‘One of Us Is Lying’ is a mystery drama that follows five high school students that attend detention, only for one of them to end up dead. The four surviving classmates — the only ones present at the scene of the crime — then become the center of a chaotic investigation in which their darkest secrets come out.
Based on the 2017 young adult novel of the same name by Karen M. McManus, the series narrates the mystery from the point of view of multiple characters, leaving the audiences guessing who the killer in their midst actually is. The end, as expected, is filled with twists and a reveal that surprises everyone. In case you missed some of the details, we’ve got your back! Here’s ‘One of Us Is Lying’ season 1 ending, explained. SPOILERS AHEAD.
One of Us Is Lying Season 1 Recap
The show opens on the first day of school, and the students are instantly inundated by updates on a gossip app called About That, which promises to reveal some scandalous secrets about one of the students in the coming days. Over the course of the day, Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, Addy, and Simon find themselves punished for various reasons by their teacher Ms. Avery and end up in detention together. Things already seem a little suspicious as Bronwyn is punished for having a mysterious phone in her backpack that someone else has obviously slipped in there.
During detention, Simon goes to the cooler to get a drink of water and soon has a fit and dies. His fellow students are unable to help him, and things begin to look bad for Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper, and Nate when it is discovered that Simon was poisoned using peanut oil, which killed him because of his peanut allergy. The fact that the school dispensary is mysteriously out of epi-pens also convinces the police that someone planned Simon’s murder.
Despite Simon’s death, the gossip app continues to publish scandalous details about many of the students, including that Bronwyn stole exam papers and that Nate has a criminal record and sold drugs to a girl who later overdosed. Cooper, who hopes to get a baseball scholarship, is also crushed when a post reveals that he uses performance-enhancing drugs. However, it doesn’t reveal that he is in the closet, and the high schooler remains worried about his sexual preferences being known.
It is also revealed that Addy cheated on her boyfriend, Jake, and the two eventually break up. However, when they briefly get together again, Addy notices that Jake has chats on his videogame console with someone using the same online name as Simon (“Anarchi$k”). She doesn’t think much of it and reveals it to the group, who realize that Jake might be part of the plot that got Simon killed.
One of Us Is Lying Season 1 Ending: Who Killed Simon?
Through flashbacks, we then see that Jake and Simon were childhood friends who eventually grew apart when Jake became a popular “jock.” However, the two never got over their habit of calling out pretentious people on campus and played a perpetual game of “dare” in which they bet each other to do outrageous things. Despite the two no longer being friends, Jake convinces Simon to do one last dangerous dare. Unbeknownst to Jake, Simon records the conversation they have through their video game console.
When the four students being investigated for Simon’s death find out about the console from Addy, they plan to steal it from Jake’s room. During a Halloween party, Addy and Cooper sneak into his room and retrieve the console, only to find themselves being pursued by Jake. In the forest, Jake confronts Addy with a gun but is attacked first by Cooper and then by Janae. In the ensuing struggle, a bullet goes off and hits Jake.
The season then closes with the police discovering the console with incriminating evidence against Jake in his room and the initial suspects of the murder (the Bayview Four) resuming their routines in school. Before long, however, each of them gets a message threatening to reveal what they did.
Near the close of the serpentine mystery, we realize that none of the four central suspects (Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper, and Nate) killed Simon. Instead, the fatal peanut oil was smuggled in by the victim himself, who was doing it on a dare by his childhood friend Jake. However, the original plan was not to let Simon die but instead inject him with an epi-pen just in time to save his life while also incriminating the four students with him of attempted murder.
Though it is initially conjured up to be a prank, Jake begins to have other plans when Simon tells him that his girlfriend, Addy, is cheating on him. The jealous boyfriend then decides to kill Simon (who tries to blackmail Jake with the information about Addy) while also framing his “lying, cheating girlfriend.” Therefore, even though he agrees to wait outside the detention room and save Simon at the last moment, Jake does the opposite and steals all the epi-pens from the dispensary, making it impossible to revive Simon.
Hence, Jake is indirectly responsible for Simon’s death because he stole the epi-pens that could have saved his life. However, the act of poisoning was actually carried out by Simon himself, who purposely ingested a water-soluble capsule of peanut oil as part of the dare. Therefore, apart from Jake, Simon himself is also partly responsible for his death.
Does Jake Die?
The last we see of Jake, he is lying on the ground after accidentally getting a bullet in his chest. In a scuffle for the gun between him, Cooper, and Janae, the former loses grip of the weapon, and it goes off. Seeing the wound, it is most likely that Jake is dead. After the fateful events, the incriminating videogame console is found in Jake’s room while he himself is rumored to have run away.
However, there are skeptics, and there is also word around school that Jake may have been framed for the murder. The only ones that know the truth about Jake’s fate are Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, Addy, and Janae, who are all in the forest when Jake is accidentally shot. Seeing as how an anonymous person begins to blackmail them at the end of season 1, it seems like the students secretly buried their dead classmate’s body and then claimed that he had run away.
Unfortunately for them, someone else seemingly sees them dispose of Jake’s body and is now using the information to order them around. Of course, there is also the possibility that one of the five that were present when Jake was accidentally killed is now blackmailing the other four.
Do Nate and Bronwyn Get Together?
Nate and Bronwyn are an unlikely pair that seem to have a connection since before they get embroiled in Simon’s murder. The two regularly open up to each other and share their feelings, which is especially rare for Nate, who has the reputation of being a troublesome drug dealer. When he gets arrested after a batch of epi-pens are found in his bike, Bronwyn helps Jake get bail from prison and return to school.
When asked why she helped him, Bronwyn confesses that she has long had feelings for Jake. However, the latter seems to think that Bronwyn is trying to reform him and says they cannot have a normal relationship. He also blocks the burner phone that he and Bronwyn often used to talk to each other. Therefore, in the end, we see the two sitting separately in the school cafeteria, and sadly, Nate and Bronwyn remain apart.
Read More: Is One of Us Is Lying Based on a True Story?