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Synchronic Ending Explained: What Happens To Steve?

Synchronic 2018 cast

Synchronic (2018) follows two best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan). They are both paramedics who also work together. While Dennis married at a young age, Steve is a bachelor, and committing to a relationship is alien to him. Dennis has two children who are 18 years apart. Recently, Steve and Dennis have been responding to a lot of 911 calls involving the same thing. It’s a new designer drug in the market, called “Synchronic”. Meanwhile, Steve faces a harrowing diagnosis. The doctor diagnoses him with a brain tumor on his pineal gland. The doctor also mentions that Steve’s pineal gland is more like a teenager’s than an adult’s. This fact will factor into a plot point later on in the film. Steve and Dennis receive yet another 911 call involving the drug. This time, a Synchronic drug package was found with a group of teenagers.

It turns out that one of the teenagers was Dennis’s 18-year-old daughter Brianna, and she has gone missing. An angry Steve goes to the local head shop and buys their entire Synchronic stock out. In the store, a man tries and begs Steve to but it off of him, but Steve refuses. Then the man follows Steve to his home and tells him that it was him who created the drug. He tells Steve that he created it a DMT-like drug, using a flower that grows in the California desert. He then tells him that the drug allows the user to experience time as it actually is. It allows the user to time travel since it acts as a needle to the record that is time. However, teenagers can get permanently stuck in time travel due to their undeveloped pineal glands.

Synchronic movie ending Explained

Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan). Synchronic (2018).

Synchronic Ending Explained

What Happens in the End?

The ending of Synchronic sees Steve having only two pills left to find Brianna. However, he doesn’t know Brianna’s exact location so he turns to Dennis. He shows Dennis the tapes he’s been making and then the duo teams up to find her. Soon, they learn that Brianna has left them a message from the past, a carving on a rock by the riverside. The carving reads “Allways”, and it was, as Dennis reveals, the last thing Dennis said to Brianna before her disappearance. Brianna can also be seen sitting on the same rock earlier in the film. Steve then goes to the rock and takes the pill. The pill transports him to the past, to a warzone — it’s Civil War. There are firefights, canons, and explosions everywhere. But Steve soon locates Brianna in a trench filled with dead bodies.

Brianna is confounded by Steve’s appearance and how he found her. Apparently, Brianna doesn’t know anything about aby message. Steve then gives Brianna the last remaining pill to go back to the present. At the last minute, a Confederate soldier confronts Steve and Brianna. By the time he is able to get out of the situation, it’s too late. You have to be touching a person while popping the pill, to be able to take them to time travel. However, Steve misses the time to go back and is now stuck in the past. But we see him momentarily, as a flicker, to say goodbye to Dennis and shake hands with him. Is he really gone for good? Can he come back to the present? What does the ending of Synchronic mean? Read on to find out!

Synchronic review

Steve rescuing Brianna.

Will Steve Come Back to Present? Is He Stuck in the Past Forever?

In the end, Steve gives Brianna a pill but fails to make it in time himself. Brianna comes back to the past but Steve is stuck in the past. However, as we see earlier in the film, Steve’s dog Hawking flickers before disappearing, Steve does the same thing. He manages to shake hands with Dennis who thanks him for saving Brianna before the film ends with Steve flickering. This is quite an open-ended ending for the film, resembling that of films like Inception. It’s upon the viewers to interpret and draw their own conclusions. I think that there’s a pretty good chance of Steve actually returning to the present. Remember how earlier in the film, whenever someone tries to touch Steve, they just phase through him. But in the end, Steve is properly shaking Dennis’s hand. The rigidity most probably indicates that he’s not time traveling.

But what do you think of the ending of Synchronic? Tell us in the comments!

Watch the trailer here;

You can stream Synchronic on Netflix.

Also Read: Army Of The Dead Review, Ending Explained

Written By

Rishabh couldn't ask for a better job than writing about the eclectic bunch of pop culture content that he consumes with a worrying fervor everyday. You can reach out to him at

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