The fifth episode of the FX miniseries A Murder at the End of the World lingers for a lot longer than was expected. With an added runtime of twenty minutes, the episode shows that a mystery thriller doesn’t have to be formulaic in its structure. In the previous episode, Darby had found that Zoomer was Bill’s son, and that meant that Andy was suspect number one, as he had an extremely strong motive to murder Bill. But the episode dealt with that theory from the very beginning. The series is adamant about not giving us ‘sure footing’ and keeping us off-balanced at all times. Darby, after having met with an accident and sustaining a head injury, opens up another void, as she might not be seeing things clearly, literally and metaphorically. It’s the subtle changes in the tone and our perception of the characters that keep us engaged even in this over-an-hour episode.
How Did Andy Convince Darby That He Wasn’t Bill’s Killer?
Darby isn’t shown to be the kind of character that would shy away from authority figures when she had enough proof to question them. Even though she was still recovering from the head injury, she barged into Andy and Lee’s dining room and after Lee had left with Zoomer, she told him what she had discovered. From there, it was a back and forth of allegations and clarifications between the two. Darby dropped the bomb, thinking it would just make Andy crumble under pressure, but he had a rebuttal waiting. Darby proceeded to reveal that Zoomer was Bill’s kid, and perhaps he laid a claim on him, which is why Andy killed him. Andy was unphased, as he already knew about the fact that Zoomer was not his son. He could have had him murdered before he came to the retreat if he wanted to. Andy knew that he had been sterile since the age of 19, which is why he knew that Zoomer wasn’t his son, but as far as the true meaning of being a father was concerned, he had been a brilliant one to Zoomer.
In true technical manner, he suggested that Bill just provided the ‘hardware’ while Andy provided the ‘software’, and it’s the latter part that was more important. Darby was put on the backfoot when Andy called out her blind spot in the investigation, which was her love for Bill. She was thinking that Bill was some protagonist of a novel that had been murdered, but according to Andy, he was just collateral damage—a random victim, murdered only to destroy Andy’s credibility as the ‘savior’ of humanity. Rohan was added to the list because he had probably figured out who the killer was, or just one murder could be written off as a tragedy at Andy’s resort. But two or more, well then, Andy could be internationally reduced to an incompetent charlatan who couldn’t even protect his guests. Darby had to listen to his logic, and indeed, he had so many rivals that he could be a target. Besides, Andy revealed that he had a mysterious, life-threatening disease, and he was receiving his daily treatment at the time Bill was murdered. There was video footage as well. With all that in mind, Darby couldn’t go on harping on the fact that Zoomer was Bill’s son. She had to look at the case from a different perspective.
How Did Darby Change Her Course Of Action?
Darby couldn’t be sure about anything now. Her head was throbbing, and her vision was unclear as well. In an attempt to figure out who the murderer could be, she asked for Andy’s help. He showed the immersive ‘security experience’ that was supposed to be a recreation of people’s movement in the resort at any given point in time. So at the time of Bill’s murder, any one of the guests that couldn’t be accounted for could be the killer. The recreation left out people who were in private spaces or far away from the resort. What stopped Darby’s breakthrough in the case was that the security system did not record where people were at the time of its footage backup, which made her think that the killer must have known the exact time when to strike. But Dabry could see people’s whereabouts half an hour earlier, and some people automatically became suspects. David, Lu Mei, and Oliver were all brought in for questioning, and they were suspected of being the killer. David was in Oliver’s room, apparently making love, if Oliver’s account of things is to be believed. Lu Mei directed attention to Lee, who was also unaccounted for at the time of Bill’s death. Darby’s natural instinct was to question Lee, and she found something that mystified the case further. She told Lee about Andy’s sterility, and when she was in the bathroom, sobbing hard to accept the new information, Darby got the opportunity to look through her bag, which had a wig and a passport belonging to a woman named Marie Larsen. The woman was Lee herself in a completely new get-up, wearing the wig.
Lee had seen Darby snooping around in her bag. Darby could trust no one now. Was Lee an impostor? Was Darby in danger now, given that she knew Lee had seen her going through her belongings? With these questions, she went in to see Sian, who mysteriously died right after a little conversation with Darby. She was suffering from an infection, but Eva, the head doctor, was shocked to find that she didn’t survive. The blame fell on Darby. Later, a masked person attacked Darby, using an electronic voice to warn her to back off; otherwise, she too would have to be killed. The only silver lining was that there was definitely a killer present in the resort, and she had found that Bill had called David just moments before he was murdered. She had pleaded with David to reveal what their conversation was about, but after being refused, she had no way to move forward. Until she received a message to come to the pool at 10 p.m. to know what Bill had told David, Darby did not have a cowardly bone in her body, neither when she was tracking the ‘Silver Doe’ killer nor now when she was asked to come alone at the pool. Unfortunately, she was trapped in the pool as it closed in on her, and she was left trapped underwater. It’s unlikely they will die; she had always had help in the past, and someone would arrive here as well. Could the killer show up and save her so as to gain her trust? The next episode will have all the answers.