Firestarter Ending Explained (In Detail)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Firestarter remake.,The most recent adaptation of Stephen King’s
Firestarter has a rather ambiguous ending that warrants some explanation. 
Firestarter 2022 has received mixed to negative reviews from critics, but the loyal Stephen King readership will undoubtedly head to theaters or flip on their TV to satisfy their curiosity, regardless. However, those familiar with the books will note that the newest
Firestarter remake takes some liberties with the source material.,The story centers on Charlie McGee (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), a young girl with fearsome powers. She inherited them from her parents, Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky McGee (Sydney Lemmon), who gained their abilities as college students when they agreed to be part of a scientific study, not knowing that a shady government organization was behind it or that they’d be injected with a serum called Lot Six. Ever since Charlie was a baby, her parents have kept her on the run from The Shop, the agency that wants to use Charlie as a weapon of mass destruction. As she ages, her powers get harder to control, putting her back on The Shop’s map. The new head of The Shop, Captain Hollister (Gloria Reuben) sends a relentless assassin known as Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes) after the McGees with the directive to take Charlie alive.,Related: Stephen King Movie Remakes Wish Is Right – But Ignores The Best One,It’s a simple premise, and one that should have been easy enough to execute. But changes to the story and what looks like some missing scenes cut for time and budget make certain aspects of the story a little murky. The
Firestarter remake certainly makes mistakes along the way that warrant explanation. Here’s
Firestarter 2022’s ending explained.,In
Firestarter‘s ending, Charlie finally exacts her revenge on The Shop, the government agency that has torn her life apart. Thanks to the telepathic link they share, Andy, who has been taken into custody by The Shop, gives Charlie mental flashes of where he’s being held–or so she thinks. When she arrives at the facility, it’s revealed that it wasn’t Andy at all, but Rainbird, who has been acting on Hollister’s orders in order to trap Charlie. But Hollister quickly learns the lesson of Rorschach’s famous line (“I’m not trapped in here with you; you’re trapped in here with me.”) when Charlie uses her powers to set Hollister alight and burn her to death, sacrificing Andy in the process, before laying waste to The Shop’s compound. The very end finds her sitting alone on a beach, as Greyeyes comes up behind her and silently offers her his hand., ,It’s never explicitly explained how Andy’s and Vicky’s powers work in the 
Firestarter adaptation as in Stephen King’s book, exactly. Andy’s powers are telepathy and mental manipulation, an ability he refers to as “The Push.” With his abilities, he can trick a person into seeing visions, or trick them into no longer wanting to smoke, in an act similar to hypnosis. In a flashback sequence, it’s also revealed that Andy has some level of clairvoyance, as well, as he dreamt of his parents dying in a car crash a week before it happened. However, Andy uses The Push at a cost as it takes a toll on him physically. Every time he uses it, his eyes bleed from the pressure and it’s soon revealed that if he uses his powers one more time, it could kill him.,As for Vicky, she rarely uses her powers so it’s not exactly known what she can do until she faces off with Rainbird when he breaks into their house in the first act of
Firestarter. It’s revealed then that Vicky’s powers are of telekinesis; she can move objects with her mind. Unlike Andy, however, Vicky’s powers aren’t as strong, whether because she never uses them or simply because they are naturally not as pronounced. However, when emotionally roused Vicky shows that her powers can be significant as she has a telekinetic battle with Rainbird, who also has powers.,Related: Every Stephen King Horror Adaptation The Author Has Hated,Of
Firestarter 2022’s cast of characters, Charlie’s powers far exceed any others. She has the best of both worlds–and much more. As the offspring of two enhance people, Charlie has inherited her mother’s telekinesis and her father’s telepathy, as well as a pyrokinetic ability all her own. But while Andy and Vicky’s powers are certainly impressive, they’re nothing compared to their daughter’s. Nor does using her abilities physically wear her out like it does for her parents. In fact, as she tells her dad, ”
Actually, it feels kind of good” to use her fire-starting powers. As
