See You Yesterday: The ending explained

Eden Duncan-Smith in See You Yesterday
C.J. decides to return to the past once again to save Sebastian and Calvin. Pic credit: Netflix

Netflix’s new science fiction movie See You Yesterday premiered on the streaming platform on Friday, May 17.

See You Yesterday tells the story of science prodigy C.J. and her best friend Sebastian as they invent a time travel machine. They try to use it to save the life of C.J.’s brother Calvin but things do not go as planned.

If you have seen See You Yesterday and have wondered about the end of the movie, here is what you need to know.

See You Yesterday ending explained

In See You Yesterday, high school best friends C.J. (Eden Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian (Dante Crichlow) build time travel machines called Temporal Relocating Packs (TRP) for their school’s science fair.

The lighthearted storyline takes a darker turn when a police officer kills C.J.’s elder brother Calvin (Brian Bradley). C.J. decides to travel back in time to alter history and save her brother and convinces Sebastian to help.

However, using time travel to tamper with history is a complicated affair as C.J. and Sebastian’s science teacher Mr. Lockhart (Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future fame) explains.

A decision to time travel and change history raises a host of moral and ethical philosophical issues. C.J. faced the truth about her teacher’s observations when she traveled back in time to alter the events and save her brother’s life.

When they travel back in time to save Calvin, Sebastian is killed. Although C.J. was able to save her brother she is confronted with the reality that going back in time to alter history only complicated things.

But C.J.’s stubbornness gets the better of her.

With help from Calvin and Eduardo (Johnathan Nieves) she traveled back in time once again to undo Sebastian’s death and save Calvin from getting shot by the police at the same time.

However, in the past, Calvin sacrifices himself to prevent Sebastian’s death.

Back in the present, Sebastian is shocked when he learns how C.J. went back to the past to save his life. He argues that she should stop going back to the past to save someone who has died because each trip only creates new problems in the present.

In the closing scene, C.J. stubbornly goes back in time yet again to save her brother Calvin, and although we don’t see what happens there is a pessimistic outlook that suggests she won’t succeed.

One of the two has to die.

Many fans suggested the takeaway from the movie is we need to learn from the mistakes of the past and move on.

But is there another way for C.J.?

However, the closing scene of the movie in which we see C.J. running — as if to literally meet her fate, suggests that she might have hit on an idea about how to save Sebastian and Calvin together.

The way in which she says “I love you” to Sebastian before she goes running, suggests she decided the only way to save Sebastian and Calvin is to sacrifice herself.

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