Monty The Crow In ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Explained: What Happens To Monty?

In the Netflix adaptation of Vertigo’s Dead Boy Detectives, Monty is Esther’s crow familiar, whom the witch turns into a human spy to capture the Dead Boy Detectives for her own sinister plan. As humans, we often contemplate the simple lives that animals tend to have, especially when we’re going through the complexities of existence as intelligent beings. This would sound like something Slavoj Zizek would say, but feeling emotions can sometimes be the biggest burden of human existence, and that is what Monty too comes to understand once he becomes a human.


Spoilers Ahead

Why did Esther turn Monty into a human?

In witchcraft and its associated folklore, a familiar is like a guardian spirit who assists a witch, and that was what Monty was to Esther as well. As Esther’s familiar, this crow spirit was Esther’s companion and was often subjected to her inhuman experiments. Things for Monty the crow change, however, when Esther’s thirst for revenge makes her turn her crow into a good-looking human boy. Her intention is to let Monty get close to Edwin and isolate the Dead Boy Detectives so that she can then kill them and Crystal. However, little does she realize that it is not easy to be a human, especially for someone like Monty who knows nothing about it. 


How does Monty meet Edwin?

During the Case of the Devlin House, Monty, quite literally, bumps into Edwin, dropping his books outside the library. It is all too obvious that their meeting was not a chance encounter and had been planned by Esther. Monty introduces himself as a young astrology student in Port Townsend who has recently woken up from a coma, because of which he can see ghosts. Almost immediately, Monty starts to flirt with Edwin, but Edwin seems quite indifferent to him at the beginning. To be fair, Edwin was an introvert and was still in the closet regarding his sexuality. That, however, doesn’t deter from the fact that Edwin indeed feels intrigued by Monty too. Despite being a ghost, Edwin expresses his disbelief in astrology, but Monty finds it quite charming. Monty offers to give Edwin a horoscope reading, and before Edwin can turn it down, Niko agrees on his behalf. Towards the end of the episode, true to his word, Monty shows up outside the apartment and gives Edwin his reading. At this moment, Edwin begins to take an interest in Monty. 

Does Monty actually fall for Edwin?

During one of their encounters, Monty elaborates further on his feelings about being in a coma. He talks as though he is actually referring to his time as an emotionless spirit and that he finds his existence as a human quite liberating. Part of the reason for his fascination with human life is his budding romantic feelings for Edwin, something he’s never experienced before. With his romantic feelings also come feelings of jealousy that he develops towards Charles, Edwin’s best friend. During his conversation with Esther, he shows envy in the way he talks about Edwin and Charles being off on a ‘stupid’ case. When Esther asks if he is developing feelings for Edwin, Monty remains silent, implying that it is indeed true. 


Why does Esther turn Monty back into a crow?

After meeting each other a few times, Edwin finally offers to go on a walk with Monty to get some personal time and get to know each other better. During this time, Edwin too had come to a massive realization. First, he comes to terms with the fact that he can have feelings for a man in this day and age. Second, he realizes that he has been in love with his best friend, Charles. 

Riddled by his feelings for Charles on his date with Monty, Edwin suggests that he and Monty not see each other again. He says he has been developing feelings, which he cannot seem to comprehend. Believing that Edwin is talking about him, Monty kisses Edwin, but Edwin clarifies that he was talking about someone else. 


Heartbroken, Monty finally realizes the price of being able to feel emotions. He returns to Esther to help her proceed with her plot against the Dead Boy Detectives. Hoping to get back at Edwin for turning down his love for him, he doesn’t consider the fact that Esther might want the boys dead. He ends up complying with the plan and lures the trio to the Creeping Forest, but as soon as he realizes that Esther plans to eliminate the ghosts for good, he changes his mind. He did hate Edwin in the moment, but he didn’t want him gone. However, before he can save Charles and Crystal, the Cat King appears and discloses Monty’s secret—that he’s Esther’s pet bird. 

Disgusted by Monty’s betrayal, Edwin leaves him alone. Enraged, Monty confronts Esther regarding her plot to execute Edwin and Charles and informs her that their secret has now been revealed. Esther, disappointed by Monty for letting Edwin escape, kills Monty’s human form and turns him back into a crow, ending his emotional misery. Even in his final moments as a human, Monty expressed that he never wanted to be a human in the first place or even wanted to experience these emotions.


Monty, now back in his crow form, is seen one more time at Esther’s house when he helps Charles escape his constraints after being shamed by Charles for betraying Edwin. Monty’s end isn’t exactly seen, which does imply that we will see more of the familiar. He might even be able to regain his human form in one way or another.

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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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