Trauma Center Ending, Explained: Does Maddie Die?

The 2019 action drama film ‘Trauma Center’ directed by Matt Eskandari, is a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase story set within a locked-down hospital. Starring Nicky Whelan and Bruce Willis in central roles, the film follows a lone young woman, Madison Taylor, who finds herself caught in the crossfire of a serious murder case. As the sole witness to the event, Madison gets put under the protective care of Lieutenant Steve Wakes. However, once the killers break into the hospital, backing Maddie into a corner, she must fight against the hardened criminals on her own and win her freedom. If you’re wondering how this deadly situation ends for Maddie, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Trauma Center.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Trauma Center Plot Synopsis

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, two dirty cops, Pierce and Tull, discover Lieutenant Steve Wakes’ longtime confidential informant, Jimmy Gonzales, at his hideout spot. After brutally murdering the man, the pair steal his encrypted cellphone and set up a meet-up with Steve to ambush him. However, at the headquarters, Steve becomes suspicious when he receives news of Jimmy’s text and heads out to check on the man at his hideout. Inversely, Steve’s partner, Tony Martin, follows through with the meet-up and arrives at the dark alley behind a dumpster.

Meanwhile, Madison “Maddie” Taylor, who recently lost her mother in an accident, struggles to look after her angsty teenage sister, Emily. Due to their mother’s death, there is some friction between the sisters, with Emily resisting Maddie’s role as a guardian in her life. During an argument in the diner where Maddie works, Emily has an asthma attack and has to be rushed to the hospital. Afterward, Emily’s doctor keeps the teenager at the hospital for overnight observation.

Maddie leaves the hospital to tend to her nighttime shift, during which she bumps into a gravely injured Tony Martin in the darkened alley where she empties the diner’s trash. Following Martin, Pierce, and Tull arrive at the alley and shoot at Maddie upon noticing her presence. Although the pair escapes without getting recognized, Pierce realizes he’d made an incriminating mistake by shooting Emily with his cop gun.

Later, Maddie gets admitted to the same hospital as her sister, with her surgery delayed due to understaffing issues. Nonetheless, since Maddie is a prime witness in the case, Steve puts her up on the emptied and underused seventh floor, reserved for infectious disease. With an officer posted outside the door for Maddie’s safety, on the off-chance that the killers seek her out, Steve leaves the building to investigate the crime scene.

Shortly after, Pierce and Tull arrive at the hospital and compel the staff to send the building into lockdown, using their position as officers of the law. As such, Maddie gets stranded on the isolated seventh floor with a grave leg injury after Pierce and Tull shoot down her guard. Still, Maddie pulls herself up, injured as she is, and tries to escape her brutal assailants, refusing to fall for their manipulation.

While running away from Pierce and Tull, Maddie manages to escape to the sixth floor, where she stitches herself up and tends to her bleeding gunshot wound. During the chase, Maddie also acquires a memory card that unveils a damning secret. Failing to get a signal on her cellphone, Maddie calls Steve from the hospital landline and informs him about the same. By then, Pierce and Tull decide to up the stakes for Maddie by trying to blackmail her out of hiding, using her little sister, Emily.

Trauma Center Ending: Does Maddie Die?

After Maddie surprises Pierce and Tull at the alleyway, Pierce reacts brashly and shoots her down without thinking about the consequences of his actions. As such, although Maddie only gets shot in her leg, her life is still jeopardized due to the bullet inside her thigh. Pierce shoots Maddie with his police-issued gun with a .4 caliber bullet. Since all cops’ guns have their ballistics entered into the system, the bullet in Maddie’s thigh could easily give away Pierce’s identity.

Therefore, Pierce and Tull go through extreme measures to get the bullet out of her body. Once the pair realizes that Maddie is not willing to go down without a fight, they start playing dirty, threatening to harm Emily over the walkie-talkie. Maddie gets rattled by the threat, and Pierce catches her shortly after. Nevertheless, neither man can take the bullet out of Maddie since the bullet would get lost further in her body without immense medical precision. Still, after they catch Maddie, they continue to torture her to try and get the memory card’s location out of her.

However, Maddie manages to escape from Pierce and momentarily disposes of him by electrifying him with a defibrillator. In the meantime, Tull, who has always been the more manipulative of the duo, brings Emily holding her hostage to force Maddie to comply. Even so, Steve catches Tull before he can cause further damage. After Tull gets distracted, fending off Steve, Emily runs away and finds a tattered and bloodied Maddie.

The sisters try to escape through the elevator while Steve kills Tull, but their fates are once again terrorized when Pierce returns. Although Maddie and Emily try to run, Pierce catches up to them and holds Emily at knifepoint. Maddie’s genuine care for her sister is prevalent throughout the story. In fact, her unwillingness to leave Emily to fend for herself forms a significant reason why she continues to fight despite the damning odds.

Therefore, when the moment comes, Maddie arms herself with a gun, knowing she doesn’t have the time to wait for Steve to come in and save her. The sisters work together, with Emily spraying her inhaler in Pierce’s face to disorient him. As a result, she escapes from his clutches, giving Maddie an opening to shoot the man. In the end, Maddie saves her and Emily’s life by killing Pierce.

What Happens to The Memory Card?

Although the film starts with Maddie holding only one piece of evidence against Pierce and Tull, halfway through the film, she comes across another. Jimmy was already paranoid about his safety long before Pierce and Tull got to him. The CI was singlehandedly responsible for helping Steve with several cases. Due to the same, he was aware that he had made several enemies. As such, after a deal falls through with the police, Jimmy puts on his guard, suspecting a dire future waiting for him on the horizon.

Steve indulges Jimmy’s paranoia and arms him with traceable cash used by cops to set traps for criminals. Furthermore, Jimmy equips a body cam to ensure he has ample evidence against whoever decides to come after him. Nevertheless, Pierce and Tull are cops and recognize these setups easily. Therefore, after killing Jimmy, the pair take the memory card from the camera.

The same memory card gets lost while Pierce and Tull are chasing after Maddie and ends up in Maddie’s hands. Maddie realizes the card holds clear visual footage of Pierce and Tull murdering a police collaborator. After receiving several injuries at Pierce and Tull’s hands, Maddie already has a vendetta against them. As such, she decides to hold the card as a safe keep to ensure the pair gets their due diligence.

After Steve and Maddie eliminate all immediate threats by killing Tull and Pierce, respectively, they reunite, and Maddie hands in the memory card to Steve. Although Jimmy’s killers are dead now, the card can still play a crucial role in convicting several other dirty cops that Steve realizes are running rampant within the department.

Likewise, other crimes that Pierce and Tull may have tampered with will also come out into the light, reopening cases and bringing justice to several other individuals whom the pair wronged. Steve likely goes on to ensure the same. Although his background is a mystery, his position as a veteran cop and dedication to justice suggests a rich history of career achievements. Therefore, his influence will further help the case against Pierce and Tull’s network of bad cops, backed by the incriminating evidence on the memory card.

Read More: Best Bruce Willis Movies of All Time