Does Eli Phillips Die In ‘Reptile’? How Did He Unravel The Mystery Of The White Fish?


There were a few people in Reptile who could camouflage their intentions and drive the investigating officers into believing that they had nothing to do with the murder of the victim, which in this case was Summer Elswick, but then there were a few, like Eli Phillips, who behaved in such a manner and did things that the police didn’t have any option but to add their names to the list of suspects.

Spoiler Alert

Eli Phillips was the kind of man who always looked like he was incapable of telling the truth. There was something mysterious about his entire aura, and anybody who saw him would believe that he was either under the influence of some substance or involved in some shady business. We saw Eli Phillips lingering around on many occasions, and the moment you laid eyes on him, you couldn’t help but think that he was up to something. The police would have never actually learned about him had Will Grady not told Tom about Eli Phillips trying to break into his house the other day. Tom, till then, had no clue who he was, and he also became curious to know if Eli had a role to play in Summer’s murder. So Tom and Cleary decided that they would have to go and meet this obnoxious character and ask him why he had tried to forcefully enter Will Grady’s house.

What Has Happened Between Eli And Will Grady In The Past?

Tom and Cleary went to Eli’s house, and the moment they saw him, they somewhere did presume that he was pretty much capable of committing a crime or killing somebody. But Eli very casually told them that he had nothing to do with Summer’s murder, and shockingly, he also said that it was Will Grady, her partner, who had killed her. Up until then, Tom and Cleary had already interrogated Will, and they had somewhat made the deduction that he hadn’t murdered Summer and that there was someone else who had done it, though the motive was still not known to them. When asked about why Eli had tried to forcefully enter Will’s house, he mentioned the conflicts he had had with the Grady family from the time Will’s father used to manage things. Eli’s family owned a farm built on a huge piece of land, and the Grady family had their eyes on it for a very long time. Somehow, Will’s father was able to make Eli’s family sign the contract, and he bought the farm from them.

Eli’s entire family went through a lot during that time, but they knew that they couldn’t do anything as the Gradys were well-connected and quite influential in the area. Eli always blamed the Gradys for ruining his entire life, and ever since then, he has been snooping around in the hope of finding out what kind of illicit activities they were indulging in. Eli had a hunch from the beginning that Will and Camille Grady had a lot of black money from unspecified sources, and on digging into the matter, he found out that they were running a scam and fooling the authorities for a very long time. Eli told Tom everything he knew, but it was difficult for anybody to trust his words. Eli had realized that if he wanted to see Will behind bars, he would have to find some evidence to prove that he was not just making up the entire thing. Eli was ready to go to any extent to take revenge for what had happened to his family. He knew for sure that Summer had been killed by Will and other accomplices, and he was ready to risk his life to find the corroborating evidence.

How Did Eli Prove Will’s Guilt?

Eli put his life at stake and entered Will’s office to find some documents that brought their corrupt activities to light. Luckily, he found a pendrive in which a lot of information about the various transactions entered into by Will’s company was mentioned. Eli took the pendrive to Tom and told him that he would find all the evidence he needed to convict Will and others involved with him on the pendrive. Tom, through the pendrive, ended up realizing how Will and Wally were fooling the authorities and benefiting greatly from running the entire scam. Wally used to plant drugs at different properties so that the authorities seized them, and their market rate fell. Then, through a company named White Fish that was run by Will and Wally, they bought those properties at a much lower rate, and then finally, Will used to sell them off, making huge profits. Buying the property at a low market rate gave them a huge profit margin, and they were probably also involved in drug trafficking, but their cover got busted when Rudi Rackozy, the hired gun who had murdered Summer, got caught for overspeeding. The authorities seized a lot of drugs from his possession, and that’s how Tom Nichols was able to connect the dots and understand what was actually happening.

Is Eli Dead Or Alive?

Will Grady got to know that his pendrive had been stolen from his office, and he realized that it was Eli Phillips who was behind it. He went to meet Eli at his place, and at the end of Reptile, asked him to return his pendrive. Eli resisted, and that’s when another man entered his house. Though we are never shown the face of this man, we believe that it was either Rudi Rackozy or Wally, who had come to execute Eli and get done with the hassle once and for all. We are never shown what happened to Eli, but knowing how these people operated, we are very sure that he was killed in the most horrifying manner, on the orders of Will Grady and Wally. They could have buried his body in some palace where they knew Tom wouldn’t be able to find it, or maybe they would have made use of chemicals and dissolved the skeleton in it. Whatever it might have been, the chapter of Eli Phillips ended there. We can say in the end that Eli did get his revenge when, based on the information he had provided to Tom, Will Grady got arrested, and the entire ring was exposed. Eli wasn’t there to see it happening, but had he not risked his life and taken that pendrive, probably Tom and others would have never come to know about what was happening under their noses.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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