Death and Other Duties: Season 1 – Episode Recaps & Review

Imogene lost her mom when she was 11, and both at 11 and 29, a man named Rufus finds himself part of a murder investigation she is at the center of. It is just, this time, she is the accused rather than a witness.


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Title Card - Death and Other Details

In this post, you’ll find summaries of the episodes of Death and Other Details: Season 1 and what we thought were the highlights, low points, on-the-fence topics, and notable parts of the season. We’ll be updating this as new episodes are released.

Episodic Plot Summary

Episode 1: Rare

Director(s)

Marc Webb

Writer(s)

Heidi Cole McAdams, Mike Weiss

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Imogene (28 Years Old)

Violett Beane

Imogene (11 Years Old)

Sophia Reid-Gantzert

Rufus Cotesworth

Mandy Patinkin

Katherine

Jayne Atkinson

Lawrence

David Marshall Grant

Anna

Lauren Patten

Lawrence III (Tripp)

Jack Cutmore-Scott

Keith Trubitsky

Michael Gladis

Teddy

Angela Zhou

Recap

When Imogene was a child, her mother was murdered in a car explosion. Unfortunately, despite the renowned private detective Rufus Cotesworth being paid for months to solve the case, he didn’t. He did bond with Imogene and give her a sense of hope, but didn’t give her the one thing she wanted.

Luckily for Imogene, however, with her mom dying in the driveway of the renowned Collier family, she was taken in and given a life of excess. Mind you, not as an adopted, if Katherine and Lawrence died, she’d share the wealth with their children Anna and Lawrence III, way, but due to Imogene’s friendship with Anna, she has been allowed to coast through life.

However, 18 years after her mother’s death, Imogene finds herself on a cruise ship with the now infamous Rufus, and with the death of a jerk named Keith Trubitsky, she finds herself the main suspect. Why? Well, after he mistreated a staff member on the cruise ship, Imogene took it upon herself to teach him a lesson, and based on the cameras, Imogene was likely the last to see Keith alive.

But this is a mystery show, and things are complicated. The head of the staff, Teddy, hires many of her family members for the boat, the Varuna, so of course, she is protecting her aunt, sister, cousins, etc. On top of that, Keith was Rufus’ assistant during the case of Imogene’s mother.

So, while Rufus remains notable enough to be entrusted by Interpol to begin the case of who killed Keith and is even able to, temporarily, win back Imogene, as she begins to piece things together, so comes the question of whether she may learn not only the truth about who killed Keith but also her mom.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Wallace Stevens formerly owned the SS Varuna

Episode 2: Sordid

Director(s)

David Petrarca

Writer(s)

Ryan Maldonado, Eduardo Javier Canto

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Governor Alexandra

Tamberla Perry

Winnie

Annie Q. Riegel

Father Toby Bruggs

Danny Johnson

Leila

Pardis Saremi

Eleanor

Karoline

Celia Chun

Lisa Lu

Sunil

Rahul Kohli

That Derek

Sincere Wilbert

Agent Hilde Eriksen

Linda Emond

Recap

As Rufus begins his investigation, it becomes clear by the end of episode 2 that this whole thing inspired his second book. However, as he asks Tripp about his relationship with Keith and even exposes his relationship with Governor Alexandra to viewers, there remains no clear-cut killer here.

Yes, many, like Teddy’s younger sister Winnie, may have had a bad interaction or relationship with Keith, but is that enough to kill? Was Keith calling out Governor Hochenberg for canoodling with dark money donors enough to have her get Keith killed, or Father Toby Bruggs for introducing them and potentially souring his reputation?

There is an absolute whirlwind of theories and motivations, including Anna’s wife, Leila, being pushed to answer if she thought Keith was the one who tried to kill her via setting up her “accident.” One that, with the way Katherine talks, could have been a blessing. Now, whether that is because she doesn’t support her daughter’s sexuality, choice in partner, or what? That’s hard to say, for while she, unlike Lawrence, does talk to Rufus, she doesn’t speak about much beyond her children.

But, what is confirmed amongst all this is that Eleanor, the granddaughter of Celia Chun, whom Sunil was pushed to speak to, walk with even, did date Anna at one time. Which she tries to take advantage of when Celia makes it appear the billion-dollar deal is off for this murder has spooked her, and she wants no association with it or the Chun family.

