Warning: contains spoilers for Fool Me Once.
“I often find that people think they find plot holes when in truth they just haven’t considered every possibility. But that’s part of the fun.” So Harlan Coben (an author whose job is to consider every possibility, blindfold every possibility, and spin every possibility by the shoulders until it staggers off bumping into the furniture) told ladbible.com.
Coben was responding to a popular question left on viewers’ lips at the end of new Netflix thriller Fool Me Once: why did Emmett J Scanlan’s character Shane put a tracker on Maya’s car – was he up to no good?
The answer to that one is simple, said Coben. Military Police officer Shane was just a good pal worried about his friend’s erratic and secretive behaviour in the wake of her sister and husband’s murders. He tracked Maya’s car without telling her for her and daughter Lily’s protection.
Fair dos. Case closed.
But there’s another mystery (perhaps the show’s second biggest after ‘How did Captain Stern maintain a flawless gel manicure while deployed as an Army helicopter pilot?’) and it’s this: how did Judith Burkett know that Maya had installed a nanny cam, and does it mean that Eva – who gave Maya the camera – was in on the plan?
Judith, Izabella and the Nanny Cam Plan
In the TV show and in the book, on the day of Maya’s husband Joe’s funeral, Maya’s friend Eva gives her a digital photo frame containing a hidden nanny cam. It was to watch little Lily’s nanny Izabella, says Eva, and for Maya and Lily’s protection now that they’re living alone.
By the final episode, it’s revealed that Joe’s mother Judith Burkett suspected Maya of having killed Joe, and was trying to unhinge her so that she would make a mistake and reveal her guilt. To put pressure on Maya, Judith concocted a plan for Burkett servants Izabella and Luka to plant fake footage of a living, breathing Joe on Maya’s nanny cam. They dressed Luka in one of Joe’s shirts and digitally replaced his head with that of Joe, using footage from Maya and Joe’s wedding video. Then, they sat back and waited for Maya to unravel and spill her secrets.
What’s explained in the 2014 novel from which the TV series is adapted is that the childminder spotted the nanny cam as soon as it arrived:
“Suddenly the day after the funeral you have a new digital frame already loaded up with pictures of your family? Please. You’re the only mother I know that doesn’t keep about pictures of her daughter around. You don’t even hang up her artwork. So when I saw that frame – how stupid do you think I am?”
That explains why book-Maya notices that, while book-Isabella is described as usually unsmiling and dour in person, on the nanny camera footage she’s constantly happy and “the perfect nanny all the time”. Isabella knew it was there from the off, and so was putting on a show.
Isabella (she and her brother Hector Mendez are Hispanic, not Polish, in the book) saw the photo frame the day after Joe’s funeral and discussed it with her mother Rosa – a character who isn’t in the TV series. Rosa was a longtime devotee of her employers the wealthy Burkett family, and, in the book, was revealed to have been present on the yacht where Joe Burkett pushed his brother Andrew to his death. If Rosa knew that Joe had killed Andrew back then, she never came forward and instead protected the family by keeping their secret.
Acting very quickly in the week after Joe’s funeral, Judith came up with the plan to plant the fake footage on the nanny cam, and employed Rosa, Isabella and Hector (Luka in the TV series) to carry it out. As Hector confesses to Maya towards the end of the book:
“I dressed up as Joe. We let your nanny cam tape it. I took the SD card back to Farnwood. The family had hired a CGI Photoshop guy. An hour later, I came back to the house with it. Isabella put it in the frame.
“We did it because you killed Joe!” It was our mother. She said you killed Joe. She said we had to help prove it.”
Is Eva Innocent?
Yes. But in the book, Maya does suspect Eileen of being part of the conspiracy, and takes a gun to her house to confront her and force her to share her order history on Amazon, from where she had bought three identical nanny cams.
Eva (named Eileen Finn in the book, after a Harlan Coben fan who made a charitable donation to be commemorated in a character name) gave Maya one of those three nanny cams in good faith for her own protection. She didn’t know that Judith and the Mendezes had colluded to plant fake footage on the camera in order to destabilise Maya.
In the novel, Eileen has a slightly different backstory to Eva in the TV show. She’s still a recent divorcee but her ex-husband hadn’t just “not always been a good guy”, as Eva describes Robby in the series, he was physically and emotionally abusive. In the book, Eileen buys three nanny cams to plant around her house in order to capture footage of Robby attacking her, which she then sends to her lawyer to stop him from continuing his joint custody suit. In the TV show, Eva just has the cameras for her own comfort, but Robby hacks into them to spy on her kissing another man.
So that’s that. Eva wasn’t in on the unlikely but just about plausible scheme pulled off in record speed by Judith, Izabella and Luka. Unlike them, she’s in the clear.
Fool Me Once is streaming now on Netflix.
The post Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once Book Explains the Nanny Cam ‘Plot Hole’ appeared first on Den of Geek.