The phone in Delete explained

Netflix’s Thai thriller, Delete follows an adulterous couple stumbling upon a supernatural device that lets the user delete others by merely clicking their photo.

Delete seems to be a standard adulterous affair drama at first glance. However, not a long time passes by before the story introduces to the drama a supernatural element that drives the plot forward for the rest of the show.

The origins

How did the phone come into existence? Who invented the device? What technology beyond the basic smartphone ones, if any, does it work on? Who’s the progenitor and how did they lose it? All of these pertinent questions related to the origins of the phone in Delete are unanswered.

The first that Lilly and the viewers see the phone is early on in the very first episode. Amid her mutual worries regarding the future of the relationship with Aim, Lilly runs into a school girl who, with tears rolling down her eyes, asks her to click a photo of her.

When Lilly does so, she learns of the terrifying powers within the phone. Apart from that, it’s never revealed how Claire, the schoolgirl that was deleted by Lilly at the supermarket, got hold of the phone in the first place. This ambiguity remains constant until the very end of the first season.

The machinations

The device at the center of all mayhem in Delete looks like a standard smartphone. It’s a slightly bulky phone with a huge camera at the back.

When it comes to the interface, the whole spiel is rather rudimentary as there only seem to be two features that the phone is capable of.

Delete 2023 phone
Image source: Netflix

One of the features is to click the photo of the subject(s), and the other is to see their bedazzled photos that are saved up in a gallery. There’s a big click button on the screen, below which is the button one clicks to enter the gallery.

When the phone is pointed at the subject(s), the screen shows a little dot that focuses on the said subject(s). As soon as the click button is tapped, the flash turns on and before it goes back to the normal levels of brightness in front of the phone, the subject is wiped out of their existence.

All that’s left of them is their last photo on the phone. One strange feature of the phone is that the person clicking their own photo would not be deleted. Moreover, even if the person is already dead, i.e., it is not more than a rotting pile of bones and skins, the phone works and the process of deletion would make the corpse/carcass disappear.

The possession

Throughout the runtime of Delete, the phone travels from hand to hand and person to person. At first, it’s Lilly who comes to possess it, thanks to Claire choosing her, at random, to be the one that deletes her.

Lilly shows it to Aim who doesn’t believe her claims, so he tries it himself, on a homeless man, deleting him from existence with a click. He then uses it on Orn, his girlfriend who threatens him to expose his affair with Lilly and expose the truth about his famous book, unless he breaks up with Lilly and remains with her.

He deletes her and later Lilly takes the phone to go and do the same to her husband, Too. However, she grows cold feet at the last second and can’t do it. On her way to meet Aim, she’s kidnapped by Captain Yutthachai, the father of Claire who wants his daughter back.

However, he can’t get the phone from her since it’s already been stolen by June, Too’s sister. Yutthachai eventually tracks down June and attacks her, ultimately deleting her to get the phone. Before he can use it again to bring his daughter back, Lilly escapes. Too and Aim to fight Yutthachai.

Too comes to possess the phone finally. Lilly does try to get rid of it, throwing it in the river, but Too takes it out of the water and uses it to delete Aim, at his request. The show ends with him using the phone to delete the girls’ corpses in the basement.

Also Read: Delete summary and ending explained

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