‘Transfusion’ Ending, Explained: Do Billy And Ryan Finally Mend Their Relationship?

On the surface, veteran Aussie actor Matthew Nable’s directorial debut “Transfusion” examines the plight of ex-servicemen who find it difficult to fit into a society that operates within a different set of status quo and give in to meaner, more desperate measures. But the foundation of its moody storytelling stands firm thanks to the somewhat nuanced portrayal of dysfunctional masculinity and the necessity of a conversation regarding mental health and parenthood. Sam Worthington stars as the lead, Ryan Logan, a former SAS soldier, and Matt Nable himself stars as Ryan’s commanding officer, Johnny. The director’s inspiration for such a subject is introspective. By his own admission, Matt’s father had spent two decades of his life in the army, and his experience of seeing the impact of life in the field and outside on military personnel firsthand motivated him to work with such a topic.

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Spoilers Ahead

‘Transfusion’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film? 

The very first scene of the movie opens in Iraq, and we are introduced to an SAS Sniper, Ryan Logan, who terminates multiple terrorist threats as the troop enters an enemy bunker. Inside the bunker, Ryan gets injured and is assured by his commanding officer, Johnny, that he will survive. The sequence is reminiscent of the raid scene of “Zero Dark Thirty” and acts like a prologue to the narrative, hinting at the camaraderie between Johnny and Ryan.

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The next scene shifts to Ryan’s household, a couple of years later or so, where he is living a happy married life with his ex-servicewoman wife Justine and son Billy, and the couple is expecting another child. The movie alternatively jumps through two different timelines of past and present. Ryan goes camping with his son Billy, who seems to look up to his father. After Ryan asks Billy to shoot a deer as part of their training, Billy, who finds  himself not up to the task, nervously refuses. Ryan shoots the deer instead. Later, Billy ventures into the wilderness alone and finds a stray pup. As he pets the pup, an adult dog appears and charges at Billy. Frightened, he calls for his father, only to find his father shoots down the dog. This incident will leave a significant impact on Billy’s psyche later on. However, as they return home, Billy asks Ryan whether he can ever become brave like him. Ryan replies that refusing to shoot the deer, despite the fact it could have meant disappointing his father, was an act of bravery itself.

Tragedy strikes as Justine and Billy get involved in a horrible accident that causes the deaths of the former and the stillborn baby. The narrative moves six years forward, as we find out Ryan had to leave the army to tend to his son. However, his struggle to provide for the family has kept him and Billy moving throughout Australia, and things have worsened after several instances of now-teenage Billy’s juvenile delinquency that have made him do rounds in the courtroom. The scene opens at a hearing where the federal judge warns them to help Billy keep a straight profile, or Ryan will lose custody over him. Ryan himself is suffering from severe PTSD and hallucinates his dead wife, Justine, occasionally. He also faces pressure from the private school authorities for overdue fees. In a critical situation like this, Ryan meets up with his former commanding officer, Johnny, who happens to be visiting his hometown.

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Johnny offers Ryan a hand in his odd dirty jobs to earn quick money. Initially hesitant, Ryan finally agrees to accept his proposal after getting cornered by further problems in his work life. The two rob a drug dealer’s hideout (they are Johnny’s friends) and barely manage to escape after Johnny kills an informant. Ryan gets fired from his job as a sales rep after an instance of misconduct. Meanwhile, Billy gains some new friends after sharing the wartime stories of his father with them, something that he had learned from Johnny. Ryan can’t help but continue assisting in the criminal activities of Johnny, all the while relying upon Justine’s vision as counsel. Keeping on with the ongoing series of mishaps, Billy manages to overturn one of his friend’s cars during a bout of drunken bravado. Ryan comes to know of the incident, and in order to keep Billy away from incarceration and eventual separation from him, he burns the car as a way of removing evidence.

