Let's Unpack the Confusing Ending to 'Pokémon: Detective Pikachu'

Does it set up a sequel?

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu might be a PG rated movie, but it’s also a detective story with a surprising twist ending. If you feel like this movie just used Confusion on you don’t worry (and definitely don’t hurt yourself in confusion). We’re here to help with a simple breakdown of every detail in the Detective Pikachu ending that needs to be explained.

Warning: Snorlax-sized spoilers for Detective Pikachu ahead.

First, here’s a quick summary of the Detective Pikachu ending.

  • Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy) reveals his evil plan to fuse everyone in Ryme City with their Pokémon using Mewtwo and the “R” serum he created.
  • He briefly succeeds, but Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) and Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) are able to stop him.
  • Mewtwo then undoes Clifford’s plan using its psychic powers, but this has an unexpected consequence…
  • Ryan Reynolds, who was actually Tim’s father the entire time, is separated from Pikachu.
  • Wait, what?

Detective Pikachu Ending, Explained

Ok, let’s explain. It turns out that Mewtwo has the ability to put a human consciousness inside a Pokémon. At the beginning of the movie, Detective Harry Goodman almost died in a car crash and Mewtwo saves his life by transferring his mind into his Pikachu. Then, at the end of the movie, Mewtwo separates them again and Harry’s body is somehow repaired (don’t ask).

This raises the question of how Mewtwo was able to do that in the first place. Beyond the fact that it’s a key plot point for the movie, it’s not something we’ve seen in the main Pokémon games. However, it was actually introduced in the official Detective Pikachu video game. So that’s fine.

The bigger question, perhaps, is why Tim never realized that the Pikachu he was working with had the same voice as his dad. You could argue that this is because father and son hadn’t seen each other in a long time, but it might be something else. Throughout Detective Pikachu, we learn that humans and Pokémon typically communicate through their emotions. So maybe Tim and Pikachu were never actually speaking to each other. Instead, they were essentially using telepathy, just at a higher level than everyone else.

Will There Be a Detective Pikachu 2?

Finally, you might be wondering how Detective Pikachu sets up a sequel, especially since the Detective Pikachu we meet in the movie no longer exists by its end. So if there is a sequel, it probably won’t focus on the same characters. (There’s also no post-credits scene to tease what’s next.)

Legendary Entertainment producer Ali Mendes told IGN that the studio is interested in creating an entire cinematic universe based on the live-action world of Detective Pikachu, which could take the next movie in a lot of different directions. Maybe one of the other people in Ryme City who fused with their Pokémon never unfused…

Did someone say Pokémon: Reporter Psyduck?

Detective Pikachu is in theaters now.


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Media via Rojas, Inverse, The Pokémon Company