The following will contain spoilers for episode 6 of Apple TV’s The Afterparty. For a recap/review of last week’s episode, click here.
After weeks of interrogation, it seems the mystery surrounding the murder of Xavier is reaching its boiling point. Following last week’s startling revelations that Aniq’s bad blood with the late pop star goes a lot farther than the reunion, it appears his long-lost lover Zoë (Zoë Chao) is willing to put her neck on the line in order to save his skin. For now. This week, The Afterparty‘s writer and creator Christopher Miller invites his longtime partner Phil Lord to the director’s chair alongside Rachel Smith. Notably, Zoë’s retelling of the night’s events takes the shape of an animated film, something both Lord and Miller are very familiar with.
Unsurprisingly, Zoë’s version of the story intertwines with her now ex-husband Brett’s. However, viewers are treated to the life she lives since high school. However, she never left the high school. Zoë currently serves as principal of the high school she went to. This life causes her to begin this internal conflict with herself and this “fun” version of herself, who is just dying to take control of the night. The animation clicks and serves the story well as they are able to display this conflict perfectly, with a double-headed main character making for one of the most fun installments of the already extremely fun series.
Real Zoë has her eyes on Aniq, justifying those un-requited feelings the former has faced for years. On the other hand, Fun Zoë has her eyes firmly on Xavier. A fun addition to this episode’s film genre inspiration is the animated stylings for each of the main character’s actors. Ike Barinholtz’s Brett looks like a walrus, due to Zoë’s recently-acquired hatred for him. Dave Franco’s Xavier plays with a hilarious manically laugh during his flirtation with Zoë. For some reason, it stands out as one most memorable moments of the 32-minute runtime. This week’s episode of ‘The Afterparty’ allows Christopher Miller and Phil Lord to flex their unique animations stylings once again.
Back to Detective Danner’s investigation of the murder, Zoë offers her several reasons to believe she did it. Notably, a Tiny Rage Zoë attacks Chelsea in the hallway as she tries to run away with Aniq. Later, on the benches first seen in Aniq’s rom-com episode, High Zoë is the version of the episode’s titular character that Aniq professes his love to. In a sweet moment, all the faces of Zoë approve of the incoming kiss. That is until Mama Bear Zoë arrives to protect his daughter, who Brett stupidly allowed to make her way to the reunion. The whole notion of all these different persona’s existing within Zoë, a character who has, up until now, been the apple of male characters’ eye is refreshing. Instead of writing her off as a prize for these men to obtain, Miller takes the time to fully realize Zoë in all her relatably messy forms.
Lord and Miller are known for game-changing animated films like The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. So it makes sense that when they are allowed to play around with animation in the TV series set, the work is the best of the 6 episodes so far. Episode 6 also does little in explaining who killed Xavier. However, in the moments not in animation, series MVPs Ben Schwartz and Sam Richardson continue to demonstrate some incredibly sound chemistry as the BFFs hurriedly try to solve the mystery themselves. BUT, it is revealed that Jennifer 2, who is now missing, is the person sending the cryptic texts to Chelsea during her psychological thriller of an episode. Further muddling the murder plot. Time is running out. Next week will give viewers a special look into the path Detective Danner walks on her way to this night, the biggest night of her career.
New episodes of The Afterparty stream Fridays on Apple TV+.
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