‘Confess, Fletch’ Ending Explained: Who Killed Laurel? Where Are The Count’s Paintings?


In Fletch’s multiverse, we got John Hamm as the second incarnation after Chevy Chase’s hilarious comedic gestures. Adapted from Gregory Macdonald’s 1976 novel “Confess, Fletch,” a mystery thriller with muddled up humor, the maker of “Superbad.” Greg Mottola brings another cinematic portrayal with the same title and a stellar cast. Although the film focuses more on Fletch himself than a mystery thriller, it is still enjoyable to see him fall in love, get trapped, and try hard to solve an art theft that brings a murder his way. However, for the sake of a mystery thriller, it manages to show how prime suspect Fletch finds the real culprit that drives the film’s journey. So, let us dive in to find out.

Spoilers Ahead

Who is Fletch? How Is He Involved In The Murder?

“Confess, Fletch” begins in a luxurious house, where Fletch, the protagonist, finds the dead body of a beautiful woman lying on the carpet. Checking the pulse on her neck, he is convinced that the woman is dead. He walked around the room calmly, as if nothing had happened, bit into a pear from the fruit bowl, and found a letter tucked under a wine bottle on the living room table. Fletch reports the murder on the General Precinct line, which does not seem necessary because he is supposed to call 911. However, the police arrived on the spot.

Irwin Morrice Fletcher is a funny and charming character whose main interaction weapon is sarcasm. He walks around with a yawning photo of himself in his passport and is eager to help officers investigate the murder despite being a prime suspect. He is no longer shocked like other ordinary people by the sudden death of an unknown woman, but rather he can be mistaken for an investigator, although a less serious one. He has moved in as a temporary tenant in the house and suspects Owen Tasserly (John Behlmann), the owner. However, Fletch clarifies not to think of him as a rich, influential criminal because he is just a former freelance investigative journalist who thinks he can be useful in investigating this murder. However, investigating officer Monroe and his assistant trainee Griz do not feel it at all. Fletch says he rented the house with his girlfriend’s money, but that girlfriend holds up another story.

Angela Di Grassi (Lorenza Izzo), daughter of the Italian Count Clementi Arbogastes de Grassi, has nine paintings stolen, including the painting of Picasso’s Olga. The Count invites Fletch to investigate. But why Fletch? Because once, one of his articles helped the police catch a museum art theft. Angela does not trust Fletch with the investigation at all until Fletch informs her that Boston art dealer Ronald Horan (Kyle MacLachlan) has already sold two of her father’s paintings, Bellini and Perugino (from the Renaissance era). Impressed with the job, Angela becomes his girlfriend. Fletch and his lover roam around the artistic world of Rome when news suddenly arrives that Angela’s father, the Count, has been kidnapped. Angela’s only suspicion is her stepmother, the Countess (Marcia Gay Harden), who, according to Angela, married the Count just for his money. But the kidnappers don’t want money as ransom; they want one of her father’s paintings, Olga by Picasso.

Who is Ronald Horan? Why does Fletch Want To Meet Him?

Fletch comes to know about the victim, Laurel Goodwin, who used to work in a café. He finally meets the art dealer, Ronald Horan, who is one of a peculiar kind. He listens to EDM and electronic sounds to pump up his blood and seems to have OCD in a big way. He keeps two separate pen holders to put dirty and clean ones, and he does not shake hands. He teaches in Harvard’s art department, and now he is a famous art dealer who doesn’t sell paintings to unknown clients. Fletch introduces himself as Ralph Locke, who might be a manager of Lloyds Bank of the Canary Islands (totally made up), so Horan is convinced to sell the painting of Olga by Picasso to Mr. Locke by Saturday. On Fletch’s journey, officer Monroe (Roy Wood Jr.) and his assistant Griz (Ayden Mayeri) have all eyes on him. To avoid police attention, he asks a young couple who are painting a wall to paint his van for $300 in cash. He gives them a completely different identity, which he cannot remember the next moment. A huge Chevy Chase moment, where we see Fletch’s continuously changing name throughout “Confess, Fletch.”

Fletch then rents a car from a car rental company and, on the way back, meets Eve, a restless character from whom he learns of her and Owen’s acquaintance. He comes to know that Owen is divorced and addicted to drugs like Oxy, Molly, etc. Owen also has huge problems with his ex-wife, Tatiana. However, in his car, he ends up being caught by Officer Monroe and taken to the police station as he ran his car so fast. In the interrogation, it is known that some cases, like bad check charges and non-paid alimony charges, are found in Fletch’s criminal record. However, Monroe is unable to arrest Fletch as there is no evidence other than a fingerprint on the wine bottle, which Fletch clarifies as touching it for the sake of the note underneath. Police know him by his pen name, Ralph Locke, which was written on the note. During this chaos, an intruder arrives at Fletch’s house in the middle of the night. While Fletch chases him, he gets wounded by his martial arts. The next day, Fletch arrives at his old office, where he talks to Frank about Owen. Eventually, Fletch arrives at Tatiana’s house as Frank’s identity to try and get to know about the murder under the guise of an interview, but Tatiana can’t say anything about it. Bigger problems arise with the arrival of the Countess. The Countess, who is the poison of Angela’s life, comes to live with Fletch in Owen’s room. Owen is believed by Fletch to be the only one connected to the murder, but when the Countess reveals to him that Owen is Angela’s best friend, they both studied together in Harvard’s art department, and Fletch feels somewhat betrayed.

