Broadcast Signal Intrusion Ending Explained

Broadcast Signal Intrusion Ending Explained. Why did I just watch Broadcast Signal Intrusion? You too want to be tormented by Broadcast Signal Intrusion? Fine, you can watch it right here:

When you become a Patreon member, there are some benefits that come with the membership. One of those benefits is that you can POLITELY ask me to watch pretty much any movie you want me to watch, and I’ll watch it. Broadcast Signal Intrusion is just such a movie. It sort of tore through the whole of the members chatting on the discord server, and many of them (several? a couple… whatever) politely pushed to have me watch this movie. So, I watched it. The goal? Figure out what happened at the end of the movie. Okay? So that is our mission together. We need to figure out exactly what happened throughout the course of this movie, and then, eventually, come to a conclusion – okay?

First question though – how, in the name, of all, that is good, and holy… Chris Sullivan? How did Mr. Sullivan (as in THE Chris Sullivan that makes the show This is Us, and was in the opening of Stranger Things, etc.) find his way into this particular film? <shakes head>

If you are still curious whether you should watch this particular film?? I got nothing for you. But, it did do some really cool flashback cafe things for me. BBS’s, hacking, phreaking, and the like… I definitely enjoyed those bits for sure.

But it tells the story of a man looking for closure – his missing wife… an empty coffin, etc. And he is desperate to find her, so desperate that he clings to pretty much any random evidence he can find that falls his way. And by any random evidence… I mean, literally anything. And we watch as this guy does his best to stay this side of sane as he follows this ultra-tenuous road. So, if you aren’t afraid – then click one of the links above, and watch the film, then join us as we head down this rabbit trail of a movie.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion Walkthrough

The film is set in 1999… you know, party like its 1999? And it actually does a pretty decent job of making 1999 fairly convincing. And it does it by diving into the weird underworld of betamaxes, camcorders, walkman tape players, and answering machines. We meet James (Harry Shum Jr. – Glee anyone? Man I loved Glee… please don’t tell a soul.) and he has a problem. Like, as in, his wife died… or went missing a couple of years prior, and he hasn’t been able to move on. Hannah was her name, and he spends large swaths of his time watching her on video cassettes and mooning over what might have been. And to cope, he starts attending a grief therapy session that does absolutely nothing for him.

But, better than grief therapy is a distraction. And, boy, does James get a distraction royale with a videotape that James finds while doing his job as an archivist. It’s a weird video of a masked person inside a house and all kinds of weird distorted chaotic audio. Quickly after, James learns that the video was part of several broadcast intrusions that were just several of a handful of video piracy hits that were conducted in the 90’s. You know, like something out of a Batman movie. But generally speaking, they generally aren’t done, and require some serious resources to jump a broadcast and take it hostage. The second video was discovered through a report on video piracy which occurred on May 10th, 1987… 12 years prior. The hackers attacked a broadcast of a syndicated science fiction series, “Don Cronos.” He searched for a tape of the video, but was disappointed when he learned that the FCC had confiscated the tape, and was searching for anyone inquiring about the tape. Through a friend though, Chester, another avid electronics geek, he gets a copy of the second tape. And its then that he learns that the character in these videos is Sal-E Sparks, a double for the android wife from Sparkbot an awful 80s sitcom.

As he continues diving he becomes obsessed with the underworld of BBS’s (a place I know well from my childhood… did you young people know that we used to use our computers to call other computers, where other users would be calling simultaneously, and we could chat, play chess, and do who knows what there? Think 20 people at a time max? Yes, I understand you are young, but you could have watched Halt and Catch Fire to learn this stuff.) and he learned that the intrusions were connected to women going missing. You know… like his wife? Interesting… no? Huh! This is so much better than grief therapy. And better yet, November 23, 1996, is the date AFTER the date tattooed on his wrist, 11-22-96… which, is the date his wife went missing.

