If you were shocked by the ending of Netflix’s latest mystery mini-series Clickbait, you weren’t the only one.
In only eight episodes, Clickbait provided a ton of twists and turns and the ending was no different.
If you haven’t finished watching the series yet, a huge warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. I’m literally about to ruin everything.
Ok, now that we’re all on the same page, we all know that Dawn Gleed (Becca Lish) was behind everything: Nick’s online persona, the catfishing, his murder — everything.
The ending came a bit out of nowhere, but once you see how Dawn found herself in this mess, it starts to make sense.
Dawn feels invisible at work, she’s lonely at home, and she just wants to be seen. So when she meets the incredibly charming and handsome Nick Brewer (Adrian Grenier), she sees an opportunity to step into his life.
According to the series creator Tony Ayres, the ending was inspired after he read a bunch of stories about women who were stealing male identities. The women weren’t necessarily sexually attracted to other women, they were really just looking for companionship. In earnest, they just wanted to feel wanted.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, he explained,
“I was drawn to the idea of a woman who feels completely invisible. Who Dawn is makes her invisible: she’s an older woman, lower middle class, working class, she is not someone that anyone would look at twice, and yet she craved to be seen.”
“She wanted to just feel visible, and she wanted to be seen by women, interestingly, because women were probably more engaged in the romantic fantasy that she wants to engage in.”
Although Dawn’s story is far from his own, Tony realized there was something universal in Dawn’s feelings, something that a lot of people could relate to — including himself. He said,
“As a gay Asian man, I kind of feel like Dawn whenever I go to a gay bar. Gay bars are basically places where status is so important. I kind of related to being invisible and I thought that was such an interesting story to tell.”
Viewers might feel like the ending came a bit out of nowhere, especially because Dawn was rarely seen until the final episode.
And according to Tony, that wasn’t always the plan. Although he hoped to get Dawn introduced to audiences in an earlier episode, COVID got in the way of his plans. He recalled,
“There were plans to try to include her in another moment, but it just became impossible because of COVID. We knew that when we get to episode 8, everyone’s going to go, ‘What the f—? Dawn?!’ And so then we had to pedal really fast and say, ‘This is how it happened.'”
Although Clickbait wrapped everything up neatly by the final episode, that doesn’t mean that season 2 is out of the question. A second season would introduce a new mystery but would retain the same format of telling the story from a different perspective in each episode. Tony explained,
“I really love this format and if people connect to it, I would love to do it again. I think it works really well, especially for a more elevated crime. I like to satisfy the whodunnit quality, but still try to do a deep dive on character and then at the same time do a 360 around an event because everyone has slightly different [perspectives]. I’ve got ideas for a season 2 or 3.”
You can currently watch Clickbait season 1 on Netflix.