Friday, March 4, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Afterparty' - Danner Reveals How Closely She's Been Paying Attention to Everyone's Stories in 'Maggie'

AppleTV+'s The Afterparty - Episode 1.08 "Maggie"

An unexpected eyewitness emerges to help Detective Danner piece together the true story behind Xavier's demise.

"Maggie" was written by Christopher Miller and directed by Christopher Miller

How great is this party? The actual afterparty wasn't great at all. However, this season carefully crafted a murder mystery that played with perspective and worked perfectly. This was such a great season. A lot of it required the ending to work. The show had to make it worth it. This finale absolutely delivers. It rewards close attention. It ensures viewers can go back to notice the clues along the way. It needed to be obvious with some of its major twists and red herrings. That's the nature of this genre. Jennifer 2 is perfectly fine. She went into labor and didn't tell anyone. However, the narrative was working on a deeper level as well. That showed the true craftsmanship and attention to detail. Danner could see everything. She knew how the stories varied. She understood which changes were significant and which were just memory tricks. She never wanted to believe that Aniq was capable of killing Xavier. Of course, the clock has been ticking this entire time to solve the case. She had to arrest someone before Germain arrived. That was personal for her. It was a way to prove herself. She does exactly that. Moreover, she is generous with her spirit. She needs Maggie to confirm some details. All the pieces click in. She had a major realization about who the killer was. Maggie's story would seemingly point the finger at Brett. He was angry and confused. He was led to believe that Xavier was making out with Zoe. That would be enough to justify his anger. He always goes to the extremes with his emotions. That's true in his telling of events and in how others perceive him. He has taken his frustrations out on others throughout the night. He gets incredibly defensive upon being accused. It's all a stunt though. Danner needs Aniq to figure it out. She isn't going to arrest Brett knowing he's innocent. She is simply testing Aniq to see if he is a genuine and noble guy like Zoe insists he is. In doing so, he has to turn against his best friend. That's the most devastating reveal. It's not the shock of Yasper actually being the killer. It's in Aniq putting the pieces together and knowing that his best friend has been manipulating him this entire time. It's a personal betrayal. Yasper has loyally defended Aniq. That was partially motivated by his own selfish interests. He wanted to keep up with Danner's investigation. He also wanted to create enough doubt to save Aniq from taking all the blame. He does truly care for his friend. Yasper cracks under the pressure because his life didn't turn out how he wanted and Xavier was easy to blame for it.

This season laid out the various reasons why the attendees at the afterparty had motive to kill Xavier. It all came down to opportunity. Aniq was seemingly the only person in the bedroom at the time to commit the crime. Danner has to rule out Brett and Walt as suspects because they realistically could have made it up there too. Their absences were noted. They have explanations that are in line with their characters. Brett was taking care of Maggie in the car hoping she would go unnoticed by Zoe. Meanwhile, Walt desperately wanted to be remembered and saw streaking as the only option just like in high school. That showed their simple desires throughout the night. They were being their authentic selves. Yasper was the one telling a fanciful story. Danner knew to treat him with suspicion because he was deliberately trying to exaggerate his life. He dreamed of being blessed by Xavier. He never got that support. He is possessive over one phrase. It had meaning back when they were in high school. Xavier once again finds inspiration from it. Yasper feels betrayed. He is treated as nothing more than the guy brought in to fix technical problems. He can't be reliable for anything else. His awareness of Xavier's house allowed him to maneuver within it to his personal benefit. Moreover, the show used the creativity and playfulness of its songs to distract the audience from coming to this conclusion too quickly. It needed to be a reveal at the same time as it dawned on Danner. Everyone could be seen as a suspect. A reason needed to be given for why one was more guilty than another. Yasper's story needed to be told. The change in perspectives actually helped the show conceal the truth. It played to the reality of these investigations where people are tasked with looking at events they were aren't and analyze people they don't know. Danner was trusted to be objective. She provides that service expertly. It was fun watching Yasper sing and dance all night long. However, the details he provided simply didn't line up with how everyone else remembered the events. He pushed people along to create even more chaos. However, he lurked behind the closet door. That unlocked it all for Danner. Xavier was killed. It was a purposeful action done by Yasper. Aniq is devastated. His best friend has been arrested and hopes it will bring newfound popularity to his music. That's all he ever really cared about. Meanwhile, Aniq and Zoe get their happy ending. They kiss and look ahead to a bright future. It may include more mysteries. Danner and Aniq walk away with each other's respect. However, it's a perfect conclusion for a story that was entertaining every step of the way.