However, with Interpol agent Hilde Eriksen appearing, the Chun family may not get to leave as soon as possible.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Imogene was 11 when her mom died, and with the events of this show taking place 18 years later, that makes her 29 in modern times.
  2. The reason why the Chun and Collier families would work together is that the Chuns own a fast fashion brand and the Colliers a textile empire. Overall, the deal is noted to be worth over 3 billion dollars in episode 1.

Episode 3: Troublesome

Director(s)

Alrick Riley

Writer(s)

Nick Bragg

Recap

Teddy (Angela Zhou) trying to get her family to trust her
Teddy (Angela Zhou) trying to get her family to trust her (Hulu)

As Agent Hilde and Rufus begin their investigation, secrets having nothing to do with who murdered Keith, aka Danny, come out. Whether it is Toby and Katherine having an affair, Jules not being who he said he was, or Leila maybe having a connection with him.

However, that doesn’t mean things related to the murder are absent. It is revealed to us Alexandra sent the bar cart the killer hid in to get in and out of the room undetected. Anna, privately, not publicly, is noted to be the CEO of the family company, but, as she says, until Lawrence says it publicly, that means nothing.

But, to double down on how much this deal means, we learn its financial and personal sides. For Anna, talking to Eleanor was hard because Eleanor ghosted Anna and left her a mess for six months – thus opening the door for Leila. So, to come to her, as she sees her family’s company spiraling, must have been a challenging experience.

Yet, no one is more challenged than Imogene during all of this. Yes, Anna is tasked with bringing Mrs. Chun back to the table and figuring out a way to get this deal going again. But for Imogene, she comes to discover what could be a notable clue, but it’s missing pertinent information.

Now, what is this clue? An invoice for Captionem Blue – something formerly used for textiles but banned in 1989 due to it causing cancer, dementia, and other ailments. After finding this, while perusing through the books, partly thanks to Sunil’s help, she thinks this could be the key to something big. However, with no date on the invoice, there is no way to say if Anna or Lawrence went the cheap but illegal route because of the company’s finances or if this was from when Captionem Blue was an industry standard. So, while it could very well be a major part in Keith’s murder, maybe even Anna’s mom, it is inadmissible.

Though, perhaps the biggest challenge for Imogene is discovering a secret compartment in the boat after Jules is discovered to be a criminal and him grabbing her somewhere even Teddy may not know about.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Danny’s journal that he has written in for years is missing
  2. Llewelyn still isn’t discovered, and we don’t know who or why he is tied up in his closet

Collected Quote(s)

Tell me the truth, so that I can lie for you.
— Teddy

Episode 4 “Hidden”

Llewellyn Mathers (Jere Burns)
Llewellyn Mathers (Jere Burns)

Director(s)

Alrick Riley

Writer(s)

Mike Weiss

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Llewellyn Mathers

Jere Burns

Recap

So, what was Jules and Leila doing in the ship’s bowels? Well, Jules was hiding Ukranian refugees, and Leila? It seems she was doing the type of journalism she always wanted to and seems to believe Viktor Sams was involved in Keith’s murder.

But, throughout the episode, Viktor isn’t the focus. No sooner than Imogene finds Jules, and she learns about the refugees he is hiding, Imogene questions whether one of the refugees knows something since the child likes to move about the ship through the vents. This leads her to point a finger toward Teddy, but she isn’t the killer. What she is, is a dominatrix, the one who tied up Llewellyn – who is finally discovered.

Now, as for who the killer is? Winnie reveals herself to be and makes a compelling confession, which includes revealing Imogene erased security footage to hide what she did in Keith’s room. For Agent Erikson, this is good enough, and she begins the paperwork, but again, Leila says only the top of the iceberg has been covered, not the true size of the situation underneath the surface.

Naturally, however, the murder is just one part of all this. Alexandra addresses Katherine about their problems, specifically, Alexandra feeling like she is being framed. She tries to reassert herself as an equal, not a puppet, but with a blackmail e-mail showing Tripp and Alexandra having sex and doing drugs, it seems she will be forced to remember her place.

She isn’t the only one dealing with blackmail, though. When speaking with Celia, Eleanor’s grandmother, Father Toby finds out that his affair with Katherine isn’t private and that Celia isn’t above blackmailing a priest for information. After all, while everyone is stuck where they are as the Jules hunt goes on, what better time is there to coerce answers?

