Val arrives at his home to find the police cordoning off the building with crime scene tape. Upon learning of his wife’s death, Ruta’s husband Peter tracked her down to Jackson’s studio. Thinking he was responsible for the death of his wife, Peter threw Jackson off the roof.
Val returns to Williamsburg and tracks down Ian and finds him on the street. The two men scuffle, and Val demands to know how Peter found out where Jackson lived. Ian tells Val everyone is better off with Jackson dead.
Jackson’s funeral is sparse. Apart from a few curiosity seekers, the only attendees are Jimmy, Val, and Jackson’s uncle, Jedidiah. After the funeral, they return to Jimmy’s, and the three men raise a toast, to Jackson King.
In the end, Val ascends the stairs to the floor where he supposedly lived with Jackson. He tries the door to his room, but the room is padlocked as it were in the opening scene. Val turns around and sees the door his old apartment open, and he walks in. All the splendor of Jackson’s apparent is gone. The room is bare and dilapidated. Val sits at his counter, his face is aged. Val begins to cook a shot of heroin as the screen fades to black.
And it begins like it ends. At the beginning of the film, we see Val, Jimmy and Jedidiah King (Jackson’s Uncle) raise a toast to Jackson King. Although this is the first scene we see, chronologically the scene takes place after Jackson’s funeral. The scene is repeated here in the order in which it occurred.
After the toast, Val leaves to go for a walk. In the opening we see Val walking through the Lower East side and Chinatown. In the end scene, we see the reverse, Val arrives home, supposedly after his walk. The building he enters is the same but changed, aged.
Val makes a dark assent to the floor where he and Jackson lived. The room which he made his own is padlocked and appears as it did in the opening scene, yet the door to Jack’s studio is wide open. Val enters a dilated depressing room, he sits at his kitchen counter and prepares a shot of heroin, the substitute for his vitality. Is this Val’s future, or has it been his reality all along?
The Exodus, the conclusion. For better or worse, Val confronts himself void of any guise or ego. The fruition born from the oblivion in the ending is equal to the frustration one feels upon the conclusion of the unexamined life.