Emily the Criminal Ending Explained – Is It Based on a True Story?

Emily the Criminal Ending Explained: Aubrey Plaza, whose acting skills you may recognize from The White Lotus, is featured prominently in this Netflix drama Emily the Criminal. Aubrey plays the lead role of Emily, a young lady who is burdened by mounting student debt & an assault conviction from her past. Emily gets tangled up in a criminal fraud ring after a coworker advises her how to make the fast cash she needs. Here's Emily the Criminal's finale for those who couldn't keep up with her cons or want a recap.

Emily the Criminal Plot Summary

New Jersey native Emily Benetto obtained a BA in arts from HBS. In 2016, she had to quit college. After Emily assaulted him, he phoned the police on her. After her major assault conviction, Emily had a large student loan, legal expenses & a dependent grandmother to pay. Because of these issues, Emily had to work.

Emily tried to follow her childhood best friend Liz into the LA art world but failed.  Liz, Emily's inspiration, was formerly successful in advertising. Emily's last hope to break into the industry was Liz arranging an interview at her company. In LA, Emily shares an apartment & delivers catering.

Emily the Criminal Ending Explained

Emily starts the film with approximately $70K in student loans, which encourages her to work odd jobs until she pays them off.  Javier Santos, her employee, recommends a $200 Dummy Shopper job. Emily visits their shop & meets Lebanese brothers Youcef & Khalil Haddad. Youcef, the younger brother, tells the new hires about the family's credit card fraud scheme.

In which they utilize dummy consumers to buy products from the store with Youcef's fake credit card & resell them on the black market. Emily joins Youcef's ring & starts producing fake credit cards, earning enough to pay off part of her expenses. Emily thinks this is a temporary job until she can break into the art world full-time, but she fails & becomes a professional criminal.

What Puts Emily & Youcef on the Path of Criminality?

Emily the Criminal brilliantly portrays the utter hopelessness that often leads people to commit crimes, especially those with monetary consequences. The major characters feel pains similar to those in “The Bicycle Thief,” but this film is not as good. The film centers on a character's hopelessness in the face of an unavoidable financial load.

The protagonists, Emily & Youcef, are portrayed in a positive manner throughout the novel. Their conversations vividly portray their shared yearning for a crime-free, ordinary life. As they become closer, he tells her that he's saving up for a “down payment” on a house so that he can establish a professional real estate business.

Emily the Criminal Ending Explained

Emily is also eager to put her artistic abilities to use. They've been working hard in the correct direction, but thus yet, no fruit has resulted from it. Just as the end result usually does. To survive in today's market, they continually resort back to their counterfeit credit cards, despite all their efforts to find legitimate sources of income.

Is Emily the Criminal a True Story?

You know, it depends. There's more. Since Emily isn't real, Emily the Criminal's events aren't either. The film is based on a real subject that affects millions of people daily. Like Emily, someone else must understand this issue. As Emily realizes she enjoys and is good at cons and thievery, the film digs deeper into LA's criminal underworld.

Urban Dictionary defines “dummy shopping” as “Using stolen credit cards to obtain expensive stuff.” She is highly involved in this organized crime. Emily initially did these things to take control of her unhappy situation, not for fun. Many recent college graduates can identify with Emily's job search struggles. Emily must use dummy shopping & other fraud to pay off her student loans & survive until she finds a job.

Here's the film's reality. Due to the economy, job market & student debt, many young people feel despondent & helpless. The film's concept comes from director & screenwriter John Patton Ford's biography. Ford told the Golden Globes he could connect to Emily's situation: I graduated with $100K in student debt, which stressed me out. “We got into trouble there,” he said.

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Emily the Criminal Ending Explained

In the last act, Emily's buddy Liz helps her land the prestigious interview she had promised at the upscale advertising firm where she works. The protagonist is overjoyed at the prospect of working with the agency's manager, Alice because she believes this is her chance at the “real career” she has been seeking for years.

Youcef's cousin and business partner Khalil has decided to cut him out of the credit card plan & has emptied their cash cache. Emily manipulates Youcef into attacking Khalil at his house to recover the stolen funds. Before breaking into the house, the 2 arrange a deception to lure Khalil's goons away.

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The next day, officers force their way into Emily's flat. Because Emily crossed the border into Mexico with the money bag, all they find when they return are her 2 terrified housemates. A few fleeting scenes show her taking pleasure in her newfound freedom before we discover her true intentions.

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