Translating into ‘my fault,’ Mea Culpa is a recent addition on Netflix. It is an American suspense movie that opened to mostly negative reviews.

I thought it’d be nice to write about the film’s ending which leaves many questions unanswered.

In this blog, full of spoilers, you will find a detailed description of the final half an hour of Mea Culpa.

It is a long read and should be read with patience. The starting point is after Mea meets Jimmy and blames herself for sleeping with Zyair.

She goes to meet one of his ex-girlfriends, Renee, as part of her courtroom preparations.

Mea Culpa Detailed Ending Explanation

Mea meets Renee Chester Wilson at her art gallery. The latter starts with some mysteriously ambiguous but true observations. 

She bluntly asks her if Mea is sleeping with Zyair yet, which surprises the attorney. Still, Harper maintains a deadpan look to not give it away. 

Renee continues to speak of sensual details about the man in question. She rightly assumes Mea has already given in to his charm. 

When the lawyer asks her to stick to the point, Chester starts describing her time with Zyair. 

She reveals that even though she helped him out in the beginning, the guy ditched her as soon as things got better for him. 

The consistent flow of money and fame was too much of an allure than to be with an old lady. 

Mea agrees and says she can understand the pain Renee must have been through due to the betrayal. 

But the latter gives a rude response saying a young woman like her, who is far from being 50, cannot understand her agony.

Mea asks if Zyair was ever violent with her. In response, Renee starts laughing, comparing him with snakes. 

Snakes are never violent when stalking their prey. They become violent only after getting into striking distance. 

Mia questions her if he ever got into striking distance with her. 

Renee answers in the negative saying he was gone after getting what he wanted, referring to money and sex. 

She continues saying that Zyair’s charm began once Chester told him about her failing relationship.

What follows shocks Mea. Renee tells her that Zyair made her sit in front of an easel and asked her to paint. 

He told her, “close your eyes and tell me what color you feel.” 

Mea, who’d had a similar incident just a day ago, is flabbergasted as Renee continues.

When she answered with ‘Blue,’ Zyair made her draw waves (the same happened with Mea). 

However, as Wilson told him about her anger, the man came up with the idea of adding a red color to the painting. 

Later, he finished her portrait and put it on the canopy over the bed. 

She calls herself the canvas he played with until it was done. 

Renee ends the meeting by saying there are many such canvases with several layers of deceit. Mea leaves the art gallery with her heart stuffed with sorrow.

She cannot believe how she fell for a Casanova, who could actually be a killer. She goes to Zyair’s house and rushes to his bedroom. 

There, Mea steps on the bed to reach the canopy. She uncovers her portrait to find another girl’s picture under it. 

Below is a different woman and the cycle goes on and on. The last painting is of Hydie’s. 

It has a caption over it, “die bitch, you ruined my life.” 

Zyair senses something wrong when Mea doesn’t reply to his calls from downstairs. 

He goes to the bedroom and finds out the reason.

Furious with his actions, Mea runs away from him. Zyair says she is misunderstanding him completely. He only wrote the quote after seeing the video.

However, Mea has made up her mind by then. She gets into his makeshift elevator and asks him to start it. But Zyair is yet to play his final card, as he says.

Mea angrily enters back inside the house and yells at him. She says if that final card is about telling her husband, she will do it herself.

She will also go to Judge Brodan, the bar, and the prosecution to make sure he is convicted since the painting is evidence enough to prove him guilty.

Surprisingly, Zyair confesses his love for her. 

But she doesn’t give a damn and walks towards the elevator, with tears in her eyes, knowing very well it is a ploy to fool her. 

She screams with great intensity asking him for the nth time to start the elevator. He does so and Mea leaves the house. 

The scene cuts to Ray’s house, where Mea and Kal are welcomed by the vexed faces of Azalia, Charlise, and Ray. 

Ray pulls Kal aside and whispers something in his ears. It leaves the latter confused. Mea thinks they have found out about her affair and takes the initiative to inform her husband on her own. 

However, it is all but too late as Ray jumps into their conversation asking her why didn’t she tell him during their hour-long ride home?

She asks Kal if they can talk privately but his mother is quick to interrupt telling her to conversate in front of them.

Ray then petitions her to tell Kal where she was the last night. 

