The Lost Patient is a psychological thriller released on Netflix in November 2022. A French production based on the graphic novel by Timothé Le Boucher Le Patient. The plot is fascinating, as it slowly unveils itself to the spectator through Thomas’s confused and unreliable memories. Watching the series, you are never sure if what you see has really happened or if it’s part of the way Thomas mixes up reality and memories. In this article, we will provide the answers to all questions and have the movie’s plot & ending explained.
You can watch the trailer of The Lost Patient here on Youtube.
The Lost Patient: the plot explained
While we watch the movie, we get an initial picture of what happened: one night, Thomas’ family gets killed. His father, his mother, and his cousin Dylan die, whereas Thomas is wounded, with a knife in his stomach. Thomas enters a long coma and wakes up three years later, trying to remember what happened together with his therapist Anna.
While the movie goes on, several mysteries come up in front of our eyes: who’s the stalker who makes the phone calls and shows up often in front of their home? Where is Laura, Thomas’ sister, who disappeared the night of the murders? And who really killed Thomas’ family? Let’s have a separate answer to all questions. Keeping in mind one fundamental truth: Thomas’ memories are spoiled by the subconscious need to explain things differently than how they happened. For a reason that will be clear soon.
Who’s the stalker in the hooded jacket?
For the first half of the movie, we get the impression that the hooded jacket who stalks the family is the mother’s ex-lover. As the plot develops, we tend to believe he could be the killer. The movie doesn’t clearly answer if this is Thomas’ false memory and if his mother really had an ex-lover stalking them. But we know that, at the movie’s ending, Thomas is coming out of his home wearing a hooded jacket. Thomas has therefore projected onto this mysterious figure what he did, trying to create a false explanation where the responsible for everything was a mysterious, unidentified person (instead of himself). We’ll come back to this in a minute.
Where is Laura?
Laura is Thomas’ older sister. During the first half of the movie, we understand that Thomas and Laura share a lot of crucial family moments, especially the ones that preceded the murders. But as the film ends, we discover the truth: Laura died when she was four years old, before Thomas was even born. All the moments we see with Laura and Thomas are false memories created by Thomas: he woke up from his coma without the memory of what happened, and he, therefore, brought Laura back to life in his memories as a relief: Thomas imagines being very connected with his sister, sharing feelings and helping each other. Thinking she’s alive, Thomas feeds the hope that finding her could make things easier.
The moments Thomas and Laura are living together are therefore false: Laura has never been present in Thomas’ life. The memories he has of Laura kissing another girl or talking to their cousin Dylan are actually moments lived by himself. And Laura was not present on the night of the murders, as she died many years before.
The Lost Patient ending explained: who’s the killer?
At the ending of The Lost Patient, we see with our eyes what happened that night and have everything explained: Thomas is the one who killed the whole family and stabbed himself afterward, feeling guilty. We also have some hints about it from the therapist’s words: she often challenges Thomas asking him, “where’s Laura now?” implying that deep inside himself, Thomas knows she’s not alive. The therapist also describes Thomas as a “child whose traumatized parents didn’t see him, who grew up alone, and who transformed his suffering into violence.” This statement explains everything: the parents were shocked by Laura’s death and their pain prevented them from loving Thomas properly. While he was a child, Thomas felt constantly neglected. The scene at Dylan’s home is significant: Thomas sees a photo book with many pleasant memories of their parents and Laura as a child. After Laura dies, there are no more photos and lovely memories: Thomas’ childhood is perceived as a dark, empty age for their family. As Thomas grows up sad and overwhelmed by the lack of love, he develops anger and becomes a violent teenager.
Therefore, the guy in the hooded jacket is a projection of Thomas himself, in the clothes he had right after he killed his family. Creating this false character, he subconsciously tries to give life to another guilty person, trying to escape his responsibilities. That doesn’t necessarily exclude the existence of his mother’s ex-lover, but the physical figure of the guy in the hooded jacket is most likely a projection of himself.
Thomas is a killer, and Laura doesn’t exist in the present, as she died before Thomas was born. That’s why the nurses prevent Thomas from playing with other patients: he’s considered a dangerous individual, and nobody wants to put other patients in danger. In the last part of the movie, Thomas tries to hurt another patient, Bastien, but we see that scene as an attempt to help him. That’s also not real: Thomas tried to kill Bastien and that’s why the nurse is furious with the therapist, who knew that Thomas could walk.
This is the ending of The Lost Patient explained: a movie where we see the false memories of a guy who killed his whole family, then entered a long coma and woke up confused, building fake events in his mind to deny his responsibilities in the murders.