Hit Man Ending Explained: Did Gary Kill Jasper? Was He Caught?

The ending of Hit Man takes some creative liberties around the true story of Gary Johnson, leaving the audience with many twists and turns.

In the cast of Hit Man, Glen Powell brings Gary to life. The man begins the film as a mild-mannered college professor who, more often than not, happens to assist its local New Orleans police department, bestowing tech for undercover sting operations.

Hit Man’s ending is equally a dark and hilarious that earns this movie the rightful place as one of Richard Linklater’s best movies while still carrying a few curveballs from the real Gary Johnson story.

1. Why did Gary/Ron kill Jasper & how did they get away with It?

Through the first two acts of Hit Man, Gary never quite crosses the boundary to real killing as he acts in the roles of many professionals in the assassin field. However, by the end of this film, he accomplishes this final point by killing Jasper, the former member of the New Orleans Police Department with whom he had worked.

Jasper recently discovered that Gary had a hand in Madison’s killing of her ex-husband, Ray. Though this killing was not Gary’s work, he knew that Madison had done it, and Jasper was determined to get Gary and Madison entangled and threatened to put them both in jail so that he could get his previous job back on the police force.

The final scene of Hit Man presents its first twist when Jasper faints and Madison reveals she put something in his drink to sedate him.

Gary, still in character as the hitman Ron, puts a bag on Jasper’s head and suffocates him. This brings up the first question of how Gary and Madison got away with the murder of Jasper.

Gary responds to this by mentioning that Jasper is going to be locked up anyway. Still, as a racist, misogynistic man, Gary also points out that Jasper’s wife left him, meaning that it was possible that this could be positioned as a suicide by placing him in a car with drugs in his system and a bag over his head.

A significant aspect of Gary in the film is that most of the film catered to wish fulfillment. Gary becomes the over-the-top and murderous character in a way to experience life on the other side of his somewhat bane existence.

All through Hit Man, Gary says the line is blurred, and he likes Ron’s personality. He knows Ron has no qualms about killing. In the final scene of Hit Man, Jasper again says that Gary is a “tough guy” who cannot kill anybody.

Maddy aside, finally, killing Jasper could also be an aspect of Gary’s want to become Ron. After some time, he could have hated how people repeatedly told him how unexciting and plain he was compared to Ron.

In the end, though he knew he was unexciting and everything that Jasper said, perhaps Gary wanted to prove Jasper and himself wrong – by doing what is demanded of him to kill somebody and be more exciting than before.

Hitman Ending Explained
Glen Powell in Hit Man | Source: IMDb

2. Why did Madison kill her husband in Hit Man?

Someone complicit in Gary’s murder of Jasper is Madison, who is no stranger to killing. Earlier in the film, Madison reveals that she killed her husband Ray by shooting him and fabricating the story that he was killed in a drug deal gone wrong.

Madison’s reason for killing Ray is a form of self-defense after finding out that the latter had contacted Gary’s fake hitman persona to kill her.

Madison believes Gary/Ron is a real hitman, and Ray will eventually find someone who will kill her despite Ron turning him down if her vengeful ex-husband does not do it himself.

Besides this, Hit Man offers other reasons why Madison would want Ray dead. For one, Ray is incredibly abusive. Madison is introduced as she contacts Ron to kill Ray due to the latter’s controlling, abusive treatment of her.

This could be one reason that led her to kill him, while another could be his insurance money. It is revealed that Ray had an extensive life insurance policy that Madison – as his wife, despite their impending divorce – would receive should he die.

These reasons likely factored into Madison’s decision to kill Ray, leading to Hit Man’s finale.

3. Hit Man’s ending time jump reveals a dark truth about the ending

The ending of Hit Man continues after Gary covers up Jasper’s death and successfully moves suspicion away from Madison and himself. Years later, the film then picks up with Gary and Madison happily married, even with two children of their own.

However, one scene unveils the dark truth that Madison is still haunted by her actions.

When Madison is seen with a friend and colleague, the latter states that some girl named Gabby let her down because she flaked on her, which causes her to erupt, that she “could’ve strangled her to death.” When she hears that sentence, Madison is shown to disassociate somewhat, fake laughing while featuring a brief look of horror.

This shows that she is still troubled by the murders of Ray and Jasper many years later in Hit Man.

Hit Man Ending Explained
Glen Powell and Adria Arjona in Hit Man | Source: IMDb

4. What Happened to the real Gary Johnson after Hit Man’s ending?

As alluded to, Hit Man is based on the real life of Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson helped the police by starring as an undercover hitman, leading to over 70 arrests. Other real aspects of Gary’s life in Hit Man are that he was an incredibly mild-mannered person and a college professor.

Naturally, Gary Johnson did not murder anyone in real life. Hit Man makes a clear note to make this evident to the audience, stating that Gary’s murder of Jasper and complicity in Ray’s death were made up for the film.

5. What is the real meaning of Hit Man’s Ending?

Regarding what the ending of Hit Man is trying to mean, it all boils down to the payoff for Gary’s character arc. Throughout the movie, Gary seemed relatively content with his happy, plain life, except for some hints that he believed it could be more exciting.

There were even instances where people within Gary’s life tell him or talk behind his back about how he could be a more exciting person, like, for instance, Ron. In this way, the ending of Hit Man reveals the deeper meaning of why Gary chose to kill Jasper and become cemented with Maddy.

In the time jump taken by Hit Man, Gary speaks to his class of students, revealing his lecture for this day. Here, he says that he had always thought life was static and that one is stuck in any particular way.

However, he notes that he soon found out that was not the case, finally, people can change, thus transforming into something else and ultimately better than before.

Gary tells his class to take over the identity they want in their lives, essentially the themes of Hit Man as he picked up a more exciting life as Ron and settled down with Madison, although it still had its dark speed bumps.

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6. About Hit Man

Hit Man is a 2023 American romantic action comedy film produced and directed by Richard Linklater, who co-wrote the screenplay with Glen Powell, based on the 2001 Texas Monthly magazine article of the same name by Skip Hollandsworth.

The film stars Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, and Retta, and follows an undercover New Orleans police contractor who poses as a reliable hitman as he tries to save a woman in need.

Hit Man premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 5, 2023, and was released in select theaters in the United States on May 24, 2024, before its streaming debut by Netflix on June 7. The film received praise from critics.

Kartik Mahajan

Kartik Mahajan

Meet our Editor-in-Chief - He doesn't have a pen with enough red ink to grammar check everything. Editor by day and grammar Nazi at large by night! The fewer questions you ask the better. For everyone.

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