If you could envision one Christmas present that incorporated everything you could possibly wish for, Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion” is precisely that and then some more. Johnson’s film stays true to its name, with the transparent mystery being snatched by a whirlwind of chaotic twists and unhinged reactions that are taken apart petal by petal until there’s nothing left to look at but the truth. Considering the number of exceedingly finicky and naturally risky elements that hopped on board, it certainly wasn’t an easy feat for the film to seamlessly steer the ship to the shore. Rich people’s stereotypical, intolerable quirks and ignorance have been an exhausting obsession in cinema. Surrounding its precious core with the vapid personalities of moneybags subjected the film to nearly impossible-to-dodge risks. But instead of being bogged down with a direct, more serious critique, “Glass Onion” protects the charm of its mystery with a fearless reprimand that humiliates the horrors of capitalism with humor.
The “Knives Out” sequel takes the pressure off Blanc’s “Kentucky-fried Foghorn Leghorn drawl” accent and really allows Daniel Craig to shine through. There’s fun aplenty in the 2022 murder mystery, and even its mind-blowing cast is not devoid of humor. Why else would we see the radically anti-capitalist man from “Fight Club” play the downright comical billionaire with a black hole where his soul is supposed to be? And even with the intriguing supporting cast aside, Ethan Hawke and Noah Segan’s hilarious cameos are just the finishing touches the film needed. And now—without particularly leaving the fun and games aside—let’s go through the absorbing tale of mystery and join Blanc in unmasking the “who” in the “whodunnit.”
‘Glass Onion’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
A box of wood that probably costs more than the working class earns in a month halts the lockdown lives of six people with an intricate puzzle. Solving it earns them an invitation to a murder mystery week hosted by billionaire Miles Bron on his private Greek island. The strange group of invitees includes Governor Claire Debella, washed-up model Birdie Jay, scientist Lionel Toussaint, misogynistic Youtuber Duke Cody, Miles’ ex-partner Andi Brand, and, to his and our shock, detective Benoit Blanc. Creeping tension between the group exudes in the form of passive-aggressive pleasantries exchanged between the “disruptors,” who clearly aren’t all that comfortable with Blanc’s presence. What they’re even more uncomfortable with, however, is Andi’s attendance. The group has recently turned their backs on her in court in order to help Miles run her out of their company, Alpha. Although he is welcomed, however reluctantly, into the lavish dome of Miles’ Glass Onion, Blanc soon learns that the invitation that was sent to him was not from the host. In hopes of adding more intrigue to his murder mystery and taking the opportunity to outsmart the celebrated detective with his puzzling game, Miles is happy to let Blanc stay for the week.
Be it his curiosity-driven impulses or his hawk-eyed observational skills that offer Blanc a clear look at the nuanced inner workings of the invitees, he soon untangles the muted tension that haunts the pleasant facade of the group. As it inevitably has to be a story of concentrated mystery, nothing is as it seems between the guests and the host. Miles isn’t at all the supportive friend and enabler of his group of disrupters he claims to be. The blatant exploitations that Andi accuses him of soon see the light of revelation through Blanc’s keen eyes. Miles’ long list of sins includes an affair with Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey, manipulating Birdie into taking the fall for the Bangladeshi sweatshop fiasco, and intimidating Claire and Lionel into officially approving his new-age hydrogen fuel. Sweeping the worries under the tacky rug of Miles’ strange mansion, the group comes together for dinner, individualized drinks, and of course, the murder mystery. The room that gloriously exhibits Miles’ delusional Wolverine-esque portrait also evidently holds the real Da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa. To follow his narcissistic rant, Miles whips out the murder mystery that he has apparently spent a lot of money on. Too bad for the vainglorious host, Blanc solves the mystery before it even has the chance to begin.
When the game turns out to be a bust, Lionel and Claire show reluctance about staying for the whole week. Following the energy of the twirling Birdie in the room, Miles convinces them to stay anyway. He has clearly not taken Blanc’s warnings about the possibility of his own murder to heart. In the whimsy of it all, while everyone else is engrossed in their own secret plights, Duke drops his drink and collapses on the floor. Following Birdie’s insane screams, Miles comes in with a horrifying observation. Before dying, Duke had accidentally taken a sip from Miles’ drink. And that effectively suggests that the murderer’s original agenda was to kill Miles. Running in to find her boyfriend dead, a distraught Whiskey claims that it was Andi who killed him after ravaging through their rooms. Making the situation more daunting is the blackout that was scheduled to follow the murder mystery game. Darkness and terror take over the chaotic soiree. Blanc runs into Andi outside the hall, and before she can make her case, she also falls prey to the hidden claws of death. Blanc can’t put his finger on who shot Andi, and his baffled state adds even more fear to an already alarming situation.
