The jaw-dropping ending to Jordan Peele’s film, explained

The following contains spoilers for Nope, which is playing in theaters now.

At Jordan Peele Nope, OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and his sister, Emerald (Keke Palmer), were stunned to discover a UFO hidden above their Haywood ranch. He was stalking the spot of Agua Dulce, which he occupied for months hiding in a cloud. But the siblings soon realized that if they got footage of the valley, they could make a lot of money and clear the ranch’s debt after the death of their father, Otis Sr..

This led them to work with a technician, Angel, and a cinematographer, Antlers, to record the flying saucer. However, things got complicated when the siblings realized it was actually an alien feeding on horses and people in town. This led to a mind-blowing ending where the heroes set a trap for the beast after it hunted them down, only for the plan to backfire.

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What was the alien trap in Nope?

The alien moved with an electric field around it, knocking out power to the ranch, including cell phones and digital cameras. Fortunately, OJ realized that if someone didn’t look him in the eye, he wouldn’t come after him. As a result, they created a path filled with hot air dolls, which had eyes to distract the being once it swooped down. The plan was for him to chase OJ on the horse he picked up, Lucky, and have Antlers, using an analog camera, capture the photo.

However, a TMZ-esque reporter showed up on an e-bike and sped into the trap area, desperate for his own footage. This key in the spokes came after 40 people were fed at the nearby Jupiter’s Claim theme park, generating news buzz. This eventually led to the bike breaking down and the guy falling, becoming fresh prey. OJ broke the plan and tried to save him, but after the man was eaten, the alien chased after OJ as well. Luckily, Antlers got the hit he needed as OJ came back.

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Who betrayed the heroes in Nope?

Unfortunately, Antlers ran to the top of a mountain to get a better shot. It’s unclear whether Antlers felt the lighting was poor or was just obsessed with capturing another “impossible” sequence. Either way, the moment tied into the film’s theme of show-hungry humanity. That’s why the reporter died and Jupiter’s Claim came under attack, with its owner, Jupe, trying to create a money-making show by making people pay to see the alien eat Lucky.

Unfortunately, Antlers’ greed also got the better of him, with the alien reappearing from the sky and sucking him in. Angel was also sucked in, but it spat him out as he was wrapped in barbed wire. This tied into earlier scenes where the alien was excreting metal and other things he couldn’t digest, which also tied into the death of OJ’s father.


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How did OJ and Emerald adjust to Nope?

OJ knew the alien was angrier and was preparing to feed on all of them, so he climbed into Lucky’s saddle for one last ride. He then began drawing the creature as it changed from a saucer to a jellyfish-like creature. At this point, it went like a hungry kaiju, so OJ waved his sister back to town. He distracted him using the method of argument used by cowboys and jockeys, eventually staring him in the eye to get him to approach him.

As a vortex formed, Emerald rushed the bike, angry that she had to lose her brother. After the sacrifice, the alien chased after her, which was ironic because they named her “Jean Jacket”, after a horse she loved as a child. Emerald’s father sold the horse, so it was like a dark twist that this being was hunting her down after finally devouring OJ and Angel.


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How Emerald defeated the denim jacket in Nope?

Emerald ran to Jupiter’s Claim, remembering that the monster could not digest inorganic matter. She untied the cowboy’s giant float, letting him hover. He had big eyes, so the creature felt her stare at him, encouraging him to suck him in. Emerald then filled in a control panel for a hollow well with parts she had seen earlier in the park. He took snapshots of the sky as part of a fun family-friendly shtick, but she kept going, photographing the float to try and capture Jean Jacket on camera.

But just like Jaws, when the beast ate the float, it jumped inside. And Emerald was thrilled because not only did she win, but she also had her picture. The film ended with the authorities and media arriving, which meant they could seize the evidence and try to cover up the ordeal, or the snapshot might not be exclusive as Emerald had hoped.

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But that wasn’t his main concern in the final sequence. Emerald saw his brother, OJ, on Lucky through the dust with an “Out Yonder” sign above his head, but the shot was vague, seemingly leaving his fate up to interpretation. However, OJ had a ribbon attached to his horse, which the creature didn’t like, so it might have saved him. But seeing as Emerald was reeling from the battle, there’s a chance OJ is dead. The sign may have teased the afterlife and confirmed that Emerald was hallucinating, the heartache of her life tearing apart and the uncertainty of her evidence weighing on her.

See Emerald vanquish the beast in Nope, in theaters now.

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