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What Happened to Abilene? An Explanation of the Series Finale of Vengeance

What Happened to Abilene? An Explanation of the Series Finale of Vengeance

What Happened to Abilene? An Explanation of the Series Finale of Vengeance

It is possible for established actors to generate disastrous results while starring in their own passion projects, and there are plenty of examples of this happening. As B.J. Novak’s first endeavor as a writer and director, it is perhaps most crucial that he approaches the subject matter with a feeling of humility. This is one of the ways that he denies that notion. Ben Manalowitz, portrayed by Novak, is the archetypal New Yorker. In the novel Vengeance, he goes to a tiny town in Texas to attend the burial of a girl he hardly knew in order to uncover a story, but he ends up discovering a lot more than that. The following provides detailed information regarding the conclusion of the show ‘Vengeance.’



The Outline of the Plan for Vengeance

When we consider Ben in the context of his life in the big metropolis, we find that he is not particularly remarkable in any way. People have an abundance of options available to them in every facet of their existence, and this has inexorably resulted in a sense of disconnection – both from one another and from the larger world at large. Ben is a product of his environment, which is the culture of New York’s millennial generation, which generally has a negative view of most things that are located outside of the city limits.

Even if it examines city life with a critical eye, ‘Vengeance’ does not diminish the importance of city living. And in any case, the main focus of the movie is on the way of life in that modest hamlet in Texas, where the narrative starts with the passing of Abilene Shaw (Lio Tipton). Ben, who is in New York, is overheard conversing with his friend John (John Mayer) at a party about how content they are with the lives of instant pleasure that they have chosen for themselves. John is involved with an excessive number of women at once, while Ben is pretty much completely submerged in the hookup culture. In point of fact, that is how he initially made contact with Abilene.

Ben, who appears to be a successful journalist and contributes to The New Yorker, has ambitions of becoming a podcaster. However, his producer buddy Eloise (played by Issa Rae) points out that his ideas, as great as they are, are simply ideas; there is not much substance behind them.

That night, after engaging in yet another sexual encounter with a woman he hardly knows, Ben received a phone call from Abilene’s brother Ty (Boyd Holbrook), who informed him that Abilene had passed away as a result of an accidental drug overdose. Ben believes that although though he and Abilene had a few sexual encounters together, they were never officially in a relationship with one another. However, it would appear that Abilene had a contrary opinion, which she shared with her family.

After Ty has succeeded in persuading Ben to travel to Abilene (yes, the girl was named after the city where she was born and raised) and attend the funeral, Ben discovers that Ty believes that his sister was murdered, despite the fact that the official cause of death is an opioid overdose. Ty wants Ben’s assistance in exacting revenge on whoever was responsible for the death of his sister. Ben does not believe this to be real and does not want to seek any form of revenge; nevertheless, he does believe that there is a narrative here that is worthy of being told on a podcast and therefore contacts Eloise.

Eloise initially assumes that Ben will be pitching about his own life and the disconnection and selfishness that are undeniably a part of it. However, Ben explains to Eloise that he wants to do the podcast on the new American reality, in which people refuse to acknowledge the truth and seek out the craziest possible explanations. According to what he says, the loss of Abilene signifies the loss of the American identity, and we are required to find someone to blame for it.

Ben shares the news with Ty that he would be staying with the latter’s family for the next two weeks after gaining permission to do so from Eloise. The Shaw family, who believes that Ben was Abilene’s boyfriend, is overjoyed about the possibility, and Ty is right there with them in their excitement. They embrace him with open arms and offer the typical Southern warmth and friendliness that the South of the United States is famous for. Ben finds out throughout the course of the movie that beneath their stereotypical conduct lies a genuineness that he badly lacks in his own life. This revelation comes as the film proceeds. In contrast, the final act of the film adds a layer of complication to that sensation.

What Became of Abilene as the Vengeance Story Draws to a Close?

