David The Demon In ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Explained: Is David Dead Or Alive?

In Netflix’s Dead Boy Detective series, David is the ominous demon who had possessed Crystal Palace until Charles and Edwin exorcized him out of her body. As a sadistic supernatural being, he feeds on Crystal’s torment even after he exits her body. In fact, to make her suffer even more, David erases some of Crystal’s memories in hopes that they will act as a bargaining tool for him to get back into her body. Demons typically cannot possess a person against their will, but owing to their deceitful nature, they often manipulate their victims into letting them into their bodies. 


Spoilers Ahead

How did Crystal meet David? 

Crystal’s situation wasn’t very different from that of other victims of demonic possession, but she was far from an ordinary human. Being a psychic, Crystal served as both a gateway and a reservoir of supernatural power for David. It’s possible that this was the primary reason he targeted her for possession in the first place.


Three months prior to the events of the series, Crystal encountered David outside a club in London. Initially, she viewed their meeting as a chance encounter with a charming young man, oblivious to David’s true identity as a demon. Unbeknownst to her, demons like David often target their victims well in advance. Despite discovering his true nature, Crystal found herself falling in love with him and chose to overlook the warning signs. There’s a saying that all flags appear red when you’ve got rose-tinted glasses on, and this rings especially true for Crystal, who had her own share of problematic behavior before losing her memories. Her past actions shed light on why she became susceptible to the demon’s influence. Reflecting on her present circumstances, Crystal believes she may have been deceived into letting David into her life, recognizing the cunning and unpredictability inherent in demons.

How does David plan to get back into Crystal’s body?

In Christian theology, demons are depicted as beings devoid of human-like motives. They are intricate entities that derive satisfaction from tormenting and corrupting humans, with some believed to even feed on human souls. Christians hold that demons actively work to steer individuals away from God, often using adversity as their means. As an atheist, I don’t subscribe to the existence of demons, but I do understand the metaphorical notion of “inner demons.” In this context, David can be seen as a representation of Crystal’s internal struggles, reflecting her troublesome nature.


Throughout Dead Boy Detective series, David consistently appears before Crystal, particularly when she is at her lowest or most desperate. Offering solutions to all of Crystal’s problems, David tests her resilience without hesitation. At times, Crystal contemplates surrendering herself to the demon in order to save her friends. However, even if she were to entertain the idea of David taking over her again, it would be more of an ultimate act of sacrifice to protect others than driven by personal intentions. For those who don’t know, self-sacrifice for others is viewed as one of the most divine acts in the Christian faith, and I can only wonder if the DC lore would’ve allowed space for the inner workings of Christian faith. 

How does Crystal get rid of David?

Crystal knew that she had to confront David sooner or later. The problem is that there is no known way for the psychic and her poltergeist friends to fight a demon, at least initially. However, things take a turn for Crystal when she learns how to tap into the source of her ancestral powers during her battle with Esther, the witch. These powers make Crystal formidable enough to face off against a demon. When Edwin is dragged to hell by the spider demon, Charles and Crystal plead with Night Nurse to open a doorway to hell so Charles can go and rescue their friend. However, when Night Nurse turns down their request, Crystal looks for other alternatives to find a way to hell. She approaches David voluntarily to make him open a gateway to hell. David believes that Crystal is only bluffing when she claims to be more powerful than before. 


In another one of his devious schemes, David possesses Jenny and offers to open the gate to hell if Crystal kills her, leading to a brief fight between him and Crystal. Overpowered by Crystal, the demon reveals that he cannot open a portal, implying he was probably banished from hell. With her newfound powers, Crystal drags David to the pocket dimension where her ancestors reside and buries him next to the tree her powers come from. David had threatened her that he would never give up his pursuit of her, which made Crystal want to make sure that she got rid of him one way or another. 

At the conclusion of her journey, when Crystal reclaims her memories from David, she confronts a sobering truth: her recollections reveal an unsettling image of her own darker nature. Facing the realization that she was, in fact, a bad person before the memory loss, Crystal feels regret. In a broader sense, the act of David taking away these problematic memories emerges as a form of greater torment for Crystal. This highlights the unexpectedly disturbing ways David, even after being defeated, continues to trouble Crystal.


Will David be back in Season 2?

Being a demon, David cannot die, and even when buried in a pocket dimension controlled by a lineage of psychic warriors, he might find a way to return from his captivity. Moreover, in the scene when Crystal buries David, one of her ancestors advises her not to keep him buried near the tree for long, as it would be bad for the tree. David’s demonic powers might even find a way to tap into the source of Crystal’s powers. Perhaps, with these powers, David would then proceed to cause mayhem on earth for the sake of his sadistic pleasure.

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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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