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‘Morbius’ Ending Explained: Bats, Man!

Where will Jared Leto go next and who will he fight?

“Morbius,” the latest Spider-Man-adjacent Marvel movie from Sony, has fluttered into theaters nationwide. Jared Leto stars as Dr. Michael Morbius, a mad scientist genius who suffers from a rare genetic disorder. In true mad scientist fashion, he decides to try and cure himself using vampire bat DNA and is healed… but also turns into a freakish monster with a thirst for human blood.

But how does the latest superhero adventure end? And will it leave you, like Morbius, thirsty for more?

Major spoilers for “Morbius” follow!

Bad Milo

One of the big ideas in “Morbius” is that the good doctor, as a child, forms a bond with a young boy who he dubs Milo. They meet in a children’s hospital and he says that the last kid who occupied his bed was named Milo, and he died, so he’s going to name this new kid Milo. (His name is actually Lucien.) Milo then grows up (he’s played in adulthood by Matt Smith), for some reason allowing everyone to still call him Milo, still suffering from the same debilitating genetic disorder as Morbius. Milo is also very, very rich and swans around his Manhattan penthouse, desperate for a cure (he’s even employed one of the doctors from the children’s hospital where they grew up, thanklessly played by Jared Harris, as his personal MD).

Morbius captures vampire bats from South America and holds them in a giant cylindrical tank in his office at the medical center called Horizon. (The bat tube is one of the movie’s more baffling elements. How exactly he got the bats into the country, much less the building, plus had a special two-story chamber built for them, is really beyond belief. Also we never see the bats eating anything or sleeping, which is what they do most of the time. They aren’t sharks. Anyway…) Determined to do his experiments in the most morally questionable setting possible, Morbius charters a tanker in international waters and gets his cute girlfriend, who is also a doctor (Adria Arjona) to run the unproven test on him. (Hey, it worked on a mouse!)

Predictably, he turns into a vampire and eats a bunch of the mercenaries on board. Morbius returns to New York, determined to work on the serum and not ruthlessly murder anyone else. (There are a couple of bumbling FBI agents, played by Tyrese and Al Madrigal, very, very loosely on his trail.) Morbius had previously developed a fake blood so he sustains on that, then human blood, always keeping track of his freak-outs, when they occur and how much of a vampire he actually becomes.

Of course, in typical superhero origin story fashion, Milo discovers that Morbius is feeling better and wants some of that sweet, sweet serum. He takes it and turns into another vampire. More fully understanding the assignment than Leto, he becomes a kind of Patrick Bateman-esque figure, dancing around his apartment and murdering people willy-nilly (the murders are of course first pinned on Morbius, weirdo scientist, and he is briefly imprisoned). Clearly, Morbius has to do something. If he wants to be a hero, he’s got to take down the villain.

Duel to the Death

Jared Leto in “Morbius” (Sony Pictures)

It’s through fighting with Milo that Morbius discovers some of his powers, which include (but are not limited to) echolocation and the ability to, if not fly exactly, then careen on currents of air. (Director Daniel Espinosa visualizes this with the character streaking colorful ink behind him; it looks like a comic book panel and it is very cool.) But still, Morbius knows that Milo needs to die, especially after Milo murders Jared Harris’ character, their old friend.

Morbius recruits his girlfriend Martine to help him. He develops a serum that will cure (and kill) Milo. But it’s the only way.

After killing Harris’ character, Milo kills Martine. Morbius rushes to her aid and feels her dying. He also feeds on her which makes him super-duper powered (more on that in a minute). Morbius, heartbroken, stands over her and lets a droplet of his blood fall into her mouth. This seems to be the classic vampire tradition (popularized in modern culture by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) where, in order to make a vampire, the vampire has to drain the person and then this new vampire has to drink the vampire’s blood.

Still, Morbius’ gamble doesn’t pay off. His blood does nothing. She is still dead. Time to kill Milo.

There is more frantic, CGI-embroidered mayhem as the two vampires fight to the death. Eventually they make their way underneath New York City and Morbius shows that he’s got more tricks up his sleeve: he calls on his army of bats to hold onto Milo, stabilizing him so that Morbius can deliver his antidote. It works, but also kills Milo. Milo dies in Morbius’ arms, thanking him for giving him his name which honestly still seems pretty condescending to me and I cannot believe he kept letting people call him that.

Morbius takes off, flying above the city on the leather wings of his bat-friends. He is now fully Morbius, vampire superhero of New York. It’s left open-ended as to whether or not he’ll still keep his office hours or regularly see patients.

What’s Next?

Well there are, of course, end credits sequences, but what is very clear is that Morbius has taken flight and will be back for more adventures. Also, there’s one additional twist before the very cool, Nicolas Winding Refn-indebted end credits roll: Martine opens her eyes! She’s alive! And also very much a vampire. So there’s that.

Also, it’s established earlier in the movie, both by one of the bumbling cops and by Morbius telling a thug that he’s actually Venom, that Venom exists in the same universe. We could see Tom Hardy’s gooey SOB show up sooner rather than later.

In other words: “Morbius 2” is going to be nuts.