Firestarter shows, the limitations of Charlie’s powers are unknown; she may even be, as Lot Six creator Dr. Joseph Wanless (Kurtwood Smith) explains, capable of causing destruction on the level of a nuclear bomb.,It’s not clear why Charlie’s powers are exponentially so much stronger than her parents or even Rainbird’s. But there are clues in the movie that offer an explanation. While both seemed to have some low level of psychic ability to begin with, neither Andy or Vicky’s powers are “natural.” They’ve been vastly increased by the Lot Six serum, in the new Stephen King
Firestarter remake and, as such, their bodies are punching far above their weight whenever they use their powers, like a fuse that has too high a voltage running through it. But Charlie gained her powers naturally, inheriting them genetically, and as such, her body was born already adapted to handle the excess of those powers. What’s more, the mix of Vicky and Andy created some sort of magical alchemy that enhanced Charlie’s powers, naturally born as they were. With Charlie being one of a kind, there’s no telling how her powers might evolve in the future, but it’s likely that she will be terrifyingly powerful once she gains control of them.,It’s clear from Rainbird’s very first scene in the John Carpenter-influenced 
Firestarter that his heart isn’t in being an assassin for The Shop. He wants to live a quiet life and leave that world behind, but The Shop exerts control over him. He’s just following orders as he’s told. But during his fight with Vicky, she tells him, ”
When you see her, you’ll understand,” and indeed, his first showdown with Charlie, in which the fury of her blast blows him off his feet and sets her house alight, is a revelation for Rainbird. However, unlike Dr. Wanless, whose change of heart is fueled by fear of the danger Charlie poses, for Rainbird, it’s more like a religious experience. He relishes using his power, mocking Vicky for letting hers atrophy, and to him, Charlie is a miracle. ”
She will come for him, as she will come for us all,” he explains to Hollister. ”
She is my sister, my mother.” In the end, he accepts his fate, kneeling before Charlie as an acolyte waiting to be judged by his goddess.,Considering that Rainbird murdered her mother and indirectly led to the death of her father, it’s more than a bit strange that Charlie leaves with Rainbird in
Firestarter‘s ending. What’s more, he doesn’t even have to say a word, simply offering his hand and her taking it. Charlie is still a kid who needs protection and companionship in many ways. But she’s also wise beyond her years and opts to let Rainbird live when he bows his head and awaits judgment in The Shop’s facility. She knows that he’s been used as a weapon by The Shop, just as they would do to her. In a flash of insight, she understands that they are the same. Seeing her bloody face and murderous expression in the mirror is enough to shock her out of her rampage; she suddenly realizes that she has the potential to be a monster, a killer, too. So when Charlie takes Rainbird’s hand later on the beach, in that moment, she has forgiven him. She’s not forgotten that he murdered her mother, but she intuitively realizes that he is the only one who can possibly understand her and that he will now also fight to protect her.,Related: Stephen King’s Macroverse Explained: What It Is & Which Characters It Links,The easiest way to sum up the real meaning of Firestarter and its ending might be ”
With great power comes great responsibility.”
Firestarter is about a kid with X-Men level, terrifying powers, but it’s also about being a parent and trying to raise a kid right in a scary world. Charlie is a product of both her mom and dad; Vicky’s influence teaches her to not fear who she is or her powers, while Andy teaches her to understand the true cost of using them. With her prodigious and terrifying abilities, it would be easy for Charlie to turn into a monster herself. Glimpses of that are seen during an interaction with some neighborhood bullies: all she really needs is a bike, but she goes a few steps further and also mentally commands one boy to give up his food and another to give up his clothing. Likewise, her fury and hair-trigger abilities end up in the gruesome death of a poor software analyst. Dr. Wanless isn’t wrong; Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s character 
does have the ability to become a villain. But that’s why Andy spends so much time explaining to Charlie that every time she uses her powers to hurt someone else, it will take something from her in return. It may not take anything physical from her, but it will kill a little bit of her soul until she’s soulless, no longer a human girl, but a vengeful goddess of flame.
Firestarter‘s ending shows that, even without her parents, enough of their lessons have stuck that Charlie has a chance. In forgiving Rainbird, Charlie exhibits a capacity for empathy and compassion that should guide her through life. If there is ever a sequel,
Firestarter 2‘s story can explore whether or not Charlie is still on the right path.,Next: Stephen King: Why The Shining Movie Changes Worked But Dark Tower’s Failed