If you're reading this, either a) you've watched Us and really need to understand what the heck you just saw, or 2) you haven't watched Us yet but really need to know what you're about to get into. Either way, you're most welcome. Spoilers ahead. The movie left us with a lot of questions—did the Tethered kill everyone? Did the Wilsons make it to Mexico? Adelaide...really, girl?—the answers to which we may only be able to find in the labyrinth that is Jordan Peele's mind. However, we do think we can solve one mystery: the meaning behind Jeremiah 11:11 in Us.
When Us came out this weekend, moviegoers strapped in for what may have been the wildest and strangest ride we've been on in a long, long time. In the film, a family comes faces to face with the "Tethered," their unhinged doppelgängers who have been living underground and planning a violent rebellion for years without the world above knowing about their existence.
We see allusions to Jeremiah 11:11 several times throughout the film. When young Adelaide heads to the super sketch funhouse on the Santa Cruz beach, she passes by a shaggy-haired man holding up a makeshift sign with "Jeremiah 11:11" scribbled across it. Years later, that same man is seen being taken away in an ambulance, the number "11:11" carved into his forehead. His doppelgänger is the culprit, sporting the same scars and blood dripping from his fingers. In another scene, Adelaide tries to put her son Jason to bed but is interrupted when he points out the time on the clock—11:11.
Peele isn't one to do things just to do them (remember that iconic fruit loops scene in Get Out? The man loves a double meaning!), so we know that the verse kept showing up for a reason. A quick flip through the Bible is the first step to figuring it out:
Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
Dark, right? The book of Jeremiah follows the life of the prophet Jeremiah, chosen by God to speak to the Israelites living in captivity in Babylon. In this verse, Jeremiah grimly tells the people that something terrible is headed their way as a result of sinning against God, and they won't be able to escape it no matter what they do.
What it means in relation to the film: Red, Adelaide's Tethered, believes herself to be chosen by God to lead the Untethering. As the leader of the rebellion (and the Tethered with the biggest chip on her shoulder), she is responsible for the indoctrination of the doppelgängers against their counterparts up above.
The Untethering, explains Red in the creepiest way possible, is the "disaster they cannot escape," the karma for the government's unnatural science experiment that resulted in the existence of the Tethered as well as for the cruel mistreatment that followed their creation. In this story, Jeremiah 11:11 is a prophesy for America. The day of reckoning has finally arrived.
Case closed. Now...can we talk about that plot twist?
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