The text ‘Vengeance’ is satirical, but rather than being an observational satire, it is more of a self-reflective satire. This is not a tale about a liberal man from a large metropolis who travels to a conservative community, where he finds the locals to be uninteresting and the experience to be bizarre. However, despite the fact that this appears to be the case for a while, this is not also a tale about a pompous, semi-intellectual city dweller who learns the most important lesson of his life in a rural setting. As the writer and director of the film, Novak allows his character to be the primary focus of the satire up to the moment that the truth is revealed.

Ben is overcome with an overwhelming feeling of terrible sorrow after listening to Abilene’s songs, which he acquires from a local music producer, the mysterious Quentin Sellers (Ashton Kutcher), and then really listens to them. In addition to this, he develops a close relationship with the Shaw family, during which time he comes to the realization that the things he is doing to them are nothing short of exploitative. In addition to this, he hears it from a sufficient number of people on a sufficient number of occasions for him to begin to assume that Abilene could not possible have overdosed.

However, the truth eventually plows into him like a freight train. Abilene’s grandmother casually mentions the fact that her granddaughter used opioids during her lifetime. It turns out that Ty proposed telling a falsehood to Ben in order to convince him to stay in the city. Therefore, the Shaw family was also responsible for some form of exploitation in this situation. However, this does not make what Ben did invalid. He wraps up his podcast with some introspection, returning to Eloise’s first impression of what Ben’s presentation was about.

Ben figures out the password to Abilene’s phone just as he is about to spend his final night with the Shaw family. This leads him to the realization that Abilene also took advantage of him in some way. She was talking to someone who was familiar to the family, but she used Ben’s name when she saved the contact information for the person’s phone number because she didn’t want the family to know that she was in a relationship with this person. It was successful, and her relatives came to believe that “Ben” was the name of her boyfriend. Ben Manalowitz comes to the conclusion that the other Ben must have been at the party where Abilene passed away earlier and learns that the other Ben is actually Quentin.

Ben discovers that Quentin is engaged in the illegal drug trade. After Abilene passed away in Quentin’s tent, he had her remains transported to a site that is in the geographic center of four different legal systems. As a direct consequence of this, an appropriate investigation was not carried out, and Abilene’s passing was written off as merely another instance of an opiate overdose.

Why Does Ben Kill Quentin?

The overarching message of the movie is conveyed in the film’s climactic discussion between Ben and Quentin. Quentin highlights the ways in which Ben has exploited the Shaw family while also noting that Ben has exploited the community as a whole while maintaining the appearance of being a contributor who is acting in a charitable capacity. He has no concern that Ben will reveal him to the outside world since he is confident that the outside world will ultimately start to doubt the truth.

The fatal error that Quentin makes in this situation is that he fails to take into account the degree to which Ben’s behavior has been shaped by the Shaws’ involvement in his life. He hasn’t even considered the possibility that Ben could pull out a pistol and kill him, but he believes that Ben will use social media to try to bring him to justice.

This is the action that Ben takes. After that, he deletes every recording he’s produced for the podcast that he previously uploaded. The story is about a tragedy that occurred within a family, and they are the only ones who can tell it. On the other hand, it is strongly suggested that he explains the situation to Ty and to Ty’s mother, including who was to blame and what he did to the perpetrator of the crime. He then heads back to New York while the authorities in his hometown come to the conclusion that Quentin’s killing was connected to the drug trade.



  • B. J. Novak as Ben Manalowitz
  • Boyd Holbrook as Ty Shaw
  • Lio Tipton as Abilene Shaw
  • Ashton Kutcher as Quinten Sellers
  • Isabella Amara as Paris Shaw
  • Dove Cameron as Kansas City Shaw
  • J. Smith-Cameron as Sharon Shaw
  • Eli Abrams Bickel as Mason “El Stupido” Shaw
  • Issa Rae as Eloise
  • Louanne Stephens as Granny Carole Shaw
  • John Mayer as John
  • Clint Obenchain as Crawl
  • Zach Villa as Sancholo
  • Chevel Shepherd as teenage singer
  • Terry Gross as the voice of Natalie (uncredited)

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