Based on the best-selling novel by Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing is a murder mystery and romance film from 2022, directed by Olivia Newman. It stars Normal People‘s Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya Clark, a young woman who was abandoned by her family and left to raise herself alone in the North Carolina marshes.
The movie starts with local star quarterback Chase Andrews, played by Triangle of Sadness‘ Harris Dickinson, found dead in the marsh. Given her reputation as a loner and the fibers of a hat she owns being located at the crime scene, Kya is arrested as a suspect in the man’s murder. As her lawyer, played by David Strathairn, decides to defend her, Kya tells him her tragic life story, shown in the film through flashbacks.
As a kid, Kya befriended Tate (Taylor John Smith), and the two fell in love. Eventually, however, Tate left for college and failed to show up a month later as he had promised. Kya then moved on to Chase, who slowly revealed his manipulative and violent personality.
Who killed Chase in ‘Where the Crawdads Sing?’
For the entire duration of the film, and as Kya is tried for Chase’s murder, she maintains her innocence. There’s no substantial evidence tying her to the crime, and in the evening when it occurred, she was actually in a nearby town called Greenville for a conference related to the research she’d done over the years on the marsh’s flora and fauna.
However, right at the end of the film, it’s revealed Kya had been guilty all along. The final sequence in Where The Crawdads Sing shows Kya growing old with Tate after she forgives him for abandoning her. After she dies of old age, on a boat, on the waters of the marsh, Tate decides to pack up her things, only to find an old journal with drawings and written notes.
In one of the pages, there’s a drawing of Chase with a description that says “Sometimes, for the prey to live, the predator must die.” In a small gap carved into the other pages, Tate finds a blood-splattered seashell necklace Kya had given Chase when they were dating, and which was missing from his body when he was found. He disposes of the seashell in the waters of the marsh.
What happened to Tate in ‘Where the Crawdads Sing?’
Tate is the second most important character in Where The Crawdads Sing. He and Kya are the loves of each other’s lives, turning from childhood friends to boyfriend and girlfriend as the story progresses. They bonded over their love for the marshes, and the fact that neither of them had their mother in their lives — Kya’s had left her when she was a little girl in order to escape her abusive husband, and Tate’s had died in a car accident.
Tate teaches Kya to read and write and encourages her to publish her drawings. While she is completely attached to her home and the nature surrounding it, Tate has bigger ambitions and wants to go to college. The two eventually go their separate ways, only for Tate to return and become jealous of Kya’s relationship with Chase. He asks for her forgiveness, but Kya is still hurt. When he comes back for the trial, Kya finally takes him back and they spend the rest of their lives together.