Outlaws (2021) Ending Explained – Does Nacho get his happily-ever-after ending?

Outlaws Plot Synopsis

At the center of this movie sits 17 year old Ignacio Canas. This loner student is bullied relentlessly by his fellow students and finds himself an outcast within his own family.

During the Summer of ’78, while working at an arcade, Nacho meets Zarco and Tere. These two young delinquents hail from the city’s Chinatown. They quickly take him under their wing, immersing Nacho in a world of thefts, robberies, drugs and alcohol. Part coming-of-age and part heist thriller, Outlaws then effortlessly switches between the two genres – and it’s all the stronger for it.

What happens during the bank heist?

After so many successful schemes, it was always going to end badly for Zarco and the others sooner or later. Their latest is a bank robbery orchestrated by Zarco, Gordo and Nacho. Tere is on lookout duties while Chino is the wildcard in all this. Zarco was obviously never fond of bringing him onboard in the first place. Unfortunately, Chino betrays them all, phoning Inspector Cuenca and bringing the heat.

Inside the bank, Nacho is in charge of the hostages while Zarco and Gordo force the bank manager to empty out the safe. As they scramble out the front, the trio wind up leaving Tere behind while being chased by police. In the end Zarco was right – Chino can’t be trusted.

Do the Outlaws manage to escape the police?

After an intense car chase, a shootout ensues across a bridge. Gordo is shot while trying to escape with the money, dropping into the water along with the bag. Nacho is also injured, while Zarco takes a bullet to the leg. He sacrifices himself to save the young boy, telling him to leave while holding his position and offering himself up as bait to the police.

What happens between Nacho and his father?

The estranged relationship between Nacho and his father has been one of the defining parts of this movie. The more demanding and authoritarian his father becomes, the more Nacho has pushed back and rebelled.

When Nacho heads back home again, sporting a gunshot wound across his arm, Nacho breaks down into tears in front of his dad. It’s a moment of weakness for our teen and a reminder that – while believing himself to be an adult – he still has a lot of growing up to do.

Inspector Cuenca does eventually show up to speak to Nacho. His dad covers for Nacho, explaining his motivations behind this.

Sitting alone with Cuenca, he admits he was taken down to the police station for 48 hours after taking part in a student demonstration in his past. His father bailed him out, bribing the officer to make sure he had a clean license and a fresh lease of life.

Now, in the dead of night, he tries to strike the same deal with Cuenca in order to let Nacho go free. Cuenca decides to give him the benefit of the doubt and lets Nacho off the hook.

What is the connection between Tere and Zarco?

The letter from Tere is what’s brought Nacho to Zarco, during our jump to the present day. Of course, this ties the opening scene of the movie to this closing part. Within the letter, it confirms the worst. Tere has been dead for a while.

Nacho concedes defeat and speaks to Zarco about their loose love triangle all those years ago. It’s been 28 years since that fateful afternoon during the shootout and a lot has changed. Of course, with Tere dead, Zarco’s revelation here hits all the harder.

It turns out Tere was actually Zarco’s sister. She was too embarrassed to tell Nacho, given the pair were actually intimately involved together, and she couldn’t face telling him the truth.

The pair had different mothers but the same father. These half-siblings didn’t even know to begin with. It’s only when things started to get serious that their parents stepped in to stop things escalating. Or, as Zarco so eloquently puts it, stopping her from getting knocked up.

How does Outlaws end?

Reeling from the revelation that Tere is Zarco’s sister, Nacho shows up outside La Font Bar after his prison trip. This has been a significant part of his childhood of course, and heading inside we’re whisked back through time. Six months after the robbery to be precise.

This scene hits hard, tinged with poignancy following the big reveal we’ve just learned. The final encounter between Tere and Nacho sees the former hand over her favourite bracelet to him. Nacho is unable to tell Tere exactly how he feels though, so the truth is left agonizingly hidden.

In the present, Nacho picks out that same bracelet from his pocket and realizes, with despair, that his suspicions and accusations have caused him to lose out on something very special.

Interestingly, the final scene shows Nacho walking alone across a bridge, where a couple stand embracing one another, talking. This harsh reminder of a lost romance ultimately sees us fade to black.

Outlaws has been a movie about romance and summer fun, wrapped up in a heady cocktail of comedy, drama and thrills. The ending perfectly captures that feel of reminiscing on one’s youth, with all the heartbreak, elation and regret that goes with that. A fitting end for a pretty impressive Spanish thriller.


Read More: Outlaws Movie Review

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1 thought on “Outlaws (2021) Ending Explained – Does Nacho get his happily-ever-after ending?”

  1. I love this movie and the father’s love and his social influence that helped his rebellious teenage son(I have a teenager daughter).
    What I don’t understand is why inspector Cuenca decided to let Grafita(Nacho) go free after seeing the photo of the father with his high status friend fishing( owner of the vacation villa?) What’s the relationship between this man and inspector Cuenca?

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