The owner of the car, the father of Billy’s friend, meets up with Ryan and contemplates letting the authorities know the truth. Ryan holds him off by assuring monetary compensation. In his desperation, Ryan asks Johnny for one big score to settle the upkeeps. Johnny lures the drug dealers, and Ryan takes them out by sniping them. To their surprise, the dealers had backup mercenaries on the way, who then engage Ryan in a gunfight. Ryan takes down all of them, and as he returns home, a mortal fear grips him. The next day, he approaches the car owner and, after providing him with the amount, threatens him to stop further blackmail on his part. Fearing the possibility of their getting into further trouble, Ryan urges Billy to once again relocate. Billy’s insecurity gets the better of him as he engages in a heated argument, saying he leaves his house on purpose because he feels his father doesn’t want him—that his mother should have been alive instead of him. Infuriated and anguished, Ryan almost raises his hand against his son but restrains himself.

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In a flashback scene, it is shown that a drunk driver’s callousness was the reason for Justine’s fatal accident in the first place. After the accident, Ryan had to choose between Justine and Billy, as both of them were bleeding, and their rare antigen group made it impossible to save both of them. After overhearing about the drunk driver’s incident, Johnny killed him as an act of revenge.

In the present timeline, Johnny mopes in a cocaine-intoxicated state when a mercenary ambushes him in his room. After killing the assailant, a frightened Johnny goes to Ryan’s house to ask for help. After a brief quarrel between the two, a seemingly dejected Johnny pretends to make amends—only to catch Ryan off-guard in a brawl. He pins Ryan at his gunpoint and almost shoots him before Billy kills him using the same rifle he was hesitant to use during his younger days. As the movie nears its end, we see the father and son bonding over driving lessons and finally being able to share their thoughts with each other.


‘Transfusion’ Ending Explained – How Did The Father-Son Relationship Mend?

The father-son relationship, at its core, exemplifies the dysfunctional, overbearing machismo that is subtly scrutinized throughout the entirety of the movie. The very first scene Billy and Ryan share is that of hunting and, later, killing—something that constitutes the sense of bravado in young Billy’s mind. Although his father later praises his courage for standing up for his own, his impressionable mind prioritizes the former example. This destructive masculine ego contributes to Billy’s lack of self-confidence when he feels himself always falling short of the ideal after getting involved in a series of mishaps. It continues to engulf him as he sees him bragging about his war hero father, letting him fit in more easily than being his own self ever could. Also, during the drunken driving, he was provoked by such an ego trip, whereas he should have been careful about his actions after repeated court warnings. This masculine folly entraps Ryan too, and Johnny is already submerged in it willingly. Johnny’s presence and involvement in the past aggravate the hurt ego of Ryan, and the deep-seated desperation and anguish, coupled with his worsening financial and social situation, push him through the edge to commit horrendous crimes one after another.

The mental health situation is addressed appropriately and without the unnecessary flair, something which is once again focused on the father-son dynamics. After his wife’s death, Ryan’s wartime PTSD worsens, and the total lack of healthy, emotional communication with his son deals severe damage. In Billy’s case, too, being bereft of a shoulder to lean on and not being able to communicate with his father spells danger for the poor boy, as he keeps getting involved in problematic situations against his will. The acute pain of being shut off from one’s emotional core is, however, seen in Johnny, who is what Ryan would have become if not for his dead wife’s vision acting as a moral guide. Johnny seems like the usual simpleton hard-boiled army superior used to brushing off “familial baggage,” but the loneliness caused by abandonment presents itself in his private moments of drunken delirium. These men, trained in violence, have found themselves functioning as emotionally unavailable beings, either due to their past occupations or their parental problems. At the end of the movie, Billy’s using the same rifle to save Ryan almost mirrors the scene of his childhood when he was saved by his father. However, it’s hardly cathartic, as that very act had instilled a wrong sense of entitlement in his young mind—not being accountable for his actions—but this time, it allows him to connect with his father, as in his mind he has done something “heroic.” Along with this, they finally open up to each other, withholding which had fractured their bond in the first place. Thus, the history of violence doesn’t really get a befitting end and seems to be perpetual in the lives of the Logans, but at least accepting themselves as they are has brought them closer.

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“Transfusion” is a 2023 action thriller film directed by Matt Nable.


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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