The In Between (2022) summary and ending explained

The In Between is a romantic movie that touches on the supernatural genre. It is based on a young girl who believes she is getting signs from the afterlife after losing her soulmate to an accident. It is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Tessa (Joey King) is a passionate student of analogue photography with a mysterious past. Her boyfriend, Skylar (Kyle Allen), is a rowing enthusiast who works as a lifeguard every summer and can speak French, Italian and Spanish. Tessa lives with Vickie (Kim Dickens) and Mel (John Ortiz) who are married. 

After being involved in a road accident, Tessa dies and is brought back to life in a hospital to find her boyfriend, Skylar, dead. She is informed by Dr Sarkisian that she ruptured her heart, forcing them to operate on her. 

Exactly 182 days before the accident is the day that Tessa and Skylar first meet. Roaming around in search of photography opportunities, she comes across a young man wearing an orange cap strolling along a beach and clicks a picture of him. She walks into an empty cinema hall to watch Betty Blue and is soon joined by a young man, Skylar, who sits a few rows ahead of her. 

When the lack of subtitles leaves Tessa confused, Skylar moves to the seat beside hers and translates the film for her as she watches. They have a playful debate over happy endings. They only manage to exchange their names before parting ways. Tessa returns to collect her jacket that she had forgotten at her seat but also finds Skylar’s orange hat there.

Back in the present, Tessa has a visitation dream in which Skylar guides her out of the room and carries her toward a bright light. The nurse attending to her tells her about Doris, a patient who is writing a book on the afterlife. Tessa admits to not remembering anything about the accident. Her doctor advises her to be cautious. 

Tessa receives an image of a still from Betty Blue from Skylar’s number after his death. She contacts the phone company who claims the message must’ve gotten stuck in the server and only been delivered now. 

Tessa discusses After Death Communication (ADCs) with Doris. Doris warns her that she doesn’t have a lot of time until Skylar moves on and is unable to contact her from the afterlife. 

102 days before the accident, Tessa’s teacher tells her she believes she has a shot at getting into the Rhode Island School of Design, the best art school in the state.

Tessa gets invited to photograph the rowing team and recognizes one of the other team’s players to be Skylar. His team wins the race and Tessa returns his cap.

Skylar’s mom approaches them and helps Skylar ask Tessa out. On the way to their date, Tessa learns more about Skylar’s family and plays ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS which becomes their song. 

Tessa shows Skylar around the Empyrean, an abandoned honeymooners’ resort from the ‘60s. The couple rests in a heart-shaped bathtub in one of the rooms after which they have their first kiss. 

Skylar plans on staying in Avalon for the summer before leaving for Brown University on Rhode Island. 

Returning to the present, Shannon gives Tessa a ride to high school. Tessa breaks down when Skylar’s song plays in the car. She reveals that they were fighting the week before he died. 

Tessa’s teacher encourages her to channel her pain into her photos. Instead, she decides to quit photography.

She has another dream about Skylar. Skylar sends Tessa signs using the machine in her photography studio.

Tessa returns to the hospital looking for Doris but is disappointed to find her gone, leaving her a book to assist her in contacting Skylar. 

65 days before the accident, Tessa invites Skylar to her photography studio and shows him her photos. She gifts him one of the pictures she took but he gives it to an exhibition to sell, leading to a fight.

Returning to the present, Tessa is taking the SATs when her hand is moved by an unnatural force and Skylar’s song bursts through the phones of everyone present. This convinces Tessa and Shannon that Skylar is trying to communicate from beyond the grave.

Shannon studies various metaphysical books and they try various methods to contact Skylar but are unsuccessful in doing so. 

5 days before the accident, Tessa tries to fix her and Skylar’s fight but instead, finds out that he hid that he was moving to Oregon after the summer. She ends up breaking up with him after another fight. 

Back in the present day, Tessa is dropping off the car for Vickie when the car’s navigation system automatically puts in a location. Believing it to be a sign from Skylar, she follows the route to Doris’ house who tells her how to contact Skylar – by going to those places where they felt the most love.

Before she leaves, Doris warns Tessa about the dangers of crossing the barrier between life and death.

If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a complete breakdown.

The In Between (2022) ending explained in detail:

Tessa’s past

After she shows him her photography studio, Tessa offers to accompany Skylar to his house. On the way there, Tessa finally reveals her past to him.

She tells him how she never knew her dad and was abandoned by her mom. Mel was her mother’s last fiancé before she left.

After her mom left, Mel tried to get custody but the court was unwilling to let a middle-aged bachelor adopt a young girl.

She was left with no other option but foster care. That was where she developed her observation skills. 

Back to the hospital

Shannon helps Tessa get a camera that is fit for capturing Skylar’s ghost and she revisits all the places from the flashbacks. She has a supernatural experience at the Empyrean and sees Skylar but is unable to touch him.

She is picked up for trespassing and brought home where she has a fight with Mel and Vickie and collapses before being admitted into a hospital. Her doctor tells her she has reopened her heart’s rupture and will have surgery in the morning.

Tessa gets a call from Shannon and asks her to pick her up from the hospital. Shannon intends on driving to the final destination on Tessa’s list but the car gets hijacked by Skylar’s ghost who drives them to the scene of the accident.

Tessa gets out of the car to investigate but falls causing Shannon to call for help. 

The last meeting

Tessa has an out-of-body experience and is finally reunited with Skylar. She relives their last conversation and is glad to find that she was able to tell Skylar she loved him.

They venture through their memories and dreams together until Tessa realises she has to choose whether she wants to live or die. She chooses to live and departs from Skylar for the last time before returning to life. 

She goes on to give a presentation on ghosts in every sense of the word as a part of her application to the art school and Skylar’s ghost is seen sitting in the last row. 

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