Culprits Season 1 Ending, Explained: Why Does David Destroy the Key?

Image Credit: Image Credit: Des Willie/Disney

In Hulu’s ‘Culprits,’ we discover what comes after the happily-ever-after of a heist that brings millions of pounds to the people involved in it. Instead of the heist itself, the show takes the audience directly to the time when the people who executed the heist are enjoying the fruits of their labor. But nothing good, no matter how gold it might seem, lasts forever. Everyone must confront the consequences of their actions, and that’s what really happens to all the characters by the end of the season. SPOILERS AHEAD

Culprits Season 1 Plot Synopsis

Image Credit: Des Willie/Disney

Three years ago, David (now known as Joe) looted a vault and got millions of pounds. He now lives a quiet life with his fiancee, Jules, and his children. But this peace is disrupted when, one after another, some troubling things happen. Still, David is pretty capable of resolving everything until he discovers that someone has started to hunt down and kill the people who were involved in the heist three years ago.

The urge to protect his new life and family leads David back into the very thing he’d crawled away from. He reunites with several team members to find out who the Killer is and why he wants them dead. He also discovers that this bloodbath might be related to Dianne, the leader of their gang who masterminded the heist. It turns out that she was never entirely truthful to them.

Culprits Season 1 Ending: What Happens to Hawkes’ Money?

The story in ‘Culprits’ takes many twists and turns, mainly because everyone keeps something secret from the others. Despite assembling a crew tailor-made for the job, Dianne keeps the true purpose of the heist a secret from the crew, and that is what eventually unravels them. In the final episode, David decides to take up Vincent Hawkes on his offer of killing Dianne and bringing back the key she’d stolen.

It turns out that while David and the team were lured in by the amount of money each of them would get, it wasn’t worth even a fraction of what Dianne ran away with. She took the key that would open the box to at least 6-7 billion in cryptocurrency, which was almost the entirety of Hawkes’s wealth. The problem, however, was that she didn’t have access to the box, and because she had the key, neither did Hawkes. Dianne claimed that she didn’t want the money, but she wanted something else in return from Hawkes. But in the end, David knew that despite whatever she told others, she wouldn’t walk away from it.

Hawkes wanted Dianne dead because she tried to destroy him, and he couldn’t have it. He threatens David’s family, forcing the guy to make a deal where Hawkes would get his key back, and David could return to his life. At first, it seems like David has agreed to the deal, but in the end, he plays his own game. Instead of giving the key to either Hawkes or Dianne, he destroys the key.

David could have given the key to Dianne and split the money with her. He could have given it back to Hawkes and gone back to his life. However, he knows that no matter how different they might seem, Dianne and Hawkes are, at their core, the same, and no one, especially people like them, should have that kind of money. He knows that without the money, Hawkes would have no power, so he can’t hurt his family or anyone else anymore. Dianne, on the other hand, is relatively harmless at the moment, but even she cannot be trusted with it. So, instead of making a deal with one of them, David gets the key out of the way, destroying it, and locking Hawkes’ billions locked inside the box forever.

Is Hawkes Dead? Why did Dianne Want to Kill Him?

Image Credit: Des Willie/Disney

Once the key is destroyed and Hawkes has lost his power, David gives Dianne the reins. She is free to do as she chooses. In the beginning, she said that she just wanted Hawkes to take public responsibility for what he did to her sister. She reveals to David that years ago, Hawkes company was embroiled in a scandal where they manufactured a series of cars that were defective.

When the board found out about it, they decided to call back all the cars that were already on the market. But then, Hawkes, who owned half the shares of the company, ruled over their decision and let the defective cars run in the market. Dianne’s sister bought one of those cars, and one day, due to the defect, the car burned, and Dianne’s sister, her sister’s husband, and her daughter perished in it. It was then that Dianne decided to exact her revenge on Hawkes by making him publicly claim responsibility for it. She could only do it by holding against him what he held dearest in the world: his money.