Who Killed Andi Brand?
It’s time for Blanc to play his part and provide the panic-stricken people with at least a crumb of explanation they so desperately need. Keeping it vague for a reason that is soon to be revealed, Blanc resorts to his characteristic cryptic talk. While he creates more confusion than he clears, we are yanked back to the time the invitations arrived at everyone’s doors. Before it all transpired, Andi’s twin sister Helen knocked on Blanc’s door with the wrecked invitation box to seek his help. Hoping that he would help solve it, Helen made Blanc aware of the mysterious circumstances surrounding her sister Andi’s death. Although it bore the manner of suicide, Helen was hell-bent on her belief that her sister’s death was a murder. When she looked through her computer, Helen discovered an email Andi had sent to the entire group. The nature of the email and the attached picture of Andi holding a red envelope suggested that Andi was threatening the disclosure of something that would ruin their lives. It wasn’t even a spur-of-the-moment decision for Helen not to disclose her sister’s death to the press. But Andi’s death being a secret provided Blanc with the perfect plan to infiltrate the luxurious soiree. His proposed plan came with its own severe risks but getting justice for her sister was way more important to Helen than her own safety. And there commenced the entire idea of Helen pretending to be Andi to look for her sister’s killer amongst the filthy rich.
Taking advantage of the disruptors’ self-absorption, Helen blended right in as her sister Andi, and no one batted an eye. On Miles’ island, it was as much up to her to search for information as it was up to Blanc. Preoccupied with their own self-dug holes and blinded by their obnoxious naivete, the group hardly had the presence of mind to take notice of what was actually going on. Right under everyone’s noses, Helen and Blanc started their discreet investigation in order to find out the person who could have murdered Andi. Blanc went ahead with his broad assumption that it most likely wasn’t Miles. And even if it was Miles, he most likely didn’t get his own hands dirty. It must’ve been one of the others who tried to use Andi’s murder and the subsequent delivery of the red envelope as a bargaining chip to use against Miles. All that was left to do then was to deduce who it could’ve been.
Helen quickly checked Whiskey off the list right after a conversation that made her look saner than the others. But looking into her boyfriend opened up a can of worms. Duke was using Whiskey to seduce Miles and get him to sign off on his Alpha News segment. Unsurprisingly, not getting a green signal right away upset Duke. Birdie, on the other hand, did not even realize what she was getting into when Miles backed her sweatpants business. She happily approved the sweatpant production at a Bangladeshi sweatshop because—wait for it—she thought that sweatshops were the places where sweatpants were made. Under Miles’ pressure, she would have to take the fall for it entirely and subsequently ruin what was left of her career. Lionel and Claire, on the other hand, were under immense pressure to sign off on Miles’ extremely volatile hydrogen fuel. It would have also been understandable for either of them to kill Andi and use the envelope as a way of getting Miles to let them off the hook. But after spending a few days with the group, Helen was convinced that none of them actually harbored enough cruelty for a murder. Blanc, however, explained to her that murder by sleeping pills was something a killer might have taken as a merciful death, and therefore the deed was not stopped by guilt. After a drunken altercation with Miles, Helen was followed and stopped by Claire and Lionel. A conversation with them revealed to Helen that Claire, Lionel, Duke, and Birdie were all at Andi’s door on the day of her murder. They wanted to talk about the threatening email, but no answer at the door or on the phone sent them back on their way.
Helen was following Blanc’s instructions and was looking for the envelope in the guest rooms when she ran into Whiskey. Not knowing that Duke was dead, Helen’s wrong words at the wrong time gave Whiskey the idea that she was the one who killed Duke. What followed was the blackout, and before Helen could get to the cage of the tiger, the Glass Onion, to look for the envelope, someone shot her. But the bullet getting stuck in Andi’s journal extraordinarily saved Helen from an unavoidable death. Blanc used the hot sauce he took from Miles as a replacement for fake blood and allowed everyone to believe that she was dead. And while Blanc was trying to calm the group and explain the mind-boggling chaos to them, Helen was looking for the envelope in the Glass Onion. Now, to explain the strange circumstances surrounding Duke’s death, Blanc looks at the host himself. He may have fooled everyone with his victim act, but Blanc sees right through his lies. Duke did not accidentally take Miles’ drink. It was instead handed to him by Miles himself. The reason behind the brutal killing of Duke was Miles’ original crime. As soon as Helen walks into the tense room with the envelope she found in Miles’ belongings; it is strongly suggested that it was, in fact, Miles who killed Andi. What drove him to take Duke’s life comes only as even more damning proof nailing him down.
Why Did Miles Kill Duke?
