'Jacinta' Ending Explained: All is not well as protagonist keeps feeding her addiction

Giving in to temptation is easier, fighting it is harder in this sad tale of addiction in 'Jacinta,' a hard-hitting Hulu documentary

                            'Jacinta' Ending Explained: All is not well as protagonist keeps feeding her addiction
Jacinta as seen in the documentary 'Jacinta' (Hulu)

Hulu just came out with a gritty documentary and let's just say we weren't prepared for the trauma it exposed. 'Jacinta' is an original documentary by the streaming service that shares the representative tale of a female inmate, Jacinta, battling addiction after being released from prison and the seemingly hard journey to sobriety.

According to Hulu, the documentary was 'filmed for over three years. 'Jacinta'  begins at the Maine Correctional Center where Jacinta, 26, and her mother Rosemary, 46, are incarcerated together, both recovering from drug addiction. As a child, Jacinta became entangled in her mother's world of drugs and crime and has followed her in and out of the system since she was a teenager. This time, as Jacinta is released from prison, she hopes to maintain her sobriety and reconnect with her own daughter, Caylynn, 10, who lives with her paternal grandparents.

Despite her desire to rebuild her life for her daughter, Jacinta continually struggles against the forces that first led to her addiction. With unparalleled access and a gripping cinéma vérité approach, director Jessica Earnshaw paints a deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma over generations '.


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The story begins when we are introduced to the mother-daughter duo, Rosemary and Jacinta, at the Maine Correctional Center where they are both incarcerated. Both of them are drug addicts and have been in and out of the system over the years. Jacinta is set to be released with her mother sad about the separation but hoping she stays off drugs once outside. We see a tearful goodbye between the two as Jacinta's brother and father happily pick her up outside. Jacinta stays at the Sober House in an attempt to remain clean. Following a joyful visit with her daughter Caylynn, we see Jacinta hit the streets with her getting high again. We get to know almost her entire family has had run-ins with the law, be it drugs, drinking, violence, or weapons. The family is well known among the cops and dealers of the area. 

Rosemary and Jacinta in a still from 'Jacinta'(Hulu)

We get to know the origins of the intergenerational addiction as their trauma is revealed. Rosemary, who Jacinta idealizes, was the one who introduced her kids to this dark world from an early age. She and Jacinta had both been sexually abused as young women leading to them to seek repreive in drugs and bad company. As Jacinta keeps injecting we cut to her daughter Caylynn. The girl of 10 is quite intelligent and mature due to her circumstances; both her parents being in jail with her living with her paternal grandparents. She cares deeply for her mother but is angry and frustrated at her absence, fully aware of her mother's affliction. Jacinta's father Rick is ever doting and hopes his daughter can beat her addiction even though she has had multiple relapses. Jacinta now stays with her boyfriend Lucky who is not a user. He helps her as best as he can as she continues using. Jacinta continues her criminal activities as we see her shoplift a laptop and dash, another skill she learnt from her mom. She then attempts to detox but the withdrawal is too much for her. It is revealed she stole $60,000 worth of crack and heroin from a dealer who's now out to harm her.

Jacinta's daughter Caylynn in a still from 'Jacinta' (Hulu)

Jacinta Ending Explained

Following her robbery, we see the cops arrest her in a motel room after being tipped off by her father. Jacinta is back in jail and gets a term of 4 years. She is happy to be back in as she gets to be near her mother, who unfortunately for her is about to be released. We see Rosemary now get a job as a road worker. Jacinta meanwhile is studying in jail through the Maine Correction Center's College Program and we see her graduate later. Jacinta, a bit wiser now, understands how her mom felt when she was a child as she experiences the same feelings being apart from Caylynn. She says it's better that she's in jail and sober rather than out and high.

We cut to a teen Caylynn who in tears confesses she thinks her mother's actions are both selfish and selfless and that she understands better now. She loves and misses her but is doing well and is safe without her. We see Jacinta get her first furlough in years, ecstatic to finally meet her daughter and dad after years. The documentary ends with a clip of Jacinta as a kid and completely innocent as the three in the present-day drive off laughing.

'Jacinta' is available to stream on Hulu now

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