‘The Gray Man’ Ending Explained: What Happens to Six?

The Gray Man, available to stream on Netflix starting July 22, is the platform’s most expensive movie to date with a reported budget of $200 million. Unfortunately, all that money didn’t help to make the story a particularly compelling one as it also is a bit of a mess and not in a good way. While good action films often rely on a straightforward premise to put the focus on the spectacle, this is a film that gets caught up in itself in ways that are unnecessarily convoluted and shifts into being a slog. Despite spanning many continents and settings in fight after fight, it relies on a lot of tiresome plotting to get us there. By the time we arrive, much of the tension is gone and the fights play out without any greater investment.

It makes for an experience that is awash in so many spy clichés that it uses to try to instill some sort of thrill though only threatens to drown the entire story. However, seeing as there is the potential for more sequels to come on the horizon based on the film’s conclusion, the meandering story itself could end up becoming quite important. So, if you haven’t already picked up on this, this piece is going to go through all the details of the film’s conclusion up until the very last shot. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want to be spoiled, feel to bookmark this then come back later. If you’re reading this in the future when we get The Gray Man 2: Gray Harder, then this will fill you in on what happened that you will have likely already forgotten.

Based on the hit novel of the same name by Mark Greaney, the film follows two opposing spies. One is known only as Six (Ryan Gosling) and he has been what is known as a Sierra agent for the last 25 years. He joined under duress after being given time off from prison in exchange for him working for them. In an early action scene, we see that Six is meant to carry out a hit on a man doing some sort of information exchange. He is there with his partner Dani (Ana De Armas) who helps him when things go awry. After choosing to not take the initial shot he was commanded to, Six ends up taking his target down in the shadow of exploding fireworks. In his dying breath, the man he was sent to kill informs him that he was also a Sierra agent known as Four. He gives him information on a flashdrive that is hidden in a coin on his necklace and warns him about trusting the corrupt Denny Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page). Dani then approaches to ask him what happened and he tells her the target was a member of Sierra, something she says was not information they were given. Six then departs, leaving Dani behind to clean up with the other agents while he tries to piece together what happened.

Six keeps all of this to himself when questioned by Carmichael, effectively going rogue. He then goes to an internet cafe of sorts where he discovers the drive contains information about illegal CIA dealings that Carmicheal has been carrying out. However, it is encrypted and something he can’t access. He sends the information to his retired mentor Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) and goes on the run. He then sends it to Maurice Cahill (Alfre Woodard) who is similarly retired and dying of cancer. Six involving them both leads to the kidnapping of Fitzroy’s niece Claire (Julia Butters). We learn via flashback that Claire is one of the few people that Six considers family. We get introduced to the film’s antagonist Lloyd (Chris Evans), a mustached maniac known for his tendency for killing everyone in his path. Lloyd uses Claire as leverage to get Fitzroy to give Six up. While he is attacked on a plane, he manages to jump out as it crashes and wrestle a parachute away from a man who tried to kill him. He then gets trapped by a document forger he thought he could trust, gets in a fight with Lloyd, and is saved by Dani. He remains distrustful of her as he believes she may also be corrupt. She places him in the back of a car driving away to put as much distance between them and a now very pissed Lloyd who she shot with a tranquilizer gun. The duo then eventually tries to team up with Cahill, though are attacked again. In the chaos, Cahill sacrifices herself by blowing up her home to give them cover to escape once more.

Lloyd, holed away with his hostages and watching this all unfold on video monitors, starts to unravel. Eventually, Dani and Six track down where he is at for the climactic final sequence. More fights ensue and the duo eventually get into the building. Fitzroy also sacrifices himself after being shot as Six escapes with Claire. Lloyd and Six get in a fight in a fountain, ending with the former dead. All of the blame gets pinned on Lloyd while Carmichael is able to continue to do whatever he wants while Claire is taken to a secret location due to a deal Dani cuts to protect her. Six is sent to a prison but ends up escaping almost immediately. He then sets out to track down where Claire has been taken. He manages to rescue her from the various goons guarding the place as she listens to music in her room. He opens the door to let her know the coast is clear, delivers a one-liner, and they embrace. They then speed off in a car, heading off into the distance where more potential adventurers await. To put it bluntly, the story doesn’t really resolve much of anything. Instead, it just grinds to a halt with basically all the same threats remaining, save for the now deceased Lloyd who was made the fall guy, as it leaves the door open for more sequels. It marks the tentative end to a story that was a mishmash of MacGuffins, concluding less with a bang and more with a whimper.

Leave a Comment