Based on the British miniseries Unforgiven, Sandra Bullock’s film The Unforgivable explores forgiveness (2009). The Nora Fingscheidt-directed Netflix movie from 2021 follows Ruth Slater, a prisoner who received a 60-year prison term for the killing of Snohomish County Sheriff Mac Whelan.
Ruth searches for Katherine Katie, who was adopted by a different family, after being released from prison early. Ruth is being pursued by the demons from her previous existence, and she is attempting to keep out of trouble so that she can finally meet her sister. Will Ruth and Katherine be reunited? Let’s investigate.
The Unforgivable Plot Summary
While incarcerated, Sandra Bullock’s character Ruth Slater wrote a tonne of letters to her sister Katherine Katie, but Katie never replied. Ruth treasured her memories of Katie when she was imprisoned and even got a tattoo of the initial letter of her name to honour her. Ruth had been dying to meet Katie just once, and when she was let out early for being well-behaved, she finally had her chance.
When Ruth is released from jail after 20 years and meets her parole officer, Vince Cross, The Unforgivable begins. Vince offers to help Ruth find employment at a facility that packages seafood as he drives her to her new residence in Chinatown. Ruth first turns down the job offer since she wants to be a carpenter. But no one in Seattle wants to work for a cop killer, so Ruth is forced to package fish instead.
The sons of Snohomish Sheriff Mac Whelan, Steve and Keith Whelan, pursue Ruth because they desire retribution for the murder of their father. Keith thinks Ruth doesn’t deserve an early release because she has no regrets about killing their father.
Katie, who is currently residing with her new adoptive family, has no recollection of Ruth. She nevertheless experiences hazy flashbacks of her past. Katie happens to be in a serious vehicle accident just as Ruth is released from prison. Michael and Rachel Malcolm, Ruth’s adoptive parents, search for a connection before deciding to keep Ruth’s presence a secret from Katie.
As the plot develops, Katie returns to her old Snohomish County home where she runs into John and Liz Ingram, a lawyer and his wife who just bought the property. Ruth reluctantly asks John for assistance in connecting her with Katie. Will John aid Ruth in locating Katie? Will Katie still recall her elder sister after all these years?
Who killed Snohomish Sheriff Mac Whelan?
Katie’s mother passed away when Ruth was pregnant. Their father had taken out a mortgage on the house and still owed money. Their father gave up and shot himself after failing to pay his obligations. Ruth was given the task of raising Katie, who was just five years old at the time. The bank, however, handed them a notice to leave the property before Ruth could secure employment to manage it.
The bank took the property as a result of their father’s debt. On a gloomy day, representatives from the bank and Snohomish Sheriff Mac Whelan showed up at the residence to evict Ruth and Katie. Ruth was given the option to live in peace in Mac Whelan’s home when she refused to leave the house.
But when Mac came inside, Katie grabbed their father’s revolver and shot him (to protect Ruth). Katie was struck by the rifle when it recoiled near her eye and nose. Ruth discovered Katie unconscious on the staircase after the gunfire. Ruth decided right away. She took the weapon and drove away from the house with Katie. When Ruth questioned Katie about the incident in the diner, she learned that Katie had no recollection of pulling the trigger. She was so traumatised that she forgot the occurrence. Because Katie needed to live a calm life outside of prison, Ruth assumed the blame and got herself arrested in order to free her younger sister.
Ruth kept the secret from everyone until the conclusion of The Unforgivable, but following a breakdown, she finally told her lawyer’s wife, Liz Ingram, the truth (Viola Davis).
The Unforgivable Ending Explained Did Katie Get Her Memories Back?
The son of Mac Whelan, Steve Whelan, discovered that his wife, Hannah, had been having an affair with Keith. Steve was psychologically devastated by the revelations, and in the heat of the moment, he chose to lash out at Ruth. When Steve saw Emily with Ruth, he mistakenly thought she was Katie and kidnapped her. Emily is Katie’s adopted sister.
Ruth received a call from Steve as soon as she arrived at Cornish Auditorium to see Katie play the piano. Steve told Ruth that he had abducted Katie. Ruth went to the Harbor Island construction site and confronted Steve to try to save Katie. She attempted to stop Steve from executing the crime even though she quickly knew that Steve had unintentionally abducted Emily. Ruth warned Steve that if he took the drastic measure, he would lose everyone he loved. There was no going back once the gun was pulled; he would fall into an abyss that would never close.
Steve wasn’t a criminal, but because of his mental trauma, he made a deliberate choice at the vital moment. Ruth and Emily were both freed by him. The police were already aware thanks to Liz, and as soon as they came, Steve was taken into custody.
Throughout her performance, Katie experienced a number of flashbacks that seemed to bring back memories of her early years. Following the upsetting event, Katie completely forgot about Ruth. Ruth’s letters to Katie were all secreted by her adoptive parents in an effort to keep Ruth out of Katie’s life. But following her car accident, Katie’s memories started to slowly return.
When Katie saw Ruth in front of her at Harbor Island at the conclusion of The Unforgivable, she was unable to control herself. Ruth felt Katie’s embrace as they reminisced about happier times past. Whether Katie recalled murdering Snohomish Sheriff Mac Whelan or not was left unsaid by the conclusion. Even if she did, the truth would be guarded by Ruth and Liz Ingram. Ruth’s goal had always been to keep Katie safe at all costs.
Nora Fingscheidt’s drama-thriller The Unforgivable was released in 2021. Netflix offers a streaming version.