As emotions run high in the room, Charlise tries to calm things down. But Azalia expresses her anger saying she is mad as hell.

According to her, Kal has been paying for all her lifestyle choices, including expensive suits and other stuff. He has been working hard and he even works overtime to meet her demands.

Despite all this, Mea doesn’t care about him. Azalia thinks she doesn’t deserve her son.

Kal requests her to share her whereabouts from the previous night, ‘honestly.’ The usage of this word makes up for a great irony. Mea’s expressions indicate the same.

Consequently, Kal takes it upon himself and announces to others in the room that he has lost his job. Mea had been supporting him financially the whole time.

Moreover, he is going through rehab. 

Ray and Azalia, both surprised, try to sympathize with him. The latter puts the entire blame for his errors on Mea.

She says Mea has always been putting so much pressure on him. 

After this, Ray reveals that he got a call from the court saying she has recused herself from the case citing an inappropriate relationship with her client, Zyair.

A stern Kal again seeks truth from his wife. Finally, Mea reveals that she spent the night with Zyair. With a quavering voice, Kal asks if she fucked him.

Mea accepts the accusation and agrees to have shared the bed with her client. This infuriates Kal and he starts screaming and breaking things around like an animal. 

Azania yells at Mea, calls her names, and orders her to leave the house.

The latter does so, laced with tears. 

While Mea walks out, Charlise runs to her and gives her a hug, trying to support a good friend in tough times.

Ray walks to the doorstep and tells his wife that she needs to come in, the kids need her.

The scene cuts to a beachside, where Mea is sitting at a café, and TV news is playing out in the background.

It says that Zyair Malloy has struck a deal with the prosecution that will give him the opportunity to be eligible for parole. It effectively means ‘no trial, no answers.’

Usually, in such cases, the accused has to reveal the location of the body. But surprisingly, the reporter says, DA Harper didn’t ask for it.

He calls it shocking. 

Mea receives a phone call from Jimmy. He asks if she has talked to Kal but the latter denies having done so.

Jimmy suggests she dial Kal since he has been going to counselling but Mea needs time to sit on all of what has happened recently.  

At her hotel, Mea accidentally bumps into a woman who looks familiar. On a closer examination, she realizes the lady is none other than Hydie (the woman Zyair allegedly killed).

She tries to inquire more but Hydie starts running from her. When Mea takes out her phone to call the cops, Hydie snatches it from her and sprays a cleaning liquid kept nearby into her eyes, before escaping the scene.

Mea reports the incident to the police. With her new phone, she calls Charlise and requests her to pass on the mobile to Ray.

Subsequently, she tells him about Hydie and that Zyair is innocent. Moreover, the police aren’t helping her case so she wants him to help her out.

Initially, Ray ridicules her for her wild theories and says he cannot believe her after what she did to Kal.

Mea informs him that her private investigator is on the way and she plans to find the girl with him. Further, she tells him her current location when asked.

Ray says the whole event looks bad because she had been in an affair with Zyair. 

Therefore, if she wants to help him, it would be better to wait for one of Ray’s investigators to reach there.

However, the girl will be gone by then, according to Mea’s instincts. He asks her to come back home citing Kal’s poor mental state after their separation.

However, the defense attorney is reluctant to come home due to obvious reasons. Still, eventually, Ray manages to convince her and promises to send an investigator right away.

Back home, she is greeted by Charlise. Surprisingly, Ray, who is mumbling with his mom, speaks very gently with Mea, a clear departure from his earlier position.

Straightaway, she asks about Kal. Ray replies saying he is on the way. He also informs her that his investigator will reach Santo Domingo soon and they will find Hydie.

With the side eye, Mea keeps looking at Azalia, who maintains a snobbish face. A call from Jimmy interrupts their conversation.

They exchange greetings. Jimmy asks if Azalia is present at the house. Upon learning that she is, he tells her to check her email.

We are not shown the contents of the mail but Mea’s visibly upset face tells the story that it must be something big.

She cannot believe what she has just seen. Jimmy keeps asking for a response on the phone line but Mea is lost in thoughts. 

Her eyes suddenly meet the unlocked door of the storeroom in front.

She slowly moves in the direction and enters the room to find a portrait inside. Mea flips over the first picture and she is flabbergasted to find Charlise’s portrait next.

