In the Fire Ending, Explained: Is Martin Possessed or Special?

Directed by Conor Allyn, ‘In the Fire’is a thriller released in 2023, graced by an exceptional ensemble cast featuring Amber Heard, Eduardo Noriega, Lorenzo McGovern Zaini, Sophie Amber, Luca Calvani, Yari Gugliucci, Jorge Melgar, and Ernesto Molina Samperio. The narrative orbits around Grace Burnham, a compassionate psychologist whose life takes a turn upon receiving a heartfelt letter from a concerned mother.

Drawn by the plea for help, Grace embarks on a journey to a secluded village to help a young boy enmeshed in the web of local beliefs branding him as possessed. Now, Grace endeavors to rescue the boy from the clutches of a community and prove to everyone he’s not possessed but special. Curious to see what challenges Grace faces in her quest to save the boy? Here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘In the Fire.’

In the Fire Plot Synopsis

Grace Burnham (Amber Heard) is a brilliant psychologist who travels to a faraway hamlet located in the middle of nowhere to tend to a little boy. The boy’s mother, Isabelle (Sophie Amber), penned a letter to Grace informing her about Martin’s condition. Martin’s case caught Grace’s attention, and she decided to make a long journey to the village to learn more. Despite what others are saying in the village, Grace believes that Martin’s condition is related to the mind, not the body, and with her knowledge of psychology, she can help Martin integrate into society again.

Upon arrival, Grace shows her interest in meeting the boy, but Maria denies it, advising she should see Don Marquez (Eduardo Noriega) first. Marquez, on the other hand, refuses her services and advises her to catch the first train tomorrow. Unfortunately, the train only comes once a week, leaving Marquez with no choice but to allow her to see Martin. Grace meets Martin and begins her questioning, realizing she hasn’t got much time. Martin appears to be devoid of any expression or sympathy. He reveals to Grace that his mother, Isabelle, is dead and he’s the killer.

Grace confronts Father Antonio ( Luca Calvani), asking why they’ve allowed Martin to perpetuate the idea that he has killed her mother. Unlike Grace, Father Antonio and others agree that Martin’s case has something to do with religion, maybe demonic possession. Grace, on the other hand, concedes she’s dealing with a disorder of the mind. But why would anyone think a little boy is under demonic possession? Martin seems to know things he should have never known in the first place, like one’s darkest secrets, thoughts, and where they spend their summer.

Padre Gavira (Yari Gugliucci) also blames Martin for the death of his flock and is convinced that some kind of evil lives inside Martin. He believes that Martin is in league with Lucifer and is conspiring to bring chaos to the valley. He, on many occasions, had tried to abduct Martin but failed. Grace deduces that Martin has savant syndrome and thus is unable to feel emotions and sympathy. Even though the disease is rare, modern medicine can help treat it or, at the very least, contain it.

Grace tries convincing Padre Gavira of the same following the death of two children, whom Martin has given his chocolate bar. But Gavira and the villagers label her as a Bruja (Witch) and batter her with a whip. Fortunately, Marquez intervenes and saves Grace. Grace subjects Martin to the Rorschach test and presents him with multiple inkblots to analyze his psychology. Following the test, Grace affirms that Martin is an exceptional child, a boy born with multiple talents and abilities.

A genius in Mathematics and language, with the ability to access parts of the brain that others can’t or don’t know about. In layman’s terms, a boy touched by god but incapable of feeling connection, emotion, and social behavior. Grace cannot cure Martin, realising there’s nothing to cure. He’s just a special boy, just much different and more talented than others. The only thing Grace can do is to help him feel emotions. During her stay, Grace also becomes closer to Marquez and ends up having a romantic liaison. 

Trouble ensues when an angry farmer infiltrates Marquez’s house and sets his stable on fire to burn his flocks. The angry farmer then attacks Marquez and Grace and makes his way towards Martin. But before he can strike Martin, he is crushed under a burning log. This gives Marquez, Grace, and Martin time to escape. Once again, Martin willingly blames himself for the farmer’s death.

