16 November 2019 20:39
Netflix's new thriller Earthquake Bird, sets up the mystery of who killed Lily Bridges - and the ending appears to answer that question (with some room left for doubt). The latest film from director Wash Westmoreland, of 2018's Collette and 2014's Still Alice, is a dour mystery-drama about a woman who seems haunted by an unending stream of death all around her. Split between a police interrogation and the events leading up to the investigation, the movie finds no easy conclusions amid a person's disappearance and the people that surrounded her. Played by Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Lucy Fly is an English expat in 1989 Tokyo working as a translator. She starts dating reclusive photographer Teiji (Naoki Kobayashi) and introduces him to her friends, among them Lily Bridges, played by Riley Keough.
Confident and flirtatious, Riley and Teiji begin to hit it off, sending Lucy into a paranoid spiral about them cheating on her. Eventually, her worries spill over during a trip to Sado Island, and her concerns bear fruit when she finds Teiji photographing Lily, as he's done to Lucy and his previous girlfriends. Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Related: The 25 Best Films on Netflix Right Now A confrontation between Lily and Lucy on the night Lily vanished makes Lucy the top suspect. But as we learn during her recollections, she's a deeply unreliable narrator, and whatever happened to Lily isn't a question she can adequately answer. Here's what goes down in Earthquake Bird's ending and what it all means. What Actually Happens At The End of Earthquake Bird Shortly after Lucy admits to Lily's murder, DNA tests come back stating that the body the police found wasn't Lily's, change the case type from a murder to a missing person, and letting Lucy off the hook. However, she is less than thrilled, because now the leading possibility is that Lily and Teiji ran off together, leaving her alone with her guilt, sadness and grief once again. One of the detectives explains to her that though she may feel like she killed Lily, there's no evidence to suggest this is true, indirectly telling her not to feel so guilty. Leaving the police station, Lucy decides to go to Teiji's place and check his photo collection for proof of where he and Lily currently are. She finds pictures of Lily's dead body, and tries to take them to the police, but the detectives are gone, so she goes back to her apartment... where Teiji is waiting for her. He asks if she's told the police anything and, upon learning she hasn't, offers for them to leave the next day and not look back. Still feeling betrayed, Lucy rejects him, and he gets angry, trying to choke her on the couch. She slams a bowl into his head, and a chunk of glass stabs into his skull, killing him. The film then jumps to Lucy on some sort of a retreat with her music group. She expresses deep remorse for when she accidentally caused another of the members to slip on the stairs and fall to her death. Her companion responds that she'd just had the stairs waxed, something she rarely ever does, and advises Lucy not to feel guilty about that (or an unnamed "him" - presumably Teiji) before the picture ends. Related: Will The My Chemical Romance Reunion Affect Netflix's The Umbrella Academy? Who Killed Lily Bridges (& Why)? There are two suspects for killing Lily Bridges in Earthquake Bird, and both are likely for different reasons. The first option is Teiji, a man of mystery with an ill-defined past. We know he liked the idea of making Lucy jealous, as he tells her himself when they leave a concert together, and we know he has a previous girlfriend that just isn't around any more. He and Lily were obviously getting close, and if the photos he had developed are to be taken at face value, it's likely after trying to reconcile with Lucy, Lily went to him - causing him to beat her to death in rage, and photograph it afterwards for his own sadistic pleasure. But that's if we take those pictures at face value, because the other option is Lucy. Already in a constant fragile state because of the grief and guilt of incidentally killing her brother, and having felt like she's been cursed ever since, Lucy doesn't internalize complicated feelings very well. She has vivid fantasies about Lily making physical advances on her and Teiji, and other friends visiting her. Perhaps she actually did manage to find Lily that night after shutting the door on her, and did in fact kill her with a brick, finally taking all that pent up emotion out on somebody. Teiji, stalking the two, may have taken a picture right after – or perhaps Lucy imagined the image's contents, given that we never get a second look to confirm the details. What Was Earthquake Bird's Ending Really About? In Earthquake Bird, Lucy carries so many guilty feelings that they poison any truly close relationship she tries to build. Unable to reconcile tragic mistakes with her direct involvement – and being taken advantage of as a teenager – she escaped to Japan to get away from her distant family. There, she establishes a new life, but once she gets close to Teiji and meets Lucy, things start to go awry. She struggles to maintain rational perspective, and finds herself only making things worse. In the end, she tries to use Lily's perceived death as an act of penance, of admitting guilt and getting duly punished. But even that isn't so easy, and she has to once again live with another body on her conscience - a person that maybe she could've helped somehow, even if she had no way of knowing what would happen. In the final scene, she finds some comfort in another carrying the same kind of guilt over their actions, learning that everyone has some of these regrets, and that it's up to her to give them power over her life. Next: Netflix's Rattlesnake: The Curse and Ending Explained Share Tweet Email Copy Link Copied