The Afterparty – Season 2 Episode 7 “Ulysses” Recap & Review


Episode 7 of The Afterparty begins on a cold note. When Aniq mentions to Zoe that he needs to question her parents and uncle, she gets defensive. Zoe has presumed their innocence but Aniq knows better after learning about “Danner’s fire.”

Ulysses characterizes himself as a traveller and a wanderer. His story begins in Kuwait during Saddam Hussein’s brutal invasion. Although he wasn’t in the military, Ulysses was part of a dancing group called USO. Tragedy struck and his group was disbanded.

Ulysses carried a lot of that PTSD back home and did not know what to make of himself. Feng and Vivian took him into their home and gave him purpose. Feng is Ulysses’ half-brother. So his gesture means that much more. Vivian had previous ballroom dancing experience and used it to revive the spark inside Ulysses. They competed together, including at the Southeast Regionals in Tampa. During their companionship, Vivian and Ulysses developed feelings for each other. This explains why Feng hates him and walked away from the rehearsal dinner when Ulysses showed up. But eventually, he ended things with her.

They lived double lives; lovers outside the house and as a family inside it. They won the regionals, and then the World Championships in Paris was the next stop. Vivian though, wanted Ulysses to find a new partner. Guilt had ripped apart their chapter together, although it is unclear if Ulysses participated in the competition.

He did spend the next six years with them at their house being the “funcle” to Grace and Zoe though. One day, whilst sharing another dance, their suppressed feelings came gushing back. Ulysses realized he couldn’t bare it – being so close to Vivian and not being able to have her. Feng saw this confrontation and angrily sent him away, and that is how Ulysses became this weary traveller. Even in his travels, Ulysses couldn’t get Vivian out of his head.

It was not until the needle of his compass had stopped at Patagonia that Ulysses finally found his peace. He became a healer and helped the local community. Until one day, Edgar arrived in his chopper to invite him to the wedding. Ulysses made it clear he didn’t want to come. But Edgar tricked him by showing him the promise of potentially being Grace’s father. After all, that was a realistic probability. And Edgar was indeed right! Well…not really. He lied so that he could get Ulysses to come – for Grace. 

This is the “secret” that Vivian and Edgar were discussing when Seb saw them. Ulysses was the reason why Edgar had that red pin on the map of Patagonia. We see the events of the rehearsal dinner briefly through Ulysses’ wandering eyes fixated on Vivian. When he asked her about Grace, she flatly told Ulysses no. Vivian claimed to have done a paternity test after he left, and it didn’t show him as the father.

On the wedding night, when Edgar left the dance floor (since Seb had opened the safe and triggered the alarm) Ulysses took over dancing duties with Grace. She matched him step for step and it prompted him to think Vivian was lying. She had all the reason to as well. So Ulysses stole Grace’s glass from that night to conduct a paternity test. That answers the detail about the glass at the bar – he was taking a DNA sample off it.

We still don’t know if he is Grace’s father though, as he is yet to send the sample for testing. He left Danner and Aniq with an important question though. That night Feng had prepared one of his famous “bings” for Edgar to try.

Now Ulysses doesn’t know if he actually ate it or not. If he did, it would be perfect timing, but what would be Feng’s motive? Because Edgar thought Ulysses was Grace’s father. And if he told her (even though it might not be true) it could ruin the family.

The episode ends with Zoe and Travis approaching Danner and Aniq to tell them about the videographer, Kyler. Feng had hired him to shoot film for the entire weekend. What secrets would the cat drag out of the bag?

The Episode Review

Episode 7 falls back to baseline after relatively weaker episodes. The best part about Ulysses’ narration was that it resolved burning mysteries about characters and made the interpersonal dynamics more complicated. What this does is keep everyone on their toes about who the killer really is. Travis has come up as a likely suspect in the last two episodes, given how everything unfolded on the wedding night.

But we are some way off from learning the true identity of the killer. John Cho brought vulnerability and his signature charm to the fore here, and his wonderful rendition was funny, heartbreaking, and overtly dramatic just the way we like it.

Season 2 has shown an unnecessary reliance on love angles to propagate the plot though. Does every character have to be secretly in love with the other characters? That was perhaps the only downer from this in terms of writing. But then, episode 7 brings the show back on track for an explosive ending. 

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


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