For example, Anna and Eleanor are stuck in a room together, and while they were supposed to negotiate with Celia present, Anna learns that Eleanor’s abandonment wasn’t personal, just Eleanor needing a change. One that didn’t pan out to be anything special or notable beyond realizing she missed Anna. With hearing these words, the two have an affair that could cause some drama down the line.

However, the big deal here is that Winnie confessed to Keith’s murder, Jules sacrifices himself so the Ukranian refugees, with Sunil and Imogene escorting them, can get away, and Leila making it seem Winnie is just a follower of Viktor Sams. Whose identity is likely to be the next mystery focused on.

General Information

Created By

Heidi Cole McAdams, Mike Weiss

Network

Hulu

Start Date

January 16, 2024

End Date

March 5, 2024

Number of Episodes

10

Genre(s)

ComedyMysteryRomance, Young AdultLGBT+

Renewal Status: To be determined

Directory (Series Page | Character Guide – Coming Soon)

Review


Community Rating: 0.00% (0) - No Community Ratings Submitted (Add Yours Below)


Notable Performances, Moments, or Episodes

Episodes To Anticipate

  •  

Highlights

Episode 1: Fascinating Characters In A Compelling Mystery

What any mystery needs are characters who ca draw you in and maintain your focus as the mystery plays out. “Death and Other Details” delivers by not making characters broody and seem like they are hiding anything. Imogene is a spitfire, highly intelligent, and under Rufus’ tutelage, clearly formidable as a detective.

Anna and Tripp are also notable personalities, with Anna shown to be a shark and Tripp your usual screw up who is the second, third, or fourth who is floundering due to the expectations that come with the name. Heck, even outside of the rich in Teddy, there is a presence, a sense of she isn’t one to mess with that you have to love.

Yet, at the same time, while no one feels like a mystery, it is clear they all have the potential to be a killer. Teddy’s family seems to run the boat, damn near, so disrespecting them is disrespecting her and while Keith’s murder is by no means something that can look like an accident, Teddy seems more than capable of framing someone if it is to protect her family.

The potential motives go on and on from Anna’s wife maybe saying something to her that could led to her doing something, Tripp apparently is owed money from a deal from Keith, and who knows? Keith was Rufus’ partner at one time, on the case dealing with Imogene’s mom, so maybe he was seeking to tie up a loose end? Especially since, the way Keith talked, he barely left Indiana, so this cruise could have been all about getting him out of hiding – if not the killer of Imogene’s mom.

Episode 3: Balancing The Scales Between The Murder, Personal Drama, And Everything Between

Is Toby and Katherine having an affair something we care about? No. However, as we see Alexandra and Toby have conflict, as she worries about how this murder can come onto her, and we see Leila head into the same area Jules seems to be hiding out in, other things can keep you on the hook.

I’d even add, while Leila, Eleanor, and Anna may not be in a love triangle, it is interesting to see Anna and Eleanor’s dynamic, considering Leila exists. In addition, you can’t help but want to learn more about Lawrence and Anna’s relationship, as it seems she has tried and struggled to undo whatever damage he did to the company. Yet, she doesn’t get credit for any of the good, just the continued downturn.

But to be honest with you, Teddy is perhaps one of the most interesting on the ship. With her family as the staff and having to appease the wealthy, she brings an almost “White Lotus” level of intrigue.

General: Teddy

It’s easy for characters to get lost within an ensemble or be a cog in a much larger thing. However, as time goes on, the writing and Angela Zhou’s performance is making it so Teddy stands out. Yes, Imogene might be the lead with a personality that makes you think of Veronica Mars, but for the characters who are meant to stand out, they can seem like they need a constant string of drama to stay interesting.

However, when it comes to Teddy, the draw here is she doesn’t show her hand. She is involved in most of the drama, but it is hard to say whether it is because she did or knows something. Add in the shifts between being a supervisor and being a sister, cousin, or niece, and there are layers to her that aren’t overt, and thus, it gives Zhou more flexibility to make Teddy her own it appears. Which she is doing in ways I can’t say any other actor is matching.

Low Points

On The Fence

Episode 2: Wondering If This Show Can Keep Things Interesting For Ten Episodes

We’re an admitted pessimist whenever a show starts off too good. So the problem here is, while episode two expands things by revealing secret relationships and digging more into how one character feels about another, than who they are as individuals, most mystery shows struggle when they go beyond five or six episodes.

