The Harder They Fall’s Ending, Explained | CBR

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Harder They Fall, now streaming on Netflix and available in select theaters.

In the final act of Netflix’s The Harder They Fall, Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) finally gets his big showdown with the man who killed his family, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba). Nat attains a surprise arsenal to raid Rufus’ Redwood stronghold, desperate to rescue his beloved Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), as he doesn’t want the same fate to befall her. However, it leads to an explosive ending that truly tests the limits of the kind of man Nat wants to be.

Nat’s supposed to exchange $35,000 he stole for Rufus to get Mary back, but Wiley Escoe, Redwood’s former sheriff and the person Rufus exiled, has stolen a cadre of Rufus’ weapons for Nat’s gang to attack with. It leads to epic chaos, with the coaches carrying the money being used as bombs, blowing up Angel and sending Rufus’ other goons into a panic as The Harder They Fall‘s final battle begins.

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Many casualties fall on both sides, with Mary taking out Rufus’ girl, Treacherous Trudy, in the barn and Rufus also losing Cherokee Bill and others in the melee. Nat’s team takes major hits too as the quickdraw Jim Beckwourth gets gunned down, Wiley gets blown up for his traitorous ways and Bill Pickett eats a few bullets. However, as the dust settles, Nat enters a run-down saloon to finally confront Rufus for murdering his parents when he was 10.

The despicable Rufus isn’t up for a firefight, though, confessing he became an outlaw after his drunk, abusive dad killed his mom and left him at 10 to fend for himself. He eventually found his father decades later, having converted to God and living happily with a new wife and son. The bombshell is that was Nat’s family, making Nat Rufus’ half-brother.

Rufus killed the parents out of jealousy and branded Nat with a cross so he’d know when the man came for revenge someday. He couldn’t kill his half-brother but now, he realizes he dealt him a fate worse than punishment because Nat took up the very life their dad had run away from. Rufus wants out of this life, though, taunting and forcing Nat to shoot him. Nat dignifies his corpse, however, as he does feel sympathy over how their dad became a pastor after wrecking Rufus’ childhood.

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The Harder They Fall ends with Nat burying his crew, leaving Marshall Bass to spread the fake news that he died too. All Nat wants to do is ride off into the sunset and marry Mary, hoping to regain some semblance of family after a life of hatred. Cuffee, Mary’s right-hand woman, decides to follow her own path working as Bass’ deputy, seemingly giving everyone a happy ending.

However, as they all depart, a figure in a black trench coat with a Bowler hat is looking on from a hill, clearly wanting vengeance as the credits roll. While the camera doesn’t show her face, it’s none other than Trudy, who survived the barn fight where Mary smashed her face in with a gun. Seeing as they killed her gang and beloved Rufus, she now has a vendetta against the group.

See how Rufus and Nat end their rivalry in The Harder They Fall, now streaming on Netflix and available in select theaters.

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