While the "Fast and the Furious" movies have always centered around male protagonists — most frequently, best bros Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) — women have always played an integral role in the "Fast" franchise, with one of the most significant being Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster). The younger sister of Dominic Toretto and the eventual life partner of Brian O’Conner, Mia has been a "Fast" fixture since the very first film, although she’s stepped in and out of the main narrative as the films have progressed.
Although it seemed Mia may have bowed out for good after 2015’s "Furious 7," she’ll be zooming back onto screens in "F9." Mia’s story has taken a lot of twists and turns since her introduction in "The Fast and the Furious" in 2001, and her character in "F9" seems to hardly resemble the one we first met back at Toretto’s Market and Cafe in the first film. From her early childhood in a family of car-lovers to building a family of her own, here’s Mia Toretto’s entire "Fast and Furious" timeline, explained.
Mia grew up in a car-loving family
Cars have long been synonymous with the name "Toretto," as evidenced by Mia’s childhood, where she grew up with a professional stock car driver as a father and at least one older brother who inherited his father’s love of going fast. The Torettos were a close-knit family, attending church together and hosting barbecues for their neighbors, a tradition that Mia and Dom would continue as adults. Even though Mia wasn’t the main gearhead of the Toretto siblings, she still learned her way around an automobile, picking up the same advanced driving skills shared by all of the Torettos.
When Mia was a teenager, her father was killed in an accident during a stock car race, and Dominic was subsequently sent to prison for attacking the driver who caused his death. So while teenage Mia occasionally participated in petty heists alongside Dom and his girlfriend, Letty, seeing her brother go to prison may have prompted her to be more reluctant about taking part in his illegal schemes going forward.
She steers clear of her brother’s criminal endeavors
As adults, Dom and Mia remained close, continuing to work together at their father’s shop. However, they never talked about their brother Jakob, indicating that a rift formed in their family at some point in time. And even though Dom and Mia maintained a tight bond, Mia wasn’t willing to participate in Dom’s increasingly elaborate heists.
By the time "The Fast and the Furious" begins, Dom and his crew — which includes Letty and a few of his and Mia’s childhood friends — have a pretty slick operation stealing DVD players from 18-wheelers at high speeds on the highway. Mia is fully aware of what her brother and their mutual friends are doing, and while she’s loyal enough to not turn them in or thwart their illegal activities, she also makes it clear to Dom that she doesn’t approve. Still, Mia is always a safe person for Dom, guarding his secrets and remaining fiercely protective of him, even if she wishes he’d settle down and leave his life of crime behind.
Mia breaks her personal rule by falling for one of Dom’s friends
Although Mia has a strict rule about not dating any of her brother’s friends, she makes an exception for Brian O’Conner when he starts hanging around Toretto’s Market & Cafe. Granted, at the time, he and Dom aren’t yet close — and neither Toretto sibling realizes that Brian is actually an undercover LAPD officer sent to get to the bottom of Dom’s operation — but by the time their bromance is in full bloom, so is Brian and Mia’s romance.
Even though Brian is keeping his true identity a secret from Mia, the two connect quickly, finding that they have a lot in common in addition to their fondness for Dom. However, after Mia gets in an argument with her brother about his most recent heist, she’s shocked when Brian reveals to her that he’s a cop and needs her help to track down Dom and save him from an imminent police raid. Even though Mia feels betrayed by Brian’s deception, she agrees for Dom’s sake, and she helps him rescue a wounded member of Dom’s crew. Dom isn’t so forgiving, threatening Brian with a shotgun as Brian attempts to arrest him, and while Mia attempts to diffuse the situation, the two end up in a high-speed chase, leaving her behind.
A betrayed Mia gets left behind, but she stays in touch with her brother
After learning the true identity of Brian O’Conner and learning that Dom has had to go on the run, Mia decides to pack up and move away, starting a new life on her own. Although Brian tells her he’s resigned from the LAPD after letting Dom go, she refuses to give him another chance, not willing to let him hurt her again.
Although Dom remains on the run, he never loses contact with his sister, who keeps him informed of significant developments during his periodic check-ins. This can be a little risky since the FBI keeps Mia under surveillance, but it proves important when Mia gets word that Dom’s ex-girlfriend, Letty, has been killed in a car accident. After telling Dom of her death, Mia goes with him to the site of the accident, and the two of them later attend her funeral, although Mia is the only one who can actually show her face. Based on what Mia tells him and what he finds at the scene, Dom embarks on a quest to track down Letty’s killer. Of course, this puts him back in Brian’s orbit, who’s now working for the FBI.
