The Afterparty – Season 2 Episode 1 “Aniq 2: The Sequel” Recap & Review

Aniq 2: The Sequel


Episode 1 of The Afterparty is back with another murder! Just as we were about to dive into a weekend of “fun and relaxing,” the groom, Edgar, is found dead on his bed. This season of The Afterparty will probably move in the traditional past-present dynamic. The past would be the wedding itself and the present the aftermath.

Aniq and Zoe, who are now together, go to the wedding of Grace and Edgar. Grace is, of course, Zoe’s younger sister. First up, we meet Isabel, Edgar’s mother, who accuses Grace of committing the murder. This was after she overheard Aniq whisper to Zoe that Edgar was definitely murdered, since his pet lizard, Roxanna, was found dead too. Were both of them poisoned? It seems likely.

Isabel is friends with Sherrif Reardon, or Howie, as she calls him. There are definitely some romantic sparks between the two that might come up later. Although she is intent on calling Howie, Sebastian, Edgar’s business partner, whispers something to her and convinces her not to as they have to sort out some “business considerations.”

Aniq knows exactly what to do. He still has Detective Danner’s card and calls her. Danner has quit the police force and is now focusing on her writing career. In fact, she has already struck a deal with a publishing house for her book that tells the true story of Xander’s murder. Danner is instantly excited when she hears Aniq is with Zoe. The hunk also reveals he was about to propose to Zoe this weekend. But everything that could have gone wrong did…and then there’s the murder.

Danner drops everything and hops on to investigate yet another murder, albeit, in a different capacity. But first, she needs to know “everything” from Aniq. She even calls this the “perfect sequel!” And just like the last season, we go back into narration mode.

Aniq starts from the beginning – arriving at the Minnows Vineyard. The normal greetings ensue. Edgar has Roxanna on his shoulder and Grace gifts a “tea cosy” to Aniq that indeed looks a lot like Obama. Vivian and Feng, Zoe and Grace’s parents, are a hoot. As they’re lambasting Brett, Zoe’s ex, for being an idiot, Edgar points out that Aniq forgot to put on the handbrake in his car, which is now going down the slope. It goes crashing into Feng’s truck, which instantly pits him against Aniq! Feng runs King of Bing and asks Kyler, his social media manager, to film the truck for damages.

At the rehearsal dinner that night, Aniq is seated far off from the main table. He is seated with Travis, Grace’s weird ex-boyfriend. Aniq walks up to the “family table” to ask why he wasn’t placed there. Isabel quickly identifies him as an outsider, since he isn’t married to Zoe yet. Sebastian and Hannah, Edgar’s sister, embarrass Aniq with a lighthearted gush. Danner, in the present day, while on the drive, reinforces her “sequel” analogy.

Aniq is then jokingly called a “drug abuser” by Hannah and Isabel in front of Feng and Vivian. Sebastian, who is the best man, then introduces a distant relative of Grace: her uncle, Feng’s brother, Ulysses. While the sisters love him, Feng… not so much. He gives a weird toast, implying harm to Edgar if he “hurts Grace.” Ulysses then asks the pair to drink koumiss, a traditional drink to savour the moment. Grace does it but Edgar refuses to. Aniq volunteers eagerly to do it in his place. But koumiss¬†is actually fermented camel’s milk, which Aniq instantly spits out on Vivian.

Aniq spills the beans to Zoe about his failure to warm up to her family. She brushes it off and confesses her own feeling: Grace might not want to marry Edgar. She is behaving the same way as Zoe did right before she married Brett.

Aniq tries to convince Zoe to give her theory some time and she agrees to keep this to herself. She mentions Vivian needs a phone charger and Aniq volunteers to give his own to make things right. He overhears them talking about something but cannot decipher what. A naked man runs through in the most bizarre fashion and Aniq finally comes out of his hiding place: the bushes. He hands over the charger, makes things even more awkward by saying he is “sleeping with their daughter,” and then runs off.

Back in the present, we see Zoe trying to console Grace, who strikes back by saying Zoe didn’t like Edgar and she might be behind this. Travis spins his weird theory and true-crime obsession on Zoe.

Back in the past, we jump on to the wedding day. It is morning and Aniq has another chance to redeem himself. Feng wants someone to pick up their extended family and bring them here. Aniq volunteers… and we know how that ends. He picks up the wrong family!

Feng couldn’t have been more clear: “Korean uncles and Chinese aunties.” Whom did Aniq bring? Chinese uncles and Korean aunties. Duh. Sebastian saves the day and brings the family to the vineyard. While tying Edgar’s bowtie, Aniq and he bond by imitating the mastication of a lizard. They definitely seem to be gelling well together. Edgar even senses Aniq’s anxiousness and he reveals he wants to propose to Zoe. Edgar offers him a role in the wedding ceremony to help him. But when he tries to tell Zoe, she seems worried. She had told Grace not to go ahead with the wedding and this caused a big fight.

The wedding kicks off in 10 minutes. Aniq, who hasn’t showered yet, arrives late. His duty in the ceremony? Put the “vow box” over Edgar’s head while he is taking the vows. Why? Because he doesn’t like public speaking. The thing is heavy as a stone but he somehow places it over their heads. The vows are concluded and they are now married! As a sign of trust, Edgar hands over Roxana and Isabel’s purse to Aniq. The next thing we know, Aniq has lost Roxana. He keeps looking for her but somehow, she has ended up back on Edgar’s shoulder.

Isabel is quite quaint. She was seen jumping on a trampoline right before the wedding in her dress. She asked Aniq to “kick the dog” to assert his dominance and she blurted out nonsense during the toast. Zoe tries to make the most of her maid of honor speech but the audio system plays spoilsport. Sebastian, however, is charming and says all the right things.

At the afterparty, Vivian damningly tells Aniq he is behaving like Brett, who always wanted to impress the parents. Edgar loses control as he is drunk and calls everyone “devils” at the party. Grace takes him to bed and the night ends.

The next morning, Edgar’s dead body is found. Danner promises Aniq to help him find the murderer and get him the parents’ blessing. But before she signs off, Danner asks Aniq his true thoughts about Grace. He hesitantly mentions he saw her fight with Edgar quite a few times during the wedding. Edgar did not complete their “first dance” and randomly walked off. He also saw Grace putting something in Edgar’s drink! And just like that, Danner has arrived. The episode ends with Aniq’s signature, “Oh, no,” as Danner begins her investigation.

The Episode Review

Phew! The Afterparty begins as if it had never ended. Episode 1 was all class and once again kickstarted things with Aniq’s version of things. Using the rom-com shenanigans to characterize Aniq’s mess-ups was the perfect way, given his stationing with Zoe now. New characters Edgar, Isabel, Travis, and Sebastian all seem like a handful, carrying the quirky brand of the show forward.

Despite the familiarity of the tropes, watching them unfold in this kind of setting really paid off. Danner’s drive back might have precluded screen time for Haddish. But the budding author has finally arrived and we can expect fireworks soon. Given she isn’t in the police anymore, she will not be holding back.

Season 2 has a very positive beginning. Grace’s wedding might not have been the bash she would have expected. But it has all the trappings to become the right one for us. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long for the second episode as it is released on the same day as this first episode.¬†


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You can read our season 2 review of The Afterparty here!
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