‘Samaritan’ Ending Explained: Why Did Samaritan Go Into Retirement?


Welcome to the Ending Explained for Samaritan, the new Sylvester Stallone film that is arriving both in theaters and on Amazon Prime Video this week. The film tells the story of a young kid who believes that the old superhero of his city is still alive after being thought dead for decades. The young man suspects his old front neighbor and will try to find the truth. Meanwhile, a group of criminals will try to resurrect the plan of an old super villain.

Samaritan is a very entertaining movie. Mostly thanks to Stallone. The actor keeps proving that he has that quality that only real movie stars have. He commands the screen every time he appears on it, and he elevates the material. The movie is very simple, and the main plot is quite familiar as well. However, thanks to Stallone and really solid direction from Julius Avery, the film manages to stand out from other mid-sized budget productions.

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

Who Are Samaritan And Nemesis?

The film starts by introducing the backstories of Samaritan and Nemesis. The introduction is narrated by Sam, the young protagonist of the movie. Sam is a huge fan of Samaritan and knows the story from memory. Sam tells us how decades ago, in Granite City, two brothers were born. They were special, they were incredibly strong, and they became vigilantes. However, they went on different paths. Samaritan tried to help the people, while Nemesis was consumed by vengeance for the death of their parents.

The split in ideology soon became more than that. It became a rivalry that would destroy the brothers’ relationship. Nemesis forged a hammer, so powerful that it would be the only weapon capable of injuring a being like him or his brother. In their final clash, Nemesis and Samaritan fought to the death. Nemesis died, and Samaritan was also thought to be dead, but Sam thinks otherwise. As he moves through the city, he finds out that his front neighbor, Joe, might be Samaritan.


His suspicions become true after a group of bullies, from whom Joe had defended him earlier, run him over with a car at max speed. Joe survives the accident and brings himself back up, his broken bones fusing in front of Sam, who is speechless. After that, Sam and Joe start a friendship. Joe tells him all the things that he can do, and he teaches Sam that sometimes not giving a blow is as powerful as giving it. Self-control is important. Without it, you might end up hurting the things you love.

Joe is capable of many things, but his old age has made him quite vulnerable. He isn’t in his prime anymore. He also overheats when he receives too much damage, and then he needs to take a cold shower and eat a lot of ice cream. It is quite funny but also unique to Samaritan, in that his powers have a handicap against him. If he doesn’t cool down, his heart could explode.

Why Did Samaritan Go Into Retirement?

Sam meeting his hero is all fun and dandy, but meanwhile, something dark is stirring at the center of the city. A gangster named Cyrus is planning to execute the last plan of Nemesis, the one he could not execute because he died at the hands of Samaritan. Cyrus steals Nemesis’ mask and hammer from the police evidence room, and names himself the new Nemesis. He is trying to create an uprising, and once he takes down the city, he will be the only one in charge.

As in any rough neighborhood, the top gangster is always trying to recruit people to his side. One of those people is Sam. However, Sam sees that Cyrus’ intentions are not good and warns Joe about it. He says that this is the time when Samaritan must come back, Joe should go out of retirement and be a hero once again. Joe is completely unconvinced. There are reasons why he became a loner, and is not willing to go back to that life again.


Cyrus’ minions inform him that the man they ran over is still alive. Cyrus begins to suspect that he is Samaritan. He kidnaps Sam and uses him as bait to bring Joe to his lair. Joe goes to the lair and faces Cyrus. It is clear that Joe is no ordinary old man. Cyrus hits him with Nemesis’ hammer and prepares to give the final strike to Joe, but Joe gets angry and catches the hammer in his hand. It is there, that Joe reveals he isn’t Samaritan. He is Nemesis.

In a flashback, we see how Samaritan stopped himself from killing his brother, Nemesis. However, the building breaks down below him, and he dies in the flames. Nemesis stands there watching his brother die after having won the fight. In regret, he goes into retirement to get away from everyone. Joe dismantles Cyrus’ plan and leaves after saving Sam one last time. In the end, Sam tells the TV reporters that he was saved by a Samaritan, not Nemesis. He was saved by a hero, not a villain.

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.