This post contains massive spoilers about The Fate of the Furious and its ending
The Fate of the Furious is not only the eighth film in the Fast and Furious franchise, but it’s the first full film without franchise staple Paul Walker, who died in November 2013 during filming on Furious 7. After his death, the Furious 7 team, with the help of Walker’s brothers and CGI, found a way to finish his character’s story.
More specifically, at the end of Furious 7, Brian O’Conner is last seen driving down the road away from Dom and toward a life with Mia (Jordana Brewster), their children, and most importantly, no bullets. So naturally, when it was announced there would be an eighth film in the series, fans were left wondering just how Brian would play into things, if at all.
RELATED: Tyrese Talks Paul Walker’s Continued Inspiration on Fast Franchise
Long story short: He doesn’t. There are only two mentions of Brian in the film, and Mia is nowhere to be seen. Just after Dom (Vin Diesel) and Cipher (Charlize Theron) break into Mr. Nobody’s (Kurt Russell) top-secret location to steal God’s Eye — otherwise known as the scene where Cipher kisses Dom in front of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) — Letty is left in a state of disbelief. “That wasn’t Dom,” she tells Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) as she wonders aloud what kind of hold Cipher must have on the man she loves.
In Letty’s moment of weakness, Roman (Tyrese Gibson) says what we’re all thinking: “Brian would know what to do.” But before he can say anything else, Letty cuts him off. “No,” she says, before reminding him, very firmly, that they all agreed not to bring Brian and Mia into further adventures.
In other words, they’re playing this as if Brian and Mia are off living their happy life, and maintaining that is more important than figuring out what’s going on with Dom. But don’t worry. They do eventually figure out what’s going on with Dom, which brings us to the second Brian reference.
The final scene of the movie features the whole team together for a rooftop cookout, where Dom has a special delivery. The big twist of the film — again, spoilers! — is that Elena (Elsa Pataky) gave birth to Dom’s son without telling him, and Cipher had kidnapped them both, which is why Dom “went bad” in the first place. He wanted to save his (new) family. In the end, Cipher kills Elena, but Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) saves Dom’s unnamed son.
As for why he’s unnamed, Elena tells Dom she chose a middle name — Marcos — but that she wants Dom to pick his first name. So, in the last shot of the film, Dom introduces everyone at the cookout to … Brian.
Is it a sweet sentiment? Definitely. Does it make sense? Not entirely. Considering Brian is still alive within the Fast universe, one could argue it’d make more sense to name him Paul. But hey, we’ll take all the Brian we can get.