F9 Ending Explained: The Road To The Fast And Furious Saga’s Finale Starts Here

Dom crouches in front of some sparks in F9.

Warning: spoilers for F9 are in the garage. Family doesn’t let family get spoiled by surprise, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, turn around and we’ll see you again when you’re current.

Fans of the Fast and Furious saga have finally gotten their latest taste of the franchise that’s thrilled the world a quarter mile at a time. Now that director Justin Lin’s return to the family is finally in theaters, the F9 ending has dropped some pretty heavy links into the two-part finale that’s headed our way with Fast 10. And there’s already some promising threads woven into the Toretto Family’s fabric.

One last warning for spoilers, as we’re about to dive into what happens in the F9 ending proper, so we won't be getting into the end credits scene in detail here (but yes, there is a scene amidst the credits). With that warning out of the way, we’ve got the green light to go racing into the ending of F9, and what it means for the future.

Tej and Roman blast off into space in F9.

What Happened At The End Of F9?

The climactic showdown in F9 sees Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his brother, Jakob (John Cena) still on opposite sides of the law. With Dom and the family looking to stop Jakob from launching a digital weapon known as “Project Ares” into space, a furious car chase ensues on the streets and roads of Tbilisi. As Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) take to the stars to crash the satellite, the rest of the family stays on the ground to get the job done.

Just when things are getting heated up, a surprise betrayal causes Jakob to switch sides again, as Cipher (Charlize Theron) is released from captivity. Hell bent on taking over Project Ares, and using it to send her “shock to the system,” Jakob is officially expendable. Through the help of his siblings, Dom and Mia (Jordana Brewster), the reformed baddie is saved, and he returns the favor by helping derail Project Ares for good. The day is saved, and a family is mended.

John Cena grimaces behind the wheel in F9.

The Toretto Family Saga Continues

In the aftermath of F9’s thrilling final chase, we see Dom, Mia, and Jakob reunited. It’s also acknowledged that, while Jakob did turn back to the side of good, a lot of people are going to be chasing after him for the crimes he’s committed. Dom tells his little brother that it’s time to drive away again, only this time it’s not out of a familial grudge; but rather out of fraternal protection.

Giving his ‘68 Dodge Charger to his little brother, Dom gives Jakob “a second chance,” and lets him escape. Of course, there’s a good chance that Jakob will return for Fast 10, as the Toretto Family is now on good terms with each other. For now, it’s just good to see Dom making peace with the wounds of the past, and heading into the future as a father who’ll raise his son to know the true meaning of family.

Cipher talking in her cage in F9.

Cipher Is Officially The Fast Saga’s Big Bad

One of the big sticking points in F9’s ending is the fact that it looks like Cipher is officially the big bad of the Fast Saga. While there’s been a revolving door of antagonists for most of the series’ run, the ties that bind started to form in Fast Five, and kept drawing ever closer. Escaping death, by being smart enough to use a drone control system to pilot her “magnet plane,” Cipher walks off in a huff, ready to fight another day.

Trying to turn one Toretto against the family is enough of a sin, but now that Cipher has tried to use both Dom and Jakob in her bid for world chaos, she’s pretty much the endpoint of evil in F9’s ensuing universe. Not to mention, there was that little reminder of how in The Fate of the Furious, Cipher killed little Brian’s mother/Dom’s ex-girlfriend Elena (Elsa Pataky). There’s still a score to be settled, and a threat to be eliminated in Cipher; and it’s going to take two movies to close out Fast 10’s epic conclusion.

Earl, Sean, and Twinkie confused at the air field in F9.

The Tokyo Drift Team Is Finally Reunited

For years, “Justice for Han” has been a rallying cry for fans of the Fast Saga. As the series brought Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) back to the fold in Furious 7, what was once a loosely connected adventure known as Tokyo Drift was officially canon. F9 upped the ante twice over, in not only bringing back Twinkie (Bow Wow) and Earl (Jason Tobin), but also reuniting them with Han (Sung Kang) in the film’s final barbecue.

In an emotional moment that takes place in F9’s entry into the collection of family meal finales, the three racers are reunited for the first time since Han’s supposed death. With the secrets surrounding that plotline now exposed, we’re closer to getting that justice fans have always sought after. And we might even get to see another long absent friend return for the last ride in Fast 10.

Paul Walker smiling behind the wheel in Furious 7.

Could Brian Come Back in Fast 10?

As if the love of family couldn’t have been felt in the ending of F9, we see that little Brian is about to say grace for the first time with the family. The only problem is, there’s one chair still left open at the Toretto family table; and as Mia tells Dom “he’s on his way.” It’s only seconds later that we hear a car approaching, and see Brian O’Connor’s blue Nissan Skyline pull into the driveway, with his home still under construction after its demolition in Furious 7.

The literal shot that ends F9 could mean that we’ll see Brian in action yet again in Fast 10. Though that’s not exactly confirmed, with only two films left in the Fast Saga, the late Paul Walker’s character is going to need as much closure as anyone else in the universe. So unless the series plans on closing Brian’s story only through appearances of his car or through references made by other characters, is it possible that the filmmakers will find a way to bring the character back to the screen for the saga's conclusion?

There’s sure to be a lot of questions that F9 will leave for fans to ask and answer in the coming weeks. Since Fast 10 is currently in pre-production, there might even be some folks instrumental to the franchise’s future listening for such queries, and dreaming up solutions of their own. If you’ve made it through this rundown without seeing the movie, or if you want to grab some F9 thrills once again, you can see that film at a theater near you. And don't forget to check out 2021’s new movie releases while you’re at it, as there’s plenty of excitement waiting at the movies.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.