“Patient Zero,” a 2018 thriller, is set in a world ravaged by a mutated strain of rabies, turning infected individuals into aggressive killers. Medical and military personnel are in an underground bunker, desperately searching for a cure and the Patient Zero. The hunt for Patient Zero intensifies until Michael emerges, who is an exception among the infected. He manages to have a conversation with Morgan, another infected who retains some semblance of speech and may hold the key to understanding the infected language. All hell breaks loose as the infected unite to fight the humans, specifically Morgan. Overall, “Patient Zero” delves into a chilling scenario: can we be eradicated by an external force like a disease, or are the seeds of destruction already sown within us?

This article contains spoilers.

Patient Zero (2018) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film opens with news reporters reporting about a new strain of rabies virus infection in humans. This new strain alters human personality with characteristics like aggression, restlessness, inability to feel pain, and obsession. The super strain of rabies is spreading rapidly in America. The ones infected are killing those who aren’t infected. Medical professionals seek Patient Zero to find an anti-virus to stop the epidemic. Morgan is dreaming when Scooter’s voice wakes him up.

Medical researchers and the military, along with some civilians, are hiding in an underground nuclear silo. Amid the tensions of the virus spreading, Scooter is energetic as it is his child’s birthday and pushes Morgan to get his work done quickly. Meanwhile, Colonel Knox seems to disagree with Doctor Gina as she calls the infected patients. But Knox thinks they are at war and must find a solution soon. The only way to get to patient zero is by Morgan talking to the infected as he is the only one who can speak the language of the infected. Among the many, Morgan was infected. However, the virus hasn’t taken over him entirely and allows him to talk to the infected.

How did Scooter die?

For the questioning, the military personnel bring one infected with handcuffs and chains so they don’t attack anyone in the lab. The first infected Morgan talks to is Joe (a name given by Morgan), who reveals that he was first infected in Minnesota during Halloween. This revelation is a breakthrough for the researchers as Joe is the earliest infected to whom they have spoken. While Morgan is taking it slow and warming up to Joe so he can reveal information about patient Zero, Colonel Knox is impatient and shoots Joe for not cooperating.

Patient Zero (2018) Movie Ending Explained:
A still from “Patient Zero” (2018)

After losing the first lead, Gina is infuriated with Knox and gives him a final warning not to pull anything like this ever again. After giving Knox a piece of her mind, Gina consoles Morgan. As events spiral out of control, Morgan and Gina find solace in a passionate encounter. But a horrifying truth surfaces – Morgan’s wife, Janet, has succumbed to the infection. Back at the research facility, a desperate team races against time, injecting Janet with a concoction in a last-ditch effort to contain the infection.

It is time to interrogate the next patient, and Scooter is jovial as usual, which annoys Knox. The next infected person is Pete (name given by Morgan). Unfortunately, his handcuffs have come loose, and Pete starts attacking the soldiers. Scooter and the others run in to stop, but Scooter is bit. Gina and the others try to contain the virus. Soon, Scooter turns, and knowing it is for the best, Knox shoots Scooter. After Scooter’s death, Gina and Morgan wish Scooter’s son (who is dead) for his birthday.

How were Morgan and Janet infected?

In a flashback, we see Janet and Morgan having a romantic time, and Morgan talks about wanting a child, but Janet wants to wait for surrogacy. The questioning continues with Pete. Now, Morgan takes a more serious approach. When Pete does not cooperate, Morgan plays music to make Pete suffer as the infected get uncomfortable with music. After the torture, Pete says he was infected in Minnesota in October. Another early infected person, Gina, Morgan, and Knox, talked to the military General Pierce. Disagreements ensue between Gina and Knox as Gina wants to bring in more infected from Minnesota. However, Knox is unwilling to risk his soldier’s lives. Soon, realizing Gina was right about the Vegas outbreak, General Pierce orders a sweep in Minnesota.

After the meeting, Morgan visits Janet in a cage to give her injections, and she realizes something is going on between Morgan and Gina. However, Morgan assures Janet that he still loves her. In a flashback, we see Morgan and Janet discussing their record shop shutting down, but Janet is ready to work hard to keep the shop running. As they continue to discuss, many infected people jump on their car and bite them. Meanwhile, Gina is pregnant with Morgan’s child, which she keeps a secret.