Shocked to the core, she steps out of the room in backward motion. 

Azalia’s voice startles her further. She asks Mea if she can help her to the counter as the Chemo has made her too weak to even walk (strange reason, considering she didn’t look any frail from minutes ago).

Azalia tries to grab her hand, and, in the process, Mea’s phone falls down. 

In what appears to be a deliberate attempt, the woman crushes the phone using her knees after she bends down to pick it up. 

She insincerely says that the phone might not be in working condition anymore. As they make their way, Charlise and Ray also assemble at the counter near the kitchen.

Ray offers Mea a drink. She expresses concern for Kal having not arrived yet. Her brother-in-law says he would call him while she enjoys her drink.

Charlise asks if Mea wants to help her get the meal ready. The latter nods in a yes. 

She picks up the vegetable basket and the knife and is headed towards the kitchen when Azalia stops her and takes the knife from her hands.

She takes the initiative to cut the vegetables, furthering the notion that something is definitely amiss inside the house. 

Ray comes back and observes that Mea hasn’t even touched her drink yet.

His repeated focus on the drink indicates that it might be spiked. 

Mea asks him about the reply of his clerk. Ray reveals that his investigator has found Hydie.

Unraveling further, Ray tells Mea that tomorrow they will talk to the judge and begin the process to free Zyair.

Mea questions why can they not meet the judge tonight itself and make things clear. However, her brother-in-law asks her to not ruin their precious and rare family time.

Meanwhile, Charlise uses an eye gesture but Mea fails to notice it. She instead asks Ray to check his email. Puzzled, he opens his phone.

His mother asks Ray to read the mail aloud. However, the moment he sees the content, he asks whether Mea obtained the information through Jimmy.

He says, according to Mea’s email, Azalia doesn’t have cancer. The latter agrees to the piece of information.

She asks Ray to tell Mea why does she not have cancer. This surprises the defense attorney. What follows is even more haunting.

Ray’s puzzled face turns into a wry smile as he reveals they cooked up all the drama to gain sympathy for votes.

He had expected Mea to discover the truth a lot earlier than this. She asks if Kal knows anything about it.

Azalia denies the same. Out of nowhere, Ray raises a toast to their family. His mother does the same to Charlise for she decided to sleep with Zyair, a penniless artist, in her words.

Charlise tries to come up with an apology to Ray, who brings the painting from the storeroom and puts it in the hall.

Azalia abhors the two women for cheating on her sons with the same guy. Mea says she knows Ray set Zyair up.

He suggests her to let it go. The defense attorney tells Charlise to get the kids and come with her. She goes around the table and tries to reassure her sobbing sister-in-law.

In an unprecedented move, Ray directs Charlise to stab Mea, before passing her the knife. A fragile Charlise says she would not do that.

However, Ray puts pressure on her, forcing her to grab the knife. At the end moment, instead of stabbing Mea, she attempts to hit her husband with the tool.

But her try falls flat as Ray blocks her hand and slaps her down to the ground. Azalia takes the knife and attacks Mea. Total chaos takes over the house with everyone fighting around.

The mother-son duo corners Mea while Charlise is still lying on the ground. Whenever Mea manages to get past one of them, the other gives her a beating.

Eventually, she somehow reaches the main door and tries to break open it by crashing the glass. However, Ray aims a gun at her and tells her that the glass is bulletproof and won’t open easily.

Pushed to the brink once again, Mea has no chance to escape. But Charlise attacks Ray from behind, allowing her to use the keys to open the door.

Though Mea gets through the main door, Charlise is stabbed by Azalia several times. Outside the house, Ray tries to stop the defense attorney again and again.

However, every time, Mea finds a way to escape. She finally reaches her car but Ray comes in between.

His intentions are tackled but before she can move forward, Azalia comes around as another obstacle.

Mea starts the engine and Azalia’s relentless pursuit puts her on the bonnet of the vehicle, which soon suffers a tragic collision with a tree. 

She falls to the ground and rolls down several feet apart. Mea gets out of the damaged car and runs for her life.

Scrambling for help on the main road, Mea waves for a lift from an incoming car. Coincidently, the rider turns out to be Kal.

He is shocked to see his wife’s condition. A flurry of questions and incomplete answers follow. Mea asks him to call 911. 

