The Glass Onion ending neatly ties up all of the remaining threads of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel. However, while Benoit Blanc does reveal who is responsible for the murder, not everything is neatly explained. If you're sitting perplexed over a few key details as the credits roll on Netflix, don't fret! We've taken a deep dive into some of the major plot points, and lingering questions that need to be figured out.
Of course, given this is an ending explained, we'll be heading into heavy Glass Onion spoiler territory. So if you're not yet managed to catch Blanc's latest case, don't read any further. Bookmark this page, settle down on the couch, and turn on Netflix – we'll see you in about two hours. Everyone else, monocles out, let's solve this case...
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery ending explained *spoilers*
Glass Onion begins with eccentric billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) inviting his friends to a private Grecian island for a murder mystery party. Among those included are fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), men’s rights influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), and scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.).
The most perplexing invitation goes to Miles’ former business partner Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), who he ousted from his company after she refused to sign off on a hydrogen-based experimental fuel called Klear. Miles won a lawsuit against her after she tried to prove she was actually the mastermind behind their company Alpha. She’d written the idea on a napkin at their local bar the Glass Onion, but the evidence had been lost.
Ahead of the trip to Greece, Andi finds the napkin that would clear her name and see all of her former friends charged with perjury after they testified against her at the trial. However, when she sends an email to all of them proving she’s found it, she winds up dead in her home and the napkin is stolen.
Convinced something is not right, Andi’s twin sister Helen (Monáe) heads to notorious detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) for help solving her sister’s murder. The pair come up with a plan for Helen to pretend to be her sister Andi and accept Miles' murder mystery invitation, all so they can work out who's responsible for the murder. While Blanc’s presence is initially questioned by Miles on arrival, he lets him stay as he assumes it was a joke from one of the attendees for his murder mystery.
As they settle in, Miles shows them his Glass Onion – a glass house located at the center of the island. Tensions soon begin to rear their heads as it becomes clear everyone has a motive for murder: Birdie is being blackmailed by Miles, the experimental Klear puts Claire’s voters and Lionel’s job at risk, and Duke wants to join Alpha News. Even Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline) and Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick) are holding their own grudges.
However, it’s only when the murder mystery party gets underway that the chaos really begins. After Blanc easily solves the fake murder case, Duke suddenly collapses and dies after drinking from Miles' glass. As the lights go out in the Glass Onion, the group suspects "Andi" of trying to murder Miles and they scatter.
When Blanc finds Helen, still pretending to be Andi, he quizzes her on if she’s found any evidence of who could have killed Andi – and now Duke too. But while they’re speaking, Helen is shot by a mystery assailant. The bullet is blocked by Andi’s notebook, but everyone believes she’s dead as Blanc helps her fake her death.
While everyone is distracted, Helen goes to the Glass Onion to try and find some hard evidence. She finds the napkin stolen from her sister in Miles’ office. All the while, Blanc gathers the rest of the group in the art room – where Miles has placed the Mona Lisa on loan from The Louvre – and concludes the billionaire must be responsible for the murder.
Blanc remembers a clue that Duke had given about seeing Miles driving from Andi’s house. Duke found out Andi had died after news broke online that the real Andi had died (he’s got a Google alert for everyone) and he tried to blackmail Miles with the information. In reaction, the billionaire poisoned him with pineapple juice, which Duke was allergic to. Miles then used Duke’s gun to shoot Helen.
Helen arrives and brandishes the napkin she’s found, threatening to go to the police with the evidence. The results would be catastrophic for everyone as they all backed up Miles' version of events in court that he came up with the initial idea that launched Alpha. But Miles sets the napkin alight and the group refuses to back Helen up. Left with no other option, she sets about destroying his priceless sculptures, before using Klear to create a bomb that destroys the Glass Onion – and the Mona Lisa with it. As the police arrive, the rest of the group finally turns on Miles, who it seems is in a whole lot of trouble.
Who was the murderer in Glass Onion – and what was their motive?
If you paid attention to our plot summary above, you’ll know that Miles is the murderer. Edward Norton’s eccentric billionaire killed both Andi and Duke to try and protect his secrets coming out –and attempted to murder Helen, too.
After he ousted Andi from Alpha, he went through a trial to prove he was the one behind the company’s creation. When Andi finds evidence to dispute this, Miles decides there is no way out of the situation other than murdering her. He goes to her house and spikes her drink, before leaving her in her car while the engine is running, staging the whole thing as a suicide.
