Evan and Connor are cut from the same cloth, both suffering from severe depression which hinders their ability to have any sort of social life, even preventing them from being friends themselves while Connor was alive. And since Connor had no other friends to speak of, the Murphys invite Evan into their lives as a way to connect to their son, who they really didn’t know in recent years. Inadvertently, Evan finds his own catharsis from making up stories to fill in the gaps of his own memory, strangely forming a bond with Connor after his death, just as his own made up stories do for the Murphys. He now has a friend who, in his head, joined him in his adventures rather than having to remember a life filled with loneliness. Eventually this allows him to come out of his shell socially, even helping to spearhead a suicide prevention foundation in honor of Connor.
Zoe, on the other hand, still wants to see her brother as a monster, since the two were not close at all a resistance to grieving that may be a sublimina sign for her that something’s not right with Evan’s stories.
At times, we’re so moved by the effect Evan is having on the Murphys that we forget his lies will all eventually come crashing down at some point. Fortunately, the big reveal does not simply happen because of leaked information, but through a scenario so unfortunate that Evan really doesn’t have a choice but to come forward with the truth. Listening to him try to keep his secret is occasionally cringeworthy, but the fallout from his “mea culpa” is as smooth as possible for the audience. And Evan, now as a much more confident and matured person, is set free in a way that revealing the truth earlier would not have done.