Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Ending Explained

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Ending Explained

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Ending Explained

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Ending Explained by Deffinition

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 spy thriller starring Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Colin Firth. The cerebral conspiracy centres around British Intelligence investigating a mole within their ranks. Due to its non-linear plot and subtle ending, it may leave some viewers scratching their heads.

Throughout this video, I will be discussing the key aspects of the film as well as what it’s ending signifies. This is a classic movie so I highly recommend that you go and check it out if you haven’t already. Obviously, there will be key spoilers here and it is definitely worth your time.

With that out the way, I’m Deffinition and this is my ending explained video for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The Plot In Chronological Order

In order to understand the movie we must first structure it in Chronological order. The plot element that initiates the entire film involves Gary Oldman’s character Smiley, attempting to get the Russian Agent Karla to defect from his country. During their meeting, Smiley discusses his wife and gives the Russian Agent a lighter that he received as a present from her. Karla does not defect and instead uses this meeting to come to the realisation that Smiley and his wife’s relationship is very fragile.

The next key event is the Christmas party. Here, the double agent Bill Haydon, played by Colin Firth, is tasked with destroying Smiley’s relationship and he begins an affair with the character’s wife. His assumed lover and good friend Jim, played by Mark Strong, notices the affair and comes to the realisation that Bill is only participating in the act because he has been given it as a mission and is, therefore, a double agent.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Ending Explained


Witchcraft is then set up by Alleline. This involves a safehouse in which a Russian Mole gives agents intelligence on the KGB. However, in the film we discover that the apparent Russian Double Agent is, in fact, a Triple Agent and that he is only supplying Britain with low-level intelligence, instead using this opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on the British Secret Service from Bill Haydon.

Ricky Tarr uncovers this when investigating the Russian Agent and begins having an affair with his wife, someone who is later killed during an interrogation that follows the next plot point.

Jim and Budapest

Jim is tasked with traveling to Budapest in order to find out the identity of the mole. However, the mission is a setup, Jim is shot, captured and interrogated. Karla believes that he is the agent having an affair with the Russian Spy’s wife but when he doesn’t flinch upon seeing her executed they realise that they are mistaken.

The mission going sour forces Control and Smiley to resign and Bill’s cover is safe because of the affair that he was having that allowed him to be aware of the mission.

Bill manages to get Jim released and the character returns to England where he is forced to play dead and take a new career path.

The Return Of Ricky Tarr

Ricky Tarr returns to England and after reaching out to Oliver about the mole, Smiley is reinstated. During his investigation, he discovers that Jim is still alive and after finding Ricky Tarr comes to the realisation that there is definitely a mole in the organisation.

Smiley sends Tarr to Paris in order to send a message that will entrap the mole and at the safe house set up by Witchcraft, he confronts him. It is revealed that Bill deliberately broke down Smiley’s marriage as part of a mission and the character is murdered by Jim in the final scene. We watch as a tear rolls down both of their cheeks, one of blood and the other of pain.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in Chronological Order

Your Thoughts

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an incredible film and it’s one that took me a while to get around to. If you haven’t watched it for a couple of years then I highly recommend that you go back and revisit it. There are several subtle moments and the movie relies on drama rather than full-blown action set pieces to deliver unrivaled tension.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the film and if you think I’ve missed anything out please comment below and let me know.


Thanks again for taking the time to watch this video, I’ll see you next time, take care, PEACE!

Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons