‘Purple Hearts’ Ending Explained : What Was the Reason Behind Johnna’s Betrayal?

‘Purple Hearts’ Ending Explained : What Was the Reason Behind Johnna’s Betrayal?

The film has all the winning ingredients—it's a love story, but it packs a punch with action and mystery weaved in.

Netflix's romantic drama Purple Hearts is buzzing the internet, scoring the highest number of viewing hours for a film on Netflix this year. 

The new Netflix original movie is based on the novel of the same name by Tess Wakefield and tells an unforgettable love story between an aspiring musician and a troubled U.S. Marine. The movie captures the plotline of a diabetic signer named Cassie (Sofia Carson) and Luke (Nicholas Galitzine), a troubled U.S. marine who fakely marries each other for their personal benefit.


The relationship between struggling musician Cassie and soldier Luke seems doomed from the beginning, as both of them have totally separate worlds to function in. They end up getting married for the benefits, with Cassie needing health insurance to properly manage her diabetes and Luke needing the extra money to settle an old score. But the moment Cassie confronts Luke about his involvement with Johnno (Luke's former drug dealer) Cassie kicks him out of her house just after the moment they both shared some close moments of taking care of each other. Before leaving for her show, and tells him he has time until she gets back from her show to get his stuff and leave. She also tells him that he can stay with his dad and brother and tell them they’re getting divorced. 


While Cassie’s performing at her show later that night, Luke runs around the city to build up his stamina and to get his legs moving again. While taking a break from running, a U.S. Marine pulls up in his car in front of Luke. The officer asks him to return to the base camp with him. Whereas, Cassie receives a call from Luke's dad mentioning Luke is being charged with fraud and is being detained. He further mentions that Luke's trial will take place in a few weeks and the officers will also question her role in the agreement.


Then comes the day of the trial when Luke is being read about his charges, and he starts to think about how all of it will affect Cassie. After coming to a decision, Luke announces to the military judge that he would like to make a statement. He lies and tells the military judge that he coerced Cassie to participate in the fraudulent marriage to protect her. The military judge takes Luke’s word and tells him that after he completes his six-month sentence, he will be discharged for bad conduct. Cassie gets off scot-free. After the trial and the beginning of Luke’s imprisonment, she rewatched their wedding video before her performance to remind herself of him. Cassie sings “I Didn’t Know,” a Purple Hearts song she composed about her growing love for Luke, during the event.


Purple Hearts Ending, Explained

After Luke’s former drug dealer rats him out to the police about his fake marriage, Luke is arrested and charged with fraud. In court, Luke pleads guilty, claiming he coerced Cassie into a marriage she didn’t know was illegal. Luke takes the brunt of the fallout, spending six months in jail and being dishonorably discharged from the Marines. 


Why did the drug dealer rat on Cassie and Luke?

An obvious question is why Luke's former drug dealer, Johnno (Anthony Ippolito), outed the couple when he had already been paid off. While we, the viewer would assume a person would stick to their word in such circumstances, some hurts run too deep—Johnno was clearly upset with Luke after he told him he was off drugs. The pair had begun to form a friendship prior to this and Johnno was clearly feeling rejected by Luke. In addition, Luke and Johnno got into a physical altercation which Luke won. It's for these reasons that he simply wasn't satisfied with the money, and ultimately, he still wanted Luke to pay for his actions.


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