Culprits Season 1 Ending Explained – What happens to Vincent’s money?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 11, 2023
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Culprits Season 1 Ending Explained
Culprits Season 1 | Image via Hulu/Disney

The ending of Culprits Season 1 is, in a word, weird. Odd. Unusual. Perhaps unconventional is the most fitting description, since little about it proceeds along the typical tracks. While it can be argued that Episode 8, titled “A Forest”, builds to the obvious conclusions, with the villain dead and the hero reunited with his family, there’s nonetheless something a little off-kilter about the whole thing.

There are a couple of beats you won’t see coming that aren’t reacted to in character in the way you’d expect. There are a couple more than you will see coming but that you will be surprised by nonetheless, mostly for how they play out. I’m not sure whether I liked it, admired it, or neither.

Following on from Episode 7, Joe arranges to speak with Dianne using a secret code that is picked up by Fixer. Fixer isn’t exactly happy to see Joe, and advises him to leave for America posthaste, but also seems to know about Devil having killed all the crew members, so must surely know that Joe can’t do that.

Either way, Joe manages to finesse his way into a meeting with Dianne by claiming he has a very important message for her. He relays to Dianne that he knows about the key and the box, and he’s adamant about learning who Vincent is.

Who is Vincent Hawkes?

Dianne explains to Joe about Eden Motor Company, an automotive outfit that pumped out a fleet of faulty cars. Now and again, one would just explode. The company had to vote on whether to recall the cars and take the financial and reputational hit, or bury the truth and gamble on the cost of subsequent lawsuits totalling less than the recall would have. The company voted to recall the cars.

Vincent, however, owned 52% of the company with a majority share in Eden Motors, so he overruled the recall. As was intimated in a previous episode, Dianne’s sister, her husband, and their daughter died in a car accident. Well, this is why. They were in one of those faulty cars that would have been recalled if it weren’t for Vincent. Dianne wanted to bankrupt Vincent to teach him a lesson.

The Key and the Box

You’d think that stealing millions of dollars in cash from someone would accomplish bankruptcy, but not quite. Vincent has another box, which contains his crypto wallet. He converted most of his assets into crypto, and they’re only accessible with a key, which Dianne has after stealing it from the Morello vault. The key doesn’t do anything other than unlock the box, and the box can’t be opened without the key.

David finesses Dianne by pretending that he will help get her the box. She’s skeptical but buys into his desperation when he talks about his family. She agrees to help him, but only with a crew. They’ll need two skilled people, and it just so happens that Officer and Azar have survived the season thus far and are willing to help. I’m not sure why Dianne would trust any of these people given they know she manipulated and used them, but she’s willing to all the same.

What happens to Vincent’s crypto?

Dianne’s trust is misplaced. Just as she’s about to put the key in the box, Hawkes arrives with a bunch of goons and ambushes her. He wants Joe to give him the key, which he does, much to Dianne’s chagrin.

However, Joe has other plans. He snatches a gun and shoots several of Vincent’s goons before holding him at gunpoint, demanding that he tell them to lower their weapons and also calling off the team pursuing his family. He needs confirmation that Jules and the kids are safe before anything happens to Vincent.

However, Vincent isn’t willing to play ball. Eventually, Joe snaps the crypto key in half, which gives Dianne what she wants – Vincent is broke, and nobody will ever be able to access his fortune. However, that isn’t quite enough for her and she shoots him dead anyway, which makes one wonder why she went to such elaborate trouble to defraud him in the first place. She has had access to him in the past, also, as the episode’s cold open showed her holding him at gunpoint in a swanky bathroom and confessing to being the one who stole from him.

As if to prove the point, Vincent’s assistant immediately claims she has no loyalty to the man whatsoever and is happy to call off the team trailing Jules and the kids.

Why does Azar shoot Officer?

While this seems like something resembling a happy ending, there is a further tragedy that comes out of nowhere. As everyone is leaving, Azar shoots Officer in the back, killing her.

Joe is immediately distraught, cradling Officer’s lifeless body, and asks Azar why she did it. She explains that Officer sold them out and that her father and grandfather are both dead because of her, which… is kind of a fair point. David must think this too since he gets over it immediately and leaves.

How does Culprits Season 1 end?

Culprits does have a happy ending after all. Officer is laid to rest. Dianne visits the graves of her sister, brother-in-law, and niece. And Joe heads to Canada to reunite with his family.

As if there was ever any doubt, Jules is perfectly happy to take Joe back after asking him what he wants. Joe says it’s him; to marry him and raise his children. Jules seems pretty satisfied with that, and the final shot is of their hands reaching out for one another.

Well, almost the final shot. The credits show the suitcase Joe buried his fortune in split open, its contents – millions of pounds in vacuum-sealed notes – bobbling along down a river.

What did you think of Culprits Season 1 Episode 8 and the ending? Let us know in the comments.

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