‘Culprits’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: What Happens To David And Dianne?

Culprits has an intriguing plot that holds many elements of mystery and thrill together. Directed by J. Blakeson and starring actors like Nathan Stewart, Gemma Arterton, and others, this series can easily be given the position of the director’s magnum opus after steering films like Pitch PerfectThe Disappearance of Alice Creed, and so on. The story builds on the life of Joe Petrus, also known as David, and his past association with the underworld. When his past takes a toll on his picture-perfect present, threatening to ruin it, Joe must take a stand! He makes a vow to make things right for the sake of his family. Will Joe be able to reverse his past mistakes? What are Dianne’s secrets that massacre many people’s lives? We are yet to find the answers to many questions in the first season of Culprits, streaming on Disney+.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Did Dianne Assemble Her Crew?

Dianne Harewood was considered to be the brain behind the master plan for cracking open the Morello vault. The original owner of the vault was Titus Wainwright, who had hired Morello, a famous architect of the time, to design the vault, which could not be opened easily. This vault had been built to hide his money from the workers and the taxmen. She had created her crew so that she could conduct a heist and take away the 30 million dollars hidden there. The group was focused on targeting Philip Wainwright, the great-grandson of Titus, to get access to the designs and the plans to get to them.


The plot keeps swinging between the past, when the heist was done, and the current scenario, when they are all leading their own lives. A strange, masked man follows all the members who were associated with the heist and murders them after three years. The man has a hidden motive: either gaining back the money that they had and stole or even something bigger. It is later revealed that the money that they had stolen was not being sought after, but Dianne was. It is evident that the man killing the members belonged to a mafia group that clearly wanted to do something with the group.

What Are The Elements Of Class Segmentation?

Several instances of class segmentation are seen in Culprits Season 1. Bedrosian, a rich White man with power, is involved in a hit-and-run case. While trying to shift his share of the money collected after the heist, David co-incidentally becomes a witness to the accident. He testifies against Bedrosian and is harassed by him in every way possible. He hires a private investigator to follow Joe, as he wants him to withdraw his statement to the police. While Joe is on a run for a license for his new bistro, Bedrosian intervenes and does not let him gain it. He sends gunmen to Joe, threatening and telling him that he belonged to an inferior segment of society and was the plankton, and he should not be dealing with sharks like Bedrozian. We can understand Joe’s anguish when he tells Bedrozian that, being a rich, White man, he has privilege and that the law will overlook his faults. It brings out his desperation to come out of his dark past, but the intervention of society stands as a barrier in his path.


Why Does Joe Go To London?

He receives messages from the other members of Dianne’s troupe that someone is hunting them down and that their lives are in danger. He decides to go to London, but before leaving, he reveals his real identity to Jules, telling him that he was once involved with the underworld. He assures Jules that he will mend everything so that his family is safe and kept away from all the perils of his past. He goes to London and meets Specialist and Officer there. Meanwhile, the man on the hunt traces David’s family and goes to attack them. David informs Jules of the impending danger, and he then flees the house along with the kids. As David and the team try to resolve the mystery, Officer is secretly seen sending all their live locations to the masked man. Specialist is injured in the process, and they all go into hiding to make a plan and trap the killer. The killer locates their secret location again and kills Specialist but is then captured by David. Upon being asked several times about who had hired him, he does not give away a word but tells them that they had been on a hunt for Dianne. It is made clear to us that the killer was just the tip of the iceberg; there was an entire gang waiting to finish them off.

Why Does Officer Take A Liking For Joe?

There was a strong bond of friendship that had developed between Officer and David. While on the quest to rob the vault, Officer was shot and had no chance of survival. David had risked his life to save Officer, dragging her along with him all the way to the doctor. Had she not received proper treatment on time, she would have died that day. He missed his flight to take care of Officer while she was in that condition, while the others had just left him there to die. David’s teamwork spirit is what ensures that Officer was not killed that day, which made the two bond.


The killer had reached out to Officer six days ago in France, where she was threatened with being killed by him. It is then that she agrees to snitch on his teammates so that her life is spared. She keeps sending the location stamps to the killer, helping him to follow their trail. Later, when it is revealed that Officer had been helping the killer, she says that they could not outrun the killer, so it was her last option to cooperate with him. She said that she was not ready to risk her own life to save others’ lives. This showcases the drastic difference between the selfless David and Officer, who is ready to snitch on her friends to save her own life.

