Shared June 7, 2019
Moms can be tough, but the apocalypse can be tougher. Netflix’s new sci-fi movie I Am Mother is a story about trust, faith, and a robot who just might have the parental instincts of a Terminator. Let’s examine the finer details of the bittersweet ending of I Am Mother.
The movie begins in a Repopulation Facility, one day after an extinction event of unknown nature. Text over the opening shots explains that the facility is stocked with 63,000 human embryos, but no living humans, yet.
In a mostly silent sequence, the robotic Mother comes to life, seemingly ready to begin the hard task of repopulating the world. It's an interesting scene to go back to once you've seen the movie, and you realize that this robot and the extinction event have a whole lot in common. She's not a failsafe for disaster, she's the cause of it, and Mother is but one of her many faces.
Mother, as it turns out, is Skynet meets the Matrix meets a metal Mommie Dearest, executing a single-minded plan to remake the human race.
All of this is on display from the start; you just don’t notice it at first. Rose Byrne, who voices Mother, speaks very soothingly. Caring for a baby with not just nutrition and shelter, but songs and bedtime stories, makes the robot seem implicitly compassionate.
But these are ultimately superficial things that keep you trusting Mother long after you should have become suspicious, much like the protagonist, the unnamed Daughter.
The movie jumps ahead to 13,867 days since the extinction event, and right away, there’s something wrong here. 13,867 divided by 365 would make for almost 38 years, and Daughter is clearly only half that age. This hasn’t been a straight line from day 1; something has happened that we haven’t seen.
What happened in those missing years before Daughter was born? The answer is tragic.
When we’re introduced to Daughter, she’s nearing the end of her studies with Mother, preparing for an exam that’s steeped at least partially in questions of human ethics. Passing the exam appears vitally important, but why? If Mother and Daughter are the only sentient beings alive, then who are these exam results supposed to impress? The answer is: only Mother. Keep watching the video to see the ending of I Am Mother Explained!
Future shock | 0:14
Missing time | 1:12
Lies my teacher told me | 2:20
Reality bites | 3:16
Turning the page | 4:25
Who are the pets? | 5:12
Homecoming | 6:27
Controlled opposition | 7:36
I'm the mother now | 8:44
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