Fairplay (2023) summary and ending explained

Fairplay (2023) is an erotic thriller revolving around a couple whose relationship is in jeopardy after one of them gains a promotion where they both work. The film is streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary:

Emily and Luke are enjoying themselves at Luke’s brother’s wedding reception when they sneak away to the washroom for some fun. While they’re going at it, a ring falls out of Luke’s pocket so he goes through a hasty proposal as his secret plan is derailed.

They head back home to celebrate their engagement and Emily sends a quick text to her mother with the news. They leave for work the next morning at the same hedge fund where they both work as analysts.

Since it is against company policy, Luke and Emily keep their relationship a secret from everyone else and pretend to be regular colleagues. Luke’s portfolio manager is fired and everyone discusses who might take the step up and take that position.

Emily overhears some rumors that Luke might get the spot and they have something more to celebrate that night. Emily is later called to a pub in the middle of the night by her PM and she goes despite Luke’s apprehension.

Instead of her PM, she runs into Campbell who is the boss at the hedge fund. He brings up her upbringing and the incredible strides she’s made throughout her education and career up until now.

She returns home to find Luke waiting for her. When he hears that she met their boss, the first thing he asks is if he made a move on her or did something uncomfortable. She says that he actually promoted her to PM, which means she will be Luke’s boss going forward.

She has some guilt over getting the position but Luke assures her that he is happy for her and congratulates her. She promises that she will use her position to help him get the next promotion.

However, when she attempts to talk up Luke in front of Campbell, he cuts her down. When she’s out drinking with her boss, he says that he hired Luke as a favor which means Luke is never getting promoted. They predict that he’ll eventually quit after getting the message.

Emily doesn’t tell Luke all of this but things are already tense between them. He begins reading a book by a motivational speaker who has some problematic points of view and Luke’s mind starts getting warped.

He makes a huge mistake that loses the fund a huge amount of money and makes Emily look bad. She figures out a solution to make up for his mistake and gets back in Campbell’s good graces but the wedge between Luke and Emily is driven further down.

Emily’s mother is busy planning their wedding and sets up an engagement party for them as a surprise but Emily doesn’t want any of it since things aren’t so great between her and Luke.

She keeps going out for drinks and enjoying her time with the boss and her fellow PMs while Luke’s frustration grows as he wonders what it might take for him to get promoted and be on equal footing.

Fairplay (2023) ending explained in detail:

What happens at the office?

When another one of the PMs is fired, Luke sees this as his opportunity to move up. He tells Emily to put in a good word for him but she says that she already tried and Campbell isn’t interested in it.

He decides to take matters into his own hands and goes into Campbell’s office and talks about how he watched Campbell speak at his college many years ago and ever since then, he was convinced that he wanted to be like Campbell.

Luke gets on his knees and says that he’s ready to do whatever it takes but Campbell tells him that he’s already poached a trader from another firm for the PM position.

How does Luke react?

Luke gets incredibly drunk and when Emily gets back home that night, they get into a huge argument. She tells him that Campbell wanted to fire him all along and he refuses to accept that she got her promotion because she earned it.

He leaves and doesn’t answer her calls for the next day or two. She covers for him at work but is incredibly worried about where he might be or what he might do. He eventually shows up to work one day looking completely disheveled, interrupts a meeting with a foreign investor, and makes a huge scene.

He tells Campbell that he and Emily have been sleeping together and then is escorted out by security. She is angry that he tried to sabotage her career as well and finds out that he’s headed to the engagement party that her mother planned.

She shows up and they go at it against each other in front of everyone else. He accuses her of sleeping her way to the top and she cracks a beer bottle on his head. She goes to the washroom and he follows her there to continue their argument.

That argument somehow morphs into a sensual moment as they start making out with each other. However, Emily changes her mind and tells Luke to stop but he doesn’t listen and proceeds to rape her.

How does Emily react?

Emily has bruises all over her that she covers up when she goes to work. She tells Campbell that Luke was stalking her for a few months and became quite unstable which made her very afraid.

He tells her not to worry about it and that with the stunt that he pulled, he won’t be getting any other jobs in the city. She goes back to work and watches as another female analyst has her first day on the job.

She gets home to find Luke waiting for her with his bags packed. He is talking to her very calmly about how he’s going to move on with his life but she is confused as to why he isn’t apologizing to her for everything he did.

When he acts like he didn’t do anything serious, she grabs a knife and threatens him to apologize. He tries to grab the knife and gets cut on the palm, after which she slices him on the arm and makes him apologize to her.

He gives in and is brought to tears, asking her if there is anything he can do to make things right between them. She gets in close and tells him to wipe the blood off the floor and then leave since she’s done with him forever.

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