‘How To Blow Up A Pipeline’ (2022) Story Recap And Ending, Explained

The theme of a rebel group sabotaging property to send a message to the authorities is a common trope in many movies. At its core, this theme is about a group of individuals who are fighting against a system they feel is oppressive or corrupt. The group may have a variety of motivations, ranging from political ideals to personal grievances, but they all share a desire to bring about change through direct action.

This theme often raises questions about the ethics and efficacy of direct action as a means of social and political change. Is property damage a legitimate form of protest? Does it actually achieve anything beyond a symbolic gesture? What are the risks and consequences of engaging in direct action? These are all important questions that are explored in many movies that deal with this theme.

Movies that explore the theme of a rebel group sabotaging property to send a message to the authorities are often thrilling and thought-provoking. They challenge viewers to consider the role of direct action in social and political change, and they celebrate the courage and determination of those who are willing to risk everything to fight for what they believe in.

The film How to Blow Up a Pipeline, which premiered on April 7, 2023, portrays the efforts of a rebel group to send a message to the authorities by sabotaging oil pipelines. This gripping thriller has garnered much attention and praise. If you’re curious about what to expect from this outstanding movie, here’s a brief recap:

Spoilers Ahead

‘How To Blow Up A Pipeline’ Story

How to Blow Up a Pipeline commences by introducing Xochitl (Ariela Barer), a member of a rebel group who carries out a sabotage operation and leaves a note explaining her actions as a message to the authorities. The film then introduces us to other members of the group, including Michael (Forrest Goodluck), Dwayne (Jake Weary), Shawn (Marcus Scribner), Theo (Sasha Lane), Alisha (Jayme Lawson), Rowan (Kristine Froseth), and Logan (Lukas Gage). The group meets in a remote location to commence work on a massive project to detonate an oil pipeline and send a direct message to the authorities.

The rebel group begins the arduous task of producing explosives to execute their grand plan, and we witness the group’s members experimenting with various materials to create a potent explosive capable of causing a massive blast to destroy the oil pipeline. The conflict between the authorities and the rebels is not a new phenomenon, as the members of the rebel group have their own personal grievances, motivations, and ideologies. However, what unites them is their common goal of sending a powerful message that will have a lasting impact, particularly on other rebels seeking inspiration to fight against the system.

The Rebel Group’s Explosive Protest

As the film unfolds, we gradually get to know the members of the rebel group. Xochitl is a passionate young woman who lost her parents and is fiercely opposed to the oppressive actions of the corrupt authorities, and she’s determined to fight against them. She sparks the idea of undertaking a massive action and recruits like-minded individuals to join her cause. Theo is Xochitl’s friend who is battling terminal cancer and lives with her partner, Alisha, who provides unwavering support and care to Theo. Michael harbors a deep grudge against the authorities and creates videos demonstrating how to make small bombs and explosives. Shawn is a practical individual who decides to team up with Xochitl and recruits Dwayne, a family man who lost his property due to the authorities’ actions and held a strong resentment towards them. Finally, Rowan and Logan are a couple who share a passion for adventure and always stick together.

The rebel group devises a plan to construct two barrels loaded with explosives and use them to destroy the connectors of an oil pipeline, causing disruption and actual property damage, in an attempt to shake the authorities, who they believe take advantage of innocent people by seizing their private property to support their operations. The various members of the group bring different perspectives, informed by their personal life experiences, to the table, and it’s clear why they feel compelled to undertake such a significant action. However, while making and deploying the explosives, the group encounters several difficulties as the materials they use are hazardous. But they come together as a team, working methodically and carefully to build the explosives piece by piece, minimizing the risk of failure.

‘How To Blow Up A Pipeline’ Ending

As the film progresses, we delve into the backstories of the rebel group members. Alisha, though initially skeptical of the plan, decides to support her partner Theo by joining the group. Michael, a part-time store worker, uses his employee discount to buy materials and experiment with small explosives. However, things take an interesting turn when Rowan starts taking photos of the group during their explosive-making operation. We learn that Rowan and her partner Logan have been fighting against the system for a long time, but when Rowan was captured by the FBI, they gave her an ultimatum: assist in catching people like her or face fifteen years in prison. Rowan ultimately decides to work as an informant for the FBI. The tension increases as the rebel group places the explosive barrels on the connectors of the oil pipeline, moving closer to the final stage of their plan.

In the climactic moments of the film, the rebel group successfully sabotages the oil pipeline, causing a massive explosion with the barrels they made. The FBI immediately starts searching for the culprits, and one of their agents visits Rowan to gather information. Rowan sells them the pictures, and it seems like she is going to betray the group. However, Shawn, Dwayne, Alisha, and Michael manage to escape the crime scene, while Theo and Xochitl stay behind to blow up their base. As they begin their final explosion, FBI vehicles approach them. The film takes an unexpected turn as we realize that Xochitl and Theo planned to get arrested all along. Rowan knew the plan from the beginning and did not betray the group. Theo is in the final stage of cancer, which is why Xochitl chose her to be arrested, but Xochitl sacrifices her own life for the cause as she believes it will inspire others to fight against the system. In the film’s final moments, we see a video of Xochitl going viral, where she explains her actions, and we witness a masked rebel group destroying properties and leaving notes similar to the ones Xochitl used to leave after her acts of sabotage.

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