Spoiler alert: This post includes major spoilers from Season 1 of Clickbait. By the final two episodes of Netflix’s Clickbait, the answer to the central question of the show — who killed Nick Brewer — seems glaringly obvious. At this point, it’s been revealed that Nick was innocent and somebody had stolen his identity and pretended to be him on a variety of dating sites. After Nick’s family and the police crossed out a list of potential suspects — including a mystery texter, a disgruntled lover, and a grieving brother — the answer seemed pretty straightforward: It had to have been Nick’s best friend and coworker, Matt — right? Not exactly...
In Episode 7, Pia, Nick’s sister, found out Matt had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl from the school’s volleyball team. This revelation made her realize Matt wasn’t the guy she thought he was and probably wasn’t a good friend to Nick either. After she snooped around Matt’s office, she found several photos of her brother downloaded onto his laptop, including fake, photoshopped images of the women Nick had been seemingly talking to.
So, it’s super shocking when it turned out Matt wasn’t actually the killer. Sure, he might be a pretty bad guy, but he never harmed Nick, nor did he ever impersonate him online. Turns out, those photos were planted on his computer by the real catfish: Dawn, the administration manager where Nick worked. Although Dawn probably wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a suspect, the last episode explained how she entangled herself into Nick’s life, to deadly results.
In a flashback from two years earlier, it was revealed that Nick entrusted Dawn to set up his work laptop and sync his phone with his computer, giving her access to basically all of his personal files. While Dawn was doing all of this, Nick’s phone received a notification from a dating app called “D8R.” After initially hesitating, Dawn opened the notification and saw a conversation between Nick and a woman named Mandy Harrison, but Nick seemed to have ghosted Mandy, as he hadn’t responded to her recent messages.
Dawn quickly exited out of the conversation, but later when she was bored at home, she logged onto Nick’s D8R account by using his go-to password, the name of his childhood pet hamster, and found Nick’s dating profile. Instead of being Nick Brewer, the married physical therapist from Oakland, on D8R, he was the single Nick Chabot, an architect from San Jose. So, even before Dawn became involved, Nick was on a dating site, but he didn’t seem to be active on it, or else he would’ve eventually caught Dawn impersonating him on D8R.
Anyway, after drinking a bottle of wine, Dawn responded to Mandy Harrison as Nick, and got such a thrill from it, she created another profile of Nick on a different dating site. Basically, this charade went on for two whole years as Dawn created several accounts and started online relationships with dozens of women. Although there really wasn’t any justification for Dawn’s actions, in the final episode, she told her husband she did all of this because she was lonely. “I wanted to know what it felt like to be someone like Nick. Someone people wanted. Someone people saw,” she explained.
But how exactly did she, a middle-aged woman, impersonate Nick for over two years? Well, for one, she used a voice-altering app to disguise herself as a man over the phone, and it actually wasn’t that hard considering she never met any of the women in person, not even Emma Beasely. Unfortunately, Dawn’s actions had dire consequences, leading to three individuals getting killed.
The first was Sarah Burton, a woman with depression who went to Nick (aka Dawn) for support, but instead of receiving said support, Dawn ignored Sarah’s online pleas, leading Sarah to die by suicide. Sarah’s suicide fueled her brother Simon to track down and kidnap Nick and record the video of him that eventually went viral. But Nick convinced Simon of his innocence, promising that he’d never once spoke to Sarah. Once he was freed, Nick knew the only person to have access to all of his photos and accounts was Dawn, so he went to her house to confront her. But before Dawn could even explain herself, her husband, Ed, killed Nick, making him the second person to die because Dawn’s actions.
By the final episode, Dawn and Ed had kidnapped Nick’s youngest son, Kai. But before they could get away, the police and Nick’s family tracked them down, figuring out that Dawn was the architect of the entire scheme. Although Dawn gave herself up, Ed refused to surrender to the police and was shot to death — becoming the third and final death in the show.
Clickbait is now streaming on Netflix.