- The Undoing -All The Signs Jonathan From 'The Undoing' Was A Sociopath All Along
In the final moments of The Undoing, Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant) tells his son that his true self — his dad self — didn't kill Elena. It was another version of himself — one that lost all control. But looking back, it's obvious that is not the case. At his core, Jonathan isn't just a murderer, he's a sociopath, and there are plenty of small hints throughout The Undoing that prove it.
A sociopath is typically defined as someone who can't understand other people's feelings. According to Psychology Today, some traits of sociopathic behavior include "superficial charm," lying, and "lack of remorse and shame" — all things audiences will recognize in Jonathan. And while the show technically left him undiagnosed, his wife, Grace (Nicole Kidman), did suggest that he was a narcissist. And star Hugh Grant agrees. "He's just so narcissistic that he believes the real him is the marvelous Jonathan, the star of medicine and great dad and great husband," he explained in Variety. "The real Jonathan, in my opinion, is incapable of admitting he killed this woman — to himself even."
Jonathan's narcissism is on full display in the finale. Even when admitting that he killed Elena to his son, he can't quite admit his guilt. And later, after he decides not to jump off a bridge, he goes to his son and wife for comfort, as if asking for a reward for not killing himself. It's then that it really sinks in for the viewer: he's irredeemable. But, really, we should have known from the beginning. There were plenty of details and plot twists that, looking back, are huge red flags, and these moments prove Jonathan is a sociopath, and was all along.
When He Insisted That Elena Was Obsessed With Him
Yes, Elena was definitely obsessed with Jonathan and Grace, but it's still significant that some of Jonathan's first words when declaring his innocence are, "I had an affair. She became obsessed — with me, with you." He can admit to the cheating, but his direct follow up is that this woman was consumed by him. He immediately presents himself as worthy of this adulation.
When He Apologized To Miguel
Murder aside, this has got to be one of the most disturbing scenes in The Undoing. Fresh out of jail on a $2 million bail, Jonathan decided his first stop was to see Elena's husband, son, and the daughter he fathered — wildly unethical and also just plain wrong.
But what was the purpose of his visit? At first, it seemed like he wanted to clear his name, especially with Miguel, the boy whose cancer he had cured. But, upon further examination, it seems more likely that what he really wanted was to reclaim his place as a life-saving, god-like figure. He wanted Miguel to see him as the man who had saved his life. And, more than that, he enjoyed the power he had over Miguel. It's something we saw again later, during his testimony, when he insisted that he thought of Miguel like a son.
When He Slept With Grace After Killing Elena
The fact that Grace got over this particular reveal is W-I-L-D. By the finale, we know that Jonathan slept with Elena, killed her, and then returned home to have sex with his wife. But, even the version he tells Grace isn't much better: that he slept with Elena, left, returned to find her dead, left again, and then... had sex with his wife. And even after Grace found out, she still doubted he was guilty.
When He Lied About The Death Of His Sister
OK, can we talk about how Jonathan lied about the death of his sister and replaced it with a story about the death of the family dog? There are so many things wrong with this. I'm not a psychologist, but I feel like Grace, the licensed professional, should have been able to diagnose something here? Like, substituting the death of a sister with the death of a dog has to mean something.
And the fact this mom said he had no remorse? Well, that just raises even more questions, like how he was able to totally fake his emotions when he finally told Grace the truth. This wasn't just a red flag, it was a giant light-up arrow pointing at Jonathan that read "He's A Sociopath."
When He Kept The Murder Weapon
Literally everything Jonathan did in the finale was evidence that something was not right with him, but there were a few things in particular that stood out, like the revelation that he didn't get rid of the murder weapon. No, instead, he put it in the outdoor fireplace of his family beach house. Sure, there was a convenient body of water RIGHT THERE he might have thrown the mallet into, but no, this narcissist was either a) so confident he wouldn't get caught, or b) so proud of his actions that he kept it.
To be fair, Grant has a different theory: "I told myself [Grace] had seen Jonathan [on the beach], and so he quickly got rid of the hammer in the fireplace instead of doing something better with it," he told The New York Times. "What a moron."
When He Accused His Own Son Of Murder
After the murder weapon is found, Jonathan even suggests that the evidence could exonerate him. It seems like an absurd gambit. However, by that time, the hammer had both Henry and Grace's fingerprints on it. Handing it over to the police might actually give a jury reasonable doubt, all while throwing his own son and wife under the bus. But then he takes things too far by accusing his own son of murdering Elena, essentially allowing Grace to see him for the sociopath that he is.
And just like that, the image of Jonathan as a loving husband and father disappeared about as fast as Grace ushered Henry into her father's helicopter.
Images: Niko Tavernise/HBO