Peacock’s One of Us is Lying is an engaging teen mystery series adapted from Karen M. McManus’ 2017 novel of the same title. This latest addition to the roster of teen-oriented shows on streaming platforms introduces viewers to a captivating premise.
The story revolves around a group of five high school students who find themselves in detention, reminiscent of the iconic film The Breakfast Club (1985). However, things take a sinister turn when one of them, the notorious gossipmonger Simon Kelleher (Mark McKenna), meets a sudden and tragic demise.
Simon’s unexpected death becomes a central mystery in the series. It raises questions about how a seemingly healthy teenager could die while serving detention. While the concept of perishing from boredom can be dismissed, the circumstances surrounding Simon’s death are far more complex and mysterious than initially assumed.
Notably, the TV adaptation offers a darker take on Simon’s demise compared to the original book. In this article, we delve into the details of Simon’s demise, explore the potential culprits behind his death, examine how the show’s conclusion differs from the book, and discuss how Simon’s story may unfold in future seasons.
The Circumstances Leading to Simon Kelleher’s Death
Simon Kelleher, along with his fellow students Bronwyn (Marianly Tejada), Addy (Annalisa Cochrane), Cooper (Chibuikem Uche), and Nate (Cooper van Grootel), enters detention. Initially, everything appears ordinary, and Simon seems perfectly healthy upon his arrival. However, events take a bizarre turn when Simon pours himself a glass of water from a cooler. During this moment, the teacher supervising detention, Ms. Avery, is called away to address unrelated student misbehavior.
While Ms. Avery is away, Simon takes a sip of the water and abruptly experiences anaphylactic shock. Surprisingly, the water contains traces of peanut oil, to which Simon is fatally allergic. His fellow students scramble to find an EpiPen, but none are available in Simon’s backpack or the school nurse’s office. Helplessly, they witness Simon struggling to breathe, leading to a distressing chain of events that culminates in his death at the hospital.
Who Killed Simon in One of Us is Lying?
Following Simon’s demise, Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper, and Nate become the primary suspects in what quickly becomes known as Simon’s murder. Their fellow students at the school even dub them with ominous nicknames like The Bayview Four and Murder Club. Nate faces an unjust arrest after a bag of EpiPens is discovered on his motorcycle seat. However, the truth is that The Bayview Four are innocent, leaving the identity of Simon’s true killer shrouded in mystery.
The revelation unveils two crucial aspects. Firstly, Simon orchestrated a potentially harmful prank by contaminating his own water with peanut oil. His intention was to terrify his classmates, with the assumption that he would revive himself using one of the many EpiPens he personally stashed in the nurse’s office.
Yet, this seemingly innocuous prank tragically turned fatal for Simon due to the involvement of an accomplice. That accomplice was his childhood friend, Jake (Barrett Carnahan), who assisted in planning the prank through Xbox gaming chats. Jake was supposed to be positioned just outside the library with an EpiPen to save Simon’s life.
However, Jake, concerned about being linked to the prank, removed all the EpiPens from the nurse’s office. This critical act set in motion a sequence of events that spiraled out of control.
How Simon’s Story Differs in the Book
In the book version of One of Us is Lying, the circumstances surrounding Simon’s death unfold differently. While Jake still plays a role in Simon’s plans, the motivations are less sinister.
Janae reveals that Simon was deeply depressed and obsessed with death. His intention was to simulate suicide under the guise of a misguided prank. Simon aimed to use Jake to frame The Bayview Four for his alleged murder, which makes Jake’s involvement less malevolent compared to the show’s rendition.
Significantly, Jake still faces consequences for his participation in Simon’s scheme, leading to a more positive ending for The Bayview Four in the book.
Continuation of Simon’s Story in Later Seasons
The closing moments of the first season set the stage for the narrative’s progression. The Bayview Four and Janae receive ominous text messages sent under Simon’s old gossip blog pseudonym, Simon Says, hinting that someone is aware of the events that transpired in the woods on the night of Jake’s death. The second season explores their quest to unveil the identity of their new tormentor.
Simultaneously, students at Bayview High speculate about Jake’s disappearance and his alleged involvement in Simon’s demise. One significant thread left open for a potential third season revolves around Jake’s true motive for killing Simon, which could be even more troubling than initially believed.
However, despite these intriguing storylines, the future of One of Us is Lying remains uncertain. Peacock opted not to renew the series, leaving fans in anticipation of potential answers to lingering questions. As it stands, the second season marks the last chapter in the series, with Jake’s deepest secrets and motives left unexplored.