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‘Dangerous Lies’ Ending Explained – Here’s Who Killed Leonard For the Diamonds in the Netflix Movie
No one has stumbled so clunkily through 90 minutes of flimsy narrative since I told my dad I wanted to be a construction worker when I was six, put on his work boots, stomped around the house, and eventually fell down and busted my lip open. But that’s exactly what Dangerous Lies does because, y’all, the most dangerous lie that this Netflix film tells is that it’s going to be a coherent thriller. Starring Veronica from Riverdale, Jamie from The Real World: San Diego, old Cam Gigandet, Elliott Gould, and one half of Rizzoli & Isles (doesn’t matter which one), this film is a treat.
For all the strange twists and turns that happen through this film (including, but not limited to: the robbery at Smile Diner, dumping a man’s body as a first option of removal, Cam Gigandet’s hairline), the ending is by far one of the strangest twists in a thriller I’ve ever seen. Let’s talk about it.
If you’re reading this without seeing Dangerous Lies, good for you. A caretaker, Katie, makes good friends with her patient played by Elliott Gould. Quite spry for an old man, he tells Katie he hears noises outside his house at night. Then he mysteriously dies out of nowhere. His lawyer, played by Jamie Chung from The Real World, shows up and announces that he has left his entire estate to Katie and her husband after knowing them for only four months. Fine.
Anyway, they find a chest of money in the attic comprised of loose bills ranging from singles to a stray Andrew Jackson. Katie and Adam, who, by the way, survived an armed robbery in a diner at the beginning of the movie that has no connection to the rest of the film, are pretty cavalier about this development and decide to take the money and not tell anyone about it. Adam immediately suggests they evade taxes, which is why Old Money people never trust New Money people. This is just the start of bad decisions Adam suggests. Katie insists they follow the rules and appreciate what they’ve been gifted.
Meanwhile Cam Gigandet shows up as an aggressive real estate agent insistent on buying this home. He begins snooping around a bit too often for anyone’s comfort. Adam suggests that he might even be staking the house, but no one really believes him because Adam is the only black man in this film and these characters are insistent that Adam is the one behind Elliott Gould’s mysterious death, this large collection of small bills, and potentially even the shooting at Smile Diner. When Katie discovers the dead body of Elliott Gould’s old gardener in their home, Adam’s first (and final) reaction is to dispose of the body and burn the man’s belongings. Oh, except for a bag of very small, princess cut diamonds—the currency of our time.
As this film gets stranger and stranger, the detective looking into Elliott Gould’s murder (better known as one half of Rizzoli & Isles) is pushing for answers and has Adam in her sights. Jamie Chung also convinces Katie that Adam is not to be trusted. With tensions mounting, Adam says they need to escape the house because Cam Gigandet, Jamie Chung, and everyone else in this cast are all breathing down their necks.
This takes us to the twistiest, yet most incoherent ending ever. As they attempt to leave the house, Cam Gigandet is in the hallway with a gun. It turns out that real estate agent Cam Gigandet doesn’t even have a real estate license, which is bizarre because literally half the people I graduated high school with are real estate agents. This is not a high bar. Instead, he’s a jewel thief, and he wants that bag of diamonds, whose origins are never quite explained. His partner, the dead gardener, had an altercation with him, so for all intents and purposes, let’s assume that the two were previously working on the most underwhelming jewelry heist ever.
Adam and Cam Gigandet get into a gun fight and mortally wound one another. Katie is devastated, partly because Adam is dead, but also because after hearing all the Dangerous Lies he suggested they attempt, she actually believed he could pull of the most Dangerous of the Lies: the murder of her dear friend and patient of four months, Elliott Gould. I, personally, am upset because who knows when we’ll ever see Cam Gigandet in a project again.
Jamie Chung immediately shows up and says, “This is what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.” Just kidding, but can you imagine? In reality, Jamie Chung tries to console Katie before revealing that in fact, she was working with Cam Gigandet and she, too, wants those diamonds. I cannot stress how small and minimal these diamonds are; this feels very high risk, low reward. At this point Rizzoli and/or Isles shows up to the house to check on Katie, and Jamie Chung holds Katie at gunpoint. After seven seasons on TNT, the detective has no problem shooting and killing Jamie. Katie is fine. Sad, but fine.
At the end of the film, time jumps four months and somehow, Katie is approximately six months pregnant and gardening. Rizzoli or Isles shows up to let her know that the case is closed and that Adam has officially been removed from the suspect list. She wanted Katie to know that her daughter would never have to grow up in the shadow of her father’s potential bad reputation. Katie is pleased and turns on the sprinklers in the garden, which quickly reveal that the location of the diamonds (which honestly felt very inconsequential outside of the fact that people inexplicably wanted them) was in the garden. Two sprays of the sprinkler reveal them lying in a pile of mulch, haphazardly spread out in the way a four year old might plant a packet of wildflower seeds.
Perhaps this ending suggests what I’ve been saying all along: the cut and size of these diamonds are about as valuable as a packet of geranium seeds. Maybe Dangerous Lies is an expose on wealth and greed. Maybe Veronica from Riverdale read this script and correctly clocked that this was her Birdbox moment. Whatever the reason, Dangerous Lies is a wild ride that I cannot recommend more and/or less.
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.