Netflix’s ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ begins with a death. Fontaine dies after he is shot down by the leader of a rival gang. However, he doesn’t exactly die. The next day, he wakes up, in his best health, with no wounds on his body to tell the tale. He has no memory of dying or even being attacked by his enemies. However, when the people around him point this out, he can’t help but wonder what happened to him and how he survived death. Did he really make a deal with the devil, as suggested by Slick Charles? Or is he dead and has come back as a ghost? What is his status for the rest of the film? Is he alive or dead? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
Does Fontaine Die?
Yes and no. Fontaine’s fate in ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ is complicated because this question demands an answer for one person, which Fontaine is not. In fact, he never was a regular human living in the neighborhood he thought he grew up in. He was always a clone placed in the Glen, created as a carefully curated control group where experiments could be conducted without outward interference.
The Fontaine that we meet for the first time is a clone that must have been replaced when the one before him died. When he is shot down by a rival gang member, he doesn’t die immediately. In fact, he makes it to the following day and is seen wandering on the road, dazed and confused, asking for help. This is when a mysterious black van shows up out of thin air, stuffs him into the car, and drives away before anyone can figure out what’s happening.
This Fontaine is replaced by another who embarks on the journey to discover the truth. For the rest of the film, this Fontaine manages to stay alive. He goes through a tumultuous journey that makes him realize that nothing is real around him. He has an existential crisis, but he comes out of it when he decides to fight back, to find and stop the people who made him and are still conducting the experiments with no care of what it might do to him and others in the neighborhood.
This Fontaine makes it to the end and meets the real Fontaine, the one who created everything, the one whose memories all the clones have. The real Fontaine is old and grey. He has been around for a long time and has been creating clones for his experiment for so long that he has forgotten how many clones he made. While the clone Fontaine wants the experiments to stop, the real Fontaine is under a delusion that he can find a way to literally change the way people look and help them assimilate into society rather than get annihilated.
When the clone Fontaine realizes that the real one will not stop, he decides to do it himself. In the same room, they have Chester, another clone who looks just like them. Fontaine uses the code word to control clones, which Nixon used on him to show him he had no control of his life. Fontaine makes Chester kill the real Fontaine. So, technically, one could say that Fontaine is dead. But that leaves us with the clones, which, as it turns out, are not limited to the Glen.
Early on, It was hinted that the Glen is not the only neighborhood being used as a control group. Places like this all over the country are being used for these experiments. In the final scene, we see another such neighborhood. This one is in Los Angeles, where another clone, who looks like Fontiane but is named Tyrone, lives the exact life Fontiane did. He is a drug dealer who makes sandwiches for his mother, who never leaves her room.
This means that in all the other control groups, the clones are all probably one or the other version of Fontaine. While the real Fontaine is dead, his clones are still out and about in the world. All of them have parts of his memories, but they are all living a lie. Fortunately, the Fontaine from the Glen decides to travel the country with Yo-yo and Slick to find other clones and help them.
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