Netflix’s ‘Delete’: Why Did The Characters Delete Each Other?


Everyone has, at one point or another, wished to delete a person, place, or experience from their life. It is a way for us to forget the bad memories, the embarrassment associated with them, and the heartbreak that followed in their wake. It is simply a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” If the person is deleted, then there is no one else who knows your secrets or is privy to the humiliation that may have followed your vulnerability. That is why it makes sense that if the photographer is deleted, the people he has erased will come back. Because if he himself does not exist, neither do his feelings for the people, which means that they can come back into existence. For all the havoc this device has wrecked, this was a very resourceful thought behind its mechanism.

However, this remains the dark side of the power of a device such as the one seen in Delete, and we believe that this is how the mobile even came to be. The invention of this device couldn’t have been rooted in noble intentions. However, one of the first few deaths in the series happens because of a girl’s misguided goodness. It is a topic of debate around the world whether the fundamental Right to Life includes the decision to live. Claire believed that it did, and that is why she took the decision to put people out of their pain. This is a part of the series that should have been explored a little more.

The general implication was that Claire had the people’s permission to do what she did, yet we find it hard to believe that so many people were just willing to disappear without giving any closure to their dear and loved ones. We think that Claire was swept away by the supposed nobility of what she was doing without understanding its responsibility. This is the reason the death of her friend hit her so hard. This was a person she deeply cared about, and when she deleted them, maybe she finally realized what the people left behind by the other deleted patients must have gone through. We really believe that this is why she wanted to delete herself, unable to bear the weight of what she had done, and asked Lilly to do it for her. While she got what she wanted, Lilly found an opportunity. She and Aim wanted to break up with their partners so that they could be with each other. But that proves difficult since Aim has secrets of his own. He is a successful author primarily because he sold his book as a true story, though it is far from it. His girlfriend, Orn, knows this and she threatens him that unless he breaks up with Lilly, she will reveal the truth to the world.

Aim is in a bind since he cannot afford to lose his career, and therefore, he deletes Orn as a way to end his own problems. Now, it is Lilly’s turn to delete Too, especially since they doubt that he knows about the affair. But before she can do that, her sister-in-law, June, nicks her phone. June is a kleptomaniac, and she discovers what the phone can do when she tries to take a picture of a cat and ends up deleting the poor animal. The person June deletes is Ploysai, the girl who bullied her after discovering stolen items in her locker. However, this whole time, Claire’s father has been looking for the phone so that he can delete his daughter’s photographer and bring her back. This search leads him to June’s school, and while retrieving the phone, he ends up deleting her, which brings back Ploysai and, hopefully, the cat.

We believe that the next person that the officer deletes is the store clerk who led him to Lilly’s hiding place. He was removing all evidence of his involvement in this matter. He soon finds Lilly and deletes her too, which ends up bringing back his daughter. But Too has seen this entire spectacle, and he wants revenge. But when he comes to know that his wife can come back, he doesn’t hesitate to end the officer, which brings Lilly, June, and the store clerk back into existence. But Too is absolutely ruthless. He understands that he needs to tie up loose ends, and therefore, he once again deletes Claire and her mother from existence.

Lilly is horrified at this, but she knows that the family would have stopped at nothing to get to her, and she had her child to protect, so she did not speak against Too’s actions. It was also because of this pregnancy that Lilly wanted to break up with Aim, even though he was the father. This meant that a heartbroken Aim started regretting all his decisions, including the one to delete Orn, especially after he came to know that she was willing to commit to him in a way that Lilly wasn’t. Therefore, to set things right, Aim asks Too to delete him, which he does. This brings back Orn and the homeless man that Aim deleted at the beginning of the series. While we understand why Aim may have wanted to bring back Orn, we simply don’t see why Lilly chose to be with Too. She did not love him anymore, and he was not even the father of her child, yet she chose him over Aim. There needed to be some clarity about the reasons behind this choice.

But coming back to the point, the final people to be deleted by the phone were already dead. For Too, the phone was not just something that had wreaked havoc in his married life; it was also a way to erase his family’s crimes. While we were not given the complete details of it, we believe that Too’s father killed many women. He was either a serial killer or an abuser of some sort who covered his tracks with murder, and his son supported him in that. Too deleted the bodies by taking photographs of them, and at the end of the series, he might have deleted Lilly as well. She had discovered the crime, and we don’t think that Too would place her well-being above hiding the truth. However, we did not see a flash coming from the house—the characteristic all-consuming bright light that takes over everything whenever a photograph is taken. This indicates that Lilly might be alive, but she is going to be held captive by Too. The entire process of people getting deleted is not going to end unless a way is found for the phone to be destroyed.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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