At the end of Blade Runner 2049 the character of "Joe" has been shot and stabbed but has not sought medical attention. Deckard asks "Are you okay?" and Joe insists he's fine. Once Deckard goes inside a building, Joe looks inside his jacket and lies down in the snow. I expected to see a follow-up shot of his unmoving body covered in snow to establish that he had died, but the movie director didn't give us any such shot. Is Joe actually okay? Is he just resting?

Out of universe it seems unlikely that there will be another movie in the series, but could the director have been leaving room for Joe to return in another movie?

I was expecting to see blood from a wound under his jacket but I didn't see any. Was it there and I missed it? I have only seen the movie once.

A replicant told Joe something like "dying for a good cause is the most human thing we can do." After that, I fully expected Joe to die at the end. But I am not sure what the director intended us to take away from the ending as shot. Heck, there weren't even any doves fluttering skyward as he lay down on the steps while it snowed on him.

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    He may not have been holding Roy's dove, but did you notice the "Tears in Rain" music piece playing?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Nov 27, 2017 at 2:56
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    @NapoleonWilson Good catch! Would you be willing to turn that into an answer? Also, it would need an explanation, since not everybody who sees Blade Runner 2049 will have seen the original and so wouldn't know the significance of that musical score. Nov 27, 2017 at 3:09
  • That would seem to make the director's intention clear. I guess Joe still wanted to die since he didn't seek medical attention.
    – steveha
    Nov 27, 2017 at 3:40
  • @NapoleonWilson In fact, the piece is dubbed "Tears in the Snow" by fans.
    – Möoz
    Dec 17, 2017 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


Sorry to say, but probably not. Both the screenwriter and the script suggest that Joe (AKA K) dies at the end.

From the end of the shooting script (see the last page here):

[K] looks up at the snowy sky. And dies.

And here's an analysis from Popsugar (via Entertainment Weekly) of the screenwriter's comments about this scene and the music accompanying it:

Though it's technically left open to interpretation, screenwriter Michael Green pretty much confirmed that K does die at the end. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Green said, "I was surprised to find out that anyone thought he didn't die. And I can say this: the noncasual fan might recognize the music cue that plays in that moment."

So, what the hell does he mean by that? As EW points out, the song that plays in that very moment is titled "Tears in the Rain," according to the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack. If you watched the original movie, that phrase might sound familiar. It comes from Roy Batty's famous "tears in the rain" monologue that takes place right before he's about to be retired by Deckard. At the end of that haunting monologue, he simply says, "Time to die." And what track happens to be playing at that very moment? "Tears in the Rain."

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