Now, are there exceptions, like “Sharp Objects?” Yes. However, I have seen far more do better with fewer episodes than more, and add that this isn’t based on a book, so there aren’t guardrails in place? Yes, that means far more creativity, but it also creates the potential problem of filler or dwelling on something that may have worked in the script, maybe even during filming, but may not be the same for the audience.

As for how that appears in episode 2? I worry that, as the show tries to cover both Imogene and Rufus’ past, their present, and give their just due to a notably sized cast, can it balance it all? Can it give enough time to That Derek and his father, their dynamic, and how Father Bruggs rose to power as it digs into Anna and Tripp’s relationship with their parents?

Never mind, as it develops other characters, make it so the mystery doesn’t become, similar to “Safe Home” secondary, forgotten, or something you’d be willing to have swept under the rug, for clearly there are better storylines at play.

Episode 4: Much To Do, Little To Care

Leila Death and Other Details scaled

While a lot goes on in this episode, at this point, there is the need to question what is there to care about? There isn’t much of a reason to care about Keith, or potentially getting justice. The affairs that are going on? None of them illicit shock, awe, or anything of that nature.

Heck, even Teddy, who seemed like she could be the saving grace of “Death and Other Details,” seems to have fallen from grace a bit. Not because she is a dominatrix but because they took away a sense of her being mysterious.

I’d even say, regarding what happened to Imogene’s mom, the show feels so overstuffed and burdened that while Viktor’s name is memorable, the idea of him and his apparent followers becoming the focus of the second half doesn’t renew interest. If anything, it seems we’re at the point of the show devolving into a word salad, as people say a lot, but it all means very little since no threat feels credible enough to care.

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. Do you think Rufus and Keith were a thing?
  2. Does anyone else think Imogene is Lawrence’s daughter? Otherwise, I get Anna and her were close, but even if Anna’s family is rich, I can’t imagine them taking in their daughter’s friend just because their mom was their assistant.

In this post, you’ll find summaries of the episodes of Death and Other Details: Season 1 and what we thought were the highlights, low points, on-the-fence topics, and notable parts of the season. We’ll be updating this as new episodes are released.

Episodic Plot Summary

Episode 1: Rare

Director(s)

Marc Webb

Writer(s)

Heidi Cole McAdams, Mike Weiss

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Imogene (28 Years Old)

Violett Beane

Imogene (11 Years Old)

Sophia Reid-Gantzert

Rufus Cotesworth

Mandy Patinkin

Katherine

Jayne Atkinson

Lawrence

David Marshall Grant

Anna

Lauren Patten

Lawrence III (Tripp)

Jack Cutmore-Scott

Keith Trubitsky

Michael Gladis

Teddy

Angela Zhou

Recap

When Imogene was a child, her mother was murdered in a car explosion. Unfortunately, despite the renowned private detective Rufus Cotesworth being paid for months to solve the case, he didn’t. He did bond with Imogene and give her a sense of hope, but didn’t give her the one thing she wanted.

Luckily for Imogene, however, with her mom dying in the driveway of the renowned Collier family, she was taken in and given a life of excess. Mind you, not as an adopted, if Katherine and Lawrence died, she’d share the wealth with their children Anna and Lawrence III, way, but due to Imogene’s friendship with Anna, she has been allowed to coast through life.

However, 18 years after her mother’s death, Imogene finds herself on a cruise ship with the now infamous Rufus, and with the death of a jerk named Keith Trubitsky, she finds herself the main suspect. Why? Well, after he mistreated a staff member on the cruise ship, Imogene took it upon herself to teach him a lesson, and based on the cameras, Imogene was likely the last to see Keith alive.

But this is a mystery show, and things are complicated. The head of the staff, Teddy, hires many of her family members for the boat, the Varuna, so of course, she is protecting her aunt, sister, cousins, etc. On top of that, Keith was Rufus’ assistant during the case of Imogene’s mother.

So, while Rufus remains notable enough to be entrusted by Interpol to begin the case of who killed Keith and is even able to, temporarily, win back Imogene, as she begins to piece things together, so comes the question of whether she may learn not only the truth about who killed Keith but also her mom.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Wallace Stevens formerly owned the SS Varuna

Episode 2: Sordid

Director(s)

David Petrarca

Writer(s)

Ryan Maldonado, Eduardo Javier Canto

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Governor Alexandra

Tamberla Perry

Winnie

Annie Q. Riegel

Father Toby Bruggs

Danny Johnson

Leila

Pardis Saremi

Eleanor

Karoline

Celia Chun

Lisa Lu

Sunil

Rahul Kohli

That Derek

Sincere Wilbert

Agent Hilde Eriksen

Linda Emond

Recap

As Rufus begins his investigation, it becomes clear by the end of episode 2 that this whole thing inspired his second book. However, as he asks Tripp about his relationship with Keith and even exposes his relationship with Governor Alexandra to viewers, there remains no clear-cut killer here.