Grace tries convincing him otherwise, suggesting the entire village is scared and starving and needs someone to blame. Martin just happens to be that because he’s different from others. Things take a dire turn when the angry villagers sow salt in Marquez’s field, rendering it infertile. Martin, via Grace, advises Marquez to plant amaranth, but he denies it. Fearing for Martin’s safety, Marquez even decides to never take Martin to his fields.

In the Fire Ending Explained: What Happens to Martin and Grace?

A serious illness infiltrates the village and claims Maria as its first victim. Grace examines Maria and finds multiple wounds that hint towards Typhus, an illness spread by lice. She desperately tries to help Maria, but she dies. At this point, Maria is beginning to question her faith and her teachings. She couldn’t save Maria and is also struggling to help Martin, making him understand human feelings and emotions. Marquez, on the other hand, thinks Grace’s experiments have gotten him closer to his son. 

Once again, Padre Gavira and the villagers begin blaming Martin for Typus and decide to exact revenge. The villagers arrive at the hacienda, looking for Martin. Father Antonio leads Grace and Martin to a secret tunnel leading to the cold cellar. Antonio, nonetheless, chooses to stay behind to fend off the angry mob for as long as he can to give Grace and Martin time to escape. He tries to convince the mob that Martin is just a little boy, not an instrument of Lucifer, to wreak havoc. Unfortunately, Gavira pays no heed to his talk and plunges his knife into his chest. 

Martin and Grace try to flee, but soon, the angry mob catches onto them. Grace pulls out a revolver, which Marquez has given her earlier to use in desperate times, but is knocked unconscious. The mob hangs Grace from her hands, planning to burn her alive. Marquez tries to intervene, but the angry mob unleashes their anger on him. Martin, in anger, uses his telekinetic talents and pulls the villagers away from him. Scared, the villagers try to flee, and those who choose to stay behind once again try to burn Grace. But Martin turns their torch against them, burning them instead.

Padre Gavira tries taking matters into his own hands. He attempts to shoot Martin with the repeater but is killed instead. As the movie draws to a close, we see Martin and Grace arriving at the train station with Marquez, who questions Grace about his son’s future. Grace promises to protect Martin till her final breath and raise him like her own. The movie ends with Marquez taking his final breath on Grace’s shoulder. 

Was Martin Possessed or Special?

No! Martin wasn’t possessed; he was just special and extraordinary compared to others. He had a photographic memory and never forgot anything he read. Martin was able to anticipate the coming events based on that understanding. For instance, he advised his father to plant amaranth when it rained in the village. Advising his fathers to destroy some of the crops to save the rest was another one of those suggestions. 

Martin was unable to grasp emotion and was socially awkward. Sadly, the villagers interpreted it as demonic possession. The arrival of locusts and typhus further solidified their claims. But what about Martin’s telekinetic powers? Yes, Martin did have telekinetic powers, but it was in no way connected to Lucifer or any of Satan’s associates. Grace had confirmed earlier that Martin is able to access and make use of the parts of the brain that are impossible for any other human being. Thus, it’s feasible that unlocking such areas of the brain gave Martin his telekinetic powers. 

Why Did Martin Dig Out His Sister’s grave?

As previously established, Martin grappled with emotional detachment, finding it difficult to comprehend the reasons for people’s joy and sorrow. This emotional disconnection became evident during a tragic event involving his mother, Isabelle, and the loss of her child. Isabelle was pregnant, but sadly, due to complications, the infant was stillborn. Marquez, emotionally affected by this loss, attempted to bury the child in the family grave. However, Padre Gavira insisted the child be buried near the stream, given that she had not been baptized.

This devastating loss sent Isabelle into a deep depression, and her inconsolable weeping became overwhelming for Martin. Unable to bear his mother’s weeping any longer, he made a distressing decision. Martin exhumed his sister from her grave, hoping it might provide some solace for his grieving mother. Martin’s struggle to comprehend emotions and feelings persisted, even when tragedy struck again with Isabelle’s passing. When she passed away before his eyes, he remained emotionally unaffected, displaying no visible reaction or attempt to assist her.

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