The Baker Ending, Explained: Why Does Pappi Let Victor Live?

‘The Baker,’ an action drama film, presents a story about a seemingly regular old man whose momentary babysitting gig with his granddaughter turns into a lethal quest after his son’s mysterious disappearance. The owner of Pappi’s Bake Shop, usually known as Pappi himself, finds himself in a pickle after his distant son, Peter, leaves his daughter, Delphi, to attend to some of his shady business. As such, once Peter fails to return to his daughter, it thrusts the odd grandfather-granddaughter duo to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. With a fleet of gangsters behind them and a dangerous drug lord out for Pappi’s blood, the baker must freshen up some of his old skills to ensure his family’s safety.

The film, ripe with action and compelling if complicated family dynamics, entails an engaging storyline about the unlikely bond between a perpetually grumpy old man and a meek but spontaneous young child. As such, viewers must be curious to see where this wild adventure takes the duo.

The Baker Plot Synopsis

For Peter, a small limo company owner, his trip to the airport was supposed to be a simple pick-up. However, after a delay sends the man back to the underground parking lot, Peter witnesses an unbelievable scene. While the driver hides in the shadows, a drug drop occurs in the parking lot, interrupted by a rival gang. As a result, the two gangs kill each other, leaving a duffle bag full of drugs unguarded and Peter’s for the taking. In a split second, the man makes a decision. Consequently, after stealing the bag, he skips town with his young daughter.

The father-daughter arrives at Pappi’s Bake Shop, owned by Peter’s father. Even though the pair haven’t been in contact for years, with Pappi entirely oblivious about his granddaughter Delphi’s existence, Peter convinces him to look after the girl. With promises of a safe return after a suspicious phone call about moving his “stash,” Peter returns to his home for a lucrative trade with his drug dealer, Milky. Nevertheless, a different fate waits for him at home in the form of armed men who work for The Merchant, a feared local drug lord.

Although Peter attempts to return their drugs to him in exchange for his life, he soon realizes that Delphi swapped out the duffle bag’s contents with her school bag in an angry fit. Once the gangsters realize the same, they beat Peter up. The man manages to phone Pappi as a last resort to ask him to care for his daughter before the baker hears gunshots from the other line of the phone. As a result, after a day of a rocky start with the girl who reminds Pappi so much of his own little kid, the baker arrives at a police station with Dephi to file a report.

Yet, the same leads to no solutions since Pappi barely knows enough about Peter’s life to file a cohesive complaint. As a result, he takes matters into his own hands and begins a private investigation. With no one else to look after little Delphi, whose past trauma has made her selectively mute, the baker lets her tag along. The duo makes a few trips and learns that the pink packets inside Delphi’s bag are a highly sought-after drug known as Nova or Pink. In turn, news of an old but skilled fighter searching for his son reaches The Merchant, compelling him to put pressure on his right-hand man, Victor, to clean up Peter’s mess. Meanwhile, where Pappi and Delphi started their acquaintanceship on guard, they began to warm up to each other.

After a few more violent encounters with drug dealers and the like, Pappi arrives at a club with connections to the infamous Merchant, who’s responsible for his son’s disappearance. However, inside the club, misfortune awaits him after an altercation with The Merchant’s henchman leaves Pappi with the knowledge of his son’s fatalistic demise. The news is even heavier on Delphi, who is devastated to have lost any hope of a reunion with her father. Nonetheless, Pappi comforts the kid. The next day, the duo leave their hotel to return to their lives.

Still, The Merchant’s men, lured by a profitable bounty on Pappi’s head, ambush them, leading to a fight that leaves the baker severely injured. Although Delphi’s quick thinking gets Pappi the emergency help he needs, their pursuers track the duo down in the hospital as well. After escaping from another near-death experience, Pappi realizes to put an end to The Merchant’s games and sets up a meeting with Victor.

The Baker Ending

Even though Pappi heard the gunshot sounds over the line during his ultimate phone call with Peter, the old man held onto the hope that his son and Delphi’s father could be alive. Likewise, he told the little girl the same to manage her expectations without crushing her spirit. Nevertheless, Pappi’s hope diminishes once he receives confirmation about Peter’s death from someone who claims to have buried the man himself.

