The Afterparty – Season 2 Episode 3 “Travis” Recap & Review


Episode 3 of The Afterparty begins with Travis’ version of the events on the wedding night. The characterization of his version is done in the style of a noir film from the ’40s and ’50s. With the top hats, dutch camera angles, black and white tapestry, and brooding, intriguing music, this episode has it all! But first, we see Zoe and Aniq rendezvousing to discuss the cufflink she found in Edgar’s pocket. It is the letter “g” which could only mean one thing: Grace. Whatever killed him did it spontaneously. It definitely has to be poison. But who could have access to it?

Travis “Gladrise” (focus on the surname) explains that his statement was taken out of context. He also hands Aniq and Danner a dossier of files and research that proves Edgar was a fraud. According to him, Grace invited Travis to look into these accusations and allegations. When he received the card, Travis instantly went online and started googling Edgar. Finding nothing and wanting his worm for conspiracy fed, Travis started searching for major pop culture conspiracies to fuse the idea with Edgar’s financial background.

He came to the conclusion that Edgar was involved in a cryptocurrency scam. Travis had himself been a victim of such a scam before, so his insecurities and residual anger definitely had a role to play. The five biggest investors in Edgar’s crypto coin, Bucephallus, are his own shell companies. He uses his own money to artificially inflate the value of his coin.

Meanwhile, Travis bid farewell to his mother, whom we don’t see but she definitely sounds like a mix of Howard’s mom (from Big Bang) and Joey’s agent Estelle (from Friends), and goes to the wedding. 

Zoe shows Grace the cufflink and she instantly recognizes it as a key from an antique typewriter. Her mind wanders to Hannah, who is a collector of such things.

Travis’ accounts romanticise the situation according to his fancies and whims, such as Grace signalling to him that she is afraid and Hannah flirting with him at the bar. He slips into Edgar’s office and as he is going around fuelling his titillating fantasies, he is confronted by Sebastian.

Although he is not able to get into the safe, Travis construes the list of names on Edgar’s desk as his aliases. Combining that with the books he had on disappearing, Travus asserts that Edgar was preparing to run into oblivion by faking his own death. Travis thought that Grace would be the scapegoat for Edgar after they were married – something to do with spousal rights on joint assets. He warns Grace about this impending conspiracy and joins hands with Hannah, who also wants to stop the wedding. 

Zoe and Grace go to Hannah’s tent and find the missing “g” key on the typewriter. The sisters then scram when they see Hannah coming and hide behind the bushes. Poisonous flowers are mentioned. 

Back to Travis. He and Hannah couldn’t stop the wedding when she flaked at the last moment. Travis went after Edgar the night he abruptly stopped his first dance with Grace. But in his own description, he “got too close” and was hit on his head by the killer. 

He regained consciousness just in time for the after-party. He confronts Edgar with the truth in front of everybody. When Edgar starts blurting out nonsense, Grace takes him to bed. Travis doesn’t believe his “show” and falls asleep while taking guard outside his room.

Danner and Aniq explain their stance of reason to Travis. It may look bad but his theory about Edgar pumping his own coin may well have substance. And in his heart, he does seem like a good guy.

Zoe storms inside the room as Travis is finishing up. “I have found the murder weapon,” she exclaims. This would appear to be The Devil’s Trumpet which is poisonous if consumed in large quantities and hallucinatory if ingested in smaller ones.

Edgar was hallucinating that night and wasn’t drunk. Hannah had access to the plants and knew how they worked. She is the next person on the radar. 

The Episode Review

The “touch of evil” in Travis’ narration in episode 3 was spot on! Paul Walter Hauser was indeed a riot in this episode. His trepidations and hardened luck were instantly reminiscent of a noir antihero. For some reason, he reminded me of Orson Welles; the build, the top hat, and the overcoat. But even more importantly, in spirit. The creators took another wild turn to surprise viewers with a different version of the events.

The writers must be put on a pedestal for nailing every aspect of the noir genre. When PWH said to Aniq, “Aren’t we all?” (looking for something), it just took me a moment to recognize the creative ebbs and flows. Episode 3 got the minutest of details in dialogue, camera angles, and background score, just right.

However, the progression of the investigation into Edgar’s murder was not as inspiring. The characterization of the story’s direction is perhaps too familiar. That was my beef with the previous season and The Afterparty is making the same mistake with this one as well.

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