‘The System’ Ending Explained: What Is Happening Inside the Prison in The System?

Welcome to the Ending Explained for The System, a new action movie starring Tyrese Gibson, Terrence Howard, and Jeremy Piven. The film tells the story of Terry Savage, an ex-military, who has found himself in one big mess. Her daughter is sick, and after coming from the war, he hasn’t been able to get a proper job. In his desperation, Terry has opted to go for a life of crime, but he is caught and thrown into jail. Now, in order to get his freedom, he must fight in a clandestine fight club or never see his daughter ever again.

The System isn’t a particularly good movie. The production values are quite low, and the idea that the prison the movie is set in, is an actual high-security prison is quite laughable. The movie never manages to sell the setting, not because the script or the actors are not trying hard enough, but because the movie clearly lacks the budget it needs to get a proper prison building for the setting. The performances are quite nice, but when the focus of your movie is fighting, then there should be more work put into action choreography and the way that action is shot.

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

What Is Happening Inside The Prison In The System?

The film starts with a very classic crime scene. We see a bunch of criminals packing drugs inside a house and moving large quantities of money. Our protagonist, Terry, goes inside the house with a gun in hand. This is a robbery, and he plans to get away with all the money that there is in the house. Of course, the criminals have other ideas, but they seem unable to stop Terry, who is an expert fighter. Terry annihilates everyone in the house, packs the money, and is ready to leave when the police grab him just outside.

You see, Terry has resorted to crime because his daughter is sick, and he doesn’t have the money to pay for her medical treatment. An important member of the city council grabs him to the side and makes a deal with Terry. The councilman has been behind one private prison and the warden of such a prison. He wants Terry to go inside the prison and get him evidence that the warden is breaking human rights. If he does this, Terry is promised his freedom and the cost of his daughter’s medical treatment. He accepts.

Terry gets inside, but not before saying goodbye to his daughter in a very emotional scene. Terry is received in not the most friendly of ways, and he starts getting threats from other inmates. The inside of the prison seems to be ruled by a dog-eat-dog mentality, and if you’re not ready for it, you probably won’t leave to see the next morning. Terry is attacked by a group of neo-Nazis, but he makes his stand. After the incident, he meets the warden, who tells him that he expects to see him soon in the Dungeon.

Freeway, the top fighter inside the prison, tries to recruit Terry into his posse, but Terry refuses, saying he flies solo. However, when later in the day, he is attacked by the Neo-Nazi, and he gets help from another inmate called, Bones. Bones is an excellent fighter, and two dispatch the neo-Nazis quite easily. Bones and Terry enter an alliance. Bones was the one who taught Freeway how to fight, and now he will teach Terry. Terry’s first night in the Dungeon is coming soon.

What Happens In The Dungeon In The System Movie?

The night of the Dungeon finally comes. Terry is given an armored uniform, and he gets ready to fight against his opponents. The fights are brutal. The entire objective of the Dungeon is to entertain the prisoners and keep them in line by choosing a top dog, that enforces order among the prisoners. Terry comes out victorious on his first night, but Freeway doesn’t like it one bit when he sees that Bones is in Terry’s corner. Freeway later goes to the warden to complain, but he receives no answers.

During his first night in the Dungeon, Terry grabbed a cell phone that was given to him with his things, and he recorded the Dungeon while it was happening. He sends the video but receives no response. He hopes the politicians can keep their word. Terry keeps fighting, and he keeps rising in the prison’s rank. He then is ready to fight against Freeway and asks for the warden to set up the fight. Terry fights Freeway and wins, which makes Terry the top dog in the prison. Now everyone respects him.

Now that Terry is the top dog, he is brought into the confidence of the warden, who reveals himself to be working with the councilman. It was all a game, and the councilman was trying to get leverage to get a piece of the pie from the warden, who is using the prisoners for some very sketchy business. Terry receives the visit from a lawyer that is trying to get veterans a second chance, but he gives her the memory card from his phone and tells her to leave.

Terry and Bones become targets because they don’t want to get in with the warden in his sketchy business. They are attacked by the guards, but they defend themselves. Terry faces the warden one-on-one, and with the help of Bones, they defeat him. At that moment, a swat team arrives inside the prison and takes command. The lawyer used the videos in the memory card to make a case against the warden and the prison. Terry receives a full pardon and enough money to pay for her daughter’s medical treatment.

  • 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.