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Brazen Ending Explained: Who is the Killer?

‘Brazen,’ directed by Monika Mitchell (‘The Knight Before Christmas,’ is a murder mystery film based on Nora Roberts’ best-selling novel ‘Brazen Virtue.’ It follows the narrative of Grace Miller, a successful mystery fiction writer who becomes involved in the investigation of her sister’s murder. Grace learns more about her sister’s secret life as she investigates the case, and she uses her experience as a crime writer to track down the perpetrator.

After several twists and turns, the story comes to a close when Grace devises a desperate ruse to draw the killer out. The high-stakes climax reveals the killer and demonstrates Grace’s intuition was correct. If you’re wondering about the killer’s identity and motivations, here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Brazen’ finale. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Synopsis of the Brazen Plot

Grace Miller (Alyssa Milano) is a well-known author best recognized for her mystery novels about the killings of downtrodden women. Grace travels to Washington D.C. after receiving a phone call from her estranged sister, Kathleen. Grace discovers that Kathleen has recovered from her addiction and is planning to challenge her ex-husband, Jonathan Breezewood, for custody of their son. She has also got evidence that Jonathan is committing fraud in order to tip the scales in his favor.

Image Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/Netflix

Kathleen, on the other hand, requires Grace’s consent to obtain a mortgage on the house in order to pay the legal bills. Grace agrees and decides to stay in town to help her sister. Kathleen works as a teacher at a nearby high school while covertly performing as a dominatrix on Fantasy, Inc., an adult webcam services website. Grace meets Kathleen’s next-door neighbor, hot-shot Homicide Detective Ed Jennings, at home. Grace and Ed get along well, and Grace invites Ed to assist her with her next book.

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Kathleen plays her dominatrix identity, Desiree, for a client while Grace is out with Ed. When Grace returns home, she discovers Kathleen strangled to death. Grace assumes Kathleen’s ex-husband is the murderer right away. Ed persuades his colleague Ben to take on the case. The detectives continue their investigation into the murder, and Grace discovers Kathleen’s employment with Fantasy Inc.

When another Fantasy Inc. model is slain, the situation becomes even more difficult. As the inquiry progresses, Ed and Grace disagree on which leads to investigate. Grace persuades Captain Rivera to include her in the probe. Another model is attacked but survives and provides the police with a description of the assailant. The police narrow the suspect list down to Kathleen’s classmate Rand Morgan. When the evidence fails to accuse Rand, Grace adopts an unusual strategy.

Who is the Killer in the Ending?

Grace advises drawing the killer out by using her as bait if they fail to catch the culprit despite their attempts. She realizes the killer is obsessed with the word “Desiree.” As a result, Grace adopts the Desiree identity and puts on a show on the Fantasy Inc. website. However, the assassin does not appear at first. Meanwhile, Rand is hospitalized after an incident with Jerald. He tells the cops that Jerald was fascinated with Kathleen and referred to her as “his Kathleen” throughout their argument. The detectives conclude that Jerald is responsible for the murders. They arrive at his house to arrest him, but he has already fled.

Jerald comes at Grace’s home to assassinate “Desiree.” Grace anticipates his arrival and records Jerald’s confession on her webcam. She coerces Jerald into confessing, and when he realizes he has been duped, he attacks Grace. Jerald attempts to subjugate Grace, but she resists. Ed eventually arrives on the scene, and Jerald attempts to shoot the investigator.

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In self-defense, Ed shoots Jerald, and the case is closed. Grace and Ed start dating, and it is hinted that they are living together. Grace puts her life in danger to find her sister’s killer, demonstrating how important Kathleen is to her. Grace falls in love along the road, and a new chapter in the life of the famous writer begins.

What Motivated Jerald’s Assassination of Kathleen?

The killer’s motivation is ultimately exposed to the audience in the final seconds of the film. Throughout the film, various suspects such as Jonathan and Rand appear to have their own reasons for killing Kathleen, but the evidence eventually points to Jerald as the murderer. Kathleen’s beautiful and innocent student, Jerald, adores his instructor.

Jerald’s sentiments for Kathleen are motivated by his troubled relationship with his mother. Kathleen is loving and helpful, whereas Jerald’s mother is frigid and controlling. As a result, Jerald’s head spins when he learns Kathleen moonlights as a dominatrix. He notices a resemblance to his mother in the lady he cherishes.

Jerald intends to kill Desiree because it will give him the satisfaction of regaining power from a domineering lady. His method of operation also reflects Jerald’s craving for control, since he strangles his victims. Grace is sure from the start that the killer’s motivation has something to do with power. After Jerald admits to killing Kathleen and the other model, Grace is proven correct. His confession is broadcast live on the Fantasy Inc. website, delivering incriminating evidence to the detectives.

Ed appears to have fatally shot Jerald, who most certainly died on the scene. The camera pans out to display a branch of Lillies in the last scene. Grace says earlier in the film that Lillies at a funeral represent the departed’s innocence being restored. The final shot appears to prove Jerald’s death, and the teen’s death restores his innocence. Finally, Jerald’s acts serve as a clear reminder of how a lack of care and comfort can lead to a criminal existence.

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Duration: 94 min


IMDb: 4.0

Brazen Ending Explained: Who is the Killer?
Brazen Ending Explained: Who is the Killer?


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