‘Madame Web’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Cassandra Save Future Spider-Women?

It has been almost eight years since Disney partially gained the rights to live-action Spider-Man media, and for better or worse, through the expansive world-building of the MCU, the character has been redefined for a new generation of audiences ever since. Whatever shortcomings the MCU counterpart of Spider-Man may have simply pale in comparison to the horrendous, downright pathetic track record of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which consists of movies of major and minor Spider-Man-related characters. As a fan of the webhead, if you consider that Morbius (2022) was the lowest this unwelcome franchise could drop to, Madame Web will prove you wrong.

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Aside from the ludicrous plotline, cringe-worthy dialogue writing, horrible characterization, poor acting, and generic screenplay, Madame Web suffers from an absolute lack of effort by the makers, who seemingly can’t be bothered to even try to make people care about it. It cannot be overstated how bad of an impression Sony’s latest superhero venture has made in the context of comic-book-oriented moviemaking, which will further intensify the debate regarding ‘superhero fatigue’—when the real issue clearly lies with the studio’s egotistical attempt to cling on to the rights of a popular IP at any cost. The producers duo, Avi Arad and Amy Pascal, have wronged a lot of people associated with most of Sony’s Spidey projects through the years, and karma has struck hard with the forever downward slope the studio has found itself in after the completion of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie trilogy. 

Spoilers Ahead

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Who Is Ezekiel Sims? Why Is He Hunting The Spider-Women?

Madame Web opens in 1973, in the Peruvian Amazon, as researcher Constance Webb leads an exploration team to find a unique, undiscovered species of spider whose venom is presumed to contain peptides that can revolutionize medical science with their healing properties. Constance is escorted by a certain Ezekiel Sims, who is in pursuit of the spider species as well, but for his own ulterior motives. He is aware of the legend of Las Arañas, the mythical Amazonian tribe that gained superhuman strength and spider-like abilities from the same spider species, which Sims now wants to obtain for himself as well. Constance is in her last stage of pregnancy but is still hell-bent on going through the exploration ordeal, ignoring her physical and mental condition. 

Constance eventually discovers the spider, but Sims betrays the team at the last second and guns down a couple of team members. He demands Constance hand him over the spider, and as she refuses to comply, a brief scuffle ensues, which results in Constance getting fatally shot. Taking the spider with him, Ezekiel flees, leaving a wounded Constance writhing in pain, and soon enough, a number of those said mythical spider-people, Las Arañas, appeared out of the wilderness. The tribesmen take Constance to their sacred cavern, where they perform a ritual involving the same spider-venom to heal Constance and her baby, but Constance dies moments after childbirth, and before passing away, she names her daughter Cassandra. One of the tribesmen assures a dying Constance that her child is destined for greatness and will return to her birthplace to seek answers in the future.

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Ezekiel, on the other hand, gains superhuman abilities from the spider venom, which he utilizes to become a rich and powerful business tycoon. However, he is plagued by dreams of three particular spider-powered women who will seemingly cause his death in the future and gets desperate to find a solution in order to prevent that fate. 


How Does Cassandra’s Power Emerge? Why Does She Help The Teenagers?

The scene cuts to thirty years later, as we follow a grown-up Cassandra Webb, living in Queens, New York working as a first responder and paramedic, along with her friend and co-worker Ben Parker. The lack of a parental figure has made Cassandra wary of attachments, which have been amped up by her knowledge of her mother prioritizing research over her birth and subsequently losing her life, which she perceives as a form of abandonment. 

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While responding to a road accident, Cassandra accidentally gets trapped inside a car and falls into a river, which unlocks her latent spider-powers by showing her a vision of multiple possible futures strung up by a cosmic web of destiny. Ben is able to rescue Cassandra, and she comes back to life after being drowned for a significant amount of time. However, Cassie almost immediately starts experiencing futuresight in a subversive déjà vu form, where she perceives the upcoming future being repeated over and over again. Initially shrugging off the visions as a mental affliction, Cassie realizes that she indeed can see future outcomes of some particular events but cannot control the sight according to her convenience. Cassie attends the baby shower of Ben’s sister-in-law, Mary (Peter Parker’s mother), and her future sight continues to get stronger. Later, during another emergency situation, Cassie tries to warn one of her colleagues, O’Neil (homage to one of the creators of Madame Web, Dennis O’Neil), about an impending crisis but fails to convince him, which results in his death. This event wrecks Cassie mentally, as she feels guilt about knowing the future despite being unable to change it. 

Meanwhile, Ezekiel gains mass surveillance technology by stealing from the NSA, which his assistant Amaria uses to track down the Spider-women—Anya Corazon, Mattie Franklin, and Julia Cornwall—who are teenagers at this point in time, possessing no superpowers, and all of whom are living around New York at the present. A nefarious Ezekiel decides to kill the teenagers so the future he has seen never comes to pass, and learning that the trio are co-incidentally boarding the same train from Grand Central station, he goes to hunt them down. Cassie happens to board the same train and sees the vision of the teenagers getting murdered. Initially spooked out and almost willing to leave them to their fates, Cassie feels a compulsion to put her powers to greater use and saves the teenagers moments before Ezekiel appears. The obviously confused and skeptical teenagers raise their concerns regarding Cassie’s intentions, but as soon as they see a spider-suit-donning Ezekiel chasing them down while killing cops, they get their act straight and start following Cassie. With Amaria’s help, Ezekiel hacks into the police communication system and starts a search for the teenagers. 


