Dual Ending Explained: Does Sarah Kill Her Double?

Dual Ending Explained

Riley Stearns is the author, director, and producer of Dual, an American satirical science fiction thriller movie from the year 2022. Starring in it are Aaron Paul, Beulah Koale, Theo James, and Karen Gillan.

The story centers on a lady who, after unexpectedly recovering from a terminal illness, must engage in a life-or-death battle with a clone of herself.

The movie had its world premiere on January 22, 2022, at the Sundance Film Festival. RLJE Films distributed it on April 15, 2022, in the United States.

Table of Contents

Plot Summary

Dual Ending Explained

In the near future, Sarah is an alcoholic with depression who is in a mediocre relationship with her boyfriend Peter and is largely cut off from her nagging mother. Sarah discovers a pool of blood in her bed one day, finds out she has a terminal illness and is informed that she will definitely pass away.

Although the doctor acknowledges a 2% margin of error, he still maintains that Sarah’s death is certain. Sarah decides to have a clone of herself created to take her place in order to spare the people she cares about the suffering of losing her.

She quickly refers to the replica as “Sarah’s Double” and teaches it the rudiments of Sarah’s hobbies and way of life. Ten months later, Sarah is told that she will live and that she has mysteriously entered full remission.

She discovers Peter and Sarah’s Double present when she goes to her mother’s house to tell her the good news, and she is incensed to learn that Sarah’s Double has been in contact with her mother for a long time against her will.

Sarah tries to get things back to normal after the truth is revealed by demanding that her clone be “decommissioned,” only to be rebuffed by Peter and her mother, who both prefer the clone.

Sarah is informed that Sarah’s Double asked to remain alive, which means that they would be required by law to engage in a public duel to the death that they would need to prepare for in a year.

Dual Ending Explained

As she must pay for both her clone and herself, Sarah soon enrolls in combat and self-defense classes with Trent, the instructor. Sarah develops physically and intellectually over the course of the following year, learning how to accept violence and how clone duels work.

She instructs Trent in hip-hop dancing in place of payment for the last month of training. Sarah meets up with Peter and claims she has no malice against him but pledges to adamantly murder her clone.

While conducting a test with Trent, Sarah notices her clone standing outside and runs after her to a playground. Before Sarah’s Double brings Sarah to a support group for those who survived their duels, they discuss their position there.

The two become friends outside and decide to cross the border to live their lives. The following morning, while hiking through a woodland, Sarah learns that her water has been poisoned by Sarah’s Double.

Eventually, Sarah’s Double arrives late and by herself for the battle while claiming to be the original and that the “clone” has left. She is given the go-ahead to take over as the sole Sarah after a judge deems her to be the original following an investigation and court hearing.

However, after taking on the responsibilities of the unfiltered Peter and her adoring mother, Sarah’s Double soon feels just as miserable and dissatisfied as the original Sarah who both know she is the clone. When Sarah’s Double is out driving, she stops in the midst of a roundabout and sobs.

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Ending Explained

Who Survives the Duel?

Dual Ending Explained

One day, as she tries to test her killer instinct by failing to murder Trent’s dog as instructed, she notices her clone keeping an eye on her. She doesn’t think twice before shooting an arrow through her window, shattering the glass, and killing a chihuahua but missing her intended victim.

After pursuing the duplicate to a playground, Sarah eventually sits down with it to discuss their shared lives and how the duplicate has now come to terms with Sarah’s depression.

The clone then brings Sarah to a support group where others who have survived clone duels admit to having imposter syndrome and feeling guilty. The survivors were required by the group’s regulations to describe their current emotions in a letter to their killed peers.

Sarah writes a letter in which she accepts full responsibility and also makes an excellent case for the existence of an arbitrary system that prevents the two of them from coexisting.

As a result, they both have plans to cross the border and live lives free from restrictions. The following morning, Sarah and her clone begin wandering through a forest after leaving the town and arriving at its outskirts.

Sarah discovers her clone had tricked her in the middle of the climb, and because of her trusting nature, she had drank the poisoned water from her double’s container. The duel was scheduled to take place on the playground at this point, therefore the scenario changes.

The referee is informed by “Sarah,” who is now hobbling around the playground and heading her way, that her “clone” has run away, forfeiting the fight.

After conducting a “thorough inquiry,” which mostly consists of asking her family if they think “Sarah” is indeed the original, the family responds in the affirmative because they previously preferred the clone to the original. She may therefore fully take control of her life.

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Dual Ending Explained Film Review

Dual Ending Explained

Dual is eerily emulating Black Mirror in portraying a society in which advances in science fiction and technology are put to uses that go beyond the normal course of human development.

While cloning may seem like a good concept, in theory, it seems and is depicted in this context as a far more complicated way to avoid facing the core grieving emotions.

This future would prefer to accept a cloned replica of the same person rather than accepting and attempting to move on from the death of an individual.

Stearns delicately illustrates that the situation is not as ideal as the commercials would have you believe by pointing out that even the company’s founder, who had invented the technology, had been a clone for 12 years.

But as the commercial comes to a close, we see him leaning in for a kiss with his wife, and she gently pulls away from him. As a counterargument, we see the original Sarah being abandoned in favor of a newer and possibly less refined model, which is a satisfactory result for her family.

However, we also observe the twin descending into the same stage of sadness and unhappiness that had befallen the original Sarah. It demonstrates how the clone was well positioned to become Sarah’s ideal replica in the eyes of both her mother and her lover.

The idea that Sarah’s inability to deal with her sadness and her deteriorating connection with her family played a role in the clone’s development is frightening. Her sadness is made worse by the clone.

There’s a case to be made that Sarah was happiest during her year-long training period or when she started taking hip-hop dance lessons again since those things made her think of the younger version of herself.

But before she could embrace that insight and carry on with her train of thinking, her clone poisoned her in an effort to reclaim her unique identity.


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