- Clickbait -Is Nick Brewer Guilty On 'Clickbait'? Breaking Down The Show's Twists & Turns
When you see a preppy looking white dude holding up signs on the internet saying he abused women, it's pretty easy to take the situation at face value. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and, let's face it, most of recorded history, it has become increasingly clear that white men get away with a lot of appalling and criminal behavior. So, when the trailer for Netflix's Clickbait dropped, the question of Nick Brewer's guilt felt like a foregone conclusion.
No offense to Adrian Grenier, but after playing a truly terrible boyfriend in The Devil Wears Prada and an entitled actor in Entourage, he seemed like the perfect pick to play an everyman husband and father with a dark, secret life. And early on in the series, that's the kind of energy Clickbait serves up. By the end of the first episode, the video of Nick seemingly confessing to abusing and even killing women hits 5 million views — the number of clicks his kidnappers wanted before they ended his life.
Then near the end of the second episode his body is found, which gives way to a mountain of evidence that points toward his guilt. From secret affairs to an argument with a young woman on the volleyball team he helped coach, Nick appeared to be leading a double life, much to the shock of his wife, Sophie, and sister, Pia. And since he's dead, Nick can't offer up any explanations, which leaves his digital footprint to do all the talking for him.
By the time the police discover Nick's messages to a woman urging her to kill herself — which she did — the case feels cut and dry, even though Pia remains his ardent defender. Surely, Nick's online actions prove his guilt, right? Not so fast, says Clickbait. (Warning: Spoilers for the series to come.)
So, Is Nick Brewer Guilty Or What On Clickbait?
Clickbait may look like the story of one man's secret online life catching up to him, but it's all one big bait and switch. By the end of the season, it's revealed Nick Brewer is as squeaky clean as his family thought he was. Not only did he never cheat on his wife, he didn't even set up his own online dating profile. Instead, the loving father, husband, and brother was catfished by his bored secretary named Karen... err, I mean Dawn.
I'll leave it up to smarter internet peeps to decide whether or not the twist works, or even makes sense. But the bottom line is, the only think Nick is guilty of is sharing his favorite password with the wrong person. In the end, Clickbait is more of a cautionary tale about protecting your online identity and not using your childhood pet's name as the password for every single website you visit online.
As his secretary and a fairly unassuming middle-aged woman, Dawn seemed like someone Nick could trust. What he didn't anticipate was for her boredom with her train-loving husband to lead to her impersonating him online and even urging one of the women she was deceiving to kill herself in the heat of the moment because her husband found out about her catfishing hobby. But to be fair, I didn't anticipate that particular twist either.
The bottom line is, just this once, the handsome, white dude really didn't do anything wrong. Seems far-fetched to me, but hey, you can't say Clickbait didn't subvert viewer expectations — for better or worse — and it does make an excellent case for being careful who you share your passwords with. (Hey, I see what you did there, Netflix.)
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Images: Netflix; Ben King/Netflix