‘Gray Matter’ Ending Explained: Why Are Aurora and Ayla Always Moving Around?

Gray Matter Ending Explained 2

Welcome to the Ending Explained for Gray Matter, a new science fiction film arriving on Max this weekend. Meko Winbush directs the film in their feature-length debut as a director. The film is the project selected for the new season of Project Greenlight, which will also debut this week on Max. The film stars Mia Isaac, Jessica Frances Dukes, and Garret Dillahunt. The film runs under 90 minutes, so thankfully, it doesn’t overstay its welcome because, sadly, it has many flaws thanks to the production schedule used to make it.

The Project Greenlight concept sounds very good on paper, but unfortunately, the concept has never really managed to create something of substance or quality. Each of the productions is plagued by projects that could have been easily solved in some other environment.

Making a film is difficult, but the final result speaks for itself. Gray Matter needed more guidance, as it looks and feels just what you expect from a first-time director, while the story and concept feel undercooked and too much similar to other stories using similar concepts. The performances are solid, but in the end, Gray Matter has nothing to make it stand out.


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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Gray Matter. Read at your own risk.

Why Are Aurora And Ayla Always Moving Around?

The film has some strange structural problems, one of which is that it begins In Media Res for no reason. This tool creates interest in the viewer by throwing them into a very intense situation with no context. More often than not, the situation hides a sort of twist that will only make sense once we go back to that moment with all the context that was missing the first time we saw it.

Think of the way Fight Club begins, for example, and then think about how the movie goes back to that moment, and it just hits differently because you know more about it.

It seems like Gray Matter was trying to do something similar to this, but while the moment hides a secret, it isn’t powerful enough that it changes the context of the scene or the movie itself. It actually just continues, revealing the rest of the scene. It is really strange. In this scene, we see Ayla in the past, pregnant, escaping from the facility run by Derek.


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Ayla is psionic, meaning she has powerful mental abilities like telekinesis, telepathy, and much more. The government has decided that people with these abilities are dangerous and should be arrested and hidden from the public.

Gray Matter Ending Explained 3

Years later, we see that Ayla’s daughter is now a teenager named Aurora and has powers like her mother’s. Ayla tries to teach Aurora everything she knows, and they train daily. Ayla is scared that if Aurora goes out into the world, she will be captured by the people from Derek’s facility and never see her daughter again. However, Aurora doesn’t feel the same.

She wants to stay in just one place, make friends, and more. She starts a relationship with a local boy, and it is clear that they like each other. The boy invites Aurora to a spot at night so that she can meet his friends.

However, the meeting goals were wrong, proving that Aurora was not ready to be in the outside world. Maybe because of the social pressure, Aurora starts having a panic attack, the boy tries to calm her, and she does it, but then she accidentally opens up his neck with his mental powers, killing the boy instantly.

Aurora falls to the ground unconscious and hears the other kids panicking over their dead friend. Aurora is not at home but in a strange, locked room when she wakes up. There, she meets Derek for the first time.

Why Is Derek Running The Facility To Contain Psionic People?

Aurora wakes up in a strange room and meets Derek, the facility’s chief. He approaches Aurora gently, and they start a conversation. He explains that she was brought there after the incident where she killed the kid and that the facility is designed to harbor people like her and him.

Derek is also a psionic, a very powerful one. He starts questioning her about who she is and where she comes from. At one point, Derek introduces himself inside Aurora’s mind and tries to see her memories. However, Aurora keeps her mother’s existence away from Derek by looping her memory.

She cannot deceive Derek for long, and he catches up to her trick. They give it a rest, and Aurora manages to go outside the room somehow, and she sees that every single psionic in the facility looks like a vegetable. They are in their cells without moving, existing only in their minds. Derek is surprised that Aurora managed to escape her room.

That could only be possible if she could use teleportation. Derek continues his question and discovers that Aurora is Ayla’s daughter. He explains that he knows Ayla and that once they were both fated to run the facility together, Ayla escaped while pregnant.

Gray Matter Ending

Ayla manages to track her daughter and gets into a mental fight with Derek as they use their most powerful abilities to top each other. Ayla manages to get to Aurora’s mind, who is having trouble with her own fears.

Aurora feels like she will never be a normal person. Ayla manages to get to the facility and escape with Aurora. She shows her daughter part of her past and why she was so afraid of her going to the outside world. Aurora understands now, but she is also tired of running. And so she starts using her abilities so that Derek can track them.

It happens just like Aurora planned, and Derek appears in front of them, ready to take them. Derek believes that by arresting and making psionic people live inside their minds, he is saving them from the pain of living in the real world, where normal people would only cause pain.

Aurora doesn’t understand how that is a way of living and refuses to let Derek take them. Aurora then uses her teleportation powers to grab Derek, and she leaves him in the middle of a highway as a truck appears and crashes against him, killing him. Aurora and Ayla are now free to live their lives.


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The film ends with a shot of the facility, where all cell doors open simultaneously. It seems like Derek was the one keeping them contained and living inside their heads, and now that he is dead, there is no more power to keep these people contained. Aurora and Ayla might be free now, but now the world will have to face a very angry group of psionic people. What happens next is left to the imagination.

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