All The Burning Questions We Have After Watching ‘Clickbait’ On Netflix
It's time we address all those 'Clickbait' plot holes, and more importantly, why Emma Beesly stole those sunflowers?!
In case you missed it, Netflix just dropped a creepy Gone Girl-esque thriller series called Clickbait.
Following the story of Nick Brewer (played the forever handsome Adrian Grenier), the physical therapist randomly gets kidnapped one morning and viral videos of a bloodied Brewer begin to make their way online.
— Warning: Huge spoilers ahead! —
Holding up signs that revealed his fate, the kidnappers promised that if the video of Nick hit five million views he would die, which prompted a panicked search for the missing PT in time. But despite the threat, people continued to watch the video and pushed the views past the goal.
As family and friends desperately searched for Nick, the investigation into the kidnapping and eventual murder of the beloved father, brother, husband, and friend was told through a different key player in the story — like Nick’s sister Pia, his wife Sophie, the main detective on the case, and a reporter with very questionable tactics and a familiar face as his sidekick.
While searching for answers into why Nick was murdered, the beloved PT’s name was smeared in public as the world started to believe that the signs, which claimed Nick was an abuser and murder, were true. However, as the story unfolded, we soon found out that this was far from the truth.
We eventually learn that the Clickbait kidnapper was Simon, the grieving brother of Sarah, a woman who took her own life after “Nick” broke up with her on a dating app. However, while pleading for his life, Nick successfully managed to convince Simon that someone had stolen his identity to catfish Sarah.
After noticing a terribly botched Photoshop job, Simon lets a badly injured Nick go free and we learn that his old, lonely coworker, Dawn Gleed, was behind all the fake dating app profiles. After getting bored with the mundanity of her sad little life with Ed, her train-loving husband who shows no affection, Dawn decided to create a number of fake dating app profiles posing as Nick.
However, once Sarah died and her brother came seeking revenge, Dawn’s plans blew up in her face as Nick worked out what had been happening. So, to protect the secret, Ed ended up murdering Nick to cover up his wife’s crimes. A real mess all because an old Karen was horny and bored.
But even though the shock ending was a surprise to almost everyone watching at home, there were just so many questions that weren’t answered by the final reveal. So, let’s break down all the lingering questions that Clickbait never answered.
#1. Did Nick Brewer Ever Actually Cheat On His Wife?
In Episode 8, we found out that a bored Dawn signed up to a number of dating sites using Nick’s photos, and managed to catfish a number of gullible women with them. Clickbait, indeed!
However, in the flashback that showed Nick starting his new job two years ago, we saw that Dawn was inspired to start these accounts after seeing a ‘D8R’ notification pop up on Nick’s phone. This means he already had a dating profile before Dawn hacked into it and started creating similar profiles. So does this mean Nick did cheat on his wife? After all, the D8R notification was from Mandy Harrison, a match Nick had already been speaking to without Dawn’s interference.
While the profile could be innocent — considering Nick’s profile lists that he’s is looking for “fun” and “friendship” and his bio says the most important things in life are “family and friends” — it’s not very likely. Using a fake name and fake job, and commenting on how good other people’s bikini pics look doesn’t exactly scream friendship to me.
#2. And How Did Nick Not Notice Dawn Using His Accounts?
Nick casually had push notifications on for a dating app, as if he wasn’t even trying to hide his cheating. But these alerts mean that every time Mandy responded to one of Dawn’s messages, he would’ve received a ping to his phone.
So how did he never notice that someone was hacking his accounts? It’s not like Nick deleted D8R right after joining, so did he just never check the app again after staring at Mandy’s boobs in that bikini?! Even though he was so horny that he had push notifications on to be alerted any time a woman was into him?? It’s not adding up.
#3. Better Yet, Why Couldn’t The Women Tell They Were Talking To A Woman In Her 60s?
You cannot tell me that the conversations between a mid-30s man and a female boomer would be anywhere near similar, and I can’t understand how none of these women noticed.
Seriously, was “Nick” logging off to sleep at 8.30pm not a little suspicious? How did Emma Beesly not get tipped off by her birthday gift of a grandma-style $10 bear and balloons from a news agency? Sure, Mandy did eventually decide to stop talking to Nick after she noticed that “something was off with him”, but she called what they had a “relationship” so she must’ve been pretty into it for a while there.
#4. And Why Were So Many Women Cool With Nick Sending Those Creepy Edited Photos?
Sorry, but if a man I had spoken to on a dating app and never met in real life started sending me fake photos of us holidaying together I would be calling the police in three seconds flat.
Why were all these women so chill with Nick sending them these Photoshopped photos? Yes, he’s hot and I guess people want to flex their sexy partners, but that’s genuinely psychopath behaviour on both ends. And why did none of them find it suspicious that Nick would never Facetime them when the show Catfish has been kicking about for nine years now?
#5. Who The Hell Taught Dawn How To Use Photoshop?
Before Dawn took up her side gig of catfishing multiple women at once, she was literally sitting at home, drinking entire bottles of wine each night, and playing the version of Solitare that comes pre-installed on a Windows 98 desktop to pass the time.
