Riverdale star Camila Mendes' Netflix thriller Dangerous Lies ending explained

Gabriella Geisinger
Photo credit: Netflix

From Digital Spy

Dangerous Lies spoilers follow.

Bad detectives are both the best and worst thing about crime thrillers, and it's the same in Dangerous Lies, Netflix's latest edge-of-your-seat outing. It stars Riverdale's Camila Mendes who proves that when she's given sane-sounding dialogue she can actually deliver.

Camila stars alongside Jessie Usher as Katie and Adam, a young couple down on their luck whose fortunes change when a wealthy man leaves his carer (that's Katie) his house in his will. If you're having deja vu to the plot of Knives Out, we won't blame you.

This film is slightly less complex than Knives Out – less of a whodunnit and more of a suspense-driven thriller. Here's what happened in Dangerous Lies – and here's your last warning, spoilers ahead.

Photo credit: Netflix

A more apt title for this film might have been 'Dangerous Choices', since everything that befalls Katie and Adam is (almost) of their own doing. The film starts with Katie working as a waitress in a diner to help support her husband Adam through graduate school.

However, their lives are turned upside-down when a burglar comes into the diner and holds it up, killing the busboy. Adam knocks him out with a frying pan, and the man is arrested.

Months later, Adam has dropped out of grad school and is unemployed, while Katie is working for an elderly man named Leonard (Elliott Gould) in his big house. They have a close relationship, despite only knowing each other for four months and when she confides in him that she and Adam are broke, he offers her money – which she declines.

Photo credit: Netflix

Instead, she asks if he'll employ Adam, which he does, but he also gives her a $7,000 paycheque – much larger than her usual salary. The next day, they find Leonard dead.

After discovering the body, Katie and Adam also discover a trunk full of cash which they put in a safe deposit box. Leonard is cremated, and at the funeral, Katie and Adam are approached by a lawyer, Julia (Jamie Chung), who reveals Leonard's will, and that he left everything to Katie.

They move in, but soon after Adam receives a phone call to come down to the police station and give a new statement on the diner robbery. When he gets to the station, they say no-one called him and that the man who committed the burglary is dead – stabbed in prison.

Photo credit: Netflix

Meanwhile, a real estate agent named Mickey Hayden (Cam Gigandet) who skulked around the house previously returns, harassing Katie over the property. While exploring the shed, Katie finds a dead body.

She deduces the body belonged to a gardener Leonard hired named Ethan Doyle, who also has a bag of diamonds on him and several never-deposited cheques. The next night, Katie's former employer comes to the house to confront her (again) over what he perceived as her taking advantage of Leonard.

Only Adam has bought a gun, presumably for protection, and accidentally shoots the man. Detective Chesler (Sasha Alexander), who has been investigating Leonard's death is called to the scene. She pleads with Katie to turn Adam over, saying she believes she's innocent.

Photo credit: Netflix

Chesler reveals that the man who held up the diner was a janitor at the school Adam attended, and Katie begins to suspect her husband. She goes to Leonard's lawyer to ask for help and the two women head to the bank.

When Katie opens the safety deposit box the cash is gone, leading Julia to believe Adam has taken the money and run, leaving Katie in the lurch. She tells Katie to find Adam and bring him to the house, where she'll try and get Chesler to wait to serve a search warrant until Adam is there.

Meanwhile, Chesler is busy with another crime scene – a dead body in a dumpster where a nearby backpack contained an old laundry receipt for Leonard Welsely.

Photo credit: Netflix

Back at the house, Katie arrives to find Adam freaked out over her absence. As she tries to confront him about the money, he instead explains that he found out the real estate agent isn't a real estate agent at all, but a recently-released jewel thief.

The police suspect he had an accomplice – the dead gardener, Doyle. The pair robbed a store but only Doyle got away with the diamond, only to be tracked down by Hayden and killed.

Katie realises that she suspected Adam for no reason and calls Julia (the lawyer) to confirm her story. But just as Julia answers a man grabs her from behind; it's Hayden, there for the diamonds he never found.

Photo credit: Netflix

At Hayden's gunpoint, Katie calls for Adam, but he appears with a gun of his own. A fight ensues, Adam is shot... but as Hayden walks around the landing, Adam lifts his hand and shoots Hayden twice, killing him.

Katie rushes to Adam, and the last thing he says to her is 'in the garden'. Julia arrives and consoles Katie, telling her they have to find the diamonds so that she won't end up being implicated in any wrongdoing.

Through tears, Katie tells Julia that Hayden killed Leonard by giving him a fatal overdose, which she discovered when throwing away his pills and one of his bottles was empty (though it should have been full, according to the logbook she kept of his medications). She also tells Julia that Leonard claimed he could hear someone in the house at night, who must have been Hayden looking for the diamonds.

Photo credit: Netflix

But Katie can't put something together – why during the robbery would Hayden shoot Doyle, yet still not get away with any of the diamonds? Here's the twist:

Julia starts ad-libbing; Hayden wasn't clearly as smart as he said he was, missing out on 3 million in diamonds. As she speaks, you (and Katie) begin to realise she's doing the classic villain-explaining-their-thinking trope. Yep. She lowers herself over Hayden's body, taking his gun, just as Katie says: "I never told you how much the diamonds are worth."

She continues her explanation, denying killing Leonard. Instead, Julia faked the will so that she could get someone she could manipulate into the house in order to find the diamonds.

Photo credit: Netflix

Detective Chesler shows up, another gunfight ensues, and the detective shoots and kills Julia, and escorts a weeping Katie from the house. Four months later, Katie is gardening when Chesler arrives. The two hug, so clearly all ill will is gone.

She stands up and, surprise, she's pregnant! Chesler says the case is closed and Adam is kept off the suspect list. Katie says once more she has no idea where the diamonds are, and the detective leaves.

Photo credit: Netflix

Katie turns on the sprinkler and walks away. The last shot is of the soil at the bottom of the tree, and as the water moves the dirt aside, the diamonds become visible.

Will Katie ever find the diamonds? What did the diner robbery have to do with anything? Will Camila Mendes ever get a role that showcases her talent? All questions that remain unanswered...

Dangerous Lies is available to stream now on Netflix.

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