Clickbait: The internet is the judge, and the sentence is death


Hana Zhang, Editor-In-Chief

Clickbait, an 8-part story, follows beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, Nick Brewer. He is abducted and accused of mistreating women, who at 5 million views on a video, dies. Those around him try to solve who and why someone did this to him before the clock runs out.

This series shows how the internet is a biased judge. Those who clicked on Nick Brewer’s viral video were quick to form opinions on Nick. Some said he should die, and many criticized him. In reality, however, the internet did not know the real him. Nick, to the people around him, was a good man with a wife and two kids. To the people who watched the video, he was just a man who was worthy to be executed.

I would give this show 5 stars, as it definitely kept me interested and wanting to keep coming back for more. I enjoy whodunit type of shows/movies, and you know it’s done its job when it makes you keep wanting to watch. The first 7 episodes follow the people around him as we watch Nick Brewer’s case unfold. The last episode is the answer we were all waiting for. 

There were many twists and turns along this rocky journey, and once I finished the show, I felt so empty after. It could be partly because I did not think the ending lived up to my expectations nor the hype it was generating throughout the series, but also because I was sad that it ended. I spent 2 weeks watching this series and became thoroughly engrossed in the characters and their stories.

Of course, every watcher of whodunit series tries to figure out who did it before it is revealed. I was actually convinced that I had it solved by the first episode…it’s safe to say that I definitely did not expect that ending. 


Although I rated this 5 stars, there were definitely some aspects that I did not enjoy. For example, the ending. Like I said before, the ending was anticlimactic to me. All this build up on the 7 characters – the sister, detective, wife, mistress, reporter, brother, and son, yet it turns out to be none of them? Netflix truly clickbaited me.

The “answer” never was any of these characters. It was a totally, seemingly, unimportant character: Dawn, the front-desk lady at Nick’s university that he worked at. I was disappointed that ALL of the characters who had episodes were just red-herrings.

My initial guess on the killer(s) was Matt Aldin, a coworker and friend of Nick’s, and Ethan, Nick’s oldest son. I thought that Matt and Ethan were working together. It is revealed pretty early on in the series that Nick set up dating profiles to speak with women and then break their hearts. And it was clear very early on that there was something going on with Ethan. He was constantly messaging this random person with odd, suspicious messages. I thought that Ethan was supplying Matt Aldin with precious information about his dad so that Matt could go online and ruin Nick’s reputation with women online. Matt’s motive? Perhaps he was angry that Nick had everything Matt didn’t. Anyone could make the assumption that Nick had a perfect life — a beautiful wife, two boys, a sister he’s close to, etc.

Turns out, it’s Dawn, a woman who became engrossed in Nick’s life. She had access to all his photos through his work computer, and she was a person that Nick confided in. Because she was such an unimportant side character, it is virtually impossible for anyone to have guessed it was her. Going back to what I said before with me feeling empty after the ending, I felt I was robbed of what could have been. A whodunit is supposed to supply watchers with enough clues to try to have them solve the mystery before the mystery is revealed. I just did all this detective work for absolutely nothing. 

Despite all of this, Clickbait is still worth clicking on. Like I mentioned before, the plot twists themselves are enough of a reason why people should watch the show. Clickbait absolutely violated my expectations in many ways. I explained already how it violated my expectation of it being one of the 7 characters, but it also forced me to change the way I viewed Nick.

I thought he was a terrible person. I thought everything that he did online was truly him — a sinister man who breaks women’s hearts just for the fun of it. Turns out, it wasn’t really him. Dawn, a seemingly sweet old lady, was the true sinister one behind all those messages. This also violates my expectation because she’s portrayed as a sweet old lady, so clearly, she can do no harm! 

I’m still confused as to how Nick figured out it was Dawn. He knew it was someone who knew everything about his personal life, such as his wife having an affair, but that could’ve been any close family member who may have found it out. Maybe Nick is just a better detective than any other watcher could’ve been. He certainly figured it out, but it was too late. 

My experience of Clickbait can best be summed up by this Letterboxd review: “This show made me look a damn fool… I was convinced for a good four episodes I knew who the bad guy was”.