides to enter the real world with her. They hold hands and walk into the red light of the cave.

In the next scene, we see Nyles and Sarah resting in the swimming pool of the family that had been on a vacation on November 9. Sarah wonders what they are going to do now, but before the couple can start working on that, the family comes back and demands an answer for what they are doing in their pool. In a previous scene in the film, Nyles had said that he didn’t know when the family was going to come back but it wasn’t on November 9. Turns out, they were to return on November 10. This means that he and Sarah have crossed over to the next day and confirms that they have broken out of the loop.

Read More: Best Time Loop Movies of All Time

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