‘Eradication’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Does Todd find David? Why did Samantha lie?

We, as a collective, just had a terrifying experience with a pandemic a few years ago, which showed us how fragile we really are as a species. The lockdown phase tested our physical and mental health, and some days were harder than others. The movie Eradication by Daniel Byers cashes in on the remnants of our collective experience of the real-world pandemic to deftly create a somber yet engaging post-apocalyptic horror film, exploring the themes of loneliness and survival. Eradication revolves around an infected but immune man, David Baldwin whose blood is being studied by his wife Samantha to create a vaccine. Samantha works at the Eradication Control Center, an organization responsible for curbing the spread of a deadly virus that has wiped out most of humanity. The secluded life makes David break protocol as he ventures out of the safe house and discovers the horrors of the pandemic. 

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Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Eradication’?

The world has been infected with a deadly virus that has wiped out anyone who came into contact with it. David Baldwin, an infected man, lives in a secluded house in the woods. He is a unique individual, according to his wife, Samantha. He is infected but doesn’t show symptoms because he is naturally immune to the virus. Samantha, who works at the Eradication Control Center (ECC), tells David that he is the only known immune man, making him humanity’s last hope for creating a vaccine.

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Samantha and David talk via the web using their laptops, and they wish to meet soon. Samantha keeps reminding David not to risk his life by doing anything silly, like going out. David, too, felt the weight of the huge responsibility of helping the ECC make a vaccine soon so the world could return to normal. Doing his duties diligently, he keeps track of his daily routine using the various egg timers, probably set up under Samantha’s strict instructions, that help him stay in good shape, both mentally and physically. When to exercise, when to extract blood samples, when to eat, and when to make the drop—all things are guided by the egg timers.

David knew that the vaccine would take a long time to be ready, but he didn’t expect it to take almost two years. He loves Samantha dearly. He wants to meet her again and embrace her like they used to before the pandemic, but as she is not immune, he could kill her if they came into contact. For now, he is left with egg timers for company, which regulate his regimented life in the secluded house. He is required to continually donate blood in a pouch, which is taken away by a robotic drone, directly to Samantha in the lab. He receives all essentials, such as food and water, via the drone itself. David keeps himself busy with the self-imposed chores but yearns to make contact with a survivor.

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Why Does David Dial The Numbers?

Man, being a social animal, cannot tolerate isolation and boredom for this long. David is no exception. A few minutes of screen time with Samantha is not enough. Yearning for more human contact, David develops the hobby of dialing each and every contact number available in the phone directory in order to kill time and hopefully connect with a survivor. Another reason for this could be his sheer curiosity to know if there was anybody alive in the area.


Does David Make Contact With A Survivor?

Each time the video call with Samantha ended abruptly after she strictly advised him to stay isolated, David’s desire to talk to someone else increased. He felt suffocated by the loneliness and, more than that, sometimes the lovelessness. Samantha looked like she was dead tired from all the work on her end, and in David’s mind, it would have been immature of him to ask for more time with her. She had the responsibility of creating a vaccine that could save the entire species. His misery wasn’t that important when compared to Samantha’s responsibility of making a vaccine.

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He called up the numbers and began crossing them out one by one, getting no response. One day, he reaches the Beaumont family residing in Meadow Lakes and thinks he has reached someone, but it turns out to be only their dial-tone message. Soon, he receives a call back on his marriage anniversary.


What Did The Survivor Tell David?

David was desperate for contact. His loneliness was now taking the shape of a mental illness. He had begun hallucinating and seeing apparitions. Although he managed to keep it in check, he knew it could soon spiral out of control. When the phone rang, David picked up the call and heard another man’s voice for the first time in two years. The call is cut when David is unable to utter even a single word to him out of shock. Later, he tries his luck and dials the Beaumont family again, and the same man picks up.

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He was a man called Todd who told David that he had arrived at Meadow Lakes from Atlanta, suggesting he had taken shelter in the Beaumont residence after their demise. He told David of the time when the pandemic got out of control, and the government drones started killing people with deadly gas. He escaped, as he had the essential equipment to survive the gas. David is shaken by the revelation but is forced to interrupt Todd’s flow of thought when he senses that Todd wants to come and live with him.


Why Did Todd Want To Live With David?

