'Stowaway' Ending Explained: Why Did Zoe Die in the Netflix Movie?

Stowaway is the latest starry thriller to land on Netflix—and the latest movie on the streamer whose ending is getting subscribers talking. The movie began with the crew discussing whether to throw out stowaway Michael Adams (played by Shamier Anderson), but in the end it was another character who found themself dying in the freezing cold of space.

Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) is the one who dies at the end of the movie as she has to head out of the shuttle during a solar storm. Though we do not see her die, we do see her passively accept her fate as she faces a lethal dose of radiation.

Why exactly she chooses to head out in conditions that were almost certain to kill her is not explored in dialogue, but there are a number of incidents throughout the movie that may explain her actions.

In a previous mission out of the shuttle to retrieve an oxygen tank, which would give the whole crew plus the stowaway enough oxygen to make it to Mars, Zoe drops it at the last moment.

By heading out to retrieve it, she not only tries to make up for her mistake, but also ensures that no one else has to die for the mistake that she made.

She also knows that if she does not retrieve the lost oxygen tank, only two people will survive, so she chooses the option that saves the most lives, sacrificing herself to save three people rather than doing nothing and allowing only two to live.

stowaway netflix
Zoe (played by Anna Kendrick, second left) dies at the end of Netflix's 'Stowaway.' Netflix

The death was also alluded to earlier in the movie. Among the crew, she was the one pushing hardest to save Michael, so it is a cruel twist of movie fate to have her be the one who has to sacrifice herself in order for him to live.

Per the cast of Stowaway, Zoe's sacrifice is successful, and the rest of the crew make it to Mars. We do not see the shuttle land in the Netflix movie, but in a Collider interview Kendrick gave her view on what happens next.

"I think so – the crew makes it to Mars," the Pitch Perfect actor said. "I think thanks to the actions of... you know, some of our crew, the rest of the crew will make it."

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor said of Zoe's predicament, "the thing that feels really relevant is less the isolation of it and more that kind of problem-solving part of your brain that we were all engaging so vigorously in the first couple months of the pandemic...Just that constant problem-solving of, 'wait, okay, how do we fix this?' And just when it seems like you're onto something, there's some very obvious fundamental problem."

Stowaway is now streaming now on Netflix.