He follows her directions and informs the cops while driving the car. On the call, he says the police are asking about what happened. 

When Mea doesn’t answer, he tells them to send someone on the highway. Mea notices the road and asks why is he going to the house. 

Kal says it would be the safest place to wait for the cops. Mea replies to him saying they tried to kill her and she cannot go back. 

Kal’s phone rings and he pretends that the call is from the police. By this time, Mea has started to doubt his intentions. 

She sneakily turns on the music system of the car, which is connected to his phone’s Bluetooth. The next she hears is the voice of Ray. 

He is telling Kal that Mea knows everything and he must bring her back home. 

She looks at him with utter disappointment realizing that he never called 911 in the first place. A short confession follows.

Kal tells her that his mom always doubted her and he had no clue that she’d fall for Zyair like Charlise did. 

He calls both of them stupid and that Ray had warned him he’d never be good enough for her. 

He had suggested he beat her to get her in line. However, Kal wanted to try the sweet way. 

In the end, his mother was proven right that sweetness would never work with Mea. 

The disgruntled lawyer tries to provoke Kal, calling him weak. 

Mea says that Zyair was stronger than him and had more money and success, which were the reasons behind her going to him. Irritated by her words, Kal slaps her. 

Mea notices a truck coming towards them on the other lane. 

Sensing an opportunity, she unhooks Kal’s seatbelt and before he can understand anything, she turns the steering, resulting in an accident. 

He falls onto the road while Mea stays safe, thanks to the airbag.

The scene cuts to Ray’s house, where the media has gathered in large numbers. Ray has been arrested on account of covering up evidence and other charges. 

The state attorney had received an anonymous email containing all the evidence against him. 

Zyair is released from prison and he openly thanks Mea Harper for the same in front of the media.

Later, we are shown the defense lawyer receiving a text from Zyair saying that he hopes to meet her soon. 

However, Mea doesn’t give the message any importance and throws the phone in the dustbin. 

The movie ends.

Now, some pertinent questions…

What Happens in the End?

It is revealed that Azalia never had cancer and it was all part of a plan to check whether Mea would stay with Kal or leave him.

Moreover, Mea finds out that Hydie never died and Zyair was framed by Ray. To know the how and why. Read below.

From Where Did Charlise’s Portrait Come?

Charlise’s portrait, which Mea found in their storeroom, was drawn by Zyair. It implies that Charlise had been in a relationship with the artist. 

Did Ray and Kal Know About the Truth Behind Azalia’s Cancer?

Yes, both of them knew about their mother not suffering from cancer. While Ray’s inclination is made clear inside the house, Kal’s becomes clear towards the end during his conversation with Ray.

He can be seen telling Kal that ‘Mea knows everything.’ The fact that he takes her back home after a tragedy is another indication of the same.

Did Charlise Die in Mea Culpa? 

No, Charlise probably survived the assault by Azalia since we never see her die clearly. Even when the media reaches the place, they do not report her death.

Who All Died in Mea Culpa?

Nobody died, as far as I think. Had that been the case, either the media would have reported the same or we would have seen someone offering flowers at their grave (cliché).

Why Was Zyair Framed?

He was framed by Ray as an act of revenge for sleeping with Charlise. After he found out about his wife’s affair, he researched the guy and discovered he was a Casanova.

Ray sent Hydie as bait and Zyair quickly fell for it. Thereafter, the smart lawyer plotted each and everything perfectly to accuse him of murder.

He made sure to ruin his reputation so that the revenge gets tastier.

What Did Ray, Kal, and Azalia Plan Exactly?

The initial plan was to fake Azalia’s cancer. It was done to gain public sympathy for Ray ahead of the elections.

Everything else was a by-product of this plan. The Cancer led to the fallout between Kal and Mea. She started doubting him. Felt ignored. And got naturally attracted to Zayir. 

Did Charlise Have an Affair with Zyair?

Yes, she slept with him. This can be concluded using an early scene in the film where Charlise and Mea step out of the hotel.

Charlise asks about the clamor nearby, which is due to Zayir. Ray jumps into the conversation and tells Mea that they have two paintings of the man and he plans to get rid of them.

He is referring to the same paintings Mea finds in their storeroom towards the end of the film. This proves that he always knew about Charlise’s affair.

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