Yes, many, like Teddy’s younger sister Winnie, may have had a bad interaction or relationship with Keith, but is that enough to kill? Was Keith calling out Governor Hochenberg for canoodling with dark money donors enough to have her get Keith killed, or Father Toby Bruggs for introducing them and potentially souring his reputation?

There is an absolute whirlwind of theories and motivations, including Anna’s wife, Leila, being pushed to answer if she thought Keith was the one who tried to kill her via setting up her “accident.” One that, with the way Katherine talks, could have been a blessing. Now, whether that is because she doesn’t support her daughter’s sexuality, choice in partner, or what? That’s hard to say, for while she, unlike Lawrence, does talk to Rufus, she doesn’t speak about much beyond her children.

But, what is confirmed amongst all this is that Eleanor, the granddaughter of Celia Chun, whom Sunil was pushed to speak to, walk with even, did date Anna at one time. Which she tries to take advantage of when Celia makes it appear the billion-dollar deal is off for this murder has spooked her, and she wants no association with it or the Chun family.

However, with Interpol agent Hilde Eriksen appearing, the Chun family may not get to leave as soon as possible.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Imogene was 11 when her mom died, and with the events of this show taking place 18 years later, that makes her 29 in modern times.
  2. The reason why the Chun and Collier families would work together is that the Chuns own a fast fashion brand and the Colliers a textile empire. Overall, the deal is noted to be worth over 3 billion dollars in episode 1.

Episode 3: Troublesome

Director(s)

Alrick Riley

Writer(s)

Nick Bragg

Recap

Teddy (Angela Zhou) trying to get her family to trust her
Teddy (Angela Zhou) trying to get her family to trust her (Hulu)

As Agent Hilde and Rufus begin their investigation, secrets having nothing to do with who murdered Keith, aka Danny, come out. Whether it is Toby and Katherine having an affair, Jules not being who he said he was, or Leila maybe having a connection with him.

However, that doesn’t mean things related to the murder are absent. It is revealed to us Alexandra sent the bar cart the killer hid in to get in and out of the room undetected. Anna, privately, not publicly, is noted to be the CEO of the family company, but, as she says, until Lawrence says it publicly, that means nothing.

But, to double down on how much this deal means, we learn its financial and personal sides. For Anna, talking to Eleanor was hard because Eleanor ghosted Anna and left her a mess for six months – thus opening the door for Leila. So, to come to her, as she sees her family’s company spiraling, must have been a challenging experience.

Yet, no one is more challenged than Imogene during all of this. Yes, Anna is tasked with bringing Mrs. Chun back to the table and figuring out a way to get this deal going again. But for Imogene, she comes to discover what could be a notable clue, but it’s missing pertinent information.

Now, what is this clue? An invoice for Captionem Blue – something formerly used for textiles but banned in 1989 due to it causing cancer, dementia, and other ailments. After finding this, while perusing through the books, partly thanks to Sunil’s help, she thinks this could be the key to something big. However, with no date on the invoice, there is no way to say if Anna or Lawrence went the cheap but illegal route because of the company’s finances or if this was from when Captionem Blue was an industry standard. So, while it could very well be a major part in Keith’s murder, maybe even Anna’s mom, it is inadmissible.

Though, perhaps the biggest challenge for Imogene is discovering a secret compartment in the boat after Jules is discovered to be a criminal and him grabbing her somewhere even Teddy may not know about.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Danny’s journal that he has written in for years is missing
  2. Llewelyn still isn’t discovered, and we don’t know who or why he is tied up in his closet

Collected Quote(s)

Tell me the truth, so that I can lie for you.
— Teddy

Episode 4 “Hidden”

Director(s)

Alrick Riley

Writer(s)

Mike Weiss

Newly Noted Characters and Cast

Llewellyn Mathers

Jere Burns

Recap

So, what was Jules and Leila doing in the ship’s bowels? Well, Jules was hiding Ukranian refugees, and Leila? It seems she was doing the type of journalism she always wanted to and seems to believe Viktor Sams was involved in Keith’s murder.

