Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead. If you haven’t yet seen the movie, turn back now!
Both the book and the movie versions of Gone Girl are highly enjoyable — except for the ending, which is impossible to believe. What could possibly have compelled Nick to go back to living with Amy, the lying, killing sociopath who tried to frame him for murder and came very close to getting away with it?
If Amy really was having their child — if that wasn’t yet another elaborate lie — there were other ways Nick could have had a relationship with the child without having to to risk death at crazy Amy’s hands every time he turned his back or fell asleep. As for the movie’s suggestion that Nick craved the excitement that Amy brought to his life — there was nothing in Nick’s character to suggest that he wanted or needed that level of craziness.
The false note struck by the Gone Girl ending doesn’t ruin everything that came before, but a more satisfying ending would have made the experience so much better. Here are three endings that are more plausible than the one that we saw:
1. Detective Rhonda Boney triumphs
Detective Boney had a hunch, from the beginning, that Nick was innocent. She was the only one, aside from Nick’s sister, who believed in him — and they were the only ones who turned out to be right.
Imagine an ending where Detective Boney was vindicated, where she stood up to all the other cops and FBI agents who wanted to sweep the whole thing under the rug after Amy came back. Imagine justice triumphing, with Amy sitting in a dank cell on Death Row awaiting her richly deserved fate.
And if that seems too sappy, then imagine that Nick still pines for her. That should keep the creepiness going enough to counteract the sweetness of seeing justice served.
2. Nick tries to kills Amy
Imagine the movie started with the same ending it actually had, with Nick taking Amy back, but then continued on. Imagine it showed Nick and Amy living together again, and then Amy quickly becoming unbearable, as we know that she would. When she goes back to her old tricks, she drives Nick over the bend, and he finally sees the light and becomes determined to get rid of her once and for all.
And so he plots to kill her. But Nick is nowhere near the master planner that Amy was, and his plot fails. He is caught, convicted, and given the death penalty. While he rots in jail, we see Amy free, triumphant, with the world again on her side — and already flirting with her next victim.
3. Amy drowns in a motel pool
Imagine that Amy kills Desi and is about to return to Nick, but first goes off to take care of one piece of unfinished business — dealing with the people who ripped her off in the hideaway motel. She is intent on getting revenge, but this time, her emotions take over and interfere with her usual uncanny ability to carefully and coolly make plans. She makes a fatal mistake, and the thieves save their lives by drowning her in the motel’s swimming pool. Nick grieves, being too dense to understand that he has just dodged a bullet.
Were you satisfied with the Gone Girl ending?