After re-listening to the two tapes in his possession he realizes that the phrase, “I fixed them. I fixed them all.” was there under all the other noise. Could this be a confession to this character’s murder of his wife? May 2, 1987, a day before the first intrusion, Frederica Sexton went missing in Chicago. And the day before the intrusion on May 9, a woman named Marie Bedford went AWOL. Was the third tape the connection to his missing wife? Insert rare furniture dealers, and deliveries, and FBI files that seem more inline with a well coordinated Greatest Race television show than real life.

The acts of piracy were so critical that the FCC and the FBI dove in and investigated these attacks. At the time, there were only 10, and these two events are the only two that hadn’t been solved. And voila?! JAMES IS OBSESSED! Why get a counselor and do the heavy lifting if you have a conspiracy theory to work on? And he starts off his research by visiting the head of the FCC Dr. Stuart Lithgow. And that is where he learns of a rumored third piracy event that seems to be out there as well. The third tape becomes James’ holy grail.

Along the way, James follows the trail wherever it will take him. After an extensive investigation, James surmised that these videotapes were confessions from the kidnapper who abducted the woman a day before the intrusion. But his theory was rejected by Stuart, who believed that James was trying to fill a void created by his missing wife. Stuart subtly explained, “Grief can be a tricky thing.” James though, he won’t let go of this idea that the broadcast interruptions are confessions, and confessions of murder… specifically, a murder of his wife. His wife did disappear the day before the third supposed signal.

The movie actually took a turn for the better when James meets a woman that has been stalking him. Alice was a researcher that had gotten intrigued by his hunt for his wife. And the morning after they both get drunk in a bar, she decodes a phone number in the signal that had been there all along. Boom, just like that! They track the number back to a storage location where an old phone and answering machine had been sitting there for years. When they chase down the renter of the storage unit they come to a guy named Stephen Meyer. You know… the Chris Sullivan character. Phreaker. Man, those were the days when you could hack public phones with just sounds. Anyway, he admits to crafting the world’s most perfect hack… an untraceable signal intrusion. But he embeds a phone number into the noise, because what good is the perfect hack if you can’t get credit for it somehow?!? But James is already certain that Stephen is lying… why? Because his signal Intrusionists were murderers, not jock-enviers. But right before they leave him, he tells them that the third tape has all the answers.

Refusing to listen to Stephen – he knuckles down and calcifies his opinion of this being the work of a murderer. But Alice, fed up, bails on him. Wait, or is she abducted? Because the hotel room is utterly trashed when James wakes up. And his key tapes are gone. Uh. What is happening here? His apartment too! Dr. Destructo. But in exchange for his missing tapes, he finds THE THIRD TAPE, just lying there on the floor. ‘Cause of course. And in the third intrusion, we see a hand with a scar on it, and a billboard that James connects to a farmhouse.

Michael Gardner meets James at the farm house, and he has that exact same mark on his hand! Better yet, he finds Alice’s baseball cap at Michael’s house as well. That proves she was abducted, taken here, and murdered. Right? And with that! (THE KEY DETAIL THAT DEFINITIVELY PROVES HE DID IT!!!) James attacks Michael and forces him to make a confession for the killing of the three missing women. To tape this confession, James rebuilds the set, and sets up another interruption tape. Then after “confessing”, James hits Michael with a shovel, and kills him. Then buries him out back. Because this all logically follows. Then, on his way back home, James has something of a breakdown, drives over Sal-E Sparx who was standing in the road. And when James stops to look, her face explodes with oil like blood, and then credits roll.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion Ending Explained

Wait. So did James do it? Hrm. Great question internet denizen. Why don’t we play out the possibilities? Shall we?

Theory 1: Michael was the Killer

The movie’s most obvious explanation was that Michael was the murderer. If you like literal explanations I would just go with this one, and avoid all of the overpowering evidence that this is not the case. I mean, we have the scar on his hand. We have the baseball cap. We also have the set! What else does one need than that?!? Oh, and the fact that these women disappeared THE DAY BEFORE each of the broadcastings basically makes this theory a dead lock.

Contra Argument: Come on. You really are a smart individual. You are not this stupid. First issue, this guy didn’t admit to anything at all. He had no idea who these women are or were. He was asking for his father throughout James’ attack, and he didn’t seem 100% all there. No way. This guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it got him killed.