But, throughout the episode, Viktor isn’t the focus. No sooner than Imogene finds Jules, and she learns about the refugees he is hiding, Imogene questions whether one of the refugees knows something since the child likes to move about the ship through the vents. This leads her to point a finger toward Teddy, but she isn’t the killer. What she is, is a dominatrix, the one who tied up Llewellyn – who is finally discovered.

Now, as for who the killer is? Winnie reveals herself to be and makes a compelling confession, which includes revealing Imogene erased security footage to hide what she did in Keith’s room. For Agent Erikson, this is good enough, and she begins the paperwork, but again, Leila says only the top of the iceberg has been covered, not the true size of the situation underneath the surface.

Naturally, however, the murder is just one part of all this. Alexandra addresses Katherine about their problems, specifically, Alexandra feeling like she is being framed. She tries to reassert herself as an equal, not a puppet, but with a blackmail e-mail showing Tripp and Alexandra having sex and doing drugs, it seems she will be forced to remember her place.

She isn’t the only one dealing with blackmail, though. When speaking with Celia, Eleanor’s grandmother, Father Toby finds out that his affair with Katherine isn’t private and that Celia isn’t above blackmailing a priest for information. After all, while everyone is stuck where they are as the Jules hunt goes on, what better time is there to coerce answers?

For example, Anna and Eleanor are stuck in a room together, and while they were supposed to negotiate with Celia present, Anna learns that Eleanor’s abandonment wasn’t personal, just Eleanor needing a change. One that didn’t pan out to be anything special or notable beyond realizing she missed Anna. With hearing these words, the two have an affair that could cause some drama down the line.

However, the big deal here is that Winnie confessed to Keith’s murder, Jules sacrifices himself so the Ukranian refugees, with Sunil and Imogene escorting them, can get away, and Leila making it seem Winnie is just a follower of Viktor Sams. Whose identity is likely to be the next mystery focused on.

General Information

Created By

Heidi Cole McAdams, Mike Weiss

Network

Hulu

Start Date

January 16, 2024

End Date

March 5, 2024

Number of Episodes

10

Genre(s)

ComedyMysteryRomance, Young AdultLGBT+

Renewal Status: To be determined

Directory (Series Page | Character Guide – Coming Soon)

Review


Community Rating: 0.00% (0) - No Community Ratings Submitted (Add Yours Below)


Notable Performances, Moments, or Episodes

Episodes To Anticipate

  •  

Highlights

Episode 1: Fascinating Characters In A Compelling Mystery

What any mystery needs are characters who ca draw you in and maintain your focus as the mystery plays out. “Death and Other Details” delivers by not making characters broody and seem like they are hiding anything. Imogene is a spitfire, highly intelligent, and under Rufus’ tutelage, clearly formidable as a detective.

Anna and Tripp are also notable personalities, with Anna shown to be a shark and Tripp your usual screw up who is the second, third, or fourth who is floundering due to the expectations that come with the name. Heck, even outside of the rich in Teddy, there is a presence, a sense of she isn’t one to mess with that you have to love.

Yet, at the same time, while no one feels like a mystery, it is clear they all have the potential to be a killer. Teddy’s family seems to run the boat, damn near, so disrespecting them is disrespecting her and while Keith’s murder is by no means something that can look like an accident, Teddy seems more than capable of framing someone if it is to protect her family.

The potential motives go on and on from Anna’s wife maybe saying something to her that could led to her doing something, Tripp apparently is owed money from a deal from Keith, and who knows? Keith was Rufus’ partner at one time, on the case dealing with Imogene’s mom, so maybe he was seeking to tie up a loose end? Especially since, the way Keith talked, he barely left Indiana, so this cruise could have been all about getting him out of hiding – if not the killer of Imogene’s mom.

Episode 3: Balancing The Scales Between The Murder, Personal Drama, And Everything Between

Is Toby and Katherine having an affair something we care about? No. However, as we see Alexandra and Toby have conflict, as she worries about how this murder can come onto her, and we see Leila head into the same area Jules seems to be hiding out in, other things can keep you on the hook.

