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Kate Ending Explained: Who Poisoned Mary Elizabeth Winstead?

Mary Elizabeth Winsteads Netflix movie Kate revolves around who poisoned the assassin. Heres what happens in Kates ending and what it reveals.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars in Kate as a dying assassin, and heres how the Netflix action movie ends. The Netflix movie finally puts Winstead in a leading action role after years of playing supporting roles in films like Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The latest addition to the streaming services growing library of female-led action films, such as The Old Guard and Gunpowder Milkshake, but Kate pits its lead against time and the Yakuza.

The main plot of Kate follows the character of Mary Elizabeth Winsteads titular assassin and the fallout of one mission she didnt totally agree with. Kate (watch here) kills a member of the Yakuza early on in what shouldve been another routine mission. However, the presence of the targets daughter, Ani (Miku Martineau), makes her hesitate to pull the trigger. She immediately regrets killing the man and tells her mentor Varrick (Woody Harrelson) that shell only do one more hit to finish the current Yakuza job and then retire. On the night of her final mission, though, Kate does not feel good and misses her shot. This leads her to discover that she has acute radiation poisoning and will die in 24 hours.

After gathering a collection of stimulants and drugs to help keep her alive, Kate goes on a search across Japan to find out who is responsible for her current state and get revenge. This inevitably leads to her leaving a trail of bodies wherever she goes as she doesnt get the answers she needs or wants. While Kate has received negative reviews, Kate allows its titular assassin to make progress and discover the truth behind her poisoning, and heres an explanation of what happens in the movies ending.

Who Poisoned Kate (& Why)

Kates search to discover who poisoned her is a long and winding mission that makes her believe that many different people were behind it. She initially suspects the man she hooked up with the night before was responsible, but he reveals that he was merely hired to slip her what he thought was a non-lethal drug. This brings Kate to hunt down other members of the Yakuza and repeatedly be disappointed by the answers she receives. Kate grows to suspect that the crime syndicates leader Kijima (Jun Kunimura) is the one who was truly behind her poisoning. Kates ending confirms that this wasnt the case, though.

The movie reveals that Kates poisoning results from Varrick secretly working with Renji (Tadanobu Asano, who recently played Mortal Kombats Raiden), who wanted to take over the crime syndicate himself and bring Varrick into the fold. Renji was fearful of letting Kate retire given her knowledge about past missions, and Varrick told him that she could be killed after assassinating Kijima. Varrick thought that hed be able to convince Kate not to retire, avoiding this situation entirely, but Renji didnt want to risk it. He orchestrated Kates radiation poisoning to not leave any loose ends. Once Kate discovers that Varrick betrayed her, she uses her final hours to team up with Kijima to go after them and rescue Ani.

Does Kate Die?

Kates final mission brings about Kates climactic shootout, which requires her to use the remaining shots of adrenaline. Kate and Kijimas army storms Renjis hideout and ascends to the upper floors where he and Varrick are stationed. As Kates poisoned clock ticks down, she manages to kill Varrick to get her revenge, The Handmaids Tale-style, and save Ani from potentially going down the same assassins life path. Its a major victory for Kate in that regard, but that doesnt mean the movie can spare her from the fate it set up. Once she achieved all she set out to do, Ani held an exhausted, beaten up, and bleeding Kate in her arms as Kate came to a close. The movie concluded with Kates eyes shutting and the faint heartbeat noise playing over the film fading out. This is a strong indicator that Kates ending does kill off Mary Elizabeth Winsteads character.