Glass ending explained - the clover tattoo, a possible sequel, and everything else you want to know

Glass ending

Director M. Night Shyamalan is known for his surprising endings, so it’s perhaps very unsurprising that his latest movie, Glass, is no different. A concluding sequel to Shyamalan’s other films Unbreakable and Split, the Glass ending crams so many shocking revelations into its final few moments, it’s enough to make your head spin. If you’ve seen the Glass ending, no doubt you have a lot of questions about the mysterious clover tattoo organisation, which is revealed during the finale. But be warned, if you haven’t seen Glass yet, this is not the place for you because we’re going to be talking about major spoilers for the Glass ending from this point onwards.

During the Glass ending, Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson) and Kevin/the Horde (James McAvoy) break out of the mental health facility they’ve been held captive in for much of the film, before being faced down by David (Bruce Willis) who’s determined to stop them from escaping. The fight ends with all three super-powered individuals fatally wounded and it’s as they lay dying that Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) drops a revelation of epic proportions. She’s not a psychologist specialising in people with delusions they’re superpowered… or rather, she is, but they’re actually correct! Instead, it’s her job to try and convince them that they don’t have powers at all, at the behest of the organisation she belongs to. 

An image from Glass

It’s as Elijah lays dying that Ellie confirms his theory from Unbreakable that the invulnerable David is the mirror ‘superhero’ to his own fragile ‘villain’. “Your theories were correct,” she says, “when one of you appears, so does another.” She also reveals that she belongs to an organisation that for 10,000 years has kept those with powers contained - either by killing them or convincing them they don’t have powers at all - to ensure there’s no “gods” among men. While she’s talking, we spot a subtle clover tattoo on her wrist, which also appears on a number of the soldiers at the facility who helped her finally subdue the three super-powered individuals. This is clearly the mark all members of the organisation have, but what do we know about them? Where did they come from? And why do they go to such lengths to ensure that no-one believes in superheroes?

Unfortunately, we don’t know much about this organisation - not even what they’re called, as Shyamalan confirms to Digital Spy that he hasn’t given them a name (let’s just call them the clover tattoo organisation, for now) - but there’s still plenty from the Glass ending for us to talk about. As I said above, Ellie reveals to a dying Elijah that he was right, superheroes/villians do exist, and she, along with others, do everything they can to stop them from becoming commonplace. 

After talking to Elijah, she moves onto David and desperately asks him: “Did I nearly have you convinced?” She seems to genuinely want to know, which fits with something she says earlier to David’s son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark). She told Joseph, of the three of her patients, his father was the one she was most hopeful for. What we didn’t know at the time was that she didn’t mean she was hopeful he would be able to overcome his delusion that he has powers, but that she was hopeful she’d be able to wrongly convince him that he was normal, which makes sense as David was always a bit of a reluctant hero. 

An image from Glass

(Image credit: Disney)

It’s clear that Ellie would prefer to stop any powered individuals that the clover tattoo organisation comes across by non-lethal means, and we even see (through David’s eyes when he touches Ellie’s hand during the Glass ending) a meeting with the organisation where she says: “I know my charge, to convince them it’s normal. This is the most humane, we are not executioners…” This is why she’s given three days to convince Elijah, Kevin/t he Horde, and David that they’re not super-powered. But if she’s unable to do that, the organisation demands that they be eliminated in other, more permanent ways...

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That’s exactly what happens during the Glass ending as it becomes clear that Ellie has not only failed to convince Elijah, Kevin/the Horde, and David that they don’t have powers, but has also allowed them to escape. She has to act fast to remedy the situation and calls in for back up. Once her tactical team arrives, they quickly dispatch both the Horde and David (Elijah has already been mortally wounded) by shooting the Horde once he reverts back to his non-superpowered identity Kevin and drowning David in a puddle of water. If you remember, the Beast - as Kevin/the Horde’s superpowered identity is known - is basically unkillable when he’s in control, and water has always been David’s weakness after he nearly drowned as a child.

This shows just how serious Ellie takes her mission as it becomes clear that this is exactly why she maneuvers Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) - the only one to escape the Horde in Split - into using her connection with Kevin to bring him back to himself. As the Beast, the Horde is invulnerable, but as Kevin, he can be killed. Ellie may have failed to convince the trio that they don’t have powers, but she believes she’s stopped the truth from coming out. That’s not the case, however, as we learn during the final Glass ending.

An image from Glass

The final shocking revelation from the Glass ending is that Elijah wasn’t trying to escape at all, but used all the cameras in the mental health facility to film his and the Horde’s escape and the subsequent battle between the Horde and David. Ellie realises too late that he sent all the footage - which well and truly proves that superpowered people do exist - to Joseph, Casey, and his mother Mrs Price (Charlayne Woodard), who then releases it into the world. As the world jumps on the footage and Ellie realises she’s failed in her mission, you can’t help but feel that this is just the start of another story. Surely, we now need a fourth movie to tell us what happens next and answer our questions about the clover tattoo organisation? 

Well, unfortunately, Shyamalan has said he’s not planning on making a sequel to Glass. "For me, this is it. I love the idea of it feeling like the story continues and for you guys to imagine," he tells Digital Spy. "Even Unbreakable and Split all had that same feeling at the end of, 'Oh it’s continuing' kind of thing. I like that the story doesn’t finish, but I’m not necessarily going to continue it." This is pretty frustrating for anyone desperate to know more about the mysterious clover tattoo organisation, but maybe one day we’ll get a follow-up to Glass or even a spin-off about the organisation. After all, this can’t be the first time they’ve done this, surely?