What Happens To The Mizouni Family?

It was well known to Dianne that the Morello vault could only be cracked open by Malek Mizouni. He was, however, no longer involved with the underworld and had opened his own company in Spain. He was approached by Dianne, but he turned down her offer, and his father, Youssef, took up the task. He tells Dianne that he was the one who had trained his son and his granddaughter, Azhar. He and Azhar are then included in the group, and they become part of the team. Later, the killer reaches Malek, as he thinks that he is the only one who knows how to open a vault. Malek, however, takes all the blame on himself so that his daughter and father are not harmed, and gets killed. However, the killer senses Azhar and Youssef’s involvement in the heist and approaches them. Despite David’s attempt at saving the family, the killer manages to get hold of Youssef and kills him. Before murdering him, he asks them about Dianne’s whereabouts. Later, Azhar is rescued by David and Specialist. On learning of Officer’s involvement with the killer, Azhar expresses her resentment towards her, as her actions have gotten her father and grandfather killed. 

Why Was David Kidnapped?

It is later revealed that Dianne had stolen more than just money during the heist. She had taken away a key that was crucial to opening a box that had more money. Right Hand had found out about her quest and had started blackmailing her, which made her put him out of her way. David learns that Fuse knew Dianne a long time before the job and had helped to cover up her disappearance as death. They are now convinced that Dianne is alive and go out on their quest to find her. However, later, David gets kidnapped by Vincent Hawkes, who is revealed to be the real head behind all the murders. He blackmails David, saying that he must find out about Dianne and kill her if he wants to save his own family. Left without an option, he promises to find the key that Dianne stole and kill her.

What Was Dianne’s Real Motive?

When David approaches Fixer to get him to Dianne, he is initially refused. He lies, saying that he had a secret message from Fuse for Dianne before his death. He approaches Dianne and tells her that he knows about the box that Dianne was frantically searching for, but before that, he wants to know the real identity of Hawkes. Dianne tells him that Hawkes was the owner of the Morello vault, and without the key, he could not access the box as it has access to the crypto wallet, and the key is the passcode to it. She further tells him about the tragedy that has befallen her family because of Hawkes. He was the Eden Motor Company’s owner, which made faulty cars. There was a vote to recall the cars from the market, but being a shareholder of 52% of the company, Hawkes had overruled the recall of those cars. Dianne’s sister, her husband, and her niece were killed in one of those crashes. She, therefore, intended to steal all of Hawke’s money to bring him to the streets.


What Happens In The End?

During Culprits‘ ending, David convinces Dianne that he is on her side and lures her to the box. Just as she is about to put the key in the box, Hawkes captures her. He intends to take the key from her and kill her. It is later, when Dianne feels that David is a traitor, that he flips and takes the side of what is good. He rescues Dianne from the clutches of Hawkes’ men and later breaks the key, ensuring that the money cannot be used by either Hawkes or Dianne. He says that Dianne’s intention was to bring him on the road and not steal from him, which brings out his sense of ethics. Dianne agrees with David and later kills Hawkes, and just when they are about to leave, Azhar suddenly shoots Officer. She says that her father and grandfather had been killed because Officer had not been loyal to them in the first place. David is seen reuniting with his family after taking care of his past mishaps.

Final Thoughts

The plot of Culprits is full of twists and is, hands down, one of the best that I have seen in a while. The names like ‘Muscle,’ ‘Officer,’ ‘Specialist,’ ‘Fuse,’ and ‘Right Hand’ that each team member has been given are somewhat similar to the names of different cities given to the professor’s gang members in ‘Money Heist.’ The layers of colors that every character has made me want to say that all of them have been well explored. The plot is well-knit, with the characters’ motives being very strong and clear. There are no scopes for loopholes in any part of the series. To make the plot even better, there is an inclusion of the concept of societal class segmentation, making the plot richer and leaving us with an insight into the issue. The twists are something that we do not expect at all! Initially, I was thinking that the masked killer was the one behind the murders and was trying to understand his motive. It turns out that there is more to the story than meets the eye, and there was a greater mind behind the killings. Vincent Hawkes has been portrayed as one of the most vicious, know-it-all mafias who put the lives of everyone under threat. We keep anticipating throughout the series who his next victim will be, but Culprits takes unexpected turns throughout. The amazing acting skills of the characters add the cherry on top of an already excellent storyline, and the feisty action sequences are something worth mentioning!


Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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