Fair Play (2023) Ending Explained – Does Emily get fired?

[trigger warning – rape]

Fair Play Plot Summary

Fair Play is a 2023 movie starring Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich who play Emily and Luke a couple who have to keep their relationship a secret as they are working in the same finance firm. A supportive and wholesome relationship turns extremely toxic as a promotion supposedly meant for Luke goes to Emily after she has a drink with their boss, Campbell. Luke is now working for Emily who tries to help him get a promotion out of guilt.

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What is the breaking point in Luke and Emily’s relationship?

There are a lot of things that lead to the breaking point. At first, it seems that Luke is happy for Emily and extremely supportive when she gets the promotion as a PM. There is a strain in their relationship when she keeps trying to help him but Luke wants to make something out for himself with his own mettle.

However, he does take the opportunity to give her some risky insights in hopes of being recognized by Campbell as she promises to give him credit. It fails and the blame falls on Emily. They take another risky shot to make up for the loss and Emily’s plan works out. She doesn’t credit Luke and also doesn’t tell him about the $575k bonus Campbell gives her which adds to his irritation.

Luke starts lashing out at her, calling her a hooker and wondering if she slept with Campbell. But when an opportunity arises, he asks her to put in a word with Campbell. She refuses unless he apologises and he puts on a big scene in hopes of getting promoted. It culminates in him being the laughing stock as Campbell has already hired someone else.

Humiliated, Luke gets roaring drunk, ruins a meeting with a new client, exposes his relationship with Emily and then heads to their engagement party. Furious, Emily goes after him and tells him that if they are over, he should be the one to tell their parents to whom he has already lied and claimed that they are both PMs.

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Does Luke get the promotion?

In the beginning of Fair Play, Emily overhears some colleagues gossiping that Luke is about to be promoted as a PM. She tells him and they celebrate only for the position to go to her after Campbell invites her to have a drink. He is impressed with her Wall Street publication at the age of 17 and also acknowledges all the work she has alone put in. 

Later, when she tries to put in a good word for Luke, her senior compares Luke to a gardener. As she keeps pushing, Campbell finally reveals that Luke is a favour for a friend. Campbell only hired Luke because a mutual friend asked him to. They will never promote Luke and are only waiting for him to quit on his own.

This is evident when Luke gives a whole inspiring speech about how he looks up to Campbell and asks him for a chance. Campbell simply mocks him. After the whole drama goes down with the client, Campbell tells Emily that no one will hire Luke, suggesting that he has been fired from their firm. However, Luke later reveals that he is starting his own firm as he is already talking to an investor.

Do Luke and Emily break up?

Yes, Luke and Emily break up. After insulting Emily, Luke makes a scene in front of a client and also exposes their relationship. He then disappears only to reappear at the engagement party that their parents are throwing for them. Emily confronts him and it escalates with her breaking a glass on his head as he accuses her of sleeping with Campbell. She runs off and he follows her into the bathroom.

They finally say what they really wanted to say with Luke suggesting that she didn’t get promoted because she deserved it. She calls him out for projecting his insecurities onto her and he pushes her. She taunts him for getting violent and they start having angry sex. However, he gets aggressive and doesn’t stop even when she asks him to.

He then acts like nothing’s happened afterwards. Clear that their relationship has ended, Emily throws him under the bus at work when Campbell asks her, claiming that Luke is delusional and that they were never in a relationship. Luke is also on the same page as he breaks their apartment lease and decides to move out.

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Does Emily get fired?

Luke and Emily work at a firm where there is a policy against office romance. They keep it hidden and agree to only reveal it once they are in a position from which they cannot be easily fired. 

However, during his breakdown in the client meeting, a drunk Luke reveals that he and Emily are in a relationship and walks off. After the fiasco of an engagement party, Emily is called into a meeting with Campbell. She claims that she had only been nice to Luke and flirted with him, but he misunderstood it and became delusional, thinking that they were in a relationship.

Campbell explains that he doesn’t care about broken policies as long as she doesn’t bring it to the client. He tells her that HR will handle it surreptitiously and dismisses the case, indicating that she can resume work.

Does Emily kill Luke?

At the ending of Fair Play, Luke is extremely nonchalant after almost having Emily fired, insulting her, making a scene in front of their family and then raping her. With a straight face, he explains that he is moving out and will be starting his own firm. Emily is furious at his apathy and asks him if he has no plans of apologising.

He states that they both got carried away and this ticks off Emily. She shows him the bruises that he left but he doesn’t take her seriously. On seeing a knife on the floor, she decides to threaten him with it. Luke keeps playing it cool till she actually draws first blood. He starts apologising out of fear.

She tells him to give her tears or she will take his blood and she cuts him again. He starts crying for real and something breaks as he sincerely starts asking for her forgiveness, claiming that he had no idea what got into him. She hugs him before ordering him to clean up the blood and leave.

Read More: Fair Play Movie Review

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2 thoughts on “Fair Play (2023) Ending Explained – Does Emily get fired?”

  1. Hi @Karla yeah, true, I’ll tweak that line. However, there’s that ambiguous scene after the strip club where a drunk Emily says that she will bolster Luke’s reputation regardless while joking that all he needs to do is sleep with her. She constantly says that she will credit him no matter what; this becomes a sore point for Luke when she doesn’t (even if he doesn’t deserve the credit). With Luke’s personality, it comes off as – he is angry at her as he has finally put aside his male ego and accepted her help, only for her not to be a team player and include him in her win with Spears (aka not helping where it matters). In my opinion, this interpretation gives a better understanding to Luke’s spiralling which accelerates after this scene.

  2. “They take another risky shot to make up for the loss which works out. However, Emily doesn’t credit Luke” <- here, Emily actually follows her own instincts and decides against Lukes suggestion. The deal she closes is her own research and decision.

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