Blanc first took notice of Miles’ beloved blue Porsche on the roof of the Glass Onion. It was again mentioned at the pool by Duke. He was evidently “pancaked” by it. But before he could say any more, Miles diverted the conversation. The topic of Duke dodging an accident came up once again in the conversation about the disruptors’ trips to Andi’s house. It didn’t take too long for Blanc’s sharp mind to connect the dots and come to the conclusion that Miles was driving back from Andi’s house when he almost pancaked Duke. Andi’s death being off the internet saved Duke’s life for quite a while. But as soon as it hit the press and he saw the Google alert, Duke realized that Miles had gone to Andi’s place to kill her. Instead of telling everyone about it, Duke decided to use it as his leverage to blackmail Miles into including him in Alpha News. And while Miles seemed to have no problem with it, a man like him could hardly risk his crime being known to someone as unpredictable as Duke. Miles took heed of Duke when he first arrived and mentioned his pineapple allergy. So, all he had to do was give Duke an anaphylactic shock by mixing some pineapple juice into the drink. Now aware of the insane circumstances of Duke’s death, the group still continues to be selfish and sides with the murderous billionaire.
What Was In The Envelope That Caused Andi’s Death?
Miles may be the face of the company now, but the fascinating origin of it lies in a small bar named Glass Onion that Andi and the disruptors used to frequent before any of them made it big. Andi discovered Miles just as she discovered the rest of them. And while Miles didn’t instantly make a charming impression on the group, Andi could see his potential. And that is when the idea of Alpha clicked. She drew up the foundation of the company on a bar napkin and followed through to make sure that it was a success. Miles’ facade of crazy genius, however, soon turned out to be only crazy. He was as impulsive with his dangerous obsession with making a change as he was explosive with his endeavors. Miles desperately sought fame more than anything else. He wanted his name to be remembered in the same breath as the Mona Lisa. So, when an equally chaotic scientist presented the idea of hydrogen fuel to him, he wanted Alpha to back it. But having more business sense as well as integrity stopped Andi from giving in to Miles’ impulses. She strongly opposed the hydrogen fuel and even threatened to walk if Miles decided to follow through. But Miles’ unhinged drive for fame drove him to stab Andi in the back and claim the entire origin of Alpha in order to push her out. Losing the original napkin certainly did not come in handy for Andi, especially when the entire group decided to perjure and side with Miles in court. When she did find the napkin, she chose to send a threatening email instead of going out with it right away. And that gave Miles the opportunity to cover his tracks before the truth about Alpha’s origin could come to light.
‘Glass Onion’ Ending Explained: Does Miles Pay For His Crimes?
Standing in the room with the original napkin in her hand, Helen is close to getting justice for her sister. There’s one thing that Miles’ fake copy of the napkin doesn’t have; the original stamp of the Glass Onion bar that closed a while ago. But keeping with the theme of startling twists, Miles turns the original napkin to ashes right in front of everyone’s eyes in an instant. Helen hopes that the group will, for once, choose truth over intimidation, but they do the opposite. Morose Blanc hands the bitter truth to the defeated sister of the murdered woman. There is nothing more he can do. But thankfully, that isn’t all he hands her. Holding the speck of the dangerous hydrogen fuel, Helen resorts to the destruction of the room if that is all she can do to pour out her frustration. Seeing the relieving rage in all its glory, the rest of the group joins Helen. Miles seems unbothered by the wreckage. He prefers the destruction of property that he can replace at a moment’s notice over his incarceration and defamation. But Helen has other plans in mind. Using the extremely eruptive and unstable hydrogen fuel, she orchestrates a massive explosion that completely demolishes the building. And if you’re wondering how that can be considered a fitting payback, you perhaps forgot the treasure that was held by the building. It wasn’t just Miles’ refuge that was destroyed. Helen burned down the original Da Vinci painting with it. Sitting outside the flaming pile of billionaire trash, the group decides that they have had just about enough. And even when everyone collectively goes against Miles, he is still unsure of how it can actually cause him any harm. For a man with a giant ego and an endless pocket, Miles hardly has a sizable brain. It comes down to Helen to lay his own defeat out for him to even grasp. Lionel and Claire had already approved the testing of the hydrogen fuel, and that made the existence of the substance known to the world out there. Miles’ own product destroying such a magnificent work of art certainly ruins any reputation he once possessed. It is as if the curse of the monkey’s paw itself engulfed the essentially worthless and criminal billionaire. He does get what he wished for, but the fulfillment of that wish comes in a form that is more of a punishment than anything else. Miles Bron’s name will be remembered in the same breath as the Mona Lisa. But as a fitting irony that exhibits the grisly smile of fate, the destruction of the revered painting is what Miles will forever be associated with.