Harlan wrote a letter to Linda in Knives Out exposing Richard and his affair, but there’s an irony behind how the Jamie Lee Curtis character found it.
With private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) at the helm, 2019’s Knives Out breathed new life into murder mystery movie genre, and was praised for its clever details, such as Harlan’s (Christopher Plummer) invisible letter to Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis). The film follows Blanc, who is hired to solve the murder of Harlan Thrombery, a wealthy murder mystery novelist who supposedly died by suicide on the night of his birthday. Throughout the film, Harlan’s tumultuous relationships with each of his middle-aged children are depicted, and one of the closest bonds he had was with his oldest daughter, Linda.
Though Linda isn’t the most likable Knives Out character and is just as hungry for Harlan’s estate as every other family member, her adoration for her father is clear. And they shared one tradition that nobody else ever knew about: Linda and Harlan wrote each other letters in invisible ink, which can only be read when the letter is heated up. It was a unique way for them to communicate under the radar, and Harlan wrote one last invisible letter to Linda before his death. It was massively revealing, and there’s some irony to how she found it too.
What Did Harlan’s Letter To Linda Say?
Harlan didn’t only lock horns with his children but with some of his in-laws too. Linda’s husband, Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson), one of the least intelligent Knives Out characters, and Harlan had gotten photographic evidence of Richard having an affair. Harlan gave Richard a chance to tell Linda himself but threatened that if Richard didn’t come clean, he’d tell Linda himself. It was at that point that Harlan held up an envelope, hinting to Richard that he had written a letter to Linda revealing the affair. Linda finds the envelope at the end of the movie and reads it on the porch.
Why The Note Was Written In Invisible Ink
Linda and Harlan wrote notes to each other written in invisible ink, but nobody else knew and it was a private custom that the two of them shared. While tension had grown between them, Linda still treasured those letters, and it shows that she cared about her father a lot more than others in the family. The invisible ink was Harlan’s secret code, and others thought that it was a only blank piece of paper, including Richard. Following Harlan’s death, Richard entered Harlan’s office to read the letter. He saw that the letter was blank and laughed, thinking Harlan was bluffing.
Linda Would Never Have Found The Note If It Wasn’t For Richard
Ironically, Richard might have gotten away with the affair if he never entered Harlan’s office in the first place. Upon looking at the seemingly blank letter, he excitedly throws a baseball that sits on Harlan’s desk out of the window. Blanc later finds the baseball outside, and it’s then passed from character to character until it lands in Linda’s hands. Linda brings the baseball back to the office where it belongs, and that’s when she finds the letter on the desk. If Richard had never thrown the baseball, Linda would never have found out.
Knives Out had a flawless cast with every actor shining in their role, including Johnson’s sleazy Richard. Richard took his in-laws’ wealth for granted and didn’t treat Harlan with the respect he deserved. From the very moment he was introduced, Richard immediately used the interrogation as a chance to gossip about the family, and he ignorantly and repeatedly got Marta’s ethnicity wrong. Richard underestimated Linda by thinking he could get away with his extramarital affair, and it’s poetic justice that her finding out was a result of the dim-witted character simply throwing a baseball.
MORE: Glass Onion’s Knives Out Reference Flips The First Movie’s Killer Story
#Harlans #Letter #Linda #Knives #Explained