The following will contain spoilers for episode 7 of Apple TV’s The Afterparty. For a recap/review of last week’s episode, click here.
One of the most charming parts of Apple TV’s latest comedy The Afterparty has been getting to know each character. Over the course of the last 6 episodes, Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) is the proxy through which the viewers are growing acquainted with the various attendees. This week, it’s Danner’s turn to peel back the veil of mystery and reveal more about herself. The criminally underrated Detective Culp (John Early) warns Detective Danner that trying to solve the murder herself before the hotshot detective arrives could cost her her badge. Now, she launches into her story.
We go back to her early days as a police officer as Tiffany Haddish gets the opportunity to dive into her character. A brash, young upstart on the police force, a young Danner is desperate to prove herself. However, a corrupt and misogynistic system stands in her way. She finds herself walking the beat with her hapless partner Officer Kleyes (Jimmy Tatro). This is until Danner stumbles onto the crime scene of a famous TV writer’s wife’s murder. While she is urged to stand down by the smarmy Detective Germain (Reid Scott), Danner vows to solve the murder and bring justice to those responsible.
It’s been clear that Tiffany Haddish can steal the show in outrageously comedic situations. Her recent performance alongside Billy Crystal in Here Today proves she can also shine in more heartfelt, tender moments. In her standalone episode of The Afterparty, Haddish conveys a wealth of charisma, compassion, and personality. She is further developing her on-screen reputation. It’s obvious she has the ability to deliver stand-out action moments as well as pack a punch in quieter scenes. Portraying a Black woman in a male-dominated police force, Haddish conveys both heart and grit as she expands Detective Danner’s origins.
Back in the present, Zoë joins the pursuit to discover the killer alongside Aniq and Yasper. In fact, the three cohorts are listening in on Danner’s story. Danner’s true intentions come to light as she explains how she worked to find a killer in the past. She did so by tracking a string of package thefts within the victim’s neighborhood. Danner then discovers a young girl named Willow, portrayed by Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira. After denying any involvement in the murder, Danner grows sympathetic to the teenager. Her Instagram account proves she was nowhere near the house when the TV writer’s wife was killed. Despite the evidence, Detective Germain is hellbent on closing the case and tries to pin the murder on Willow. Danner works tirelessly to clear the girl’s name, making discoveries that point to the TV writer himself committing the crime alongside his mistress.
All this back plot and retelling of a case from decades ago circles back to Danner’s motivations in hurrying to crack the mystery surrounding Xavier’s murder. Since all signs point to Aniq doing the deed, Danner hopes to free him from a corrupt system that threatens to lock him up, even if he is innocent. She wants to protect Aniq. The heartwarming realization shows her commitment to the job, creating the change she wishes to see in the police force. While the detour derails the anticipation to see who killed Xavier, it also provides comfort that the person putting the pieces together is trying to do it right.
Episode seven is an odd choice with only the season finale remaining next week. However, it does feel like a nice change of pace, offering some pleasant character building that gives Tiffany Haddish a potentially award-worthy outing. The murderer could still be anyone at this point, but the journey to the big reveal remains interesting every step of the way.
New episodes of The Afterparty stream Fridays on Apple TV+.
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