‘The Guilty’ is a thriller on Netflix set in the LAPD 911 response center. Relegated to fielding emergency calls and awaiting a court hearing, officer Joe Baylor finds himself embroiled in a murky kidnapping when he receives a call from the victim. Promising to help her, he then begins to do all he can to locate her abductor. The police officer also manages to track down Emily’s children and convinces a patrol car to check on them.
One of the film’s most gut-wrenching twists occurs when it is discovered that Emily’s young son Oliver is grievously wounded. Though he is immediately rushed to the hospital, the young boy’s fate remains unknown for a long time, and Joe considers Oliver to be dead. However, there might be some hope for the injured boy. Does Oliver survive in ‘The Guilty’? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Emily Lighton’s Son Oliver Alive or Dead?
Officer Joe Baylor initially speaks to Oliver’s older sister Abby, who tells him that her brother is sleeping and that she is very afraid. She describes an argument between her parents, after which the two adults head out, leaving the children behind. The young girl also pointedly informs Joe that her father said to let Oliver sleep and not disturb him. The sickening implications of these words are revealed later when it is discovered that Oliver has been grievously injured; and that his father likely thought him dead and told Abby not to disturb him so she wouldn’t see her brother in that condition.
When the police first arrive at the residence, they discover that Abby has blood on her hands and clothes. The rest of the house also bears signs of violence. One of the officers subsequently finds Oliver in the bedroom, where the young boy lies grievously injured. Later, when Emily describes cutting snakes out of her son’s stomach to make him feel better, the audience (and Joe) realize that Oliver has likely been stabbed in the stomach. At the time of discovering him, even the police are unsure whether Oliver is alive or dead.
Near the end of the movie, Joe is informed by a fellow officer that Oliver’s life is narrowly saved. The last that we hear of him, Oliver is in the ICU of a hospital, which seems to give Joe a sense of closure, and the police officer gets up from his workstation at long last. The young boy’s survival also has enormous ramifications for his mentally disturbed mother, who injured him in the first place. Had Oliver died, Emily Lighton would have been guilty of murder and would have to live with the devastating knowledge of killing her own son. The news will further be a breath of new life for the inconsolable father Henry Fisher, who also believes his infant son to be dead.