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Emergency’s Sabrina Carpenter Shares Her Thoughts On Character’s Abrupt Ending

SPOILERS are ahead for Emergency, which is currently streaming with an Amazon Prime subscription. 

One especially pleasant surprise about Emergency is its happy ending. In a movie about three men of color who find themselves responsible for getting a passed out white teen help in the middle of the night, the Amazon Prime movie concludes in all smiles as its trio of college friends are shown enjoying themselves following a near-death experience for Donald Elise Watkins’ Kunle with the police. Amidst this, Sabrina Carpenter’s Maddie comes to the door to apologize and begins to read an apology before Kunle shuts the door on her. Let’s talk about that moment at the end of Emergency

CinemaBlend spoke to Sabrina Carpenter about her thoughts on the larger meaning behind how things shake out for Maddie, who is desperately looking for her sister Emma (Maddie Nichols) throughout the film. As Carpenter said: 

I think it's very interesting… I think it feels very current the way those characters feel their guilt. I don’t know if my character personally has fully realized how much she kind of let that night get out of control in her mind. But I think she's trying, and it's like the first sort of step that you see of someone that's trying to understand where they might have gone wrong in that situation and trying to see it from their perspective. But, there definitely was some stuff cut out of that scene, which is really funny to watch it now, because there was quite a bit more dialogue. And I think [the final ending] honestly leaves it in a place that just makes a lot more sense to what actually happens.

During the conclusion of Emergency, in the light of day, Maddie and Emma come to visit Kunle with a gift basket to apologize. Maddie pulls out a written letter that is scribbled on front to back that she begins to read that she wants to “extend her deepest apologies for what transpired the other night” and she is “working on” herself and what she “puts out into the world” just as Kunle slowly closes the door on her. 

As the actress and singer shared, there’s a “guilt” that Maddie feels that she’s still processing. Perhaps she is pushing her own feelings she has not yet realized onto Kunle, who just went through a traumatic experience, having a policeman push him down and pull a gun on him. The ending seems to illustrate how apologies about the systemic racism and its effects on innocent men like Kunle does not help remedy the larger problem even though it might make those who are putting out the apology feel better about themselves. Carpenter spoke more to her character during our interview with these words: 

[Our characters are] assuming all of these things that are happening that are awful and terrible from their perspective… And it says a lot about the world, even social media and how we assume. We get like one little piece of information that's out of context and we think we know everything, and we usually don't.

Emergency debuted at Sundance earlier this year to high praise. CinemaBlend awarded the movie a 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review of Emergency. Check out the filmmakers talk about avoiding college comedy tropes and its theme of friendship and the ReelBlend podcast’s conversation with director Carey Williams here on CinemaBlend.  

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