LEAVE NO TRACE
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Andrea
Will (Ben Foster) and Tom (Thomasin McKenzie), his daughter are living in a forest in Portland, Oregon. They are seen starting their own cooking fires, playing chess, reading books and living in tent shelters that disguise their existence. Will often does drills in which they hide from the authorities and provides instruction to Tom on how to hide her tracks.
When they need resources, they walk into town to buy food and other necessities. While returning on one trip from town, they pass by some men who are also camped out in the forest. It is revealed that Will is a veteran and is selling the medication he receives for mental illness to the campers who in turn sell it to others.
After they return, Tom is spotted by a ranger. She hides but does not inform her father. Soon after that, the Rangers raid their residence and arrest the father and take the daughter into custody.
Social services intervenes and conducts various tests on both Will and Tom. It is found that the daughter’s academic skills are above average. However, the social workers state that it is important for Tom to attend school for socialization purposes. Will is given a mental health test in which he cannot even answer most of the questions. Tom is given a mental health test which she has no problem successfully completing.
Will and Tom are housed in a home where in exchange Will is supposed to work for the man who owns the house and has a Christmas tree business. They are informed by the social worker that they need to be cooperative in order to stay together. On their first night, Will and Tom sleep outside in the backyard. Will tells Tom that she should have told him about the ranger that spotted her as that is how they were detected. Tom says that she did not want to leave their residence because she liked it. They visit their own residence in the forest and find that the rangers are taking down the tents of people to whom Will sold his medication.
Tom begins to adapt to the new environment. She meets some neighbors who care for rabbits and enjoys being in the house. Will attempts to adapt but is unable to do so.
One evening, Will wakes Tom up and tells her they need to leave. They pack bags and take off. First, they catch a bus but sit separately. When the bus makes a stop, they do not get back on the bus. Will then tries to hitch a ride going into Washington state. He finally finds one truck driver who insists that he talks to Tom alone to make sure she is not being abused. Tom convinces the driver she is okay and the trucker gives them a ride.
The trucker drops them off on a remote road in Washington. However, it is much colder, and Tom is getting wet, almost getting frostbite. Will makes a shelter and Tom wonders if they will freeze to death at night. But they survive the evening, and the next day they find a deserted cabin.
After warming up, Will takes off to get resources in town. However, he never returns. When he is not back the next day, Tom goes after him, and find that he has fallen in a ditch and is unconscious. She looks for help and finds a woman (Dale) who manages a set of trailers in the forest. The woman wants to call the doctor, but Tom asks if they can find help from someone who is not connected to any medical system. Dale gets a resident in one of the trailers who used to be a medic in the military. The medic tends to Will’s injured leg and lets him know will be a while before he heals. Dale then offers to let them stay in one of the trailers while Will heals.
The residents in the area are very supportive of Will and Tom. The medic lets Will have his service animal to help him deal with his Post-traumatic stress disorder since the medic similarly suffers from it as the dog helps him cope with his nightmares. Tom begins to build relationships with people. Dale mentions that there is one person who lives out on his own whom she has not seen in years. But she brings this man supplies which the man takes. So she knows he is there even if she never sees him.
Tom then offers Dale money to rent the trailer home. She then tells Will that she wants to stay because the people there are like Will and Tom. But a little while later, even though Will is not healed, he tells Tom that it is time for them to go. Tom points out that he is not healed, but Will insists on leaving. Tom tells him that she does not have to leave because she does not have Tom’s condition. Tom acknowledges that is the case. They then walk out together. Tom gives Will a hug and says she knows he would stay if she could. Tom cries and then takes off. Later, Tom is shown setting up supplies for Will in a tree the same way Dale provides supplies to the man she never sees.
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