Don’t Make Me Go ending explained: Does Max survive his surgery?

Don’t Make Me Go is about a single father and his daughter embarking on a road trip after he finds out he has cancer, with a very low survival rate. The movie is now streaming on Prime Video.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Don’t Make Me Go follows Max and Wally on a road trip as he tries to reunite his daughter with his ex-wife.

Within the first five minutes of the film, Wally says that the viewers won’t like how the story will end, and this prepares the audience for a rollercoaster ride of emotions throughout the length of the movie.

Wally is a young, 15-year-old girl with a normal life- she sneaks out to parties, gets grounded, and is just a teenager trying to find her place in the world.

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Her father, Max, has recently been diagnosed with cancer and only has a short while left to live. He takes her on a road trip under the pretence of a college reunion but actually wants to reunite her with her mother.

Max and Wally embark on a journey filled with fights, laughter and a great amount of revelations. 

Max tries to teach Wally things he would like her to know and skills she would need after he is gone. They drive, shop, dance and sing together creating the last few memories they would have together.

Max takes Wally to his college reunion, hoping that her mother, Nicole, would also show up for it. But upon talking to Nicole’s ex-husband, he comes to know that she has shifted to Florida.

He takes her address and the two drive down to her new house. Sam heads in first to talk to her, while Wally anxiously waits in the car.

Nicole states that while she would love to meet her daughter, the time was not right. She had a lot going on in her life and had another daughter as well.

Max and Wally resolve to head back home after this disappointing reveal and make plans to see Max’s surgery through.

The movie is emotional, heart-wrenching and one that emphasises on familial bonds and relationships, among other aspects

Don’t Make Me Go ending explained in detail:

Why does Wally’s mother not want to meet her?

Nicole has not been in contact with Max and Wally ever since she left, and has now created a new life for herself.

She separated from her second ex-husband and now has a one-year-old daughter with another man. She claims that this is a turbulent time in her life, and cannot meet Wally.

She peeps out the window as Max and Wally leave, and this makes it clear that while she does feel inclined to watch her daughter, it is her circumstances that prevent her from doing so.

Even at Wally’s funeral, she shows up, possibly filled with great regret at missing the opportunity to see her daughter while she was alive.

Does Wally actually die?

In a shocking turn of events, Wally dies due to an enlarged heart condition that went undetected. 

Max and Wally were at a local restaurant with Max singing along to karaoke on his daughter’s insistence, when she suddenly starts feeling light-headed and faints.

It is only at her funeral after this incident that the viewers are told about her condition and the signs leading up to it start to make sense.

She used to feel light-headed, faint and break into nervous sweats on several occasions in the past month, but they were all accompanied by situations she felt it was normal to feel those symptoms in, like just before meeting her mother or after kissing Glenn.

Does Max choose to undergo surgery?

After Wally’s untimely death, Max does decide to follow through on his daughter’s wishes to undergo surgery for his tumour. 

He chooses to accept the risk of the 20% survival rate, possibly because he figures he has nothing much to lose now.

Miraculously, he survives and it is unfortunate to think about the fact that Wally would not be there to share the rest of his life with him.

What relevance does the ending scene have?

The minutes leading up to the end show Max a year after his surgery, and he is seen to be alive and keeping well. He moves in with his girlfriend and lives his life without restraints again.

The ending shows Max and his girlfriend driving down to see a meteor shower in an open field, quite possibly the same area where Wally wanted to take him.

Even though Wally is now dead, she still lives on in the life, actions and memories of her beloved father.

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