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The Biggest Unanswered Questions From Clickbait Season 1

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Netflix series "Clickbait."

Netflix's abduction thriller about the dangers of living in an online society, "Clickbait," did a real number on viewers. What began as a series about the potentially predatory nature of attractive, too-good-to-be-true family man Nick Brewer (Adrian Grenier) ultimately revealed itself to be something entirely different.  

For the better part of the show, viewers are led to believe that husband, father, and loving brother Nick has been living a double life with various women online, and that this dangerous game ultimately gets him kidnapped and killed. In the series finale, however, you discover that Nick's unassuming and maternal co-worker, Dawn Gleed (Becca Lish), has been catfishing women online using Nick's identity. When Nick attempts to confront Dawn about the damage and chaos she's caused, her protective and irrational husband kills him. 

Many fans were as delightfully infuriated as they were impressed by co-creators Tony Ayres and Christian White's wholly unpredictable, early M. Night Shyamalan style ending, but that doesn't mean the finale didn't leave viewers with at least a few unanswered questions. Here is a breakdown of the lingering queries "Clickbait" left in its wake. 

Where does Pia go from here?

By centering the narrative on an absent male character and having a flawed but dogged female character lead the charge to locate and understand him, "Clickbait" did two things at once. First, it turned the Dead Girl trope on its head. Second, it gave viewers someone to root for, despite the fact that Nick's sister Pia (Zoe Kazan) is as frustrating as she is compelling. 

But what becomes of Pia now? The finale implies she's working hard to put her long-held dislike of her sister-in-law, played by "Get Out" star Betty Gabriel, behind her so she can support her extended family in Nick's absence. Yet, based on the hyper-focused blink-and-you'll-miss-it expression she wears during her final embrace with Sophie, there is something about the interaction that opens Pia's "are you ready?" up to interpretation. On the surface, she appears to simply be asking if Sophie is ready to go in and start the funeral. However, her body language, the elongated and pregnant pace of the scene, and the fact that none of her questions are phrased in a direct and obvious way give the line more weight.

Pia may be asking Sophie if she's ready "for what's next," and viewers are left to wonder if that means the long and difficult emotional recovery from Nick's death and the media attack, or, something else — like, for instance, revenge. As u/Aibrean2013 points out in a Reddit discussion about the show's finale, "why did Pia look pure evil the last 30 seconds on camera ... serious glares to camera. It was very strange."

Fans also wonder what became of Pia and Detective Amiri's relationship. On the one hand, the trauma that surrounded their meeting could potentially have bonded them in much the same way Pia and Nick's childhood trauma bonded the siblings. On the other, now that Nick's case is solved, Roshan could act as both a reminder of the worst time in Pia's life and as an obstacle toward her recovery (or revenge).

Will Matt face any consequences for his actions?

If you were among the "Clickbait" viewers who felt exceptionally clever for suspecting Coach Matt (Ian Meadows) of kidnapping and murdering Nick, the revelation that Matt was far from squeaky clean might have felt like vindication. Matt was the predator viewers suspected all along, he just wasn't the predator behind Nick's death. 

Although Matt is revealed to have been in an unethical and overtly abusive sexual relationship with one of his own volleyball players (Tara, played by Grace Quealy), viewers never get the satisfaction of seeing Matt brought to justice. You can assume the coach will, at the very least, be placed on "administrative leave pending an investigation," but after it's outed that the real culprit behind Nick's death planted images on Matt's computer, fans were also left to wonder if Matt was actually behind the revenge porn that plagued Tara in the wake of their breakup. 

Ultimately, fans never really learn whether Matt is just your average, run-of-the-mill predator or something even more sinister, and they never see him face any consequences for his actions — at least, not yet.

How will the truth affect reporter Ben Park's career and relationship?

Oh, Ben Park (Abraham Lim). At the start of the episode titled "The Reporter," fans found themselves rooting for the ambitious Park. At various times, it does seem as though Ben is more fervently invested in breaking open the case than he is in achieving the coveted prime time television spot his boss repeatedly gives to his white, blonde, female co-worker. At other times, Ben is the absolute embodiment of the unscrupulous reporter who — as his partner Cameron (Jake Speer) points out — forgets there are "real people" on the other side of "stories." 

