Netflix’s Brazen follows a mystery writer, Grace Miller, as she tries to solve the murder case of her sister who had a double life. She is aided by detective Ed Jennings, who is also her sister’s next door neighbour.
As the movie begins we learn that Kathleen, Grace’s sister is leading a double life. She works as a Drama and English teacher by day and a webcam performer named Desiree on an adult website called Fantasy Incorporated by night.
On the surface it might seem like Grace writes books about women getting murdered but in a scene she specifies that they are actually about the exploitation of women, misogyny, patriarchy and how we do so little to protect the vulnerable.
Kathleen wants Grace by her side, now more than ever as she is fighting a custody battle for her son with her ex husband, Jonathan Breezewood. Kathleen tells Grace that she has obtained some files that proves that Jonathan is stealing from the family trust and blackmailing him with this might be her only way to win back her son’s full custody as his family is very connected and rich.
Grace meets Kathleen’s next door neighbor, detective Ed Jennings and they decide to go on a date. After the date when Grace returns home, she sees Kathleen’s body lying on the floor of her bedroom. She runs back and gets Ed while still trying to process what she just saw. Kathleen is pronounced dead and the investigation led by Ed immediately starts.
When Grace goes to Kathleen’s school to collect her belongings a student named Jerald Baxter informs her that they should look into the maintenance guy Billy Sachs. Grace confronts Billy and learns that he knew about Kathleen’s double life. His cousin, Richie Gorman who was the webcam guy at Fantasy Inc. showed the videos to him.
As the detectives start going over the potential suspects, they rule out Jonathan Breezewood as he has an airtight alibi. Soon they get notified about the murder of another webcam performer and this makes them conclude that there’s a serial killer on the loose.
Despite Ed’s strong disapproval Grace convinces the captain that she has an instinct to find out the motive of a murder and she could contribute a lot to the case. The captain agrees and they team up to find the killer.
When they watch a recorded footage of the killer in a scuffle with the other victim, they notice him saying the name ‘Desiree’. This meant that whoever the killer was, his vengeance was targeted on Kathleen’s online persona.
A bouquet addressed to Desiree is found at Kathleen’s funeral. They trace the purchase of the bouquet to its credit card owner whose son is one of Kathleen’s students, Rand Morgan. He is not able to give a valid alibi as to his whereabouts on the nights of the murders.
The next victim manages to survive and is able to give a profile of her attacker which leads to the arrest of Rand Morgan. But Grace thinks there’s something wrong and after talking to Billy Sachs she gets to know that Rand and Richie are together.
It’s Richie who told Rand about Desiree and the reason for Rand not having a proper alibi was the fact that he didn’t want to come out to his father and reveal that he was with Richie at the time of the murders.
Grace comes up with a plan to find the killer by baiting him out into the open. She would become Fantasy Inc.’s new Desiree and trigger the killer to come after her. The captain agrees and they set this plan into motion.
Brazen ending explained in detail:
Who is the killer?
As everyone is at Kathleen’s place with everything set-up to catch the killer, detective Ed receives a call.
He is informed that Randy and Jerald got into a fight at the high school. Randy, who is in the ER tells them that Jerald seems to be too obsessed with Kathleen and even called her ‘his Kathleen’.
As soon as they get this information, the whole team at Kathleen’s house is retracted. Grace is left alone there, as they go over to Jerald’s house to capture him.
Jerald never liked his mother Martha. But he started to love Kathleen because she embodied everything his mother wasn’t. She was nurturing and caring while his mother was overbearing and dominating.
However, things changed once he got to know about Kathleen’s Fantasy Inc. character Desiree, who was a dominatrix. He felt that Desiree was trying to control him just like his mother. This triggered him and that’s why he started killing.
He had even planned to kill his mother after killing Grace.
Grace in danger
When the police arrive at Jerald’s house, he is nowhere to be found. He has come to Kathleen’s house to kill Grace. Jerald, unaware that he is being recorded, confesses to all his killings.
During their scuffle, they knock down a mannequin behind which there is a gun stashed by Kathleen. Grace tries to reach it but Jerald gets to it first. Just as Jerald is about to fire detective Ed gets there and shoots him.
Grace is saved and the case is resolved. In the end, we also see Grace and Ed living together happily.