After their paths cross again, Mia rekindles her relationship with Brian
Following Letty’s funeral, Mia is called in by the FBI for questioning as the agents hope she’ll lead them to Dom. But when he sees Mia, Brian arranges for her to be released and cautions her to stay away from Dom, worried that she’ll be arrested too. Mia, however, isn’t nearly as ready to put the past behind them as Brian appears to be, and she lets him know just how angry she is at him for lying to her and Dom five years earlier.
However, with Brian and Dom now pursuing similar goals, Mia gradually begins to warm back up to Brian. Brian reveals that Letty was actually working for him when she was killed, trying to clear Dom’s name. The two decide to team up again to bring down the man who killed Letty, which requires them to leave for Mexico on a dangerous mission. Before they depart, Mia and Brian finally resume their romantic relationship.
She turns criminal by helping Dom break out of prison
After tracking down Letty’s killer in Mexico and killing him, Brian is unable to secure the pardon for Dom that Letty had hoped to earn, and Dom is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. But this time, rather than continuing to operate within the confines of the law, Brian decides to take justice into his own hands. Although she’s kept her brother’s criminal activities at arm’s length up until that point, seeing her brother sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison is apparently the last straw for Mia, and the fourth film ends with her driving alongside Brian behind Dom’s prison bus.
The opening of "Fast Five" is the first time we really get to see Mia’s driving skills in action, and she proves she’s every bit as capable as her big brother by seamlessly coordinating her car’s maneuvers with Brian’s, flipping the bus and allowing Dom to escape. With all three of them now fugitives from the law, they split up temporarily, and Brian and Mia head together to Rio de Janeiro to meet up with one of Mia and Dom’s childhood friends.
Mia finally becomes part of the crew
Running low on cash at the beginning of "Fast Five," Mia and Brian both embrace their new lives of crime by participating in a heist to steal a number of cars off of a moving train. While waiting for the action to start, Mia passes the time by researching countries that have no extradition treaty with the US, looking for a new home as there’s no going back now for either of them. Once the heist gets underway, Dom shows up to lead the mission, but upon realizing that the other members of his crew are preparing to double-cross them, he gives Mia a chance to escape before he and Brian are forced to fight their way out.
Realizing they’ve gotten wrapped up in something much more complicated than they’d thought, the trio decide to stage a daring heist in order to steal $100 million from a Rio drug lord. To pull this off, they recruit a crew of Dom and Brian’s past associates while also being pursued by various law enforcement agents, including DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
A pregnant Mia takes a safer role
After revealing to Dom and Brian that she’s pregnant with her and Brian’s first child, Mia explains that she’s not willing to split up her family again by going in separate directions to hide. However, since none of them are willing to risk Mia’s pregnancy, she opts to take a more administrative role in the Rio heist rather than the hands-on one she had for breaking Dom out of prison.
Still, Mia’s role is hardly safe. While planning the heist, the drug lord’s men attempt to kidnap her, but she’s able to narrowly escape. However, pretty much the moment Mia escapes one dangerous situation, she’s put in another one when she’s arrested by Hobbs, along with Brian and Dom. But when their convoy is ambushed, Brian and Dom save the DSS agent, who decides to join their heist plan. Even though the drug lord now knows they’re coming, the group goes ahead with the mission, with Mia coordinating their routes from their home base while Brian and Dom are in the thick of the action. Against all odds, the group successfully pulls it off, and our heroes end "Fast Five" as multimillionaires.
After becoming parents, Mia and Brian retire to the Canary Islands
Rich beyond their wildest dreams after the events of "Fast Five," "Fast & Furious 6" finds Brian and Mia retired in the Canary Islands and welcoming the arrival of their first child, a boy they name Jack. However, despite their idyllic surroundings, Brian tells Dom that it still doesn’t quite feel like home to him. However, he isn’t anxious to leave when Dom tells him that he’s been informed by Hobbs that Letty is actually still alive. In fact, Brian initially tries to talk him out of going to find her.
However, Mia won’t hear of such a thing, reminding the two most important men in her life that they’re all family, and they deal with their problems together. She goes beyond giving Brian her blessing to go find Letty — she practically orders him to do it, saying she’ll feel safer knowing they’re both out there, watching each other’s backs. Mia remains at home with Jack while Brian and Dom go to reunite their former crew in their mission to rescue Letty. Plus, they also plan on bringing down the terrorist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) in exchange for pardons, which will allow them all to return to the United States.
