Nightmares and Daydreams Episode 6 “Hypnotized” Ending Explained

Diving into a tale of paranoia and visions, ‘Hypnotized,’ the sixth episode of ‘Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams,’ takes a circuitous route through the mind of its protagonist, Ali, whose life is upended after he commits a robbery. Like polluted water springing from a well, Ali’s actions pollute the psyche of his family and loved ones while he contends with a guilty conscience. However, not everything is as it seems when strange, inexplicable alterations occur in the behavior of his wife and children. As he grapples with what is real and unreal, an enigmatic presence threatens to overwhelm his life as he knows it, and the only way he can fight back is by reestablishing control over his consciousness! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ali’s Desperation and Fall From Grace

Ali is an electrician who runs a repair shop in his home in a poorer part of the city. His wife, Ningsih, and two children, Hendra and Ayu, live in a modest accommodation while Ali is unemployed. The struggling electrician is afflicted by colorblindness, which forces him to see the world in black and white. After getting accepted as a new hire at an electrical company, he is let go by the recruiting lady when she discovers he cannot distinguish the blue uniform needed for the job. A desperate Ali pleads with her but to no avail. He returns home and is greeted by Iwan, a neighborhood hypnotist who uses his abilities to steal from his clients. Ali’s wife tells him to avoid the man as she believes a clean conscience is more valuable than a muddied one.

Iwan drops by Ali’s shop later that night and reminds him that he is still well-versed in hypnosis and should join him sometime. The latter is uneasy about using hypnosis to stoop to such lows as stealing. The following day, Ali receives a text from his wife while job-hunting to pay his daughter Ayu’s tuition fee. As he is already at wit’s end, the unemployed man squats next to an ATM while pondering his next course of action. An older woman passes by Ali, greeting him before she steps in to withdraw some cash. Anguished, the electrician wakes up from his misery and deliberates on robbing the lady. When the woman’s bag of oranges bursts open, he steps in and hypnotizes her, learning her name as Dewi. He uses his abilities to persuade her to hand him a few bills of money and makes a run for his life.

Arriving back home, Ali’s family is alarmed by his state of panic and exhaustion. He warns them to keep the doors and windows locked while meditating on the consequences of his actions. That night, the TV monitors in Ali’s shop glow in an otherworldly purple spiral, which he hastily turns off by unplugging. The next morning, he gives the stolen money to Ningsih to pay Ayu’s tuition fee and for her pocket money. While feeling unburdened initially, this proves to be a turning point for Ali as soon after handing out the money, his family begins acting uncharacteristically aggressive and bratty. Hendra fights and steals an expensive kite from a friend, Ayu attacks her doll viciously, and Ningsih steals food for the kids with reckless abandonment. Alarmed at the changes, Ali wonders what triggered it.

Why Does Ali’s Family Start Behaving Weirdly?

The root of Ali’s problems begins and ends with the robbery he commits at the ATM. Although unnoticed by the authorities, his crime is a sin that precipitates and propagates to those around him. Like a river being polluted upstream, which then flows down to an unsuspecting village of people, Ali’s robbery has indirect and unintended consequences visited upon him through the corruption of his family and their nature. As a father, he is loving and caring towards both children; however, after he brings back the stolen money, those children morph into aggressive demons who are ungovernable. Their actions, and the actions of his wife, are unaccountable through the realm of logic. Instead, their changes can be understood through the prism of a higher punishment being visited upon them.

The most significant blow arrives in the shape of the local neighborhood who doorstop Ali and demand compensation for Hendra beating up Bima, his friend, and stealing his expensive kite. Unable to offer any money, the angry masses take away the tomato plants outside his home, which are a prized possession. The plants are the only good things in Ali’s residency, as they offer fresh tomatoes, which Ningsih uses in her food, and they also happen to be Ayu’s favorite plants. Disconsolate, the electrician is unable to fathom what has gripped his family’s psyche. Chaos ensues between each member as Ali tries to keep everything under control. That night, the TV monitors glow their ethereal purple spiral once again, and a stunned Ali is greeted by Dewi, the woman he stole from, on the central screen.

Dewi’s words to Ali are cryptic. However, as he listens to her, Ali is gripped by his guilty conscience. Aware to some extent that he is being punished for stealing the woman’s money, he pleads with Dewi to leave his family alone, which she laughs off as a trivial request. The older woman poses Ali the question that rather than his family being in the grips of hypnosis, it is more likely that he is. Inadvertently, she tells him that he is actually hallucinating, which he doesn’t quite grasp. Instead of his family being possessed, he has been taken over and is envisioning a world where he is being punished for his robbery. Ali wakes up and finds himself hanging off the minute hand of a giant clock tower. He jars awake once more and finds his daughter waking him from a slumber, now behaving normally.

Does Ali Escape His Hypnosis?

Stuck in the grips of a nightmarish vision, Ali’s sanity is assaulted by his tormentor, Dewi. His entire existence since the robbery is a fabrication from which he is unable to extricate himself. The strange and mysterious changes within his family and the glowing TV monitors are a figment of hypnotic power administered upon him. He repeatedly wakes up hanging off of the clock tower, which is a significant part of his hallucination. The elaborate visions are a punishment for Ali’s descent into sin by deciding to rob Dewi. However, the hypnosis he is under also forces him to center himself in order to escape his mental prison. This happens once he fully realizes the extent of his hallucination and the absence of his family in his torture; the source of the problem is him and him alone.

After being woken up by his daughter, Ali is relieved to be free from his family’s altered behavior. However, he discovers that he yelled and fought with them the previous night. Feeling lost with the misaligned version of events, Ali is thrown into further anguish when his wife and children disappear, and Dewi appears on the TV screen once more. The more the two converse, the more he understands that he must find the location of the clock tower from which he constantly sees himself hanging. He pinpoints the place but is unable to leave his house. Digging deep within himself, Ali has to battle his inner turmoil and soothe his nerves. The meditation allows him to teleport to the clock tower, from which he falls. On his journey down, Ali fights back against Dewi’s power and awakens on a building rooftop from which he has been dangling in reality.

Why Does Dewi Hypnotize Ali?

Dewi is an enigmatic entity who defies explanation. Her control over Ali’s psyche leads the latter on a wild mental excursion through anguish, desperation, and hopelessness. Everything is kickstarted the moment Ali robs the woman at the ATM. However, she is no innocent lady being preyed upon. Instead, she is aware of Ali’s presence that night and stages the scene to penetrate Ali’s mental defenses. She aims to punish him for his intent to steal but also to sharpen Ali’s ways of mind control and help him get stronger. Her reasoning for this is that she requires him to do a more pivotal task in the future. Thus, everything Ali witnesses after robbing her at the ATM is a fabrication of her powers over him. When he wakes up on the building rooftop, he is still clothed in the outfit he wore the night he robbed Dewi, suggesting it’s still the same night.

Upon breaking out of his hallucination, Dewi congratulates Ali for escaping her hypnosis powers. She informs Ali that he is one of several special people that have been chosen for a critical mission. Ali’s unique ability for hypnosis will eventually enable him to control far more than just the confines of his mind; he will also control those of others. However, the end goal of recruiting people like Ali is to serve a massive purpose – to save humanity. Dewi reveals that she works for someone who has thrust upon her that vital goal. While there is no need for him now, she alerts him to be ready when needed for the task. Given the nature of the supernatural threat plaguing the people of Jakarta in the anthology episodes of ‘Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams,’ Ali will play his part in forming the defense for humanity against the peril lying on the horizon.

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