Pappi had been hoping The Merchant had kept his son alive to be used as ransom. Still, he knew how unlikely such a scenario was. Therefore, when the gangster’s henchmen solidifies Peter’s death, the baker has no reason to question his honesty. Yet, the same doesn’t mark the grandfather-grandkid’s exit from the criminal world.

The Merchant is still after the missing Nova drugs, hellbent on procuring his lost assets. For the same reason, Victor refuses to let up and continues sending attackers after Pappi. After the attempt at the hospital, Pappi makes a tough choice and decides to see the mission through. As a result, he uses one of Victor’s goons’ phones to set up a meeting with the man and promptly takes him hostage.

The narrative maintains a distance from Pappi’s past, refraining from revealing most details. Yet, flashbacks and off-handed comments make it evident that the baker is hiding a gruesome past that still gives him routine nightmares. Consequently, Pappi also has the skills to back up his strenuous, mysterious past, as portrayed by his previous altercations. As such, he’s able to kidnap Victor easily and compels him to drive to the spot where he buried the baker’s son.

Once Victor, Pappi, and Delphi arrive at the entrance to the ominous thick forests where the gangster confirms Peter’s body to be, Pappi leaves his grandkid in the car to tie up Victor’s loose end. In the forest, Pappi discovers and recognizes Peter’s half-buried body. As a result, he turns to kill Victor to avenge his son. Surprisingly, Victor, whose conscience has been plaguing him for days about orphaning a child, welcomes Pappi’s final judgment and begs for his death.

In his rage, Pappi allows the bullet to swerve in favor of beating and waterboarding Victor. However, the gunshot sound draws Delphi to the forest, where he witnesses the horrid scene. Inversely, Pappi sees Peter in his daughter’s silhouette, remembering a time before Peter grew up and started detesting him, likely for his violent past. Therefore, he chooses to shed his past and embrace a better future.

When Pappi began his baking business, taking on a baker’s persona, he sought an easier, more fulfilling life. Therefore, even though he returns to his bloodied ways far too quickly, Delphi helps him realize he can actually leave that life behind. For the same reason, he decides to spare Victor’s life, choosing love over revenge.

Does The Merchant Die? How?

After Pappi allows Victor to live, leaving his violent life behind with Delphi by his side, he decides to face their adversary, The Merchant, in a direct confrontation. Over the course of the film, the narrative only hints at Pappi’s old life as Donald Gilroy. Thus, even though we know some incidents ended with the man faking his own death decades ago, the nature of his past profession remains unknown.

For the same reason, it comes as a bit of a shock when Pappi’s confrontation with The Merchant reveals that the two men were already acquainted. Even though a tense air surrounds the two, it’s clear that the druglord respects, or at least fears, Pappi’s presence despite his years-long disappearance. Consequently, The Merchant agrees to let him and his granddaughter off the hook after Pappi returns the Nova drugs to the man.

As such, the end finds Pappi in an airport with Delphi— a family of two, preparing to board a flight. Even though killing The Merchant would have brought momentary satisfaction to Pappi, he realizes the circle of violence such an action would instigate. Therefore, he doesn’t wish to make the same mistakes he did with Peter and lose Delphi by failing to keep her safe.

Nevertheless, the film’s end-credit scene, where a faceless figure finds The Merchant and shoots him point blank, leaves a puzzling picture for the audience. Pappi emerges as the obvious suspect in the killing, given the baker and the Merchant’s opposing presence in the story.

However, Pappi allowed Victor, the man who pulled the trigger on his son, to walk away from death. For the same reason, it wouldn’t make sense for the man to choose violence against the Merchant before while Victor lives. Furthermore, regardless of The Merchant’s personal weakness, his drug cartel will surely pose a dangerous problem for Pappi, who wouldn’t want to put Delphi in such a situation. Therefore, it seems likely that Pappi doesn’t kill The Merchant.

Instead, The Merchant likely meets his end at the hands of Victor, his trusted employee. Throughout the film, the drug lord treats Victor with distaste and disrespect, often reminding him of his inferiority since he isn’t family. Thus, Victor, who embraced death moments ago only to be robbed of it, could have easily channeled his frustrations toward the man responsible for his immoral actions. Ultimately, it’s possible that Victor is the one who shoots The Merchant.

Read More: The Baker (2022): Is the Movie Based on Reality or Fiction?