When Ben ambushes Sophie during an interview with damning messages supposedly sent by Nick to one of the women he abused, fans see the real Ben Park come out. In many ways, Ben's character speaks directly to the series' title: everyone wants the scoop behind juicy news stories, but nobody wants to see how the proverbial sausage is made. Ben engages in several questionable activities in an effort to get to "the truth" — or, something he can legally speculate is the truth — behind Nick's disappearance and death, and doesn't appear to face consequences for any of them. From a legal standpoint, it's unlikely he ever will, unless his now estranged partner decides to turn him into the police for breaking into Simon's home. 

Still, what interested many fans was not the legal gray area surrounding Ben's actions, but his conflicted relationship with Cameron, who is appalled to discover that not only does Ben not care about the "real people" he's hurting, he sees that ability to disassociate as a necessary evil of good reporting. "I'm annoyed that we never really saw Ben again," wrote u/hanzabananza. "I was actually kind of invested in his relationship!"

Since Ben and Cameron represent viewers' lesser and better angels (respectively) with regard to news stories and the voyeuristic lack of compassion for the people in them, many are holding out hope for a Ben Park redemption. After all, if Ben is redeemable, so is the rest of clickbait-hungry society.  

What consequences will Simon face?

As for Simon Burton (Daniel Henshall), the grief-stricken, angry brother of one of Nick's supposed victims who originally kidnapped and intended to murder the husband and father, it seems inevitable that he'll face serious abduction and assault charges. The fact that he destroyed Nick's reputation in the process means he could also be held culpable for both libel and some of the collateral damage and chaos that ensued.

Nevertheless, Simon didn't "pull the trigger" himself, and, to an extent, is just as much a victim of Dawn's catfishing as Nick, his family, and the women on the receiving end of it were. If Pia is bent on revenge — a potential plotline for a follow-up series — her stance on Simon will have a major impact on how she goes about it.

There's another question about Simon and Nick's time together that still has viewers scratching their heads, and it could also impact to what degree Simon is held responsible for Nick's death. After Simon releases his wrongfully accused victim, Nick decides — for reasons we still don't know — to go immediately to the person he realizes is behind all this: Dawn. Nick could have gone to the police, but instead, decides to confront his clearly emotionally unstable co-worker. As user pineappleprincess522 wrote on the show's subreddit, "He escaped his captors and is running away and there was nowhere to go that would make more sense than to Dawn's house?? It's insane."

Since Nick chose to confront Dawn, one wonders if Pia will have a greater propensity to forgive Simon's actions and see him as a victim not unlike herself — particularly considering both characters lost a close sibling to Dawn's little "game."

Why did Dawn steal Nick's identity in the first place?

Perhaps the biggest unanswered question spawned by the "ending of "Clickbait" is the exact question co-creator Tony Ayres wanted to leave viewers asking themselves. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director explained "The thing I really wanted to do was to make episode 8 also a 'why done it' so that even though it comes out of the blue, what we were trying to do was then explain how did this happen? How does someone like that end up in this situation?"

Although, in one of the more uncomfortable scenes in the series, Dawn attempts to explain her catfishing ways to her shocked husband by saying she "wanted to know what it was like to be ... someone people saw," her reasoning speaks more to the symptoms of her station in life than to the greater societal issues behind (and at play within) her psychology. In a 2018 article for The Conversation titled "It's not about money: we asked catfish why they trick people online," writer Eric Vanman shared a number of responses from people who self-identify as catfish, and they're all eerily similar to Dawn's explanation. "It's a form of escapism," one catfish wrote, "or a way of testing what life would be like if you were the same person but more physically attractive." Notably, this is a test that the mysterious Alice (Renee Lim) also engages in.

It's no accident that viewers didn't suspect the older, female co-worker of being behind Nick's demise. Her lack of foregrounding in the series mimics her lack of visibility in her own life. "I think that there is something interesting and valid in talking about the invisibility of older women," Ayers told Entertainment Weekly, adding "I think there's something interesting about why Dawn does it." Certainly, there is something interesting about her motivations, but any effort to untangle and analyze the "why" behind them leaves fans wanting to know more about Dawn. She's one of the few characters, after all, who doesn't get her own episode. This could be another potential starting point for a prospective "Clickbait" Season 2.