- Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the movie “Us.”
- One of the most popular “Us” fan theories on Reddit involves youngest son Jason and his Tethered counterpart Pluto.
- The theory suggests Pluto and Jason swapped places a year before the events of the movie.
- This is reinforced by the final scene of the movie.
Jordan Peele’s “Us” is the most talked about movie right now, with a $US70 million opening weekend. Reddit and other places on the internet are blowing up with theories and interpretations of the movie’s more ambiguous aspects. The most popular theory has to do with the son Jason and his doppelganger Pluto.
“Us” is set in Santa Cruz, California, where a family is taking their summer vacation. When they are attacked by doppelgangers of themselves, later revealed to be called “The Tethered,” they have no choice but to fight for their lives.
To explain this theory, it’s important to reveal (AKA SPOIL) the ending of “Us.”
The film opens on a flashback to 1986, where the mother of the family Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) encounters her Tethered for the first time at the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk. It’s implied this gives her PTSD, and throughout the first part of the film she is extremely frightened of returning – even though she’s an adult now.
In the final moments of the movie, it’s revealed what actually happened during Adelaide’s boardwalk disappearance as a child; Adelaide’s Tethered, Red, captured Adelaide, handcuffed her to a bed, and replaced her in the human world above ground. This twists puts a final spin on the events of the movie and gives context to Red’s motivations to rise up and lead the Tethered out the tunnels where they live.
Because Red is actually Adelaide, her human qualities make her a natural leader and let her teach the Tethered how to act autonomously.
And although the film confirms that Adelaide and Red were swapped as children, some viewers were left with another theory: that Jason also swapped with his Tethered, Pluto.
The Jason/Pluto theory suggests that a similar swap happened with the son and his Tethered. One Reddit user in particular, aptly named “u/PLUTOwuzSWAPPED” believes that the summer before the events of the movie, Jason started a fire by accident and burned his face and throat, rendering him unable to speak. Pluto then took him underground and posed as him aboveground, just as Red did with Adelaide in her childhood.
This holds some water because Jason is constantly playing with a trick lighter, but can’t seem to get it to work, implying he is a bit of a pyro and could have started a fire accidentally. Pluto wears a mask to cover up the burns of the accident. This would explain why Jason is often wearing a mask throughout the film. Pluto’s death is by self-immolation, which reinforces this as well.
Several other small details speak to Jason’s potential swap. The twins say Jason is “so weird” at the beach and catch him digging tunnels instead of castles in the sand, something that may indicate he’s not exactly of this world. He can’t snap (while Pluto definitely can). And in perhaps the most Jordan Peele-iest moment, Jason can be seen plucking Froot Loops out of a bowl one by one (a sure sign of a disturbed mind taken straight from “Get Out”).
The biggest indication of this theory’s relevance comes in the final scene. After the viewer is shown the flashback explaining the truth, Jason gives Adelaide a look suggesting he knows who she is before putting his mask on one final time. Whether she would know about the Pluto/Jason swap is left ambiguous, but it is likely.
However, aside from Red/Adelaide, none of the other Tethered can speak, so it makes little sense that Pluto could have successfully posed as Jason without the family knowing something was off. Still, it’s a fun theory to consider and it’s this open speculation that is contributing to “Us” being such a phenomenon.
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