The 'Looking For Alaska' Ending Reveals A Universal Truth About Life

Who Called Alaska Doesn't Matter, Because Solving The Mystery Won't Bring Her Back
Alfonso Bresciani/Hulu

Spoilers ahead for Looking For Alaska Season 1. After learning that Alaska is dead at the beginning of Looking for Alaska's seventh episode, Miles and Chip begin trying to figure out who called Alaska before her tragic car accident, hoping that knowing the truth about how she died will bring them some sense of closure. Eventually, they do piece some things together, but it ultimately leads them to a larger truth: no amount of clarity and answers make losing a loved one easier.

Before Alaska's car accident, she received a phone call that left her in a panic and rushing to drive away from campus. After some investigative work, Miles and Chip determine that the phone call was from Jake, Alaska's ex-boyfriend. There was nothing suspicious about Jake's call that Miles or Chip could connect to Alaska's accident, but they later realize that Jake called on what would've been his and Alaska's anniversary — the same date that her mother died. The two then come to believe that Alaska left in such a hurry because she'd forgotten what day it was, and didn't want to let the anniversary slip by without visiting her mother's grave. Satisfied, they share their theory with Takumi — who points out that there's no way to prove that their theory is correct, and figuring out why Alaska left that night isn't going to make losing her any easier.

Alfonso Bresciani

The truth behind Alaska's death — specifically, if it was suicide or an accident — is left intentionally unanswered. Even before the series premiered, showrunner Josh Schwartz told the Television Critics Association that, "We will never know what happened that night," per The Wrap. This mirrors the book, which makes little mention of the circumstances surrounding Alaska's death and follows Miles et al obsessing over the few details they do know about.

John Green, the author of the original novel the series is based on, wrote on his website that, "I knew when I started the book that we would never be inside [Alaska's car] with her that night, and so I still don't have any idea what happened to Alaska." He added that the ultimate purpose of the book was to create uncertainty around that tragedy, and force the characters to confront the fact that some things in life are simply unknowable. He wrote:

"I kind of want you to be haunted by the unansweredness of the question, because I think being haunted by such things is a valuable part of being a person ... Sometimes, there are questions that NEED answering — did my friend kill herself or was it an accident, for instance — but that never get answered."
Alfonso Bresciani/Hulu

Alaska's death is difficult for everyone in her life, and Looking For Alaska shows that gaining clarity doesn't necessarily heal the wounds that loss can cause. Sure, Jake called Alaska that night, but a thousand other things may have happened that no one was privy to that could've led to the crash. In the end, Looking For Alaska isn't about finding answers; it's about accepting that some questions don't have them.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. You can also reach out to the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, or to your local suicide crisis center.