Theory 2: Michael’s Father was the Killer –

Okay! Fine. It wasn’t Michael. It was Michael’s father. That solves everything. All of it! Um. I think we stepped further away from the truth with this theory, and I can’t even begin to make up a fake explanation for why this could be the case. I mean, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again?

Contra Argument: We have no more evidence here that Michael’s father did it than for Michael doing it. I can’t disprove an argument that doesn’t even exist.

Theory 3: Stephen was the killer –

What if Stephen is lying about his story about impressing his friends? For setting up the perfect signal hack and doing it for the esteem and love from the rich kids? That their adoration was currency enough? Maybe all that was just a horrible cover? And he was actually doing it to applaud himself for the murders of these three women? I mean, there was some crazy noises happening upstairs while they were talking to him! (Theory number 4 – it was the guy upstairs and Stephen is just a cover???) Gah. Could it be that Stephen has been watching James, and playing him all along? And that he has been laying in wait for him for years to figure out what is going on, and that he is his wife’s murder??

Contra Argument: So Stephen seems to be lying… but what is he lying about? Is he lying about being the murderer? Is he lying about being anyone at all? Is he lying about the thing happening in his attic? Stephen is definitely playing somebody. But would you trust someone that stores a phone and an answering machine in a storage unit for years and years? No. Neither would I. But could he possibly be the murderer? I guess? I mean sure? But it seems like this guy is just another cut out in a long line of cut outs. But what do I know?

Theory 4: James was the killer –

If we are going to do this right… why can’t it be that James is the murderer of his wife? She disappeared, James is showing signs of having an OCD sort of traumatized personality. He is 100% not right in the head. We all know this. We also know for a fact that he is a murderer, we just aren’t sure if he killed anyone other than Michael. He can’t remember much beyond his investigation. Maybe he has repressed it all.

Contra Argument: Can’t. Don’t have one. It could literally be James.

My Solution to All of the Missing Pieces –

Look, there just is no real evidence connecting Michael back to the kidnappings or murders. James strung together a scar, a hat, and a set into evidence that he had. That literally proves nothing. James was constantly selectively seeing what he wanted to see throughout this entire movie. The noises at Meyer’s home. At Michael’s home? The phone wouldn’t stop ringing. Michael’s requests for his father? I mean. Come on.

So what happened? Hannah was important to James. We know this from the simple fact that he couldn’t stop watching videos of her even years later. James was tracing imaginary lines in the stars. Maybe he found a cool little real life mystery. And on top of these signal intrusions, he overlaid the tragedy of his missing wife. It was easy enough anyway. And these missing women that were murdered the day before? There were women murdered every single day that year… of this I am certain. So whatever day the intrusions occurred there would be missing women to investigate. This means literally nothing.

Investigating random trivia, and string it together into a coherent whole is a whole lot easier to do than grieving. Grief is hard. The effort of this search was a lot easier to cope with than actually dealing with the fact that his wife was dead and gone. And as he continued further, and further, down this rabbit hole, he found himself unable to let go. So much so that he ended up killing a man. This single act should clearly color the previous 90 minutes of the movie, and it should inform more than any other single point. And after the murder of Michael, the psychic stress of that decision, the decision to take a human life, hammers home. It’s a decision that causes him to fantasize that he ran over Sal-E Sparx in the middle of the road. He is not okay. And this one detail is the key to understanding the entire rest of the movie. None of it was real. Hannah was real. Her death and disappearance was real. But nothing else in this movie was of any consequence. The signal interruptions had nothing to do with anything… they were just a random distraction. And like this murder investigation’s lack of closure as to whether or not Hannah was still alive, or who her killer was, this movie leaves us hanging and asks us to chase the leads. You find yourself here anyway, don’t you? Maybe you searched for whether or not these Sal-E Sparx intrusions were real first?!? Maybe you need to realize that James ended up murdering someone for less… you too should be careful with how far you take all of this.

Edited by: CY

Broadcast Signal Intrusion Ending Explained
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