The mystery continues. After airing the first three episodes at once, the one-episode-per-week formula is back with Apple TV’s The Afterparty. After seeing the points of view of Aniq, Brett, and Yasper last week, this week Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) interrogates Chelsea (Ilana Glazer). While the other party guests tell their stories as a rom-com, action flick, and musical respectively, this week takes the form of a psychological thriller. However, before the action begins, Aniq (Sam Richardson) continues to sneak behind Danner’s back in order to clear his name of the crime. Hiding in the bathroom of the recording studio turned interrogation room, he hears the whole story.
When Chelsea’s story begins, it’s important to note the severe difference from past episodes. The score is dialed up to build suspense. The lighting is much dimmer than in previous tales. The camera angles are used to accentuate the gears turning in Chelsea’s head. These details shine through setting the stage for what will be a tense 30 minutes. Chelsea makes her intentions clear from the get-go. When asked why she chose to attend the high school reunion, she lays it out rather blatantly: she was there for revenge, which immediately intrigues Detective Danner.
Over the course of four episodes, it’s clear why the show’s creator, Christopher Miller, chose Tiffany Haddish to serve as the focal point of the show and interact with each character. She displays some incredible chemistry with each actor she works with. However, Haddish and Glazer especially bounce off of each other with expert precision and offer some of the show’s best comedic moments so far.
An interesting thread throughout the episode also adds to the horror-like qualities this episode is going for. throughout the runtime, mysterious threatening texts coming from an anonymous number hit Chelsea’s phone. On top of all that, a shadowy figure follows Chelsea throughout the halls of the school. This begs the question for the viewer: was Xavier just a name on a list of potential victims that night? Does this exonerate Chelsea from murdering Xavier even though she was clearly out for some sort of revenge?
Moreover, the episode does an excellent job of highlighting Chelsea’s anxiety and paranoia. However, Glazer does an excellent job of displaying Chelsea’s guilt and loneliness as well. Apparently, while she was mega-popular in high school, Xavier’s actions is the reason for her sudden downward spiral. Additionally, Chelsea also mentions the St. Patrick’s Day Party that has been hinted at during Danner’s conversations with Aniq, Yasper, and Brett previously. Unfortunately, viewers will have to wait and see what took place at that party as nothing is offered in episode four.
The best part of any murder-mystery whodunnit is keeping the viewer on their toes, guessing who committed the crime. While many may have suggested Chelsea as the killer given her overall angst and bitterness towards Xavier, this writer is not so sure. It feels like Chelsea attended the reunion to confront her demons in a moment of growth rather than violence. After another fun and unique perspective of the events of the high school reunion, Christopher Miller’s new series continues to shine as one of the best new comedies of 2022. The mystery lives on with no real answers given in the latest installment and the fun of guessing which film genre will come next continues to keep fans engaged.
New episodes of The Afterparty stream Fridays on Apple TV+.
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