I’d even add, while Leila, Eleanor, and Anna may not be in a love triangle, it is interesting to see Anna and Eleanor’s dynamic, considering Leila exists. In addition, you can’t help but want to learn more about Lawrence and Anna’s relationship, as it seems she has tried and struggled to undo whatever damage he did to the company. Yet, she doesn’t get credit for any of the good, just the continued downturn.

But to be honest with you, Teddy is perhaps one of the most interesting on the ship. With her family as the staff and having to appease the wealthy, she brings an almost “White Lotus” level of intrigue.

General: Teddy

It’s easy for characters to get lost within an ensemble or be a cog in a much larger thing. However, as time goes on, the writing and Angela Zhou’s performance is making it so Teddy stands out. Yes, Imogene might be the lead with a personality that makes you think of Veronica Mars, but for the characters who are meant to stand out, they can seem like they need a constant string of drama to stay interesting.

However, when it comes to Teddy, the draw here is she doesn’t show her hand. She is involved in most of the drama, but it is hard to say whether it is because she did or knows something. Add in the shifts between being a supervisor and being a sister, cousin, or niece, and there are layers to her that aren’t overt, and thus, it gives Zhou more flexibility to make Teddy her own it appears. Which she is doing in ways I can’t say any other actor is matching.

Low Points

On The Fence

Episode 2: Wondering If This Show Can Keep Things Interesting For Ten Episodes

We’re an admitted pessimist whenever a show starts off too good. So the problem here is, while episode two expands things by revealing secret relationships and digging more into how one character feels about another, than who they are as individuals, most mystery shows struggle when they go beyond five or six episodes.

Now, are there exceptions, like “Sharp Objects?” Yes. However, I have seen far more do better with fewer episodes than more, and add that this isn’t based on a book, so there aren’t guardrails in place? Yes, that means far more creativity, but it also creates the potential problem of filler or dwelling on something that may have worked in the script, maybe even during filming, but may not be the same for the audience.

As for how that appears in episode 2? I worry that, as the show tries to cover both Imogene and Rufus’ past, their present, and give their just due to a notably sized cast, can it balance it all? Can it give enough time to That Derek and his father, their dynamic, and how Father Bruggs rose to power as it digs into Anna and Tripp’s relationship with their parents?

Never mind, as it develops other characters, make it so the mystery doesn’t become, similar to “Safe Home” secondary, forgotten, or something you’d be willing to have swept under the rug, for clearly there are better storylines at play.

Episode 4: Much To Do, Little To Care

While a lot goes on in this episode, at this point, there is the need to question what is there to care about? There isn’t much of a reason to care about Keith, or potentially getting justice. The affairs that are going on? None of them illicit shock, awe, or anything of that nature.

Heck, even Teddy, who seemed like she could be the saving grace of “Death and Other Details,” seems to have fallen from grace a bit. Not because she is a dominatrix but because they took away a sense of her being mysterious.

I’d even say, regarding what happened to Imogene’s mom, the show feels so overstuffed and burdened that while Viktor’s name is memorable, the idea of him and his apparent followers becoming the focus of the second half doesn’t renew interest. If anything, it seems we’re at the point of the show devolving into a word salad, as people say a lot, but it all means very little since no threat feels credible enough to care.

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. Do you think Rufus and Keith were a thing?
  2. Does anyone else think Imogene is Lawrence’s daughter? Otherwise, I get Anna and her were close, but even if Anna’s family is rich, I can’t imagine them taking in their daughter’s friend just because their mom was their assistant.

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Death and Other Duties: Season 1 – Review

Summary

Trajectory: Positive (Watch This)

“Death and Other Details” so far appears to have the compelling characters it needs to keep its audience’s attention, but managing such a cast and keeping the mystery from feeling long in the tooth will be what makes or breaks the show as the season goes on.

Overall
80%
80%
  • Fascinating Characters In A Compelling Mystery - 83%
    83%
  • Wondering If This Show Can Keep Things Interesting For Ten Episodes - 77%
    77%
  • Balancing The Scales Between The Murder, Personal Drama, And Everything Between - 82%
    82%
  • Teddy - 84%
    84%
  • Much To Do, Little To Care - 72%
    72%

Highlight(s)

  • Fascinating Characters In A Compelling Mystery
  • Balancing The Scales Between The Murder, Personal Drama, And Everything Between
  • Teddy

Disputable

  • Wondering If This Show Can Keep Things Interesting For Ten Episodes
  • Much To Do, Little To Care

What Would Your Rating Be?

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