Lou’s Plot Synopsis
Lou, a retired woman living on an isolated island, helps her neighbor Hannah search for her daughter after she is kidnapped. As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Lou has a secret past and that she has connections to the man who took the girl.
During the climax of the film, Lou apparently dies. But is she dead? Or is she still alive at the end of the movie? Let’s take a closer look…
Who is Lu?
On the surface, Lou is a cantankerous old lady living in a cabin in the woods on Orcas Island with only her dog, Jax, for company. After withdrawing all her money from her bank account and digging up some papers which she then burns, she leaves a letter addressed to her neighbor Hannah from her and then sits quietly with a rifle to her chin.
Just before Lou commits suicide, Hannah visits her.
We previously learned that Hannah had a daughter named Vee and that her abusive husband Phillip is presumed dead. However, Phillip isn’t dead when he shows up on the island, kills Hannah’s boyfriend, and kidnaps Vee.
A panicked Hannah calls Lou’s cabin and asks for help, presumably because she knows Lou has hunting skills.
After being distracted from her suicide attempt, Lou agrees to help and thus the search for Vee begins. As the story progresses, we learn why Lou is so good at hunting and discover her secret past.
What is Lou’s true identity?
Before moving to the island, Lou had been a CIA agent.
Not only does this explain his tracking abilities, but it’s also why he’s so agile in combat. We realize this when Lou and Hannah discover a cabin containing two men who work for Phillip.
Lou arrives at the cabin, posing as a frail old woman seeking help. As they begin to realize that she is not as fragile as she seems, Lou deftly traps them both and extracts information from one of them about Phillip.
Being a former CIA agent isn’t Lou’s only secret. In another twist, we discover Lou’s connection to Hannah’s toxic husband.
What is Lou’s connection to Phillip?
During his years at the CIA, Lou infiltrated Iran to get closer to a high-profile target. As part of her cover, he took her baby with her on the mission. The identity of this boy? Philip!
As his mission in Iran progressed, Phillip was taken from him by the people he was investigating. He was later able to organize his rescue, but never contacted him again.
As an adult, Phillip joined the US Army Special Forces before marrying Hannah and having a child with her.
Lou tracked down Phillip’s whereabouts, and in the process discovered that he not only became a war criminal, but was also an abusive husband to Hannah.
Lou somehow orchestrated Hannah’s transfer to the Orcas Islands so she could get away from Phillip. Lou then walked over to Hannah so he could keep a protective eye on her and Vee.
Several years later, Phillip ‘died’ after his apartment was blown up. He was allegedly killed by the authorities as a result of the war crimes he had committed.
After learning of her son’s death, Lou assumed that Hannah was now safe. This is why Lou thought her days of protecting Hannah were over and believing his job was over, Lou decided to kill herself.
But when Hannah told her that Phillip had returned, Lou realized her mission was far from over.
Does Lou rescue Vee?
Phillip takes Vee to a lighthouse and sets it up with explosives. We can assume that he did this because he knew that Hannah and her mother would come looking for him and that his end game was to kill them all.
However, they are not the only ones looking for Phillip. The CIA is also on her trail and not just hers but Lou’s as well, as the documents she burned earlier in the movie contained top secret information about the CIA’s involvement in the events that took place in Iran. .
Lou and Hannah arrive at the lighthouse, and after a confrontation with them, Phillip attempts to set off the explosives. However, his plan is foiled when Lou manages to defuse the bomb.
Hannah and Vee escape into the woods to safety while Lou confronts Phillip to stop him from pursuing them. Mother and son have a fight in the ocean as the CIA arrives by helicopter. The fight between Phillip and Lou slows down and after she breaks down in tears, Lou apologizes to her for not being a better mother.
Their tearful reunion ends when the CIA opens fire on both of them, presumably killing them.
Is Lou really dead?
We see her body fall into the sea so it can be assumed that she has been murdered.
Later, Hannah finds Lou’s letter and discovers that she has inherited Lou’s house and money. When government officials arrive to talk to her about Lou, Hannah tells them that she doesn’t know anything about Lou’s whereabouts or her past. This is a lie since Hannah found out Lou’s identity earlier, but we can assume that she wanted to ensure her and Vee’s safety.
We then see Hannah and Vee on a ferry heading to a new life in Seattle. The camera then pans back to a woman spying on them both with a pair of binoculars. Who is this woman? It’s clear from her bracelet on her wrist and her arthritis-riddled fingers that it’s Lou watching over her daughter-in-law and her granddaughter. As such, she is not dead after all!
What is the meaning of this final scene?
Why is Lou taking care of Hannah and Vee? Is it because Phillip is also still alive or is he worried that the CIA thinks Hannah has the incriminating documents on Iran?
we don’t know. Phillip is probably dead, so it could be that Lou is looking after them both in case the CIA tries to take them. Or it could be that Lou wants to be close to Hannah and Vee in case they get into any other kind of trouble.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section!
Read more: Lou movie review