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The Ending Of Hitman 3 Explained

The Hitman franchise is a renowned assassination sandbox experience. You can take out your targets from afar with a sniper rifle, up close with a garrote wire, or ironically via traps that take advantage of your victims' vices. But, even though the series focuses on the art of the kill, it also strives to tell a story full of secret organizations, political agendas, and backstabs that involve more than just a knife to the spine.


Hitman 3 is the latest — and, for now, the last — entry in the revitalized Hitman trilogy by IO Interactive. The franchise has come a long way, and now the studio is ready to explore decidedly more British pastures with a James Bond video game. But for Hitman's finale, IO Interactive delivers a roller coaster of a story about manipulating plans against their owners, ironic turnarounds, and Chekhov's gun.

Throughout Hitman 3, old faces return while others are introduced just for Agent 47 to snuff out. But most importantly, pressing questions are answered and loyalties are tested in the leadup to the game's finale through the manipulation theme.

If the final body drops and you still have questions, look no further for your answers.


Agent 47's history catches up with him

The Hitman trilogy revolves around the organization Providence and its war against the Shadow Client. Agent 47 and his handler Diana Burnwood are caught in the middle because their employer, the International Contract Agency, is dragged into the crossfire. The Shadow Client tricked the ICA into foiling Providence, and in return, Providence issued a hit on the Shadow Client. Burnwood might want 47 to help her dismantle Providence since it manipulated the ICA and all the troubles in her life, but Providence offered her a deal she couldn't refuse: the Shadow Client's life for 47's enigmatic history.


With 47 on the job, the Shadow Client's death seemed all but assured, at least until his identity was revealed as Lucas Grey, 47's childhood friend and fellow clone. Agent 47 might be a remorseless killer, but he's no monster. He joined Grey. This left Providence with one option: Turn Burnwood and 47 against each other with the secret of 47's past.

While Hitman 2 hinted that 47 killed Burnwood's parents, Hitman 3 confirms it when Providence's second-in-command, Arthur Edwards, delivers Burnwood a file proving 47 killed them. This act solidifies Edwards as a man who loves to defeat enemies with their own plans, which ironically foreshadows his own defeat.

My name is Diana Burnwood. You killed my mother and father. Prepare to die

After Arthur Edwards reveals that Agent 47 killed Diana Burnwood's parents, he invites her to join Providence, knowing she wants to destroy it. Edwards asks for a sign of good faith before she can sign up, hoping to use Burnwood's own plans against her. So, Burnwood decides to deliver 47 into Providence's hands.


Eventually, Burnwood invites Agent 47 to a large party, revealing a half-truth: She is set to become Providence's next second-in-command, which would let her destroy it from the inside, but she needs 47 to eliminate someone for her first. Then she covertly springs her trap and secretly infects 47 with a designer neurotoxin produced by Ether Biotech (which was introduced in 2016's Hitman) to kill him and avenge her parents. Except that doesn't happen.

Turns out Edwards doesn't like throwing away useful resources, so despite Burnwood's advice, he keeps 47 alive and prepped to receive a memory-erasing serum. Edwards wants to turn 47 into a wind-up assassin with no inkling of his own history. But, Burnwood predicted that, and she takes a page out of Edwards' playbook and turns his own plan against him.


I knew that you knew that I knew that you knew you would cheat

Before Arthur Edwards can brainwash Agent 47, he puts the pieces together. Diana Burnwood knew Edwards wouldn't let 47 die, so she set him up as a Trojan assassin. Burnwood still trusts 47 and tells him to "embrace the past," and he wakes up on Edwards' train, not unlike when 47 infiltrated his own funeral in Hitman: Blood Money as a fake corpse.


When Edwards is finally cornered, he gloats that he will die knowing who he is, unlike 47, who, according to Edwards, is fighting his own nature. But, in a cruel twist, 47 turns Edwards' arrogance against him and kills his memory with the mind-wiping serum. Thus, Edwards' manipulative nature and self-assuredness prove to be his undoing.

With Edwards gone, Burnwood takes control of Providence. And true to her word, she uses Providence's resources to destroy the organization and its affiliates.

Hitman 3 closes with Agent 47 telling Burnwood that he goes by a new name but isn't out of the assassination business. He has a new calling in life: killing corrupt people who think themselves untouchable. Not quite sequel bait, but not necessarily the end of the Hitman franchise, either.


Sometimes it's better to forget

If, for whatever reason, you hesitate to inject Arthur Edwards with the serum, he has one final trick up his sleeve: turn Diana Burnwood's plan to turn Edwards' plan against him against her. Got that? So, Edwards claims that freedom from choice, responsibility, and humanity are still forms of freedom, which tricks Agent 47 into injecting himself. If 47 falls for it, he loses consciousness and wakes up in a padded cell.


While this secret ending isn't as explicit as the canonical one, it implies 47 is now devoid of his memories and, judging by his new living accommodations, from his freedoms as well. Your imagination can run rampant. Since Edwards knew that Burnwood sent 47 after him as a Trojan vegetable, the newly amnesiac 47's first mission will likely be the assassination of Burnwood. After that, Edwards will probably use 47 as his personal gofer of death. No money, no contracts — just blind obedience because he doesn't know any better.

Earlier in Hitman 3, Edwards told Burnwood that "You can't fight power," and he was right. Moreover, when you try to out-manipulate a manipulator, you run the risk of being manipulated, as Edwards demonstrated with his new puppet.