Jonathan's Dark Twin-Oriented Twist, Explained

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Bill Oliver's Jonathan, in theaters now.

Bill Oliver's Jonathan is a sci-fi flick that dives deep into the labyrinth of human emotion, detailing the story of the title character (Ansel Elgort) and his twin, Jon, who share the same body. The Jonathan personality occupies the body from 7am to 7pm, with Jon taking over for the other 12 hours; all thanks to a neural device made by their caretaker, Dr. Mina Nariman (Patricia Clarkson).

Having studied the boys since they were abandoned as kids, they're not just science experiments to Dr. Nariman, they're like sons. And so, Mina goes to extreme lengths to preserve their lives due to their rare condition. However, as both personalities come into conflict, Jonathan makes a terrifying revelation that paints all parties involved in a much darker light than first assumed.

The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome

When Jonathan finds out Jon has been frequenting bars and dating a waitress, Elena (Suki Waterhouse), he forces him to break up with the girl because one of their cardinal rules is no relationships. This is to protect their integrity, physically as well as mentally, as Jonathan needs to be in peak condition for his daytime job as an architect. Sadly, Jon takes this hard, and stops the recording sessions they partake in to explain to each other how their day has gone.

This is to ensure they keep the ruse up, hiding their disorder from the outside world to make it seem like they're one person. With Jon absent, though, Jonathan tries to get Elena involved again to bring his bitter brother back into communication. But shockingly, after a couple dates, they end up falling in love too. It takes Jonathan a long time to muster the courage to tell Jon anything, especially because he knows he's been depressed, angry and borderline violent without her.

This leads to an intervention from Mina which changes everything we thought we knew about the twins, illustrating that everyone isn't so innocent, after all.

The Dark Deletion

Mina tells Jon about Jonathan and Elena as she's trying to help him overcome his depression, which has transitioned into suicidal tendencies. When Jonathan talks to her about crossing the line, she reveals she had no choice based on their past decisions, as she can't afford to lose another personality. Jon is unconvinced, and wants her to use the device's capability and delete him from the body; basically, he's looking to commit neural suicide.

Jonathan is scared and eventually reveals the truth to Elena -- they were initially triplets, but the doctor erased one personality when they were teens to make life easier for her and them. Three personalities were just too much, and Jon now wants the same deletion done to him. It turns out this is the duo's guilt manifesting as well, because Jon and Jonathan secretly agreed to have the third brother (whose identity we never find out) deleted without him ever knowing. It's never explained why this third personality was chosen for extermination, but the fact he was deemed expendable by Mina and his brothers proves how selfish they were in trying to find a cure for the disorder.

This twist drives Elena away and forces Jonathan to deal with his own guilt, because after killing one brother, his self-serving actions in stealing Jon's girl means he's more or less given a death sentence to the other.

Jonathan, directed by Bill Oliver, and starring Ansel Egort, Patricia Clarkson, Suki Waterhouse, Matt Bomer, Joe Egender and Douglas Hodge, is in theaters now.

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