When David destroys the key, he takes away Dianne’s option to make Hawkes suffer for not being able to access his money. With that gone, she knows that Hawkes would never do what she asked. So, she decides to kill him. Dianne shoots him in the head, which pretty much seals his fate. But Azar, too, doesn’t pass the opportunity to empty bullets into him and avenge the death of her grandfather.

Why Does Azar Kill Officer?

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Azar’s life had been wonderful in the three years that she spent after the heist. She and her grandfather lived in luxury, and they would have continued to do so if it wasn’t for Hawkes, who sent a killer after them. For this, she unloads a flurry of bullets into his body, but he is not the only one she is holding a grudge with. Officer was the one who actually tipped off the killer and brought him to Azar’s doorstep, where he killed her grandfather. Azar feels betrayed by Officer’s actions, and, in the end, she after the Killer and Hawkes are dead, she unloads her wrath on Officer.

Azar shoots Officer in the back just as she is walking away from the mess with David. The shot is fatal, quite close to her heart, and Officer bleeds out on the spot as David tries to help her. In the end, we see Azar burying Officer in the grave, which confirms that the latter did, in fact, die and didn’t survive the bullet wound.

Is David’s Family Saved? Does He Reunite With Them?

Before David joined the heist, he was known for being tether-less. He didn’t have any attachments, which is why, when Dianne offered him the opportunity of a lifetime, he didn’t blink once when she said he’d have to cut all ties with his past life. Once David got the money and moved to America, it was a completely fresh start for him. When he met Jules, he fell in love, and with Jules’ children, he found that he had the family he always missed. Three years in, he and Jules are engaged to each other and planning a wedding, while David decides to set down his roots by buying a place and trying to open a bistro, which meets some resistance from the local authorities.

Image Credit: Des Willie/Disney

David had tried to keep his past life completely away from his new family, but when the Killer starts hunting down the team, he is forced to get back in the game. He knows that sooner or later, the Killer will come for him, and Jules and the children will become collateral damage. The only way to save them is by killing the Killer and whoever hired him. In doing so, David exposes his past life to Jules, who is horrified to discover that the man he loved would put his children in such danger. It gets even worse when Jules and the children are attacked in their own home and barely make it out alive.

After all the hell that David put them through, he believes that Jules would never forgive him. In the end, when everything is settled, and he has ensured the safety of the people he loves, David meets Jules and tells him that he would understand if he doesn’t want to go forward with the wedding anymore. For David, this was supposed to be the last goodbye, the opportunity to apologize for all the things that Jules and the children had to go through because of him.

But then, Jules asks him what he really wants, and David says that all he wants is to marry him and be with their family. Luckily, Jules loves David (whom he knows as Joe) too much to push him away and decides to give him another chance. After all the pain and bloodshed, they finally get their happy ending.

What Happens to Azar and Dianne?

Image Credit: Des Willie/Disney

When everything is said and done, David decides to go back to a life without crime. This is what he’d worked for in the past three years, and this is what he fought for when the threat loomed on him and the others in the team. For others, however, things are not the same. Dianne gets her revenge on Hawkes, but it does nothing to make her want to change her ways. She was a career criminal and still is, and even with Hawkes gone and David slipping back into his life, she keeps up with her criminal activities. But she doesn’t walk away from it alone.

Before the Killer, Azar had her family. Even though she was forced to leave them behind and live under a new identity, she still had her grandfather. But with him gone and her father killed as well, Azar had nothing to go back to. She’d had her revenge with the deaths of the Killer, Hawkes, and Officer. She also lost the money from the heist when she offered it to the Killer in exchange for her grandfather’s life. All in all, she is left directionless by the end of the show, and this is where Dianne steps in.

Azar proved that she was a prodigy when it came to breaking into vaults. She’d sacrificed her two fingers to open the vault because she knew how high the stakes were. This makes her an invaluable asset that someone like Dianne wouldn’t want to pass out on. She’d come in handy for future heists, which is why Dianne brings her into her inner circle. They’ll most probably end up robbing someone else.

Read More: Culprits: Where Was the Hulu Show Filmed?