Netflix’s Mea Culpa Ending, Explained: Why did Ray Frame Zyair?

Twists and turns abound in Netflix’s ‘Mea Culpa,’ where a lawyer gets entangled in a web of secrets and lies after deciding to defend a famous man accused of murdering his girlfriend. While grappling with the destruction of her marriage, Mea continues to dig deep into the mystery in front of her. Knowing that the truth can make or break her client’s life, she decides to do whatever it takes to bring the truth to light. In the end, however, she discovers that she has to pay a hefty price for that, and she might not like what she finds. SPOILERS AHEAD

Mea Culpa Plot Synopsis

Mea Harper is a successful criminal defense attorney whose life has been a bit of a mess lately. She suspects her husband of cheating on her, and even if he is not indulging in an affair, he is still a source of disappointment for her because he has lost his job and is making no effort to get his life back on track. Meanwhile, he continues to lie to his family about losing his job, and what makes things worse is her mother-in-law, who considers her son a golden boy and can’t seem to stand Mea at all.

Amidst all this, Mea comes across the case of Zyair Molloy, a famous artist who is accused of brutally killing his girlfriend. The details of the case are enough to give a person nightmares, but there are some glaring holes in the case built by the prosecution. While Mea tries to build a case for Zyair, she also fends off his attempts to seduce her. But with her marriage in shambles and her not being able to catch a break, it’s just a matter of time before she succumbs to his charms.

Mea Culpa Ending: Why did Cal’s Family Lie to Mea?

As a lawyer, Mea knew that being too close to a case would often lead a lawyer to make errors. When she took Zyair’s case, she had that distance, but when they got romantically involved, she realized that things couldn’t work anymore between them, personally or professionally. She was right to distance herself from the case, but it wasn’t until much later that she realized how close she had been to it all along.

Mea thought that her brother-in-law was after Zyair because he wanted to use the high-profile case to pave the road for him to become the mayor. In the end, however, the reason turns out to be something completely different. After breaking up with Zyair and Cal, she goes on a vacation and spends some time in a resort. To her shock, she comes across Hydie, the woman Zyair was supposed to have killed. She notifies the cops about it, but they are no help. When she tells Ray, he is eerily calm about the situation and invites Mea home to sort things out.

Once at home, Mea gets a call from Jimmy, who reveals that her mother-in-law never had cancer. She wasn’t sick. Moreover, in a room in the house, Mea discovers paintings of Charlise, clearly painted by Zyair, which means that he and Charlise had an affair. After this, it doesn’t take much for things to unravel. Ray and her mother-in-law show their true colors and reveal that they’d planned the whole thing from the start.

When Charlise had an affair with Ray, he felt wronged. He decided to make the artist pay for it, but he also wanted to kill two birds with one stone. He hired a girl named Hydie to date Zyair for a while and to bring out the narrative of his deviant sexual tendencies. Six months later, things were made to look like Hydie was murdered. She even filmed a video to remove any doubt that Zyair had killed her. Hydie was shipped out of the country, and Ray took the case, knowing that the overwhelming evidence already planted against Zyair would make it easy for him to win.

Ray knew that no lawyer in their right mind would touch such a high-profile case only to lose it. His plan was to win it and then use it to build a case for himself during the elections for mayor. The lie about his mother’s cancer was also built to support the narrative of Ray being a dedicated son who was looking after his ailing mother while also fighting crime in the city. It was all set up to make Ray look like the good guy, but then Mea walked in, took Zyair’s case, and ruined everything for them.

What Happens to Charlise, Ray, Cal, and His Mother?

Once Ray and his family realize that Mea knows the truth, they try to kill her. At first, Ray tries to poison her, but when she doesn’t fall for the ruse and fights back, blood is spilled. Mea tries to run away with Charlise, who is also guiltless in all this and has tried to help Mea along the way, even though she kept it all a secret from her. However, Ray and his mother turn out to be more ruthless than imagined. Just as Mea gets her window to escape, Charlise is stabbed by her mother-in-law.

Mea gets the keys to Ray’s car, but before she can drive away, both Ray and his mother are on top of the car, trying to stop her. This leads Mea to crash the car into a tree, leaving her mother-in-law dead, while Ray is severely injured but not quite dead. With the car out of the picture, Mea runs away on foot, and on the way, she bumps into Cal. She tells him everything, and he calls 911, but then, Mea starts to wonder if he is in on it too. It turns out that he didn’t call 911, but Ray had planned to take Mea back to the house where he and Ray could finish her off.

Knowing that if she didn’t escape now, she would have to meet certain death, she quickly removes Cal’s seatbelt and crashes into the oncoming truck. As a result, Cal flies out of the car on impact and dies. Because Mea still had the seatbelt on, she survives the crash, though she sustains some injuries. Apart from saving Mea from dying at the hands of her husband’s family, the crash also brings the cops into the picture. It saves Mea’s life while also turning attention towards Ray, who is also alive by the end of it.

Is Zyair Freed from Prison?

A lot of things were said about Zyair Molloy when the allegation of killing his girlfriend was placed on him. A lot of people hated him for various things, and while he was not completely clean in all this, he didn’t budge from his position, where he clearly stated that he had not killed his girlfriend. He met Hydie in Mexico, and they fell in love, but even in their six months together, he didn’t know much about her. He didn’t know where she lived in Mexico or that she had a sister. It struck as weird to his lawyers, but what was weirder was that when they did a background check on Hydie in Mexico, it turned out that she never really existed.

Whatever Zyair’s flaws may have been, he wasn’t a murderer, and he wanted to prove that in a court of law. He knew that only someone like Mea could help him, but then, sticking to his pattern of seducing powerful women around him, Zyair seduced Mea and ended up making things too complicated between them for Mea to keep working on his case. When she left him, he couldn’t find any other lawyer who would stand up for him like Mea did. While she tried to get to know every detail of the case to fight for him, the next lawyer suggested he take a plea deal and be done with it.

Considering the overwhelming evidence against him, there was no way Zyair could have won the case. So, he decided to give up and took the plea deal in return for getting the possibility of parole. Luckily, the truth came to light, all thanks to Mea. Once the bloodbath at her in-laws’ house became public knowledge, more details related to Zyair came to light. Jimmy tracked down Hydie, and once she was found to be alive, there was no case left against Zyair, and he was let go from prison.

Once all charges were dropped against him and Zyair became a free man, he publicly thanked Mea to let her know how much he owed his life to her. If it weren’t for her, he would have spent the rest of his life in prison for a crime that was never even committed. He owed it all to her. He even drops her a text, asking her to meet so he can thank her in person. But while he is not guilty of the murder, it doesn’t mean that he is not the snake Renee Carter called him. Instead of checking back on him and seeing him again, Mea decides to drop him out of her life completely and start anew.

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