Encounter (2021) summary and ending explained

Prime Video’s ‘Encounter’ is a sci-fi thriller about a father and his two sons embarking on a daring mission to avert a mysterious extra-terrestrial parasitic threat.


The film’s opening scene indicates that a meteor from space struck Earth. It transported extra-terrestrial mind-controlling organisms that invade and alter the host’s behaviours.

The protagonist, Malik Khan, is an ex-mariner who wakes up in what seems like a motel room and notices bugs peering through a gap in the wall. He hastily prepares his luggage, which includes a handgun and bug spray. He hasn’t seen his two sons, Jay and Bobby, in two years because of his covert mission. The two children are raised by their mother, Piya, and stepfather, Dylan.

Jay receives Malik’s letter and misses him. The same night, Malik smashes into the house and locks Piya and Bobby in the garage. Malik then persuades Jay and Bobby to accompany him on his getaway. During the drive, a policeman pulls him and discovers an unlicensed pistol on him.

Malik notices microorganisms moving within the officer’s eye and suspects that he has been contaminated with the alien attack. He runs away after attacking the cop with the butt of the gun.

Eventually, he informs his worried children that their mother, Piya, has been infested with a parasitic creature, and he’s trying to keep them safe from non-terrestrial microbes that have infiltrated Earth. He further tells them that he is transporting them to a secret base near Groom Lake, where scientists are attempting to find an antidote for the alien onslaught.

Throughout the journey, we see Malik trying to protect his children and helping them to maintain a low profile so as to not gather attention around them. His children inform him that their mother had been acting strange lately, having morning sickness and eating weird food combinations.

Malik has a moment of realization that she might be pregnant, and calls his parole officer, Hattie, to let Piya and Dylan out of the garage. The police, along with special agents from the FBI, reach Piya’s house to rescue them and ask questions. Piya informs them that he was doing weird things, like flashing the torch in her eyes and claiming that she was one of ‘them’.

The agents then talk to Hattie, and she informs him that Malik is a good man and that he should be given the benefit of doubt. However, the agents suggest that they should track him down as soon as possible, as he checks out all the boxes of being a family annihilator.

On the other hand, Malik is still on his way to the base when night creeps upon them. They stop the car in a huge field-like area and make a bonfire under a big rock. While Bobby is sleeping, Jay and he share some fun moments.

If you still have doubts from the end, here’s a full breakdown.

Encounter ending explained in detail:

The truth about the aliens

Malik exclaims about the meteor shower in the sky. Jay excitedly looks up, only to see an empty sky. He asks where the meteors were, and Malik exclaims that they were still showering. Jay gets the hint that his father is making stuff up.

As they decide to resume their journey, Malik notices that the tire is flat. In hope of finding a place to fix the car, he continues driving with a flat tire. Eventually, he finds an old cabin in Vulture, Nevada, on their trip to Las Lunas.

When he sneaks into the house to take the keys to the car parked near the door, an elderly person shoots him with a shotgun. Malik slams the man on the head and steals his car to flee. While the attack is happening, Jay calls the number he assumes is the ‘base’.

The number belongs to Hattie. She asks him about his whereabouts, and if both the kids are safe. Jay asks her if she was an alien. As she denies and tries to get more information about their current location, Jay hangs up after seeing his father approaching.

After the conversation, Hattie is not satisfied with the ‘family annihilator’ narrative formed and decides to meet Malik’s marine buddy, Raul. Raul shows her some of the letters he received from Malik, and she sees weird drawings on all the letters. She realizes that Malik is suffering from a psychotic disorder, due to which he is having the alien attack hallucinations, and decides to contact the agents.

Wounded from the shot of the old man, Malik asks Jay to drive. Jay drives his father and brother to the deserted mining town of Las Lunas, where they spent the night. The brothers drive off to bring medicine for their father in the morning, where Jay finds through the radio that their father had misled them about his two-year secret assignment.

In reality, he was imprisoned for two years in Leavenworth. Jay questioned his father as the unexpected information hit him.

Malik’s realization

Meanwhile, Dwight and Kurt, the old man’s sons, find out about the attack and follow the boys to the mining town and kidnap Bobby. They dare Malik to surrender himself and start shooting. Despite the fact that Malik rescued Bobby and Jay and handcuffed Dwight and Kurt, the episode made him understand that he was a threat to his own children.

As a result, following the attack, Malik called the authorities and dropped his children off at a diner so that they could safely return to Piya. Malik continues his way to Groom Lake’s hidden base. Malik noticed police cars and choppers following him on his trip to Groom Lake.

He even found Jay in the back seat of the vehicle, away from Bobby, hidden behind a blanket. Even at this point, Malik did not abandon his search for aliens and attempted to deceive the cops. The police cars eventually surrounded Malik and Jay after a dramatic chase and run action.

Surrendering to the cops

Jay was forced to get out of the car for his own protection by Malik. But Jay was well aware that his father would bring himself down and would very certainly be shot in a gunfight with the cops. In an emotional condition, Malik chastised himself for being a negligent father who endangered his children.

However, Jay was aware of his father’s condition and did not hold him responsible for his reckless activities. Finally, Jay takes Malik’s gun away from him so he wouldn’t hurt himself or anybody else. When he notices a cop approaching the car with the intent of harming Malik, he jumped out and aimed a gun at the cop.

Malik panicked and jumped out of the car to help Jay. Jay initially tried to persuade him that the police would not shoot him, but after a tense moment, he dropped the weapon and hugged his father, following which the credits roll in.

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