‘Look Both Ways’ Ending, Explained: Which Timeline in the Look Both Ways Ending Is Real?

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Look Both Ways on Netflix tells Natalie’s story, which begins the evening she tests a pregnancy test. The timeline is divided into two parts: one for when the test is negative and one for when it is positive. As can be expected, having a child drastically alters her life, yet surprisingly, some crucial aspects do not change.

No matter how much you plan, life still has its own way of working itself out, which is one of the main lessons that the movie illustrates through Natalie’s experience. Regardless of the course you choose, everything happens at its own pace. It becomes obvious that, by the time Natalie reaches the end of her quest, both of their lives have come full circle. The final scene gives the narrative a new dimension. What you need to know, if you’re wondering what it implies for Natalie.

Look Both Ways Plot Synopsis

'Look Both Ways' Ending, Explained: Which Timeline In The Look Both Ways Ending Is Real?
Look Both Ways © Netflix

After graduation, Natalie plans to move to Los Angeles. She has a five-year plan set out for herself, beginning with her relocation to Los Angeles to establish herself as an animator before going on to produce films. She and Gabe spontaneously do something because it’s their last night in college, which prompts Natalie to check her pregnancy.

Given that the outcome will affect every aspect of her plans, she is quite concerned. She can say goodbye to being a director in five years if she chooses to have the baby while she is pregnant. She is relieved when, at least according to one chronology, the test is negative.

In the alternate reality, the test is positive, and Natalie decides to become a mother after having a brief conversation with Gabe. When she returns home, her parents are shocked and furious that their own plans have now been derailed. But eventually they calm down and allow Natalie to remain with them to assist her with the infant.

Gabe continues to remain involved and assumes his fair share of the duties. Natalie travels to Los Angeles with her best friend Cara in the meantime, in the parallel universe. She lands a position with her hero, Lucy, after striking up a romance with a young producer named Jake. She believes she is on the right track, but she is unaware that plans can go wrong.

Which Timeline in the Look Both Ways Ending Is Real?

'Look Both Ways' Ending, Explained: Which Timeline In The Look Both Ways Ending Is Real?
Look Both Ways © Netflix

Even if there are countless potential outcomes for one’s life, each of us is only given the opportunity to experience one of those outcomes. Natalie experiences the same thing. She first appears to be living two different lives as a result of a significant incident in her life. But ultimately, only one of them can be accurate. We find ourselves wondering which of those paths Natalie’s life ultimately goes as both versions of Natalie assure her that everything will be fine.

The film’s events occur over a five-year period in both realities, which interestingly overlaps with the timetable Natalie had created for herself in her five-year plan. She ends herself in the same location at the same time in both timelines, but she has quite different experiences there. Natalie was anxious about the pregnancy test results since she thought they might interfere with her plans. However, in the alternate history in which she is not pregnant, we observe that her plans are also unsuccessful.

Even if she is successful in obtaining Lucy a job, it takes her a while before she can show her supervisor her portfolio. She had already anticipated being a well-known animator at this point. It had also been planned for her to fall in love, which she does with Jake. She neglected to account for the chance that they would split up, which is what occurs when Jake receives money for his film and is required to spend six months in Nova Scotia.

The same thing occurs to Natalie, who decides to keep the baby while she is pregnant. While she now believes that doing this is the appropriate course of action, she can’t help but feel guilty about not being able to move to LA and lead the life she desired. She was expected to advance in her life, but instead she has returned home and is responsible for a child. Soon after becoming a mother, she feels the effects and worries that she no longer has a life. Her daughter Rosie is the center of her universe.

Her romantic life is likewise a complete mess. Although she is obviously in love with Gabe, she doesn’t want to jeopardize their harmonious friendship at this time for Rosie. Because what if they start dating and later split up? What impact will that have on their daughter? She can’t be with her friends since she also can’t leave Rosie in someone else’s care. But then, after all the postponing, obstacles, and justifications, Natalie returns to drawing and incorporates her motherhood experience into her work, and things start to turn around. Rosie serves as the inspiration for her newest project, which she submits to SXSW.

Parallel to this, the other Natalie comes home and looks for her voice after being told by Lucy that her work isn’t creative. She puts a lot of effort into creating something before submitting it to SXSW. Natalie’s many ventures end up being a success for her in both time periods. She thus makes a movie and releases it into the world despite not adhering to the five-year plan in either instance. She additionally finds love in both situations. When Jake comes back to witness her work at the festival, they both rekindle their romance. Natalie makes the decision to try things out with Gabe in the alternate reality and eventually admits her affections for him.

She returns to the location where it all began for her after all of this. She assures her earlier self that everything would be alright as she looks in the mirror. that her life will unfold just as it should, regardless of what occurs now or if she becomes pregnant. And no matter which route it takes, she will always get where she belongs. So, no matter how many plans she sets, life might not go according to them. It will follow its own course, and even if it may frighten her by doing something unexpected or by following a route she is unfamiliar with, she will be able to figure it out.

At the very end, the original Natalie is depicted, still holding the pregnancy test. Since we are not given access to the outcomes, anything could happen. She might be expecting and decide to have the child. She might still realize her dreams despite her worries that they will be lost. Or she may decide not to have the child and then go to LA, which would change the course of her life. Or, the test could come out negative, absolving her of the duty of making the difficult decision, allowing her to take a new path and have a different life and profession.

Whatever happens from here on out, the only thing that matters is that she must persevere through the challenging portions, dedicate herself to her dreams, no matter what, and not give up if life throws her a curveball. In the end, everything will work out for the better.

The movie leaves it up to the spectator to decide Natalie’s fate by not providing a clear explanation. She can choose between two separate life. Which one would you like to give her? However, if you were in her shoes, which one would you prefer for yourself?