Directed by Parkpoom Wongpoom, Netflix’s Thai drama show ‘Delete’ follows a mysterious device with dangerous powers that plays a destructive role in the lives of a group of people. After Aim and Lilly’s clandestine affair threatens to come out to the public, the latter discovers a phone she can use to erase people from existence. Following the discovery, the couple contemplates using the sinister device to buy their freedom and finally be together by deleting their partners, Orn and Too, respectively.
However, Lilly goes missing the morning after she plans to delete her controlling husband. Now, surrounded by mystery and lies, Aim must figure out the truth behind the strange phone and find a way to save her. The series bases itself around the inexplicable “delete phone” with the power to delete people by photographing them. Since the phone plays an immensely crucial role in the plot, viewers are bound to be curious about the mechanism of the device. Here’s everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD!
How Does The Phone Work?
The phone is first introduced when Lilly stops by a pharmacy, where a young girl, Claire, approaches her and asks her to take a picture of her using her phone. After she takes the latter’s photograph, the phone flashes brightly and sucks Claire into the lens in a matter of seconds. After she disappears, the only thing left behind is a photo of her on the phone.
Initially, Lilly knows next to nothing about Claire’s phone except its ability to delete people. However, she realizes she doesn’t care about the specifics since she wants to leave her marriage and be with her lover Aim. Nevertheless, as the story progresses, we find out more about the phone and the things it’s capable of. As far as anyone knows, the phone belongs to Claire, the daughter of Police Captian Yuttachai. She spends most of her time at the hospital after school since her mother is a healthcare provider. While there, she starts to realize many of the patients at the hospital are gravely suffering due to their incurable diseases.
Once the patients find out about Claire’s phone, they start begging her to use it on them. Similarly, her close friend Natcha, who was admitted to the hospital for years due to her cancer, also asks Claire to delete her. After she does the same, she realizes she no longer wishes to live herself and randomly asks a woman at a supermarket, who happens to be Lilly, to take a picture of her with the Delete Phone. However, once Claire gets deleted, all the hospital patients that disappeared without a trace return with no memories of what happened after their deletion.
The exact nature of the phone, whether supernatural, magical, or a miracle of science, remains a mystery. Nevertheless, Claire’s story provides a pretty good background about its process. If one takes a picture of someone else, they forever trap them inside the phone. Or at least as long as they remain outside of the phone. Once the deleter themself get deleted, all their past victims appear again at the same place they got deleted from.
With a simple button click, the phone allows people to eliminate their worst enemies or even mild annoyances. Yet, it comes with a catch of a never-ending cycle. If you delete someone, people who love them will come after you. The phone doesn’t actually kill people or delete them. Instead, it only gives you the ability to trap them in limbo. If you successfully manage to avoid getting deleted, your victims will cease to exist forever. Nevertheless, if you get deleted, you will replace your victims in limbo and get trapped yourself. Once people return from the limbo, they have no memories of their time away from existence and can continue their lives as they left them.
Since the phone essentially erases people with no outright violence and pain, it allows people to ruin lives without instantly realizing the gravity of their actions. Additionally, the phone disposes of the victims’ bodies, which ensures a lack of evidence. As such, for people like Too, Claire, and June, the phone ends up being something addictive, seen as an easy solution to their problems. When you introduce such a device in practice to a group of people who lie, cheat, and deceit their way through life, it rapidly unravels their interpersonal grudges and secrets.