Mia is kidnapped by Owen Shaw
Little do Dom and Brian realize that while they’re pursuing Shaw in Spain, the bad guy has sent his goons to Brian’s house to kidnap Mia as a contingency plan. So when Dom’s crew manages to win back Letty and capture Shaw, he plays the card they didn’t know he was holding, threatening to kill Mia unless they let him go free. Although it means giving up their chances at earning their pardons, no one on Dom’s crew hesitates to give in to Shaw’s demands, allowing him to leave with some weaponized technology that he’s stolen.
Fortunately, before Mia was kidnapped, she had the presence of mind to hand off baby Jack to Dom’s girlfriend, former police officer Elena (Elsa Pataky), who manages to escape safely with the baby. And when the villains bring Mia with them to Shaw’s plane, Dom and his crew follow them and work together to prevent it from taking off. Dom and Brian drive a car onto the plane, which Mia uses as a distraction in order to get away from her captors. Reuniting with Brian, the two are able to escape the plane and work together to help recapture Shaw. In exchange for recovering the stolen technology, Dom negotiates pardons for them all, as well as getting back his and Mia’s childhood home in Los Angeles.
Mia and Brian’s quiet life is blown up yet again
By the time little Jack is in preschool at the beginning of "Furious 7," Brian and Mia are still living in their old home and trying to adjust to domestic life. However, despite their minivan and peaceful routine, Mia knows Brian misses the thrills and excitement of his former life. Mia worries that he won’t ever be able to fully settle into a quiet life with their family, and she confesses to Dom that she’s pregnant with their second child. She hasn’t told Brian, though, because she worries that in deciding to stay with her and raise a family, he’ll be disappointed in his life.
Dom assures his little sister that Brian could never be disappointed with her because she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him. But mere seconds after those sweet sentiments have been exchanged, Dom receives a phone call from Owen Shaw’s brother, Deckard (Jason Statham), and realizes there’s a bomb at the house. Dom’s warning gives Brian just enough time to protect little Jack, but the home where Brian and Mia live — the same one where the Toretto siblings grew up — is completely destroyed.
Mia and Brian agree to one last job with Dom
With their home gone and Deckard Shaw coming for their family, Mia and Jack go to stay with a friend in the Dominican Republic. However, knowing they won’t be safe while Shaw is still out there, Mia urges Brian to go with Dom to help him stop Shaw and keep their family safe. Against Dom’s urging, she still doesn’t tell Brian about her pregnancy but instead asks him to promise that this will be his final job and that he’ll come home to her and Jack once it’s done.
But later, when Brian calls Mia from Los Angeles to tell her that they’re about to attempt a mission so dangerous that he wants her to move on if she doesn’t hear from him again, she finally tells him about the pregnancy and that they’re expecting a girl. Mia refuses to accept his goodbye, again making him promise to finish his job and return home safely to his family, telling him that his children will need their father. Emotional over the news that he’s going to have another child, Brian tells Mia that the best decision he ever made was walking into Toretto’s Market and Cafe and buying a sandwich from her, back in the first movie.
She says a happy goodbye to the crew
After defeating Deckard Shaw once and for all, Dom, Brian, and the rest of the crew head to the beach along with Mia and little Jack. While the gang looks at Brian and Mia playing in the surf with Jack, they all acknowledge that Brian belongs with his family, not pulling heists with them. And as Brian and Mia anticipate the birth of their daughter, they lovingly part ways with their fast and furious lifestyle, as well as the crew that feels as close as family.
Of course, off-screen, the reason for Brian and Mia’s fond farewell from the "Fast" crew was due to Paul Walker’s tragic death during the filming of "Furious 7," which prompted a rewrite of the ending in order to give Brian a happy and satisfying send-off. Since Mia has always been an inextricable part of Brian’s story, as both his partner in crime and love, there was really no way to offer Brian a happy ending without sending Mia off into the sunset by his side.
Mia is pulled out of retirement yet again when her other brother shows up
After sitting out the eighth installment of the "Fast Saga," living happily in retirement with Brian and their two children, Mia returns to the more furious side of the "Fast" fold in "F9," which will finally introduce Jakob (John Cena), the previously unmentioned third Toretto sibling. Perhaps the family tie is what draws Mia back in for another adventure, or maybe she has other reasons for rejoining the crew for one last ride.
The ninth film in the franchise will also see the Toretto family home rebuilt, although whether Mia and Brian will be the ones living there with their children or if it’s Dom and Letty with their son remains to be seen. However, it will be interesting to find out how "F9" justifies Mia being the one to take part in the action while Brian stays home with the kids, when in the past, those roles have been reversed. But maybe it will be as simple as the fact that Mia is a Toretto, and the only thing for Torettos that rivals their love of family is their desire to keep moving fast and furious.