Buried In Barstow Ending, Explained: Are Hazel and Travis Dead or Alive?

With Howard Deutch at the helm, Lifetime original action-thriller movie ‘Buried in Barstow’ is a dynamic and explosive affair featuring great character acting from its diverse cast ensemble. However, its robust driving energy is Angie Harmon’s nuanced performance in the role of no-nonsense female protagonist Hazel, with a touch of humor. It is fair to say that the movie is divided into two halves, thematically. In the first part, Hazel gives a lesson to Travis, the misleading boyfriend of Joy, Hazel’s daughter. In the following chapter, Hazel meets a dark past. The story goes sideways as she reaches Las Vegas. However, after the mind-boggling finale, several questions require exploration. Let us explore Hazel’s discontents further. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Buried In Barstow Plot Synopsis

The movie opens with a murder, and a voiceover tells us how a dark past is buried within her. Twenty years later, we head to a busy morning in the Bridges Diner, a roadside joint in the suburbs outside Las Vegas. The owner, Hazel, runs the cafe with her daughter, Joy, and cook, Javier. As usual, in the morning, Hazel has an awkward encounter with Willy, Rudy, and Carl before the counter. Joy needs the college money for nothing, and Hazel is not giving, but she gives the job to a seemingly homeless person who has ordered eighteen bucks of food without money in his pocket.

The guy is a cardiothoracic surgeon from Los Angeles, running away from the past of killing his spouse in an accident. The surgeon, Elliot, is also somewhat competent with the job of dishwashing. In the meantime, Joy thinks of fleeing with her boyfriend, Travis. When she can’t squeeze the money from her mother, Travis exposes his actual colors, harming Joy. Although Joy asks Hazel to forgive Travis, she is not the person to slip it under the rug. Angry and determined, she reaches the machine shop of Travis.

When Travis insults Hazel, she beats him to a pulp and puts him in a grave she had dug up the first day she met him. Joy is worried for Travis, but Hazel tells her that he has promised her to head to California. In the meantime, Phil appears at the diner, which reminds Hazel of a part of herself she thought she had parted with. Von, some masthead of a criminal organization, is out after serving a hefty sentence, and he is back in business. For fear of Joy’s life, Hazel heads to Las Vegas to meet Von, who has a job for her. She must hunt down Perry Gamble, who must be met.

Buried In Barstow Ending: Why Did Hazel Leave Las Vegas? Who Is Joy’s Father?

For a long time, Joy has wanted to know the identity of her father, but Hazel does not want to talk about it. But in the end, we get a hint about the identity of Joy’s father as we probe into Hazel’s life further. As Hazel gets to Von, he sends her to meet Perry Gamble. Hazel meets Perry in a casino in the city. We get the idea that Perry Gamble has something to do with the disappearance of Hazel from Las Vegas. As becomes apparent from their conversation, Perry Gamble and Hazel were in love, which posited some danger for Hazel’s life.

When Perry asks Hazel why she left the city, Hazel mysteriously replies that otherwise, she would not make it till her thirties if she stayed. On the first night, Hazel spikes Perry’s drink, but before he can have the whole glass, he has to leave to attend to his Chinese investor, Mr. Chen. Perry himself reschedules the meeting, and Hazel is somewhat willing under pressure. However, she has her epiphany in the final moments and realizes that Perry would not be the last job. If she performs one task for Von, he will burden him with more. Furthermore, Von thinks that Hazel should forever be indebted to him since he rescued her from the streets, dazed in drugs.

Thus, in the end, Hazel leaves Perry alone while leaving an envelope behind. The photo in the envelope is Joy’s, with “Ours-H” written on the back. Therefore, we conclude that Perry is Joy’s father. It is for the better since Perry’s angry wife reaches the suite shortly after Perry receives the envelope. On the other hand, Hazel heads to meet Von for one last time. Von, not Perry, is the reason behind Hazel’s departure since she probably knew that the gangster would put Joy’s life in danger. And based on what unfolds in the next moments, Hazel’s vengeance for Von seems extreme.

Is Hazel Dead or Alive?

After assailing Phil, Hazel puts a bullet through Von’s head. Her death count comes to three with the gatekeeper. After finishing the cartel once and for all, Hazel returns to her Bridges Diner. With Hazel putting a bullet through the head of her adopted father, Von, we think that the story has reached its destined end. However, another twist awaits us at the end. It seems that Javier is also in some gang trouble (after giving shelter to the homeless pregnant girl, whom he claims to be his cousin) since Hazel comes out on the street to see a gang member beating up Javier. Hazel tries to save Javier, kicking the attacker in the face.

But Hazel’s strength is no match for the other, muscular person. In the meantime, the attacker who Hazel kicks to the ground brings out a gun and starts firing rounds. They leave, taking Javi in the car while Hazel stays fatally wounded on the road. However, as the film comes to a close, Elliot seems to have some control over the situation. After all, Elliot is a heart surgeon, and he knows how to handle such situations. But as he is a former associate of Von, we do not know for sure if Elliot is a doctor. But in most parts, he comes off as a truthful person. As he asks Hazel to trust him, we believe Hazel still has life in her. With the cliffhanger, the film ends, while a “to be continued” keeps the viewers guessing. But meanwhile, another question remains.

Is Travis Dead or Alive?

After Hazel buries Travis in the desert, we almost forget about him until he appears in the town at the last moment. As Joy speaks to Hazel, a blood-laden Travis shadows them. Joy asks Hazel whether she can use the broncho, and we get the idea that Travis is not as dead as some of us thought he was. Travis being alive also explains why his criminally endowed family is not after Hazel and Joy. However, a lot of questions remain – did Hazel bury Travis? How is Travis still alive, then? How did he escape the grave? It seems that Hazel spared his life earlier, asking him to head to California. Therefore, with Travis still alive, and Hazel in the hospital, Joy will face new hurdles in life.

Read More: Is Buried In Barstow A True Story? Where Was It Filmed? Who Is In The Cast?