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Keep Breathing ending explained - Was everything as it seemed?


woman lying on the ground with a panicked expression on her face
Published: Wednesday, 3rd August 2022 at 4:55 pm
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With so many new shows landing on Netflix, it can be hard to keep track of new content.


But one new series has certainly captured viewers’ attention, with Keep Breathing stealing the No. 1 spot on the streamer from Virgin River season 4.

The survival drama focuses on Liv Rivera (Melissa Barrera) whose attempt to hitch a ride on a private plane ends in disaster when it crashes down in the middle of the Canadian wilderness.

Not only is Liv left on her own to fight for survival, but she's also forced to grapple with her own personal trauma in the eerie setting.

However, when it comes to the show’s ending, it’s not actually clear whether Liv manages to make it to safety.

Read more: Keep Breathing cast: Meet the characters in the Netflix drama

Read on for a full rundown of the Keep Breathing ending, as well as what the show’s producers have to say about those ambigiuous scenes.

Keep Breathing ending explained

What happened to Liv in Keep Breathing?

woman lying on the ground while screaming
Melissa Barrera as Liv in Keep Breathing

The cold! Poison berries! A bear! The challenges came thick and fast for Liv, but her enterprising spirit shone through as she found solutions to the conveyor belt of hurdles set before her.

Alongside that, she had to contend with her niggling inner voice, which manifested as Sam and was always on hand to take her down a peg – a damaging character trait that stemmed from family trauma.

Liv's relationship with her mother, Lucia, was strained following a difficult childhood, the weight of which Liv carried around with her at all times. It also left her wary of forming deep connections with people in order to protect herself from the pain she believed was an inevitability.

Liv's interactions with her colleague Danny (Jeff Wilbusch) were a prime example of that. He wanted to give her the world, but she continued to push him away, unable to trust that he wouldn't abandon her. And even when she discovered that she was carrying his baby, Liv had no intention of informing Danny for fear of further tethering the two of them together.

Once that door was opened, there would be no going back.

There were several moments in the wilderness when it looked like Liv would succumb to the lies she had long believed about herself – she was not good enough, and certainly not worthy of love. But every time she was knocked down, she found a way to battle through, even when the ground beneath her feet literally gave way and she plummeted into a pit.

"There's always a way out," said the voice of her mother during one of her many hallucinations, gesturing to the bottle of OxyContin she had taken from Sam and George's loot. But Liv opted to take the other way out, clambering back to the forest above.

Liv's mother holding up a painting in an art studio
Florencia Lozano as Liv's Mother in Keep Breathing

From there, Liv travelled north where she found a river. Out of options, she grabbed a piece of drift wood and slid herself into the current, with her mother's postcards in tow. She had no idea where it would lead her, or if anyone would find her, but it was her last hope.

While in the water, Liv's life as it could have been flashed before her eyes. She was at the hospital, giving birth to her baby, with Danny by her side. There's a concerning moment when it looked like their child might not survive, but their little bundle of life pulled through.

And Liv, too, was dangerously close to the brink.

She was eventually pulled from the water by two strangers and for a second, her nine lives had seemingly run out. But in the final moments, her eyes shot open and she gasped for breath.

It's more than likely Liv lost her baby due to the crash, or as a result of the strain inflicted on her body during her days spent fighting for survival. But there is a chance, albeit a minuscule possibility, that her unborn child miraculously endured, as she did.

Did those scenes in the hospital happen? Was it a glimpse into the future rather than Liv's subconscious yearning for what could have been? All she had ever craved was a stable family unit. Was her wish granted?

Does Liv survive in Keep Breathing?

The show's producers have shed some clarity on the ending of Keep Breathing.

Co-creator Brendan Gall told Entertainment Weekly: "The ending is literal in that she survives. We see her wake up again and take that breath. The ambiguous part, the part up for interpretation, is whether the images of her and Danny going to the hospital are flash forwards or her imagined future when she believes she's dying. Both are valid."

Co-creator Martin Gero added: "But she survives. She absolutely survives."

Keep Breathing is on Netflix now. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix – or see what else is on with our TV Guide. Visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.


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