After a number of twists and turns in several genres, Apple TV+’s comedy murder-mystery The Afterparty identified the killer of the nerdy finance bro, Edgar (Zach Woods). He ingested a poisonous drink after his wedding to Zoë’s (Zoë Chao) sister, Grace (Poppy Liu). Zoë and Aniq (Sam Richardson), who reconnected during their high-school reunion (and its subsequent murder mystery) investigated the death with the assistance of the first season’s now retired Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish).
By piecing together clues over the course of the season, I was able to predict the killer in the first season of The Afterparty. I had no such luck in the second season. My guess was that the most obvious suspect, Grace, was the killer, based on the notion that the least likely culprit is often the most obvious. I was wrong.
The second season’s killer turned out to be John Cho’s Ulysses, who accidentally poisoned Edgar while trying to intentionally poison Grace and Zoë’s father, Feng (Ken Jeong). Ulysses was in love with Feng’s wife, Vivian (Vivian Wu), with whom he once had an affair. Redditers caught the drink swap and were predictably disappointed with the ending because they were able to guess it based on the clues designed to allow them to guess the ending.
Although she did not piece together clues on an Internet murder board, it is worth noting that Podjiba co-host Tori Preston correctly predicted that it was Ulysses early on.
What’s more, Tori based her prediction on her belief that the killer is always the fan favorite. She was essentially right, according to the showrunners in their post-mortem interview with The Los Angeles Times:
Even when [actors known for being kind, like John Cho and Ben Schwartz] play characters who are jerks, you can tell that they’re not actually, on a cellular level, bad people. So, I think that part of throwing people off the scent is casting somebody who doesn’t seem suspicious with every glance they make.
In other words: Fan favorites. I should have known! To be fair, and despite how much I liked John Cho’s Ulysses, I was relieved to learn that he was the killer after the show briefly teased in the finale that it could be Zoë, which likely would have deprived us of her presence in season three, should Apple TV+ pick it up for another season. The showrunners say they still have plenty of genres to exploit, and I’m rooting for an additional order because Tori and I need a tiebreaker season to determine who is The Afterparty champion.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, ‘The Afterparty’ wouldn’t exist.