The Choice Ending, Explained: Does Gabby Die?

Directed by Ross Katz, ‘The Choice’ is a rom-com film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. The film features Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer as the main leads, alongside Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling, and Tom Wilkinson. The story takes place in a small North Carolina town and follows Travis Shaw and Gabby Holland, two neighbors with clashing personalities who fall in love. However, before they can have a happily ever after, their love is tested when Travis is forced to make a life-changing decision. If you’re curious to see how Gabby and Travis’ lives unfold, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘The Choice.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Choice Plot Synopsis

Veterinarian Travis Shaw and his dog, Moby, live in a bungalow by the water, where Travis occasionally hosts get-togethers for his friends and their families. After one such get-together, Travis’ new next-door neighbor, medical student Gabby, knocks at his front door, complaining about his loud music. The two get off on the wrong foot and bicker throughout their first interaction, which ends with Gabby assuming Moby got her dog, Molly, pregnant.

The next day, when Gabby takes Molly to the vet, she runs into Travis and discovers that Moby, who’s been nurtured, had nothing to do with Molly’s pregnancy. As the film progresses, Gabby and Travis keep running into each other across the town and in their front yards. Soon, Molly gives birth to her pups, and Gabby asks Travis for help. After that night, Gabby and Travis’ relationship becomes more civil though they still continue to bicker endlessly.

Eventually, Gabby’s serious boyfriend, Dr. Ryan McCarthy, leaves town for work. Meanwhile, Travis starts ignoring calls from his girlfriend Monica,  very well aware that he has fallen in love with Gabby. One night, Gabby invites Travis over for dinner. While cooking, Gabby shares her childhood stories with Travis, and the two bond. As the night progresses, the two are no longer able to hide their attraction toward each other and sleep together.

In the following days, Travis and Gabby find themselves in the middle of a whirlwind romance. Their connection deepens, and Travis takes Gabby to a family lunch with his father and sister, Stephanie, on his dead mother’s birthday. Gabby learns more about Travis and his life after losing his mother to cancer at a young age. Soon, Travis’ lonely front yard chair turns into two as he starts to make space for Gabby in his life, no longer wary of commitment.

However, eventually, Ryan returns from his trip, sending Gabby in for a loop. When Travis asks Gabby to give up Ryan and start a life with him, Gabby is unable to decide. The next morning, Travis discovers Gabby has agreed to marry Ryan and returns to his flimsy relationship with Monica. Nevertheless, Monica urges Travis to fight for Gabby. Travis arrives at the hospital Gabby works at and learns she has broken off her engagement with Ryan and left town.

Travis drives down to Gabby’s parent’s house and proposes to her on the spot with her parent’s blessings. Although initially, Gabby is reluctant, she agrees to the proposal, and the couple gets married. In the following years, Gabby and Travis build a beautiful life together with their dogs and two kids. However, seven years after their first meeting, Gabby gets in a horrible car accident and goes into a long coma. As a result, Travis faces down the barrel and has to make a choice between taking her off life support or holding onto her and their love.

The Choice Ending: Does Travis Agree To Take Gabby Off Life Support?

Travis’ dilemma about taking Gabby off of life support forms the choice that the film’s title references. Gabby’s accident leaves Travis devastated. After spending the best seven years of his life with Gabby, Travis isn’t ready to face the reality that he might lose her. Moreover, Travis also blames himself for Gabby’s accident. On the night of Gabby’s car crash, Travis gets held up at the office and fails to make it to his date night with Gabby. As such, when Gabby’s car gets side-swept by another car, Travis isn’t there with her.

Both Gabby and Travis have demanding work hours due to their jobs at the hospital and veterinarian clinic, respectively. Moreover, after having kids, the couple rarely gets any one-on-one time with each other. Therefore, Travis feels guilty for letting Gabby down right before she went into a coma. As the days go by, Travis fears Gabby may never wake up again.

Travis has built his whole life around Gabby and the kids he has with her. As such, when Dr. Ryan tells Travis he has to put Gabby off of life support, Travis is vehemently against the idea. Since Gabby signed a do-not-resuscitate form years ago, the doctors urge Travis to comply with her wishes if she fails to wake up after 90 days. According to Ryan, the chances of Gabby regaining consciousness after so long in the coma are less than 1%. As a result, Ryan also advises Travis to honor his wife’s decision and let her go.

Nevertheless, Travis insists Gabby signed the DNR form in preparation for a future where she had died after a long and happy life. He wants to keep fighting for Gabby and can’t let go of her just yet. Therefore, even though Travis tells an unconscious Gabby that he will let her go every day, he never can. In the end, Travis does not take Gabby off of life support.

Does Gabby Die?

Months after the accident, Travis notices Gabby’s wind chimes made of seashells twinkling in the wind. Even though Travis has no news of Gabby’s health, he gets a strong sense and rushes to the hospital. Travis isn’t sure what to expect after he arrives at the hospital, where Travis sees a scattering of people crying outside Gabby’s room. As such, when Travis enters the room and realizes Gabby is awake and well, he bursts into tears himself.

Later, Travis brings Gabby home to their kids, who are overjoyed to see their mother again. Gabby meets Stephanie’s newborn baby and reunites with her parents and in-laws. Afterward, Travis sets up a picnic date for him and Gabby in their front yard as a re-do for their last unfulfilled date. For the meal, the kids insist on cooking up something for their parents.

At first, things are a bit awkward between Travis and Gabby due to their traumatic separation. However, soon Gabby tells Travis she could hear him when he was talking to her during her coma. She tells Travis that he saved her and, in doing so, assures him of her love for him. In the end, the couple is able to give their happily ever after another chance.

What is The Gabby’s Point?

In the early days of their relationship, Travis takes Gabby to a secluded island in the middle of the night. Travis finds out about the island from his grandfather, who used to take him there for fishing. After his grandfather passed away, Travis inherited the island and used it as a place to come to whenever seeking his solitude. As such, by sharing the island with Gabby so early on in their relationship, Travis tells her that he no longer wishes to be alone. After that night, Travis starts to believe it’s him and Gabby against the world.

As such, when a hurricane hits North California during Gabby’s hospitalization, Travis decides to send his kids out of town but stays behind himself. By doing so, Travis ensures he can be near Gabby’s hospital. After the storm passes, Travis’ house is a little torn up, and he can’t find Gabby’s wind chimes on the porch.

However, after Moby finds the chimes in the water, Travis frantically builds a gazebo on his and Gabby’s island, where he puts the wind chime. After Gabby’s recovery, Travis takes his family to the island, where they sit in the gazebo, dubbed “Gabby’s Point,” and stargaze up at the clear sky. Gabby’s Point becomes a symbol of Travis and Gabby’s love and dedication to each other.

Read More: Is The Choice Based on a True Story?