Why Does Cassie Go To Peru? What Does She Learn About Her Mother?

Stealing a cab, Cassie takes the teenagers to the seclusion of the woods on the outskirts of town, considering it to be a safer option compared to being on the streets and getting spotted. She plans to bring the teenagers to their parents but learns about them being unavailable at the moment for various reasons (revealed later). Taking them to authorities will jeopardize their lives as well, given how Ezekiel apparently has easy access to them. Following a thread of conversation, Cassie gets a hunch about there being a connection between Ezekiel’s superpowers and her mother’s research and decides to go back to her apartment. Before leaving, she asks the teenagers not to draw attention by getting out of the woods and to wait for her return. 

Going through the research files of her mother, Cassie learns about Ezekiel’s powers being derived from the unique spider species in Peru and also about the Las Arañas, who gained unique powers in similar ways and were also able to tap into future sight abilities just like her. On the other hand, the unsupervised teenagers start acting reckless, go to a nearby diner, and get easily identified, making it easy for Ezekiel to once again track them down. However, Cassie’s timely intervention results in their lives being saved yet again, and to spend the night, she takes them to a secluded motel. 

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Cassie chides the teenagers for acting irresponsibly and proceeds to contact their parents. However, she learns that all of them are on their own due to circumstances and, much like herself, have parental issues to deal with. Julia has been neglected by her father and his new family ever since her mother was diagnosed with mental affliction; Anya’s sole guardian, her father, got deported and she has been living alone ever since; and Mattie’s rich parents living abroad can’t be bothered to take care of their daughter. The common trauma of parental abandonment helps Cassie connect with the trio, and she finally takes it upon herself to protect them. 

In a shared vision, Cassie speaks with Ezekiel and tries to reason with him, which goes in vain as he turns out to be irredeemable. Ezekiel has learned about Cassie’s identity as Constance’s daughter and taunts her about the past. Later, Cassie decides to go to Peru to learn more about her own powers and Constance’s past, and she entrusts Ben with the security of the teenagers. As she ventures into the wilderness of Peru, the aforementioned member of Las Arañas pays a visit and takes her to the cavern where Cassie was born and Constance breathed her last.

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Using his mystical connection with the cosmic vastness, the tribe member sends Cassie’s astral self into the Web of Destiny—the plane that connects future and past in a cobweb-like setting—and Cassie finds herself at the center of it. By visiting the past, Cassie is able to see the tragic event that led to her mother’s death and also learns that Constance prioritized the research for Cassie’s sake. Cassie had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis in utero, and without any conventional medication available to save her life, Constance veered towards experimental options. The unique spider of Las Arañas was one such option, which eventually saved Cassie’s life. This revelation allows Cassie to see her mother in a new light, and through the cosmic connection, she is able to inform Constance’s past self about her survival. With past wounds healed, Cassie finds herself more in control of her mental state and powers.


Was Cassandra Able To Save The Future Spider-Women?

At Queens, Mary goes into early labor, prompting Ben and the teenagers to rush to the hospital, and their cover gets blown. Cassie returns almost at the same time, and her clairvoyant powers allow her to learn about the events that have transpired. Ezekiel chases down Ben and co., but Cassie’s timely intervention once again foils his plan. Taking the teenagers with her, Cassie lures Ezekiel away from Ben and Mary and tries to trap him inside an abandoned fireworks factory. Using her future sight ability with much more precision, Cassie is able to save the teens from every upcoming threat posed by Ezekiel and plans an escape strategy after setting the building on fire. However, after surviving the fiery explosions, Ezekiel finally catches up to the team and foils their escape plan by crashing the rescue helicopter. As he corners the teenagers, Cassie is able to tap into her greater potential and projects multiple astral selves of herself to rescue the trio. During the ensuing clash, Ezekiel gets crushed by falling debris, Cassie falls to the river, and she gets struck by the explosion as well. Julia rescues her, and the trio takes turns administering CPR to save Cassie’s life.

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During Madame Web‘s ending, Cassie wakes up in the hospital, now blind and paraplegic due to the collisions—matching the appearance of classic Madame Web from the comics. The teenagers, whom Cassie now considers part of her family, are seen by her side, and they inform Cassie about Mary becoming the mother of a baby boy, whom viewers already know to be the iconic webhead, Peter Parker. Despite losing her vision, Cassie is now fully attuned to the Web of Destiny, and she sees the brilliant possibilities the future holds for the teenagers – becoming the beacon of hope for a new generation. Finding her purpose in guiding them to their destiny, Cassie finally feels optimistic about her own future as well. 

Contrary to Marvel tradition, there are no post-credits or mid-credits scenes tagging along with Madame Web, and it’s surprising that the established Sony Spider-Man Universe doesn’t get acknowledged in any way either. Whether it’s a separate stand-alone venture that will not get further continuation or it will eventually get connected with MCU in larger multi-directional fares can only be known if the makers later confirm it. What can be said with certainty is that viewers can hardly feel excited about the upcoming features of Sony’s Spider-Man universe, which are slated to release later this year. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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