Winter’s End Synopsis

Early in the morning, a screaming and panicking Cassie runs into the living room of the Husband and Wife’s house. The Wife greets her and comforts her, seemingly unsurprised at the sudden appearance of an injured stranger in her home. The Wife tells Cassie just to sit down while she gets some bandages. Unable to wait, though, Cassie starts searching for a phone. She runs into a Butler, inanely moving the furniture back and forth across the floor. He refuses to help her and informs her that no one can make calls out of the house. The Husband enters, wearing nothing but a bedsheet. He and Cassie make some idle chit chat about the weather. The Husband comments that spring is on the way. This leaves Cassie confused. She thought it was still winter. She tries to settle the matter by having the Husband go look out a window, but he tells her there are no windows in the house. She starts to get up to leave, suggesting he look out the door. The door doesn’t open. The Husband explains that it’s one-way.

The Wife returns with bandages and insists Cassie sit down to have her ankle bandaged, although the Husband makes the Butler do it. The Wife sooths and comforts Cassie until there’s a banging on the door. Without waiting for an invitation, the Mother storms in. She ignores Cassie and the Butler, treats the Husband coldly, but greets the Wife with warmth and affection. Cassie is feeling remarkably uncomfortable with all of it and tries to excuse herself to use the phone. She’s stopped by an offhanded remark that they don’t have any phones in the house anyway. The Mother tells the Wife it’s time to go. The Husband is adamantly against this, wanting nothing more than for his wife to stay with him. The Husband and Mother get into a shouting match over it, much to the Wife’s chagrin.

The Wife puts a stop to the fighting, but the tension remains in the air. When Cassie asks what the issue is, the Wife, Husband, and Mother realize that Cassie, as an outsider, is a neutral party. Without consulting her, they decide that she will be the one to decide whether the Wife stays with the Husband or goes with her Mother. Cassie loses it. She doesn’t have time to participate in a petty squabble that she doesn’t even understand. She reveals that she was involved in some gunfire, and that she’s worried the armed men are coming after her. Cassie bursts into tears, falling into the Wife’s lap. The Wife tries to calm Cassie down. As they talk, Cassie reveals that she was walking into an abortion clinic when the gunfire started. She’s pregnant, but she and her boyfriend Jared just ended their wild affair. She was going to the clinic to find out about her choices.

The Wife stands up. Her nightgown is covered in blood. They realize that she’s not bleeding, however. Cassie is. There’s a gaping bullet wound on the back of Cassie’s head. Cassie is shocked. She feels no pain and doesn’t understand how she could be bleeding. The Husband and the Mother both get mad at her for getting the pristine Wife filthy. Just then, Jared barges into the living room. It becomes clear that Cassie was killed in a shooting incident at the clinic. She locks herself in the bathroom, hysterical about it. While the Wife tries to calm her, and the Mother and Butler pack her things, Jared—none too bright, but loving—tries to convince the Husband to let Cassie go with him, back to the world of the living. The Husband nearly agrees, but Cassie interrupts the conversation, getting into a heated argument with Jared. They’re in turn broken up when the Mother starts trying to whisk the Wife away and the husband fights against it.

Angrily, Cassie suggests the Wife choose where she wants to go. Everyone is startled by the idea. They don’t know what to make of it. The Wife has never made a choice before. Cassie encourages her to start making choices. The Wife points out that Cassie’s choices led to her being killed. It’s safer not to make any choices at all. Cassie agrees: It is safer, yes. But not making choices doesn’t amount to a life. The risk of making the wrong choice is worth living for. The Wife finally agrees. And everyone turns to watch her, expectantly.