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All the Old Knives Ending Explained

The ending of All the Old Knives reveals that Henry Pelham, the protagonist, is the mole. This twist shocks both the audience and Henry himself.

All the Old Knives, a 2024 thriller, keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The film, starring Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton, dives deep into espionage, betrayal, and moral dilemmas.

Plot Summary

The story revolves around a failed hostage rescue operation. The film uses flashbacks to reveal the truth behind the mystery. It starts with the hijacking of Turkish Alliance Flight 127 in 2012. This tragic event leads to the death of all passengers and crew. The investigation that follows uncovers deep betrayals within the CIA.

Key Characters

  • Henry Pelham (Chris Pine): A CIA agent investigating the mole.
  • Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton): Henry’s former lover and colleague.
  • Vick Wallinger (Laurence Fishburne): Henry’s boss.
  • Bill Compton (Jonathan Pryce): A senior CIA agent and suspect.

The Revelation of the Mole

The climax reveals Henry Pelham as the mole. This twist comes during a tense dinner between Henry and Celia in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Celia confronts Henry, revealing she knows he leaked information to the terrorists. This revelation shocks both the audience and Henry, who had been trying to blame others, including Bill Compton (Looper).

The Setup and Poisoning

Celia discloses that the dinner was a setup by the CIA to eliminate Henry. Vick Wallinger, Henry’s boss, knew about his betrayal all along. The restaurant staff, including the waiter, bartender, and chef, are part of the plan. Henry’s wine is poisoned, giving him only a few minutes to live. This setup ends years of deception and betrayal, bringing a tragic end to Henry’s story (Decider).

Celia’s Role and Emotional Turmoil

Celia’s role in the setup stems from her love for Henry and her sense of betrayal. She never reported Henry’s betrayal because she loved him. But when she learned Henry was coming for her next, she decided to collaborate with the CIA. This decision causes her emotional turmoil, as she realizes she contributed to Henry’s demise (The Envoy Web).

The Final Moments

In the final moments, Henry succumbs to the poison. Celia leaves the restaurant and meets Karl Stein, an Austrian agent involved in the setup. She returns home and embraces her son, weeping uncontrollably. This ending leaves Celia with the burden of knowing she played a role in the death of someone she once loved. It highlights the moral elaborateities and emotional weight of espionage (DMTalkies).

Thematic Analysis

Betrayal and Trust

The film explores the fragile nature of trust in espionage. Trust can be easily broken, and betrayal has far-reaching consequences. Henry’s betrayal of the CIA and Celia’s betrayal of Henry underscore the moral amlargeuities faced by the characters. The ending emphasizes that in the world of spies, trust is scarce, and betrayal is often a matter of survival (ExplainFor.Me).

Love and Sacrifice

The film delves into love and the sacrifices it demands. Henry’s actions are motivated by his love for Celia. He leaked information to protect her. Similarly, Celia’s decision to set up Henry is driven by her love for him and her desire to protect herself and her family. These conflicting motivations highlight the elaborate interplay between love and duty (Looper).

Moral Dilemmas

The film raises ethical questions about espionage and the moral elaborateities faced by those involved. The ending forces viewers to confront the blurred lines between right and wrong. The film’s resolution underscores that the past is never truly forgotten, and our actions have a way of catching up to us (RepeatReplay).


All the Old Knives captivates viewers with its intricate plot, stellar performances, and thought-provoking themes. The ending ties up loose ends, leaving audiences satisfied yet pondering the implications. The film’s exploration of betrayal, trust, love, and moral dilemmas resonates long after the credits roll. It offers a gripping tale of espionage that challenges perceptions and leaves a lasting impact.


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