Duke was the only one who knew Miles was ever at Andi’s house as he saw him speeding away when he was on his way there. After learning about Andi’s death thanks to a Google alert, he pieced everything together and tried to manipulate Miles into allowing him a spot on Alpha’s news network. Miles didn’t take the bait though, swiftly killing him as well by putting pineapple juice in his glass and handing it to Duke, who was deathly allergic to the fruit.
Why did Miles send Andi an invitation?
Given Miles knew Andi was dead when his guests received their invitations, some viewers might be wondering why he bothered to send one to her. This is especially true as, given their past, no one would have expected him to invite her along. While this is never explained in the movie, the most likely explanation is that he commissioned those boxes to be made before Andi had even sent the email. The elaborate puzzle invites take a long time to make so if Miles had canceled the order after killing Andi, it would have aroused suspicion.
Why didn’t Miles question why Andi had returned from the dead?
Part of Blanc’s plan of getting Helen to impersonate her dead sister is to see how the guests would react seeing her turn up. If anyone responds strangely to her appearance, they would be the subject of suspicion from the detective. However, no one actually mentions anything, other than wondering why Andi was invited.
Even the actual murderer Miles doesn’t mention her being there. Of course, there are lots of potential reasons for this: reacting to her arrival would give him away, or he might have thought Andi could have somehow survived his assault. He does, though, very clearly react to "Andi" being there. When she arrives off the boat, he looks stricken and like he’s seen a ghost…
What happened to Miles and the others - were they arrested?
Glass Onion ends as the attendees take in the explosion that Helen ignited. However, we don't actually see the consequences of anyone's actions. One person who is likely to end up in the most trouble as the police boats arrive is Miles. Not only will the others accuse him of two murders and one attempted murder, but he's also destroyed the most famous painting in the world. Even with all his money, it's going to be difficult to get out of this one. Of course, Helen could get in some trouble too given the huge criminal damage that she caused, but we're choosing to believe that doesn't happen.
Who was Derol – and how does he know Miles?
When Derol was first introduced in the movie, we did wonder if he could play a bigger role in the plot. Miles describes him as someone who just lives on the island with him, urging his guests to ignore him. But given he's always lingering in the background, he could have easily become one of the murder suspects.
However, it turns out that Derol was harmless after all, just trying to relax while chaos erupts around him. We don’t see him at the end after the explosion, but given he had spent most of the movie hiding away, we’re choosing to believe he was absolutely fine too.
Derol is played by actor Noah Segan, who is a good friend of director Johnson and appears in small roles in every one of his movies. He was in the first Knives Out where he played cop Trooper, he piloted an X-Wing in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and even had a small part in the Breaking Bad episode ‘Ozymandias’.
What cameos were there in Glass Onion?
Speaking of cameos, Glass Onion is full of them. CNN anchor Jake Tapper and cellist Yo-Yo Ma appear early on in the movie. Other cameos include Ethan Hawke as Miles’ Covid vaccine assistant, Hugh Grant as Blanc’s partner, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the clock on the island, and Serena Williams appears on a video call in the island’s gym. Then there’s Blanc’s star-filled Zoom call with Stephen Sondheim, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Angela Lansbury, and Natasha Lyonne as well. Watch out for nods to Jeremy Renner, Jared Leto, and Anderson Cooper too. You can read our breakdown of all the Glass Onion cameos for more.
Does Glass Onion have a post-credits scene?
No, there’s no post-credits scene at the end of Glass Onion. Given another of Netflix’s franchise movies, Enola Holmes 2, did have a post-credits treat, you’d be forgiven for wondering if Johnson's movie would have the same. However, just like the original Knives Out, there are no more Easter eggs hidden at the end. Don’t click off too soon, though, enjoy The Beatles song 'Glass Onion' first.
Will there be a Knives Out 3?
In short, yes, there will be a Knives Out 3. Netflix acquired the rights to two sequels when it purchased the franchise back in March 2021. However, there’s not an awful lot confirmed about the third movie yet. We don’t have a release date or any plot details yet, but it does seem likely Craig will be coming back at Blanc, as he’s been the connecting tissue between the movies so far.
Speaking to Digital Spy (opens in new tab), Johnson said of Knives Out 3: "The key is landing on something that first of all feels different than the first two and also feels like the only reason for us to keep making these is if we're excited about making them. So a whole new reason for being, and something where we genuinely feel like 'Oh my god, this is really exciting.'"
It also might be a little while until we get it, as Johnson has revealed he’s going to start writing in early 2023. He told Deadline (opens in new tab) during the press circuit for Glass Onion: "I’m trying to start building up a structure, an idea, so that after New Year, when it’s time to actually get to work, I’m hopefully not just staring at that horrible blank page."
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is out on Netflix now. For more on the movie, check out our round-up of all the Glass Onion Easter eggs you might have missed.