So how did this old lady go from not knowing how to even find online games or download Candy Crush to her phone, to suddenly being a pro at Photoshop, committing identity theft, hacking accounts, and planting incriminating evidence on other people’s devices?
#6. Speaking Of Dawn, Why Didn’t Police Investigate All The People Who Worked With Nick?
One would think when investigating the kidnapping and murder of someone, you would talk to everyone who knew the victim. Considering all of Nick’s family had their devices confiscated as suspects, it seems strange that the police didn’t bother questioning anyone who worked with him — especially when he was kidnapped on his way to work.
All the police had to do was search the devices of Nick’s coworkers and they would’ve instantly found out that horny Dawn stole Nick’s identity. But that would’ve been too much work, right?
#7. And How Come Police Didn’t Run Checks For SUVs In The Area After The Crash?
Now if the police did their job by investigating the people who worked with Nick, they would’ve discovered that Dawn and Ed owned the exact make and model of the SUV that ran Emma off the road. Seriously, how did the police force have enough manpower to trawl through every camera in the city to find the vehicle that kidnapped Nick, but not have enough energy to find the person who almost committed vehicular manslaughter?
I know that they said the plates came up as fake, but the crusty, dusty old truck was literally parked up outside the Gleed family residence for days WITH damage all over it from the chase — and somehow every single neighbour turned a blind eye to it? Sounds fake.
#8. Also, Why Didn’t Nick Immediately Go To The Police Or Hospital?
I don’t know how close Nick and Dawn were, but knowing all of your coworker’s addresses seems very weird. And being able to navigate to a random coworker’s home without any GPS, in the dark with a head injury, and from a location you aren’t familiar with because you were just kidnapped, is even weirder.
If Nick was certain Dawn set him up, why wouldn’t he try and seek medical assistance or police help first? Emergency calls are free from payphones, and surely you’d want to let your family know you’re alive and well when everyone you love thinks you’re dead.
Hell, even if he had no money or phone on him, I’m sure if he hailed a taxi and caught one home his wife could’ve paid the fare once he arrived. Or Nick could’ve just knocked on the closest house and asked for help considering everyone in town knew his face because he had been plastered all over the news as a missing person for days.
#9. Why Did Pia Keep Refreshing The Video If It Would Kill Nick?
Pia made a very big deal about her brother’s disappearance and constantly pestered Detective Roshan Amiri about the police not doing enough to save him. She even complained about too many people watching the video when she went back into work.
Yet, Pia sat there constantly refreshing the video of her brother and added to the stream count countless times — something she assumed could lead to Nick’s death. She just constantly made the very problem she wouldn’t stop complaining about even worse.
#10. How Did The Reporter Avoid All Legal Consequences?
Ben Park literally broke into not one, but two people’s homes and didn’t even get a slap on the wrist for his actions.
After posing as a food delivery driver to break into the victim’s home to take photos and talk to the family, Sophie threatened to sue the station he worked for. But instead of Ben getting fired or suspended, he was given his big break to speak to Sophie on air!
Oh, and that was after he broke into Simon’s home to steal vital evidence and after he ambushed a young girl to film her without her knowledge. Sure, he might’ve lost his boyfriend along the way, but two cases of breaking and entering ended up giving Ben the scoop of his career. Totally normal stuff.
#11. Did Matt Actually Release The Nudes Of A Student?
Nick’s bestie Matt admitted that he had a consensual relationship with his volleyball student, Tara. But he denied Tara’s claims that he released her nudes after she broke off the relationship.
However, we saw these nude photos on Matt’s computer when Pia barged into his office to find evidence that he was the killer. Knowing what we know now about Dawn’s hacking skills, and the fact that she easily planted her Photoshopped dating app photos on Matt’s computer, it’s possible that Dawn accessed the nudes and put them online to frame Matt.
But the real question here is actually why anyone, especially a teacher, would store nudes of a student on his WORK computer. The sheer lack of common sense there almost makes me want to root for Dawn.
#12. What Was With All Those Sex Flashbacks Emma Was Having?
Emma kept having horny flashbacks that literally showed her having sex with Nick, the man she knew as her boyfriend, “Danny”.
We’re obviously now aware that Emma lied to everyone, including her own friends, Sophie, and the police about the nature of her relationship with Nick. Despite her initial claims, the pair actually never met and didn’t even video chat with each other. So why were those ~fantasy~ scenes even included?
I understand that show writers tried to make Emma seem a little unhinged and clingy by having her refer to her dead boyfriend of six months as her fiancé and all, but there’s a difference between alluding to something and flat out lying to viewers. If Nick and Emma never met, it’s not really fair to include these scenes without making it clear that they were all in Emma’s imagination from the jump. Some could even say the whole thing was… clickbait.
#13. And Most Importantly, Why Did Emma Steal Those Sunflowers?!
Emma literally went to a florist, asked for some sunflowers to be gift wrapped, and then just walked away without paying and no one said anything.
Um, hello?! The real crime here isn’t what happened to Nick, it’s how this woman stole from a mom and pop shop in broad daylight. LOCK HER UP!!
Clickbait is streaming now on Netflix.
Michelle Rennex is a senior writer at Junkee. She tweets at @michellerennex.