Why is Micheal Jansen different from the others who were infected?

On the other hand, Knox burns the bodies of his soldiers, but something unexpected happens. One infected person starts killing the soldiers, and the only one left is Knox. As the infected person is about to attack Knox, Morgan and others stop the infected man. Understanding the infected person’s language, Morgan stops Knox from shooting as the man wants to talk to Morgan. The infected person is Professor Micheal Jansen, who is unaffected by the music, civil, and smokes like normal humans.

Conversation with Micheal takes a dark turn for Morgan as Micheal starts to get into his head and reveals that within the infected, there are exceptions, and Micheal seems to be an evolved infected species. During the conversation, Michael states that there isn’t a patient zero for the virus, suggesting it arose from the rage within human beings. Michael, sensing rage within Morgan, shares that he was infected after delivering a lecture. Shockingly, Michael discloses that he then visited his family and was driven by the virus to kill them. In a fit of rage triggered by this revelation, Morgan slaps Michael.

Breach in the nuclear silo

After slapping Micheal angrily, Morgan calms down and continues the conversation. Micheal reveals that the infected were created to get rid of the humans who are the real infections. Sensing something is wrong, Morgan uses a frequency tester to see if a signal is sent to someone. Morgan couldn’t find anything but visits Pete and finds a tracking device inside him. Morgan, Gina, and Knox visit General Pierce to show him the evolution of the infected, but they get distracted as the infected break free and start killing every person they see.

Patient Zero (2018) Movie Ending Explained:
Another still from “Patient Zero” (2018)

The soldiers fight through as best as they can, but Morgan has only one thing in mind: to save Janet. As Morgan searches for Janet, Gina refuses to leave without retrieving her research samples. It took a bit of convincing to get Janet to go with Morgan.  Meanwhile, Knox betrays the group, allowing the General to be bitten by the infected before escaping. This act of gutlessness enrages Gina, who explodes at him, calling him a coward. Already on edge, Knox becomes even more angered. Tricking Knox with apologies, a struggle ensues between Gina and Knox. In the heat of the moment, Gina shoots Knox. Before getting into the lab, Gina finds Morgan and Janet, and they work together, making their way to the lab and killing off any infected.

Patient Zero (2018) Movie Ending Explained:

Can Morgan and Gina escape from the bunker?

As the military and medical staff run to safety, some of the infected rescue Micheal. Upon reaching the lab, Gina finds the samples, and the trio tries to find their way to the top of the bunker, but the infected are everywhere. With no other choice, Morgan, Gina, and Janet climb the vents to escape without being noticed. They are met with numerous hurdles, but they reach the parking lot only to be met by Micheal. Morgan now understands that the infected are after him, and Micheal reveals that Morgan is Patient Zero to the infected.

A fight ensues between the four, and Morgan injures Micheal. Micheal howls, and all the infected approach the parking lot, but Janet is not leaving and asks Morgan to leave with Gina and save the baby. Despite Gina not revealing the news to anyone, Janet had sensed Gina’s pregnancy. With a heavy heart, Morgan leaves with Gina, and they reach the top. Now, they can see many infected people roaming around, trying to find any humans. Just then, Morgan spots his bike, and they hop on it and ride away, pushing away any infected that come their way. As they ride away through the night, Morgan says that humans learn to fight and adapt, irrespective of the circumstances.

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Conversations between Micheal and Morgan do talk about the problems of humanity that are filled with rage and greed, implying that those will be the reasons for human destruction before any disease can kill them. Janet’s ability to control her anger and feel human emotions means that Gina and the team are progressing in containing the infection. Patient Zero is still not found, but to the infected, Morgan is Patient Zero, who has something special in his blood that doesn’t allow him to turn completely. The film does not have a clear ending, but Morgan’s words mean they will continue fighting and save humanity.


Patient Zero (2018) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
The Cast of Patient Zero (2018) Movie: Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, John Bradley, Clive Standen, Agyness Deyn, Stanley Tucci
Patient Zero (2018) Movie Genre: Horror/Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 26m
Where to watch Patient Zero

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