‘I Care A Lot’ Ending Explained: Rosamund Pike’s Netflix Thriller Comes With a Twist

Warning: This article contains major I Care A Lot spoilers. Like, really major ones.

Rosamund Pike‘s sociopathic side isn’t gone yet, girl. In I Care A Lot, a new darkly comedic thriller that began streaming on Netflix today, Pike plays a character that is not so much morally ambiguous as she is full-on evil.

Written and directed J Blakeson, I Care A Lot is part comedy, part thriller, and part gangster movie. The cast, led by Pike, is impeccable; supporting roles are played by Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Chris Messina, and the one and only Dianne Wiest. Sprinkle in a stylish production design, a synth-driven soundtrack, a compelling story, and a few good jokes, and I Care A Lot is a guaranteed good time.

That said, the I Care A Lot ending goes in several directions that most viewers likely weren’t expecting. In fact, some may even find it confusing. If that was you, don’t worry, I’m not here to judge—quite the opposite, in fact. Let’s get into the I Care A Lot plot, and the I Care A Lot ending, explained.

What is I Care A Lot about?

Marla Grayson (Pike) is an ambitious/evil businesswoman who makes her living by preying on America’s vulnerable elderly population. Technically, everything she does is legal—she’s a court-appointed guardian who gets put in charge of an elderly person’s assets when they are deemed unfit to care for themselves. Working with a corrupt doctor, she targets wealthy victims with her business partner and girlfriend Fran (González), seizes the victims’ homes, and then sells all their stuff.

Marla is particularly excited about her latest victim, Jennifer Peterson (Wiest). Jennifer is what Marla calls a “cherry”—rich, no family, retired, and with many years of life left in her, despite her slightly declining memory. Unfortunately for Marla, it turns out Jennifer actually does have family, and not just any family, either. Her son is Roman Lunyov (Dinklage), an infamous Russian mafia boss who retired a few years back and put his mom into hiding. And he’s going to use all of the resources at his disposal to get his mom back.

Roman sends his slick, pinstriped lawyer (Chris Messina) to cut a deal with Marla, but Marla refuses. She’s found diamonds in Jennifer’s safety deposit box that she knows are worth far more than the $300,000 the lawyer offers her, and she thinks he’s bluffing about the whole “whacking” thing. He’s not.

After losing a battle in court due to the incompetent judge (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), and a failed attempt to bust his mother out of the care home where Marla is keeping her, Roman resorts to violence. His people kidnap Marla and bloody up her girlfriend, Fran. But in both instances, Roman fails to finish the job. The Russian mafia just isn’t what it used to be!

I Care a Lot
Photo: Everett Collection

How does I Care A Lot end? What is the I Care a Lot plot twist?

The mafia attempts to drown Marla by drugging her, strapping her into her car, and driving her car into the water. Why don’t they just simply kill her before driving her into the water? Because Roman wants it to look “organic.” Unfortunately for him, Marla regains consciousness while she is drowning, and through sheer force of will, escapes the sinking vehicle. She loses a tooth in the process but puts it in milk (because calcium, maybe?) and has a dentist re-attach it later. Sure!

Marla finds Fran passed out and bloodied in their home, but not yet dead. (Can the mafia do anything right?) The two escape just before their home explodes, and Marla comes up with a new plan to take down Roman once and for all. The women kidnap Roman, drug him, and leave him for dead in the street. But once again, he doesn’t die. Roman wakes up in the hospital, a tube down his throat, and Marla’s canary yellow stilettos resting on his bed. She tells him that she is now his legal guardian because he is a “John Doe” at the hospital. Satisfied that she has won, she demands $10 million.

Roman agrees, but, plot twist: He also proposes that the two of them go into business together. He says the two of them would be unstoppable billionaires. Marla agrees. It works. Marla becomes the powerful, rich CEO she always wanted to be, on talk shows and the cover of magazines.

I Care A Lot: Peter Dinklage as “Rukov”.
Photo: Seacia Pavao / Netflix

What is the I Care A Lot ending, explained?

Double plot twist alert: In the movie’s very last scene, Marla is shot in the chest by a scraggly man who—in the movie’s very first scene—was fighting in court with Marla over the right to see his mother. He tells her his mother died alone, and that he was never able to see her because of Marla.

Marla bleeds while Fran calls for help. We don’t get confirmation whether Marla dies or not, but it seems very unlikely she would survive a direct shot to her chest.

Phew. That’s a lot of plot twists! Personally, I was disappointed that Marla more or less gets away with being a totally evil person. Sure, she gets shot, but it seems likely that her evil empire, Grayson Guardians, will live on. But, hey, at least she dies. Probably.

Watch I Care A Lot on Netflix

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