Hulu’s ‘Culprits’ follows the story of the people who become the targets of a ruthless assassin. These people have no connection to each other except the fact that they all were part of a heist that brought them millions of pounds. Three years after the job, all of them have settled into the comforts of the new life and forged new connections. The sudden arrival of the Killer alarms them and makes them wonder who it could be and why they are hell-bent on killing all of them. SPOILERS AHEAD
Who is the Killer?
In deciphering the identity of the Killer, there are only a couple of possibilities, which David and his colleagues realize immediately. Considering the amount of money that every single one of them got, it was possible that one of them got greedy or blew off their money too soon and is now killing the others for their money. It being an insider job makes sense because no one outside the circle knew about the particulars of the heist. But then, that possibility is crossed off when the Killer targets Malek.
Malek was initially approached by Dianne because he was considered to be one of the only two people who could open the vault that Dianne and her team targeted. The other person was dead, which left Malek as the only person who could do the job. The Killer makes that deduction, too, but he doesn’t know that Malek refused the job. When Dianne was sent away by Malek, his father stepped in and offered his and his granddaughter Azar’s services. It turns out that he was the one who taught Malek everything and then passed on that knowledge to Azar, too.
The fact that the Killer didn’t know about Azar means that he wasn’t in the circle, which confirms the only other possibility: he’s sent by the person that Dianne and her team stole from. It makes sense that this person, who turns out to be a man named Vincent Hawkes, would want to track down the people who stole his money and get as much of it back as possible. However, as the Killer goes about on his spree, it becomes clear that he is singularly focused on finding Dianne. If any one of the team members gave him the answer, he’d probably not bother going after the others. But what makes Dianne so special?
Why is the Killer Hunting Dianne?
Dianne was the brains of the heist. She located the target, came up with the plan, and assembled the team, among other things. It makes sense that Hawkes would want to locate Dianne and make her pay for stealing from him. But that’s not. It turns out that the vault had more than the millions of pounds that Dianne’s team stole. Somewhere inside it was a key that could open the lock to more than six billion pounds. Dianne knew about it, but she didn’t tell anyone on her team.
While the rest of the team was busy getting the cash out, Dianne got her hands on the key and made away with it. However, to use the key, she needed the lock, which only Hawkes knew the location of. In the attempt to find it, she introduced herself to Hawkes and threatened him. This was a mistake on her part as she exposed her identity and made the rest of the team vulnerable, too.
What Dianne really wanted from Hawkes was to publicly claim responsibility for letting his company make and sell defective cars, one of which claimed the life of Dianne’s sister and her family. But when Hawkes found out about it, the only thing he was focused on was getting the key back because, without it, he could never access the wealth he’d accumulated. So, he hired a ruthless assassin who tracked down Dianne’s team, hoping to find a clue of his whereabouts.
The Killer personally has no agenda against the people he is hurting. It’s just another job for him. His purpose is to find Dianne, and he doesn’t care whom he has to torture and kill to dig out that information. It also doesn’t matter to him that the people he is killing really have no idea of Dianne’s whereabouts. However, one couldn’t blame him because, eventually, one of the team members (Fuse) becomes the only reason that Hawkes is able to get to Dianne. So, the Killer knew that one team member would know how to find Dianne. He just didn’t know which it would be and where he should start. If he knew about Fuse, he probably wouldn’t have bothered tracking down the rest, and they could have continued with their lives without a hitch.