Netflix’s ‘Clickbait’ is a mystery miniseries that delves into the dark impulses that the internet brings out in people by the anonymity it provides. Whereas the show’s central mystery is a web of hidden online identities, the theme also leaks into some of the other characters’ interactions. One such instance is Ethan’s mysterious friend AL_2005, with who the young boy constantly communicates as he deals with the trauma of his father getting kidnapped. But who is AL_2005? At one point, even Ethan seems to think his shadowy friend might not be who they claim to be. Let’s get to the bottom of it and figure out who AL_2005 really is. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who is Ethan’s Friend AL_2005?
AL_2005 is a person that Ethan befriends sometime after his father’s kidnapping, and as we later find out, it is AL_2005 that reaches out to Ethan. This makes the friendship suspicious as we know, due to Nick’s kidnapping, the family (or members of it) are being targeted for an unknown reason. AL_2005 also remains exceedingly curious about the case’s progress and constantly asks Ethan about the situation and who the newest suspects are. This is why, at one point, Ethan begins to realize that, possibly due to his emotionally fragile state, he’s been giving out intimate details about the case and of his own thoughts to someone who is essentially a stranger. Things get even more suspicious when he asks to meet, but AL_2005 makes a seemingly flimsy excuse about having health issues but doesn’t give details. Even the photo of a girl that they send doesn’t seem to convince Ethan.
However, when pushed, AL_2005 relents and gives Ethan an address and shares that her name is Alison. Ethan arrives at the address and finds to his relief that AL_2005 is actually Alison, a girl around his age who suffers from anxiety and therefore doesn’t step out of the house. She also shares that since her mother passed away, she could empathize with Ethan, so she got in touch with him after hearing about his father’s kidnapping.
Did AL_2005 Kill Nick Brewer?
Despite Ethan initially suspecting her, it turns out that Allison (or AL_2005) didn’t have anything to do with Nick’s kidnapping or death. In fact, it seems like she got in touch with Ethan mainly because of his father being kidnapped, and the empathetic and caring messages she sent to him were genuine after all.
Far from killing Nick Brewer, in many ways, Allison is the unsung hero of the show, who possibly gets little or no recognition for her role in apprehending Nick’s actual killers. She initially suggests to Ethan that he reach out to Emma Beesley to get proof that the woman never actually met Nick, thus helping justify that the kidnapping victim (Nick) also had his identity stolen. She then goes one step further and offers to analyze the metadata on the photos on Nick’s profile, which reveals the address of the person that made the fake profiles in the first place. As she explains to Ethan, spending time at home due to her anxiety has resulted in her having a lot of free time, which she has used to become extremely proficient at mining the internet for information.
Therefore, Allison is actually the first one to connect Dawn Gleed (whose address she finds through the metadata) with Nick’s fake profiles. However, with Ethan’s younger brother Kai’s subsequent kidnapping, the spotlight shifts away from the housebound girl, but her contribution to solving the mystery remains unquestionable.
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