Todd had survived the government’s implementation of the Eradication Act, which essentially wiped out the population that was deemed infected. Todd was never infected but could have been a casualty of the horrific Act nonetheless. He tells David that he could come live with him and work for him, sensing he has the resources to feed himself. David trusts his wife, who is working for a government agency and replies with the answer he had memorized after hearing it so many times from Samantha. He tells Todd that he cannot come live with him as he is immune but infected. Todd would die if he came into contact with him. Todd asks a question that plants doubt in David’s mind regarding ECC’s operations. He asks him to check his blood to ascertain if he is truly infected.

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Was David Infected?

David, for the first time in two years, actively disregards Sam’s instructions and ventures far away from his house. He finds a test kit, and the result comes out negative. He wasn’t infected at all. He grew infuriated and doubtful of his wife for the first time. Although the two-year period of isolation had started to manifest in strange ways where his resentments of being infantilized by his wife had already come to the surface.

On their video call, he gives her a chance to come clean, but Samantha lies through her teeth and asks him to keep giving blood samples to ensure the making of the vaccine. She begins to scold him for his audacity to break protocol, and for a minute, he feels the legitimacy of her concerns as he does run into an infected man on his way to find the test kit. But hearing all the lies and being fed up with the secrecy, David stops trusting her and gives Todd his location, planning to fight the infected together if ever they come near the house. He goes out in the wild again to find the strange ECC operator who saved him from the infected man but discovers something truly shocking.

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‘Eradication ‘ Ending Explained: Does Todd Find David? Why Did Samantha Lie?

David discovers that the ECC operator wearing the protective gear and killing infected ones with a crossbow was none other than his wife, Samantha. She was living in a tent out in the woods. When David catches her red-handed in that tent, he brings her to his house and begs her to tell the truth. The truth was that Samantha was infected and needed to ingest non-infected blood to suppress her symptoms. If she didn’t get the blood, she would turn into a monster like the man who tried to attack David earlier. David discovers that there was never a vaccine, and she has made a pact with the government to supply David with necessary items in exchange for his blood. That way, the drone didn’t have to eliminate her, as she had successfully managed a scheme to keep living as a healthy human. She did have to do the dirty work of killing all the other infected ones that came swarming in upon sensing the healthy David living in the house. She depended on David remaining healthy for her to keep receiving uninfected blood. The crucial thing, however, was to convince David to keep himself isolated. That way, he would never get bit and also remain cut off from the inhuman realities of the ‘Eradication Act,’ which were beyond David’s grasp, according to Samantha, given the simpleton she thought he was.

Before David could understand the implications of this deal between Samantha and the government, she had already turned into a virus-infected monster. The video call where Samantha was seen turning into a monster was being intercepted by the government officials, which effectively meant that her deal with them was off. The government drone started to spray the deadly gas even on the healthy David. He survived the gas but had to fight the monster at home. Samantha bites David and, for a brief moment, regains her humanity after tasting his blood. She couldn’t live with the fact that she had infected her loving husband and went out in the scorching heat of the sun, knowing fully well that it was lethal for the infected ones, basically committing suicide.

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David is left infected and grief-stricken after the death of his wife. If he could, he would have given his blood to her and kept her alive, but he understood it all too late. With nothing to live for, he decides to bury his wife and wait for the sun’s heat to kill him before he, too, turns into a full-fledged monster, but government helicopters prevent his noble death.

Todd finally arrives at David’s secluded house and finds him ready to talk on the laptop’s screen. David hides his real identity and introduces himself as Dr. Chambers. When Todd asks about David’s whereabouts, David lies to Todd, telling him that he was cured and that he left the house to go live with his wife. David asks for Todd’s blood as if he were an ECC operator and tells him that he is an asymptomatic carrier. If Todd wanted to get cured, he would have to send him blood samples. This all meant that he had made the same deal as Samantha had made with the ECC officials. They would provide Todd with the same daily necessities as they provided to David in exchange for the blood, which would keep David from becoming a monster until the day David faltered, in which case the drone would probably kill them both while implementing the policies of the ‘Eradication Act.’

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Final Words

Eradication, hence, creates doubt and paranoia surrounding the politics of a pandemic. It builds on the fact that during turbulent times, the dearth of knowledge about vaccines or a cure can breed a culture of helplessness and fear. Relationships suffer under such conditions, and the individual is left feeling infantilized due to the lack of knowledge. Director Daniel Byers took all these issues around the pandemic and galvanized them into a horror film that is not just superficially entertaining but also toys with several different ideas about the future and humanity’s response to tough times. Would one choose undignified and loveless survival over a valiant death? It is something to ponder over.


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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