‘Confess, Fletch’ Ending Explained: Who Killed Laurel? Where Are The Count’s Paintings?

Following Ronald Horan, Fletch arrives at his yacht, where he enters the boat intending to steal the painting, which was stolen but is prevented from entering due to security. Monroe then comes across footage of a man in Fletch’s shirt and hat walking with Laurel. But when Monroe is forced to arrest Fletch, with Angela’s help, he gets bail. For the sake of his girlfriend, Fletch reaches Horan’s yacht, where, with the help of a bunch of firecrackers, he draws the guard’s attention and disappears. He trickly rescues all the paintings and returns home. He even gets a criminal record for Owen from his friend Frank, where he gets a bunch of complaints as well. But on the other hand, when Monroe interrogates Horan, as from Griz, he comes to know where Fletch was going. He observes the obsessive hand washing Tasse Tendency of Horan, so he can connect some of the dots that he has seen in the footage of Laurel.

Here comes Angela; while on the road, Fletch asks her about Owen. She does not seem to be interested in doubting her best friend. At Owen’s house, a small dinner party is organized, and Owen is invited. There are a lot of secrets unfolding Fletch comes to know that the previous night it was Owen who broke in to find his Oxy can, and while Tatiana comes over, she also finds out that Fletch is a journalist but not Frank, who interviewed her that other day. Meanwhile, the Countess and Angela start bickering over who kidnapped Menti (the Count). But in a fraction of a minute, Angela comes out without taking Fletch and runs towards Horan, which leads Fletch to follow her. When Fletch reaches the same yacht he had been on before, he finds his girlfriend and Horan talking about those paintings. Fletch comes down with them, and a big truth gets revealed in front of him.

It is revealed that Horan was both Angela’s ex-boyfriend and teacher, and Horan is the one who killed Laurel because he had to do something for Fletch to be removed when he became involved in the investigation of the art theft. Finally, as Horan points the gun at Fletch and Angela, Officers Monroe and Griz arrive. Consequently, Horan is shot by Griz, and Fletch and Angela are saved. Therefore, Monroe informs Fletch that none of the paintings have been found, but Fletch knows where they are, but he remains silent until he confronts Count Menti. Monroe confirms that in that footage where the guy was in disguise as Fletch, he did not let Laurel touch his hands, and that’s how Monroe knows who’s the killer. Finally, Menti arrives, and when Fletch tells him about the paintings, he offers them to him to keep them. Fletch is somewhat happy but gets dumped by Angela. Anyway, Monroe finally comes to know that Fletch possesses those paintings. But except for the Olga one, he gifts each of them to the known people in this case, whether it is Eve or that young couple who painted that van or the Countess. We see him relaxing on a boat, where he is so satisfied with his life that he rejects Frank’s offer for the next investigative article. We see him bound to nobody or anything, and rather looks happy and complete.

Character Analysis of Fletch: Why Does He Give Away Those Paintings?

Fletch was easy-going with a clever mind who sarcastically approached everybody, but sometimes his jokes were too much to annoy us. We see him being coldly suspicious throughout the case, which he does not show, but at the end of “Confess, Fletch,” he yells at his girlfriend out of jealousy or paranoia as he believes she could have tried to make him fall. Although Angela, in the first place, hid so many things from Fletch. So, it seems fair to forgive him. Where the Countess was always a suspect in Angela’s eyes, later, she turns out to be the lover of her Menti, which only Fletch could realize. Angela, the one who talked about paranoia to her boyfriend, was the one herself. She, instead of communicating with the Countess, stole all the paintings from her clutch. Otherwise, it could not be such a mess or lead to murder.

Fletch, at the end of “Confess, Fletch,” comes out as a true art enthusiast who values people and their jobs. He also values the flakiest Eve, whom he could not even tolerate before. He even thought that everyone must have a choice and a blossoming aspect of art, which he gave to everyone as a gift, relaxing in the boat himself, in the middle of the sea.

“Confess, Fletch” is a 2022 Drama Comedy film directed by Greg Mottola.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami is an artist and an aspiring screenwriter both by profession and passion. Apart from writing stories, poems and songs, studying cinema is her obsession. She is also a freelance painter yet it is the world of cinema that fascinates her the most.

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