‘Dual’ Ending Explained: Does Sarah Kill Her Double?

Dual Plot Synopsis

After being told that she has an incurable disease, Sarah (Karen Gillan) decides to pay for a clone of herself so her mother and boyfriend won’t have to be alone after she has gone. As this movie is set in the future, the cloning process doesn’t take long at all, as after spitting into a cup, the clone is alive an hour later and ready to learn more about Sarah and the life that she will be taking over.

Fortunately for Sarah, she is later told that she has gone into remission. As such, she isn’t dying after all! This is good news for Sarah but the situation isn’t that simple. As her clone has filed a motion to remain alive, Sarah discovers that she now has to take part in a court-mandated duel to the death with her double. Does she emerge the victor? Or does the double kill her and take over her life?

Keep on reading to learn more.

Does Sarah get on well with her clone?

Sarah doesn’t become friends with her clone but she starts to tolerate her double rather quickly. She teaches it more about her likes and dislikes and helps it to become accustomed to her way of living.

So far so good but when Sarah’s boyfriend and mother start to like the double more than Sarah herself, she starts to feel neglected and resentful. The fact that her double has the perfect body and (due to an error in the cloning process) blue eyes, doesn’t improve the way Sarah is feeling either.

Thankfully, Sarah finds out that she has overcome her illness. In normal circumstances, she would be allowed to decommission her clone and have it wiped out of existence. She would then be able to resume her life and her family relationships.

But by the time Sarah learns she has gone into remission, the clone has lived a long enough time on Earth to be allowed the chance to stay alive if they so wish. Sarah’s double expresses this wish and that means one thing: by law, the two have to duel it out to determine who lives and who dies.

How does Sarah take this news?

As well as you might expect! After being told that she isn’t going to die from whatever illness had affected her body, the last thing she wants is to die at the hands of her clone. So she decides to prepare herself for battle with the help of Trent, a professional combat trainer. He teaches her how to use her body as a weapon and gives her advice on when and how to use a variety of different weapons.

Sarah also takes part in a body workout class to get herself into shape for the upcoming battle.

Does Sarah become a killing machine?

Knowing how to kill and actually killing somebody are two very different things, as Sarah discovers. Trent brings in his dog and asks Sarah to kill it with a bow and arrow. Sarah can’t do it – the dog is far too cute – and this throws into question her ability to kill her double.

However, Sarah then notices her double through the window. While she wasn’t able to kill the dog, she is suddenly driven to kill the clone and she fires an arrow through the window. She misses and kills another dog instead!

Despite missing the intended target, it seems that Sarah may have what it takes to kill her double after all. After giving chase, she finds her clone hiding within the play equipment at a children’s park. But rather than trying to murder one another, the two women have a heart-to-heart conversation instead and share their feelings with one another.

Sarah lets the double know that she is unhappy about the way she has taken over her life. And the double expresses her unhappiness at living Sarah’s life, as she is struggling to cope with Peter, Sarah’s boyfriend, and her mother.

Do Sarah and her double become friends?

Not really but they start to understand one another better. After attending a support group for duel survivors, the two decide to subvert society’s expectations and leave the country together.

After preparing for their wilderness escape, Sarah picks her double up and drives her to the woods. During the car trip, the clone tries to learn the intricacies of driving from Sarah.

When they arrive at their woodland destination, they check each other backpacks to make sure nobody is carrying any weapons. They also have a drink of water from the bottles that the double has prepared in advance.

Do the two escape together?

No, as it becomes clear that the water Sarah’s double prepared was poisoned.

After walking for a short while, blood forms around Sarah’s mouth and she realizes the deception.

The movie then cuts to the dueling ground where one of the women turns up alone. She is limping and when asked why she is late to the duel, responds with that age-old response… car trouble! When she is then asked about her identity, she tells the duel host that she is Sarah, the original. It’s possible that this is the case as she is wearing Sarah’s clothes.

The duel does not go ahead as the other person doesn’t turn up. It can be presumed that they are dead, which begs the question: Was it really Sarah who turned up to the duel or was it the double?

Did Sarah survive?

In all likelihood, no. She probably died after being poisoned. The double then got into her clothes and turned up at the duel alone.

The mum and boyfriend testify in court that the person is Sarah but as they both preferred the double, it is likely that they are lying in support of the clone.

We later see the results of the ‘car trouble’ that was spoken of when the double is seen driving a smashed-up car around a roundabout. As the double couldn’t drive and actively asked Sarah for advice on driving previously, it can be assumed that the state of the car is due to her lack of skills behind the wheel.

She then receives a phone call from Sarah’s mother to let her know that she has replaced her contact lenses. This is further evidence that the mother knows the woman is the double and that she previously bought the clone contact lenses to disguise her blue eyes.

At the end of the movie, the car stops with the double sitting inside it, crying. She is likely crying because she is now stuck with Sarah’s life, with a mother and boyfriend that she doesn’t love. So, while she may have emerged victorious, in the end, the double discovers Sarah’s life isn’t really worth living.

HOWEVER…there are some people online who believe that it was Sarah who survived and not the double. Quite how she survived after being poisoned, we don’t quite know, but there is the belief that Sarah double-bluffed the people around her. In this theory, she let her mother know that she was the double pretending to be Sarah, hence the ruse with the contact lenses. At the end of the film she is crying because she realizes her mother loves the double and not her.

Personally, I think it is the double who survives and not Sarah. But if you watch this mind-boggling movie, you can make up your own mind.


Read More: Dual Movie Review

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2 thoughts on “‘Dual’ Ending Explained: Does Sarah Kill Her Double?”

  1. Original. Poisoning was one of the deaths discussed in her training even though it would never be used on the battlefield. Did she learn how to counteract it or did the double not really know what she was doing because that wasn’t covered in her training?

    The bashed up car could be cause she was messed up on the drugs.

    There’s suggestion that her mother and boyfriend were in on the poisoning plan, which would certainly upset me! Though i don’t know enough to drive the wrong way in a traffic circle so that actually might point back to the double

  2. Definitely the double who survived;
    1. She’s wearing brown pants when they go into the woods and still wearing the same when she shows up at the duel.
    2. She hates Mexican food, Sarah loved Mexican food.
    3. She can’t drive – Bashed up car and driving the wrong way at the roundabout.
    4. Sarah’s mum calling her and informing her about the contacts she’s ordered.

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