What is happening in ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’? – a plot summary, analysis, and the ending explained

Charlie Kaufman’s latest film I’m Thinking of Ending Things is arguably his most inaccessible work yet. I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about it, reading about it, and dissecting it. Here’s the best explanation I’ve been able to come up with (Note: Spoilers, obviously).

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a video essay as researched as this one, and it’ll probably be a long time until I do one again. It’s just too much work to do on top of my full time job to become a regular thing, but this movie was so compelling (plus I had a brief opening with the holiday weekend) that I pushed through to make it happen. I hope enjoy it.

When Normality Is a Blessing

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The other day, I did something that would’ve been considered normal during any other time in my life: I went out to a movie.

Of course, it wasn’t at a movie theater (the vast majority of movie theaters in America are still closed). Instead, it was at a pop-up drive-in movie theater created by a local restaurant called Canlis. I vlogged the experience and you can watch the whole thing here:

In the Before Time, Canlis was a high-end restaurant offering spectacular views of the Seattle area from its location at the top of Aurora Avenue. In recent days, their owners have realized that Seattle doesn’t need a high-end restaurant right now, so they’ve launched a series of experiments to keep their workers in business while also serving the community.

While these initiatives (found on their website) are ephemeral and seemingly random, there’s one thing that unifies them all: A level of care and thoughtfulness that you rarely find in the service industry.

Typically, the people who go to Canlis are celebrating a major life event like a wedding, a birthday, an anniversary. But when we arrived for the drive-in movie along with about 50 other parties, I imagine that many of us were in a state of exhaustion. The quarantine has worn many of us down mentally and the ongoing slow-motion train wreck of the pandemic just saps whatever energy is left.

That’s why the entire experience was so rejuvenating. Just being in the presence of people who valued the customer experience while being understanding that we are living in a situation where we are all fearing for our lives. It had been awhile since we’d received that level of care.

Sometimes the things that we used to consider as normal can be a great blessing in times of distress. I hope you can still find some normal things to celebrate these days.


It’s been awhile since the last email update! (So what else is new?) Something I’ve been struggling with is how to balance my time between the email updates, my many podcasts, and my YouTube channel. Whenever I start focusing on one, the others start calling for my attention, and I feel as a result that I don’t make that much headway on any of them.

But I’ve started making short, quick-hit videos on my YouTube channel and hoping to keep that consistently, while updating this newsletter with shorter pieces that summarize all that I’ve been working on. We’ll see how it goes.

A few things I’ve been working on lately:


Other interesting things from around the web:

A few thoughts on ‘Hillary’

Love her or strongly dislike her, Hillary Clinton has led an interesting and remarkable life in American politics. Nanette Burstein’s 4-hour documentary (now streaming on Hulu) is a fascinating, insightful, and expansive look at her career. Virtually every major event in Clinton’s political life is covered here, and you get to hear Clinton’s perspective on each one in a way you never have before.

I love the way Burstein structures this doc, cutting from her 2016 election campaign back to critical milestones throughout Clinton’s life. It allows you to see parallels between the present day and the challenges that have dogged Clinton throughout her life.

There is a TON of candid behind-the-scenes footage that gives you a glimpse at Clinton and her staff in a far more unguarded state than we’re used to. You really feel like you get to see the human behind the figure that the media has created.

All that said, those hoping for an extremely even-handed perspective on Hillary will likely be disappointed. This is a largely sympathetic portrait, but not necessarily one that feels undeserving.

But even those who aren’t Hillary fans I think will find a lot of insight here as to how media and politics have changed and shaped our perception of Clinton throughout the years. This being the week that Elizabeth Warren has dropped out of the Presidential race, there are too many parallels to count.

‘The Invisible Man’ Review

Wow it is really upsetting to see Elizabeth Moss being controlled by a sinister force that seeks to strip her of her individuality and define her actions and beliefs in increasingly upsetting ways.

Anyway, on a totally separate note, I saw The Invisible Man recently.

Leigh Whannell hits another solid one out of the park, crafting a horror thriller that’s equal parts scary and upsetting (and seemingly doing it on a pretty low budget). Whannell understands that with a concept like the invisible man, even a simple camera pan can convey terror as you have no idea if the villain is actually standing right there.

Moss is doing top tier work here. At one point she has a conversation WITH A DOORWAY that is one of the most mesmerizing pieces of acting I’ve ever seen. Her performance really elevates this  material.

Other random notes:
-The opening sequence of this film is a masterclass in showing instead of telling.
-I saw this movie in Dolby Atmos and I’d recommend that presentation (or IMAX) if you can, as the sound design in the film is truly excellent. For much of this film you’re only hearing the action as opposed to seeing it.
-I wasn’t a fan of the later plot developments in the film, which I thought gave the whole thing a much more muddled and ambiguous message.