This article contains major Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spoilers.
For a film that deals with enchanted briefcases and amnesia-inducing rain, perhaps the greatest magic trick of all is the ending, which involves two people—a No-Maj and a clairvoyant—standing in a bakery. Indeed, just as audiences lean forward, eager to learn if Jacob Kowalski remembers Queenie Goldstein, she knowingly smiles at the baker in his shop; he too returns the grin, gestures as if he’s about to say something, and…
Alas, the film cuts to black, leaving the imagination to fill the space between dots and to explain the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ending. Of course, we can all have our own theories about what happened in the picture… and that includes Dan Fogler who plays Jacob, too!
During a roundtable interview we participated in with Fogler and Alison Sudol, who portrays the kind-hearted Queenie, the subject of the Fantastic Beasts ending came up. After all, the man who plays Jacob certainly must have some suspicions about what the scene means when his character reaches back to his neck and begins to beam. Could that possibly indicate Jacob recognizes Queenie, and thus recalls all of his magical adventures with Newt Scamander?
“That’s interesting, isn’t it,” Fogler says with a laugh when the question of the ending’s ambiguity is brought up. “It’s kind of like what happens in a dream or something, you know? And that’s his arc; it’s your dreams, whatever’s happening buried in the id seeps out in his pastries, and he can’t quite forget this dream he had, a lot like Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He remembers everything; he had a really good time.”
Also, after considering it more, Fogler further clarifies that he thinks Jacob has indeed overcome the Obliviate spell forced onto him, and that in an instant, he remembers what happened during his time with Newt, Tina, and especially Queenie.
“So this is kind of what I made up for myself: Between the bite and eating the magic strudel, and the medicine he put on, and hanging out with creatures, and everything, and the kiss—I think it gave some kind of protection against the Obliviation Spell.”
It seems like an apt reading of the finale, and we also agree with it. Queenie’s choice to kiss Jacob as he was in the midst of having his memories erased seems, unto itself, to be a way to meddle with the Magical Congress’ rainy day enchantment. As Fogler alludes to, she and those special days stay with him, as if on the cusp of a dream he can’t quite hold onto while waking up. Seeing her in-person might be the push he needs to remember, and him reaching for his neck where he was bitten would confirm that it is all coming back to him. Otherwise, Queenie wouldn’t walk into the shop with the affectation of seeing an old friend finally waking up from a long, muggled sleep. Now, they can both know there is no one else in the world quite like Jacob Kowalski.
All of which is to say that he’ll have plenty more magical creatures to meet in his future, and thus more breaded triumphs for Manhattanites about to go in the oven. For there is no way Jacob and Queenie will be sitting out the chance to return for the Fantastic Beasts sequel.