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Pistol Ending Explained: What Happened To The Sex Pistols?

Danny Boyle’s series for FX based upon Steve Jones’ book about the Sex Pistols is sex, drugs, and rock and roll-ridden drive through the 1970s British punk-rock scene. So, today we’re unpacking a little bit about how this Danny Boyle series Pistol achieved such loud bangs in the ending.

The plot is enhanced with eccentric characters such as the band’s strange and smooth-talking manager, Malcolm, and the mysterious Pauline. Near the end, the gang fights to stay together due to its members’ personalities and rebellious attitudes. So, how did things pan out? Let’s look at the ending of ‘Pistol’ and see what happens to the renowned punk rock band.

Pistol Ending Explained
Maisie Williams in Pistol

Pistol Synopsis

The story begins with Steve Jones, the streetwise lead vocalist of The Swankers. Inspired by David Bowie and continuously debating whether The Beatles are any good, the band toys with its identity while attempting to get recognition in the British music industry. Steve also tends to steal musical equipment from music venues and boasts of stealing a microphone with David Bowie’s lipstick still on it.

Steve meets Malcolm, who runs an avant-garde fashion business called SEX, with his partner while attempting to steal some garments for an upcoming show. Malcolm is outspoken about his anti-establishment views, and Steve recognizes that the smooth-talking store owner would be an excellent boss. Malcolm swiftly alters the band’s lineup and introduces Johnny Lydon (later dubbed Johnny Rotten due to his teeth and attitude) as the lead singer. Steve then spends a few days struggling to learn the guitar in a blur of drugs and sleep deprivation. The band’s name is also altered to Sex Pistols.

Rise To Fame

As the brand grows in popularity in the underground scene, we see flashbacks to Steve’s terrible upbringing, during which his father abused him. Various personalities, including controversial fashion star Jordan and disturbed Pauline, join the Sex Pistols’ expanding group. Arguments between Johnny and the bassist, Glen, soon lead to the latter’s dismissal from the band. Malcolm also discreetly persuades Steve to fire Glen. Sid Vicious, the band’s replacement bassist, is a buddy of Johnny’s and introduces an entirely new level of insanity to the bar.

Pistol Ending ExplainedPistol Ending Explained
What happened to the Sex Pistols?

The Split

Sid Vicious becomes obsessed with Nancy, a crazy woman, very quickly. With her, his heroin usage rises, and his unpredictable conduct causes him to argue with Steve. Under these conditions, the band goes on a tumultuous US tour, with Sid overdosing on the return flight to London. He survives but is soon heartbroken by Nancy’s horrific death.

Sid is arrested for Nancy’s murder and dies due to an overdose. When Malcolm tries to use the murders of Sid and Nancy as a marketing tactic, Steve understands how self-centered the manager is. He then leaves Malcolm and has one more talk with Johnny, telling him how right he was not to trust Malcolm. The series concludes with images of the band performing at a Christmas gathering in brighter times.

The band experiences an abrupt and steep downward spiral in the end. It is especially heartbreaking that the group begins to disband even as they gain popularity. The show’s final episode starts with Malcolm declaring that he must eliminate the Sex Pistols. According to the management, the band has become too popular, rendering it inaccessible and contradicting Malcolm’s ideal of unfiltered inclusiveness.

Pistol Trailer

Pistol Ending Explained

Like the band it is based on, the series ends abruptly, leaving the fates of the Sex Pistols members and manager unknown, just like a punk rock song that suddenly stops. We suddenly stop following various members as they go or are sacked. Even in the final scene, while Johnny and Steve reminisce about their moments together, we’re left unsure about what they intend to do next. Still, after the Sex Pistols disbanded, the real-life band members on whom the show’s central characters are based kept playing music or became active in new ventures.

Where To Watch Pistol?

If you want to watch this series starring Maisie Williams, Louis Partridge, and Christian Lees, go to Hulu. The show is available for streaming entirely there and nowhere else for the moment. Furthermore, Hulu is globally available, and with an essential subscription, you can stream this series. With this, we are wrapping it up on The Sex Pistols. Thanks for reading us, happy streaming, and see you soon.

Also Read: Will There Be Under The Banner Of Heaven Season 1 Episode 8?

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