Movies

My Policeman Ending Explained (In Detail)

Warning: This post contains major spoilers for My PolicemanDirected by Michael Grandage, My Policeman, starring Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, and David Dawson, released in theaters ahead of its streaming debut on Prime Video. The film tells the story of Tom and Patrick’s love affair in 1950s England, which is complicated by cruel laws that affected the LGBTQ+ community and the marriage between Tom and Marion, a schoolteacher.


The film is set over the course of 40 years, following the trio into their older age. By the end of My Policeman, which was adapted by Ron Nyswaner from the novel by Bethan Roberts, Marion comes clean about her actions in the 1950s, which sent Patrick to jail and cost Tom his job as a policeman. Marion decides to leave Tom, which pushes Tom to finally acknowledge Patrick after so many years apart. While the film ties up any loose storylines, there is plenty to examine within the story. Here is a full guide to My Policeman’s ending explained, including why Tom refused to speak to Patrick for so long.

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Related: My Policeman: Cast & Character Guide


Why Marion Stayed So Long (& Left When She Did)

Marion was under the impression that if Patrick was out of the picture, Tom would ultimately choose to be with her fully and with no distractions. She longed for a love that he couldn’t give her — not in the way that she wanted. Marion loved Tom and believed things might get better for them after a while. It’s possible she also felt some fear in leaving because she had grown comfortable despite the lack of affection and resentment she and Tom felt for each other. Marion’s decision to leave at the end of My Policeman comes at a pivotal time: Patrick is back in their lives, and she realizes that Tom was always connected to him whether or not he was present. Tom would never love her in the way he loved Patrick. No longer disillusioned, Marion removed herself from their complicated relationship to free herself as well as Tom and Patrick. It was finally time to let things go and truly move on and heal from everything.

Why Tom Cries When He Sees The Couple At The Store

Tom is moved by a gay couple he sees at the store. Overcome with emotion, Tom goes to the car to cry. Seeing the couple caused him to be emotional because this was never his reality before. Watching the couple be so openly affectionate without fear of being arrested and put in jail is a reminder of everything he could not do when he was with Patrick. Tom’s emotional reaction suggests he feels both sad and happy — sad because he was unable to live so openly as a gay man, and happy because things have changed to the point that the next generation were not so hindered by the cruel laws that affected him and Patrick.

Why Tom Refused To See Patrick (& Did At The End)

For the majority of Patrick’s stay at his and Marion’s home, Tom refused to see or speak to Patrick. This was upsetting to both Patrick and Marion, but Tom stayed away because Patrick was a reminder of the past he had never quite healed from, as well as a connection to everything he lost and left behind after Patrick was sent to jail. Unlike Patrick, Tom was less open and willing to be vulnerable. He would rather lock away his feelings instead of confronting them. Patrick’s return was too painful for Tom to deal with, with all the emotions he’d never dealt with coming back to the surface. Patrick’s presence was perhaps also a reminder of his guilt for not telling Marion the truth. However, Tom finally goes to see Patrick because he feels free to do so. There is nothing and no one holding him back anymore and, after watching Marion leave, Tom was ready to confront all that he had pushed deep down. He could finally reconcile with his past and possibly make a new future, one with Patrick by his side.

Why Patrick Stopped Eating In My Policeman

After his stroke, Patrick felt like he had nothing much to live for anymore. He was living with Marion and Tom, but the latter wouldn’t see or speak to him, which was hurtful. Staying with Marion and Tom under such circumstances was stressful and emotionally painful. What’s more, Patrick couldn’t even smoke, so it felt like he had hit rock bottom with no way forward. If Patrick wasn’t staying with Marion and Tom, then he might have eaten more, but the pain of the past and the inability to reconcile with Tom left him bereft of anything meaningful to hold onto.

Related: Gina McKee Interview: My Policeman

Will Patrick Get Better At The End Of My Policeman?

It’s hard to say, but there is a chance. Recovery following a stroke varies from person to person. Some people make full recoveries or get better over time, but it could take many months (and sometimes years) before that happens. Patrick could indeed get better, but his health deteriorates over the course of the film. He isn’t eating, and he no longer seems to have the will to live. However, there is still some fight left in Patrick, and Marion’s chats with Tom during My Policeman suggest that if he speaks to Patrick, and the former couple begins to mend their relationship and heal old wounds, there’s a chance Patrick could get better. It’s possible he simply needs a reason to try, and Tom coming to see him at last is more a reason than anything.

The True Meaning Of My Policeman’s Ending

My Policeman explores the circumstances for each character — in the past and in the present — and doesn’t paint any of them as being necessarily bad. Their actions — in Marion’s case, her way of thinking — are an extension of the harmful laws and rhetoric surrounding the LGBTQ+ community in the 1950s. Their behaviors and character arcs aren’t meant to be a moral compass, but an exploration of how hatred and forcing someone to fit into the boxes society has deemed acceptable can negatively affect everyone involved, bringing them indescribable pain and harm that colors their entire life experiences. My Policeman doesn’t excuse certain actions, but showcases the intention behind them, as well as the joys and regrets of the past. What’s more, the film shows how cruel laws and policies are a reflection of societal fears, and how damaging they can be on the groups of people they are targeting.

Next: Director Michael Grandage Interview: My Policeman


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