The show One of Us Is Lying changes key aspects of the book, primarily the story behind Simon’s death. This gives the show a very different tone.
Warning: SPOILERS to One of us is lying finale.
Peacock Original series One of us is lying is based on the book by Karen M. McManus, but makes a major change in the cause of Simon Kelleher’s death. Simon, played by Mark McKenna, dies in the very first episode, and when the police first ruled his death a murder, his four classmates, Cooper (Chibuikem Uche), Bronwyn (Marianly Tejada), Addy (Annalisa Cochrane) and Nate (Cooper van Grootel ) become suspects. The show follows the four as they examine their peers to try to get to the bottom of how and why Simon really died.
In the last episode, the group, known as “Bayview Four, “learns that Simon was actually the one who planted the peanut oil who killed him, and intended to cheat everyone else in jail by getting a severe allergic reaction. But Simon’s plan depended on someone running to the nurse to spare EpiPens and save his life – he never intended to die.The revelation gets worse when it is discovered that Addy’s ex-girlfriend and Simon’s ex-best friend, Jake (Barrett Carnahan), should help Simon remove the fun, but instead, EpiPens hid to kill Simon and hit “Murder club“(a salute to The breakfast club), specifically Addy, who cheated on him.
But this twist ends One of us is lying adaptation is not quite how things shake out in the book. In the book, Simon always planned fun to be a real suicide and just asked Jake to help him carry out the plan. As an added bonus, Jake was able to plant evidence on Addy that made it look like a murder she had executed. Although the setting for his death, fun, and ending was similar between the book and the show, his suicide, an intentional act in the book, is a much more sad and tragic context surrounding Simon’s death and changes his character significantly.
This difference has a big impact on the show’s ending and overall tone. A central feature of Simon’s character in One of us is lying‘s adaptation is that he enjoys his outcast status and looks down on everyone else in school who just plays stereotypes from high school. His friends call on the Murder Club to rule out suicide, knowing that Simon would not do it. Removing that suicidal aspect of Simon’s character makes him a completely different character in the show. While the book makes his death more tragic, the adaptation of One of us is lying gives it a more sinister edge. Although the book has plenty of twists in the event of Simon’s death, there is a real killer on the loose in the series who would happily kill again.
Because Jake is a killer, as opposed to just an ex-girlfriend bent on extreme revenge, the final episode, “One of Us Is Dead,” has much greater effort. In a scene right out of one of the best slasher movies, Jake actually chases Addy through the woods with a loaded gun, and when the whole group arrives to rescue her, he is willing to aim it at everyone. In the end, Jake is the one who gets shot and killed, which is another big departure from the book where he lives and is eventually arrested. Jake’s death gives One of us is lying show a far darker and more unstable ending, setting the series up for a potential season 2. By making such a big change in the book’s version of the story behind Simon’s death, One of us is lying has indicated that it is likely to deviate further if the show continues.
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