Jordan Peele Finally Explained What Was Really Going On With Adelaide’s Son Jason in Us

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Jordan Peele’s Us is a vast network of references and symbolism. It’s a movie that requires multiple viewings and lengthy discussions after each one. In the months since the film’s release, we’ve explored many of the hidden themes, recurring symbols, and popular fan theories that surround the movie.

But one of the most-discussed theories after the movie was about what happened with Adelaide and her son Jason. At the end of the film, we learn that Adelaide was in fact a Tethered all along, having been switched as a child when she wandered into the boardwalk fun house. But there’s one more subtle twist at the end of the movie that complicates it further. Jason looks at Adelaide in the car—who we now know is a Tethered—and some sort of acknowledgement passes between them.

This seems like an indication that Jason seemed to realize that his mother was actually one of the Tethered. Did he notice something about her? Or did Red tell him when she kidnapped him and brought him into the underground? Another theory is that somehow Jason was switched with the Tethered version of himself.

Now, even though he’s been hesitant to over-explain his film, Peele has revealed a little bit of what’s actually going on there in the DVD commentary, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

I always thought of the family in terms of a certain archetypal foursome. Adelaide is the leader, the captain. Zora is the warrior. She acts before she thinks and she kicks ass. Gabe is the fool, even though on the surface he looks like he might be the leader or the warrior. And Jason is the wizard. He’s the magician. I have this kinda concept of Jason that he can sorta see through the veil. You can see these moments where he’s observing his mother and he’s meant to be a little step ahead of us, the most clever of us that’s sorta figuring out there’s something more to Adelaide’s story than we see.

So, rather than having been told about his mothers identity or been switched with a Tethered himself, it seems that Jason is smart enough to just see through all of that. According to Peele’s explanation, Jason is simply picking up on the subtleties that give away his mother’s true identity.

Culture Editor Matt is the Culture Editor at Esquire where he covers music, movies, books, and TV—with an emphasis on all things Star Wars, Marvel, and Game of Thrones.