What happens to Joe in ‘Fool Me Once?’ The fate of Richard Armitage’s character in the Netflix series, explained SuperNayr

You, like so many people, watched the television adaptation of Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once not long after it hit Netflix on Jan. 1, 2024. So, obviously you, like so many people, have questions about Joe.

Spoilers ahead.

Played by English actor and occasional dwarven king Richard Armitage, Joe from Fool Me Once is a real piece of work. Like, it would be dramatic to say that he was “always killing people,” but he probably killed more people than most guys. That’s not a judgment, just a stated estimate, seeing as he’d murdered his own brother and a high school classmate earlier in life. That sort of behavior raised some red flags for Joe’s wife, the long-suffering Maya, especially when her sister Claire wound up dead in a purported robbery gone wrong.

Who kills Joe in Fool Me Once or is he still alive?

Maya, through guile and gumption, deduced that Joe had killed her sister in order to cover up his family’s business’s no-goodery and hide his bigger crimes. Fair being fair, she met up with Joe at a park and shot him with her extra-secret gun, blaming the murder on that most nefarious and silent of killers: Bicyclists. 

But then, a twist: Joe appeared in nanny cam footage which, by Maya’s reckoning, he shouldn’t be in, on account of how dead he is. Maya freaks out, and for good reason – she hasn’t just been played, she’s been play-within-a-played. Like the bad guy from Hamlet, she’s been baited with performance art based on her terrible secret. Joe, who is still very dead, was simply digitally inserted into the nanny cam footage in a ruse set up by his family. It was their way of seeing if they could get Maya to spin out. Credit where credit is due, it works.

But like the Bible says, he who lives by the nanny camera dupe must also die by the nanny camera dupe. Maya, in a last-minute team-up with law enforcement, baits Joe’s family into their second amendment emotional outburst, admitting that she shot her husband, and what of it? When Joe’s brother Neil shoots Maya in retribution, he doesn’t realize that he’s being filmed on a nanny cam of Maya’s own. Sure, Maya is dead – like, Joe-level dead – but it’s all worth it for the turnabout, the sense of justice, and the way that Joe’s family has to stop profiting from the sale of medications that make people go crazy and die.

It’s a wild ride of a miniseries and one that kids could, arguably, get a real kick out of.

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