Adapted from the eponymous novel by Karen M. McManus, the series “Who is lying?”, available since February 18 on Netflix, has modified many key elements of the original book, in particular on the death of Simon…
Warning, this article contains spoilers on the finale of season 1 of Who is lying?, as well as on the novel. If you don’t want to know anything, don’t read on!
On February 18, Netflix released season 1 of Who’s Lying?, a thriller series adapted from the eponymous novel by Karen M. McManus which managed to captivate the platform’s audience in a very short time and has very quickly hoisted to the top of the top of the most watched content at the time of its release.
Clever mix between Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, Qui ment? opens with the death of Simon (Mark McKenna), a high school student with a habit of revealing juicy secrets about other students on his About That blog.
The young man suffered a fatal allergic reaction while he was in detention with 4 other of his comrades. Very quickly, Bronwyn (Marianly Tejada), Addy (Annalisa Cochrane), Nate (Cooper van Grootel), and Cooper (Chibuikem Uche) will become the number one suspects in this case. To prove their innocence, they will have to join forces to track down the real killer.
As is often the case when a novel is adapted into a series or a film, the screenwriters choose to modify a few elements of the story in order to keep some mystery, especially when it revolves around a murder.
And who is lying? is no exception, since the end of season 1, and especially, the resolution of the mystery around the death of Simon is very different from what takes place in the book.
Is Jake Simon’s killer?
In the Netflix series, Jake (Barrett Carnahan) and Simon team up to get revenge on their classmates. In their plan, Simon must knowingly ingest peanut oil, causing a violent allergic reaction in order to scare the other high school students in the room.
He was then to be saved thanks to an Epipen coming from the infirmary. Unfortunately for him, Jake, learning that Simon had recorded all of their conversations, felt betrayed and stole all of the Epipen, making Simon’s death inevitable.
The ending of the book is much darker. If Jake resumes About That after the death of Simon, it is not him who is at the origin of his death. Simon himself decides to end his life. Having become obsessed with high school shootings, he seeks to do something more creative.
He then comes up with the idea of ruining the lives of his enemies by having them accused of his murder. In the novel, Simon asks Jake (who wants revenge for Addy’s deception) to steal the Epipen so there’s no way to save him. Simon therefore committed suicide and did not die murdered by one of his classmates.
Janae knew everything
The other big change between the novel and the series is Janae’s role in Simon’s death. If in the series, she is totally innocent, in the novel, Janae knew that Simon wanted to kill himself. She had indeed begun to worry about her friend as his obsession with shootings grew.
It is moreover his refusal to participate in his plot which had pushed Simon to call on Jake to take over after his death. Jake also recorded and edited a conversation he had with Janae to blackmail her into not revealing anything.
In the book, as the 4 high school students struggle to prove their innocence, Addy will begin to suspect Janae of knowing more than she wants to let on. Since she doesn’t answer his messages and hasn’t been to school for a week, Addy decides to go to her house to ask her if Simon had planned to kill himself.
It is then that she confesses all of Simon’s plan to him. But Jake interrupts their conversation. A chase ensues in the woods between him and Addy, Jake attempting to strangle and knock him out with a rock. Luckily, Cooper manages to save her. Jake is then arrested, and not killed as in the series.