Episode 1 of The Afterparty begins with a big 15 year reunion. Aniq receives a message from Zoe, complete with smiley face emojis and an optimistic tone. Only, as we skip forward in time, this party is anything but optimistic. A guy called Xavier falls to his death.
When police arrive at the scene, Detectives Danner and Culp begin to investigate. Cooked shrimp lie around the body while a blonde wig could prove to be another clue. There’s also a hat under Xavier’s body, which seems to hint that this isn’t a suicide. A contusion on Xavier’s nose only reinforces the idea that a fight broke out. Danner decides to get to the bottom of this.
The pair head up to the party where a whole group of people are gathered together and shocked by the events that have transpired. Remember Aniq? Well, he happens to have pen all over his face and he’s first up to be questioned.
According to Indigo, she saw Aniq at the scene of the crime. He was pranked with beer tipped over him, with Aniq apparently claiming that “this ends now”. And according to her, during this art-house black and white flashback, he’s the killer and pushed Xavier off the balcony to his doom.
Aniq’s version of events? A little different. In private, he speaks to Danner and gives his version of events.
He only came to the party for Zoe. They used to be chemistry partners together but he thinks they had genuine chemistry as a couple too. Working as an escape room designer, he mentions how he was puzzled over the smiley face emoji he received from recently divorced Zoe. Aniq sees it as a sign. And when they both see each other, balloons get between them but romantic music plays and they begin giggling in slow motion.
At the reunion, a guy called Walt pops up. Only, it seems like he’s always been forgotten and overlooked at school. He tells Aniq that this will be a night no one will ever forget… until Xavier swoops in on a helicopter.
During the night’s events, Zoe ends up singing karaoke and, more specifically, “turn back time”. Aniq is encouraged to sing too… but the machine messes up and plays Khia’s “My Neck, my back”. It’s absolutely hilarious but this moment is quickly quashed when Xavier shows up and swoops in on Zoe.
Hotheaded Brett arrives at Aniq’s table and immediately grabs a knife and flips a lid. He grits his teeth and tells them that he’s going to kill anyone that touches Zoe. Why? Well, it turns out Brett is actually Zoe’s ex husband. And right now, his anger is directed at Xavier.
Aniq uses Yasper’s gift of the gab to distract Xavier while Aniq and Zoe have a great evening together. They drink wine, draw and just before theeyt kiss… Zoe’s daughter Maggie shows up.
Unfortunately the moment is gone and because of that, Xavier swoops in and flies off with Zoe alone, leaving Aniq in the rain. Emotional rain, to be precise.
Chelsea stirs things up further in the parking lot, claiming that Aniq was making out with Zoe and causing Brett to warn he’s going to kill all of them. He even follows in his car too like a madman, as they drive up to Xavier’s after party.
Now, it seems like the cooked shrimp being knocked over was Aniq’s fault, after being shoved by Brett. Unfortunately he passed out soon after, which is what led to his face being scribbled on. Indigo was there and did hear Aniq say “oh no,” but his reaction was actually to do with the scribbles on his face, not pushing Xavier.
After the interview, Aniq heads into the bathroom to clean up. Only, in the bathroom he finds a slip of paper reading “This is payback for what you did to me. Feel the pain.” Deciding to keep this a secret, Aniq hides the paper from Danner, as Brett shows up at the party.
The Episode Review
Well that was a lot of fun! The Afterparty kicks things off with a hilarious episode that manages to combine drama, mystery and comedy together into a delightfully heady cocktail.
There are a lot of moving parts to this show and the idea of having a different character give their version of events each chapter, subtly shifting the genres around and using that as a way of projecting their own persona and version of events is, quite frankly, genius.
The Indigo art-house drama makes sense for what we know about her while Aniq is a hopeless romantic, so it makes sense to have his story diving head-first into the romcom genre. It’s a great way of telling the story and hopefully the rest of the episodes follow suit and manage to continue squeezing those creative juices.
With Apple releasing three episodes today, thankfully we don’t have to wait too long to find out what happens next!