Ruth Slater (Sandra Bullock) is a former criminal who wants to reunite with her younger sister, Katie, after being released from jail.
However, certain aspects of society prevent Ruth from meeting her sister, much to her dismay. Katie also has no recollection of her older sister, something Ruth is unaware of.
If you’re curious about the reasons for Katie’s inability to recall her history, here’s everything you need to know!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Sandra Bullock's performance in The Unforgivable is like nothing you've ever seen from her before! Tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/FCK4VumRt0
— Netflix (@netflix) December 9, 2021
Why Does Katie Have No Recollection of Ruth?
Katie and Ruth are sisters who were separated after Ruth was imprisoned for murder, as ‘The Unforgivable’ establishes early on.
Katie is now in her twenties and goes by the name Katherine Malcolm in the present. Katie has an adopted sister named Emily and lives with her adoptive family.
She is a talented pianist and a remarkable young lady. Katie has no recollection of Ruth from her childhood.
She does, however, recall being pleased with a lady on occasion. Her adoptive parents also keep Ruth’s true identity hidden from her.
As the story develops, it becomes clear why Katie has no recollection of her older sister. Ruth and Katie were staying in their family house after their parents died, according to flashbacks.
When the social workers and cops arrived to deal with their housing conditions, Ruth refused to let them in because she was afraid of being separated from Katie.
When things get heated, Katie fires a shot at Sheriff Whelan. Ruth is charged with the murder and sentenced to prison.
Katie has been traumatised by the incident and has entirely shut out her childhood memories leading up to that fateful encounter. As a result, she has no recollection of Ruth.
Is Ruth Recognized by Katie in the End?
Ruth’s attempts to reunite with her sister become more intense as the film progresses. Emily, Katie’s adoptive sister, reads all of Ruth’s letters to Katie.
Ruth is contacted, and she is informed that Katie has a piano rehearsal in an auditorium that she should go to.
However, things go awry when Steve, Sheriff Whelan’s son, kidnaps Emily, mistaking her for Katie.
He intends to assassinate Emily in order to extract vengeance on Ruth. Ruth is able to save Emily in the end.
Ruth finally gets to see Katie once things have calmed down. Katie walks over to Ruth and embraces her.
Katie isn’t sure if she remembers Ruth or is simply thanking her for saving Emily’s life. The answer can be found by looking at the final sequence more closely.
Katie never sees the face of the woman she is within her visions, which play out as flashbacks throughout the film.
However, the flashbacks reveal that Katie saw Ruth’s face in the closing moments, which is enough proof to assume Katie remembers her sister.
After all of Ruth’s hardships and tribulations, the sisters reconnect in the end, and she has a happy ending.