Episode 5 of The Afterparty begins with Danner determined to find Aniq, who’s still hiding in the recording booth.
With Germain landing in an hour, Danner receives a call and is told to file her report immediately. Her career is on the line and as she reconnects with Culp, they approach the whole group and this time the focus turns to Walt Butler. Who? Yep, that guy who constantly pops up in all the random parts of these episodes. Well, it turns out it goes deeper than that.
Walt has been here the whole time and the St Patrick’s Day party 15 years ago was actually held at his house. This then sees us jump back 15 years to high school as we see all of our characters much younger, including Xavier who shows up in his sports car.
The thing is, Xavier isn’t exactly popular and adopted the ‘Xavier’ alias early on to disguise his real name, Eugene.
It’s here where Brett takes a fancy to Zoe while Chelsea finds herself rejected by the two Jennifers. Zoe does call them out for being mean and at the party later on, she patches things up with Zoe, toasting over shots.
Even back then, Aniq fumbled over his words and tried to ask out Zoe, flirting in class and deciding to meet up at “Brett’s party”. Of course, it’s actually Walt’s but the poor guy is completely invisible and no one pays him any attention all night.
Mid-party, Yasper makes the decision to break things off with Xavier. He decides that pop is just a fad and it won’t last, pointing out that ska is where it’s at.
Annoyed and upset, Xavier takes out his anger on Aniq. When he shows up at the party with a mixtape CD for Zoe, Xavier pulls down his trousers and throws him in the pool. This explains why Aniq thought Xavier was responsible for the prank at the afterparty.
Anyway, Brett soon jumps in and knocks down Xavier. With Aniq trying to air-dry the mix CD cover, it gives Brett the opportunity to get close to Zoe, given they’re both going to the same college the next year.
When Aniq catches up to them, he realizes how close they are and changes his mind over the mix CD, believing he’s lost his chance. Aniq dumps it in the bin and heads out back, drowning his sorrows in alcohol.
At the party, Xavier and Chelsea end up drunk together in the bedroom but she rejects him. He lies though, claiming he slept with Chelsea when he leaves the bedroom. Walt shows up too while the camera is rolling, and the narrative changes to a threesome.
This explains why Chelsea has an issue with Xavier but unfortunately things take an even worse turn.
Remember the mix CD? Well, Brett picks it up and claims he made it for Zoe. As he plays it, Aniq notices the pair kissing and loses his temper. With a baseball bat, he begins smashing up a car outside.
That car happens to belong to Xavier, but as the pair “fight”, police show up and Aniq realizes what he’s done. Xavier decides to press charges, which also means Aniq will lose his scholarship. The party ends, Aniq is taken away and the conversation turns back to the present.
With the truth revealed, Aniq unveils a truth of his own to the group. He shows the note he’s found and, as predicted, it’s actually just song lyrics and the “diarrhea” on his neck happens to be written by Xavier.
As the attention turns to Danner, and what she may be hiding, Zoe actually stands up and calls herself out for having a grudge against Xavier. She didn’t at the start of the night but by the end, she definitely had a reason to kill Xavier. But what? What happened? We’ll have to wait until next week!
The Episode Review
The flashbacks to high school dominate this week’s episode and it works really well to begin fleshing out the past and understanding exactly how everything ties together.
Seeing the foundations of Brett and Zoe’s relationship based off of Aniq’s mixtape is pretty tough to watch but by the end of the episode, it’s clear that she’s starting to see Aniq in a different light now.
Meanwhile, the focus shifting to Walt allows us to see his plight and a snapshot of everyone at the party. It seems like he didn’t actually kill Xavier but then he does have a valid reason to, given his motive happens to be attention. Attention he still doesn’t have, given everyone keeps ignoring him.
The note and the writing on Aniq’s neck have been tantalizing mysteries but they also have a very simple explanation too which is a bit of a shame.
However, this week does return to showcase a good amount of humour and there’s a palpable energy to this one that keeps the show ticking over. Lets hope that carries over to next week’s episode.