Billy Brennan survives at the end of Jurassic Park III, but the circumstances of his survival create an unexpected plot hole in the film.
Billy Brennan’s survival in Jurassic Park III opens up an unintentional plot hole in the film. Cloned from pre-hisoric amber, Jurassic Park‘s dinosaurs have been seen in many different settings and adventures in the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World franchises. Still, the initial Jurassic Park trilogy kept them on either Isla Nublar or Isla Sorna (save for a couple of dino escapes), and 2001’s Jurassic Park III‘s Isla Sorna adventure brought a small group of humans back into their territory, including Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill).
During the rescue operation Isla Sorna to rescue Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan), Grant, his paleontology student Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola), and the Kirby family are attacked by Pteranodons while inside a massive aviary. Billy seemingly sacrifices himself to save Eric, but survives and is rescued at the end of the film with Grant and the others when the Navy arrives on the long-abandoned Isla Sorna. The outcome of Billy’s survival, while a crowd-pleasing one, also raises questions about just how secure the aviary actually was.
Grant and the Kirbys manage to escape the aviary through a doorway to the outside. Unfortunately, the door is left ajar, allowing the Pteranodons to later fly out, with the film ending with the Pteranodons flying away from Isla Sorna. However, as Billy was being attacked by the Pteranodons in the river in the aviary, his escape seems very unlikely to have been through the same passage. This suggests another exit was available, one which the Pteranodons theoretically should have been able to use before, and this plot hole might be a side effect of the change in Billy’s original fate.
Billy Wasn’t Always Meant To Survive In Jurassic Park 3
Though Billy survives Jurassic Park III, he was originally intended to die. This was probably meant to give Billy a heroic redemption after his theft of eggs from Jurassic Park III‘s quite different take on Velociraptors. Billy’s thought that he could to sell the eggs to fund Grant’s financially dwindling archeological digs ended up with the group being trailed by the Raptors. The change of the ending to have Billy survive was a more uplifting and fitting one for Jurassic Park III, but this could be where the aviary plot hole was created.
By keeping Billy’s survival a secret until the end, with the Navy having rescued him before Grant and the Kirbys, that twist had to keep Billy’s survival from the Pteranodon’s attack off-screen. However, by creating a situation where Billy’s escape would have been through a different exit in the aviary than the others, that literally opens another door in the aviary itself. It seems the Pteranodons were far less well-contained than they seemed to be, making the fact that they did not escape sooner a bit confusing.
Ultimately, Billy’s ending in the generally underrated Jurassic Park III became one where he still achieves his redemption but not with a story-demand that he die for his mistake. As Grant himself comes to realize, Billy’s theft of the Velociraptor eggs was not driven by greed but by his innate wonder at the majesty of the dinosaurs. Jurassic Park III opened a plot hole in the Pteranodons escaping later than they should have by rewriting Billy’s death to his survival, but it was worth it for the character arc of Billy Brennan as an enthusiastic paleontology student.