The Afterparty – Season 2 Episode 5 “Sebastian” Recap & Review


Episode 5 of The Afterparty begins with a heated discussion in the house’s living room. Everyone, except Aniq, Danner, and Sebastian is sitting together, in silence. Grace is nervously pacing back and forth and finally breaks the deadlock. That doesn’t bode well for her though, as Isabel begins trumpeting her theories. She believes Grace is guilty and even asserts that the entire family, including Vivian and Feng, targeted Edgar for his money. Aniq wants to believe Sebastian is the killer but Danner warns him against jumping the gun.

Although he is unwilling to talk to them at first, Sebastian is convinced after the duo reveals that they know he has been fired. Distressed by Isabel’s accusations, Zoe vows to find evidence to prove that Edgar’s family connived to kill him. The interrogation begins and we are in for another shock: Sebastian isn’t actually British (although Whitehall’s British accent was much better)! He is actually from San Bernadino. When asked why he lied, Sebastian explains that “sounding British makes him seem charming and intelligent”… which is true.

Sebastian begins narrating his past. That would establish why he wanted to be at the wedding and connect to his dynamic with Edgar. Sebastian grew up poor. He used to run cheap cons with his cousins. But none of it was of a major incidence… except when he conned his way into a fancy boarding school. That is where he met Edgar for the first time… and also his insanely good British accent. They quickly became friends. Sebastian recognized that teaming up with Edgar would put him at a great advantage over others.

Not only was Edgar rich, but he was smart and emotionally mature. After college, they started a legal hedge fund with a hefty loan from Edgar’s father. Their fund was extremely successful…until Edgar pulled them into dealing with Crypto. Edgar wasn’t happy that Sebastian made him “lose millions” by holding back capital, even though Seb did the right thing. That is why he fired him. But Seb was still the best man at the wedding due to Edgar’s nonchalant compartmentalization…and his master plan to pull off another “heist” at Edgar’s expense. 

So, who does he go to? His old cousins, Juxson and Judson! The plan is to wipe Edgar’s safe in his office. The cousins infiltrated the party undercover and planned to hit the safe while Edgar had his first dance with Grace. But there are some cracks in the plan. Edgar’s safe is protected by three layers of security, the last of which is an alphabetical code that Seb hadn’t cracked yet. During the rehearsal dinner, Seb overheard Edgar saying to Vivian that he knows “her secret.” He proceeded to the safe and found Travis, as the latter had explained in episode 3. 

Seb placed a pen with a camera on Edgar’s desk to capture the moment he opened the safe to learn the passcode. But he didn’t need to as he realized it was the name of his father Alexander’s horse. Now, he had to find out. But he couldn’t have asked Edgar since he would become suspicious. Instead, Seb tries wooing Hannah and then Isabel but is unsuccessful. His explanation also makes it clear that the naked man we saw running through the compound (in Aniq’s version of events) was Seb. He had been thrown out by Isabel without his clothes and chased by the family dog. 

Meanwhile, in Feng and Vivian’s room, Isabel catches them with Hannah’s flower centrepieces. She suspects they used the Devil’s Trumpet from one of them to poison Edgar. But it turns out that Vivian has a habit of preserving things that could go to waste. As Zoe says “She is not a killer; she is just cheap.” Grace notices the Devil’s Trumpet is missing from one of the centrepieces. This means anyone could be the killer.

On the day of the wedding, Seb’s pen on Edgar’s table captured him entering the passcode to the safe. And while walking to the altar with Isabel, he learnt the name of the horse from her, “Nutmeg.” 

Now, he only needed the lizard, Roxana, since the second layer of the safe was its retinal scan. The plan went very smoothly as the first dance began. Seb broke into the safe but something caught Edgar’s attention at the same time and he headed toward the safe. Travis did too and Juxson struck him at the back of his head. Seb was unaware that Edgar was approaching and continued his break-in. Edgar stood right behind Seb as he “takes what is rightfully his”: the baseball card he lost out to Edgar all those years ago in the boarding school.

They play a game of Connect 4 together, which also solves the mystery of “SEC4” – Sebastian, Edgar, Connect 4. Edgar easily won every single time but offered to give the card to Seb nonetheless – not before cutting off “20%” as retribution. Seb had actually exchanged the original (which is still intact) with a fake.

Before he wraps up his story, Seb tells the duo that he saw Ulysses do something to the wine glasses that night at the bar. Now, Danner and Aniq must investigate Vivian’s secrets and Ulysses and the glasses.

Aniq isn’t comfortable interrogating Zoe’s family as it would greatly upset her. But before we get to them, Danner reveals that she didn’t leave the force. We will have more on that in episode 6. Meanwhile, episode 5 ends with another tempting secret: the one between Hannah and Grace that the former didn’t tell anyone. In the distance, Zoe spots Grace and Hannah getting cuddly. 

The Episode Review

Seb’s version has to be the weakest episode till now. The execution was clearly off and the assembly of the narration seemed hasty. Is this why The Afterparty was postponed back in April? In all seriousness, this episode didn’t instantly remind us of a flavour of cinema. All the callbacks until now have been abundantly visible and tastefully brought out. But this one just felt tedious and forced. Whitehall was brilliant but the storytelling really faltered here.

However, we did get some interesting clues to take into the next episode. Like the previous season, the killer’s identity remains some distance away. We have crossed the midpoint now and hopefully, there will be some clues waiting for the keenest pair of eyes to pick up in the next two episodes. Still, this one is a disappointment. 

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