After months of intense hype and amazing reviews out of SXSW a couple weeks back, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to Get Out finally hit theaters nationwide late last week—and Us is a hit! Though it borders on horror fantasy at times, it’s the horror the counts and Us brings it in spades. In addition to delivering knock-out thrills and engrossing mythologies, Us also packs a sucker punch of a twist in one of the film’s final sequences.
But was there a secondary twist most moviegoers missed? In my opinion: Yes—a big one! If you haven’t seen Us yet, turn back now and bookmark this page for later. The second twist will be revealed below the poster.
At the end of Us, we learn that Adelaide (played by Lupita Nyong’o) is actually her doppelgänger; that she had switched places with the original Adelaide in the house of mirrors in 1986, when they were children. But here’s the second twist almost everyone missed:
Adelaide’s son, Jason (played by Evan Alex) was also one of “The Tethered”! He had been switched out on a previous trip to Santa Cruz, most likely the year before. Here’s why I think this is true:
- Jason draws a picture of the back of his own head. This is the same view Adelaide had of her doppelgänger in the hall of mirrors right before she was overpowered and trapped below.
- While playing at the beach, Jason is digging tunnels in the sand, whereas most kids would be building sand castles. This suggests he’s reminiscing about his original “home”.
- At the beach, Jason is drawn towards the homeless man standing with his arms outstretch. This is very close to the entrance to the house of mirrors, which we know if a portal to the tunnels.
- Jason is practicing a magic trick that he bought at Santa Cruz the year before—but he’s forgotten how to do it.
- Jason is the only member of his family who isn’t enamored with music and doesn’t seem to be able to keep a beat naturally. This is because there was no music underground and The Tethered are less coordinated than their counterparts.
- Jason finds a place to hide in the tunnels, as though he’s been there before.
- Jason is about the same age Adelaide was when she was switched out.
- The mask that Jason wears is a huge clue that he’s not who he claims to be; he’s always in disguise.
Now, you’ve got questions and I’ve got answers.
If Jason was actually Pluto, why didn’t the real Jason make his identity known on the night of The Tethered Rebellion?
Sometime over the past year, while living in the tunnels and playing with matches, Jason severely burned his face. This made it impossible for him to talk. At this point, he was also fully indoctrinated by Red (the real Adelaide) who had taken him in as her own—despite hating him. She had made him just as hateful of the surface dwellers as she was.
If Jason was actually Pluto, why didn’t he take part in The Tethered Uprising?
For the same reason doppelgänger-Adelaide didn’t participate: They hadn’t just escaped the tunnels, but the oppressive, claustrophobic Tethered society. They had already essentially defected and wanted to continue living their lives as “primaries” as opposed to “shadows”.
Does doppelgänger-Adelaide know that Jason is actually Pluto?
Yes, and that’s why she smiles at him during the film’s final sequence. Why else would she smile at him? To scare him? To threaten him? To dare him to expose her? No way! Doppelgänger-Adelaide was smiling at Jason (who is actually Pluto) as if to say, “We made it! We’ve gotten away with it! We’re escaping!” When Jason (who is actually Pluto) pulls down his mask, he’s acknowledging his willingness to continue with doppelgänger-Adelaide’s charade.