Night Nurse In ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Explained: What’s Next For Her?

In Netflix’s adaptation of Vertigo’s Dead Boy Detectives, the Night Nurse is a trans-dimensional being who works at a bureaucratic organization called the Lost and Found Department in the afterlife. This organization operates under the dominion of Death to collect deceased children. To be precise, the Night Nurse’s organization makes sure that these dead children are taken to the afterlife instead of letting them roam the earth until eternity. But, like all bureaucratic organizations, even the Lost and Found Department has been showing discrepancies in their performance. The Night Nurse blames this underperformance on overpopulation, claiming that they never expected the human population to increase to such astronomical proportions. She is not bothered by human morals and would do anything to maintain order; at times, she does not even resist using force against humans who come between her and her targets. She is able to make people relive their traumas and past memories.


Spoilers Ahead

Why is Night Nurse after Edwin and Charles?

During their first confrontation with the witch, Esther, Edwin is compelled to possess her, despite the risk of being detected by the afterlife. As expected, the Lost and Found Department was notified of the possession. When the Night Nurse finds out that going after Edwin and Charles is under her jurisdiction, she takes it upon herself to catch these teenage detectives. One of her duties is to go after spirits who have been resisting being taken to the afterlife, and as a being who abides by the laws and rules of the organization, she is adamant about catching Edwin and Charles. 


The Night Nurse finds out about their whereabouts after the Dead Boy Detectives release the Devlin children from their time loop. In the afterlife, the children mention being helped by the detectives, revealing their location to be at Port Townsend. Arriving at the town, she sneaks into Crystal’s apartment, but when caught by Jenny, the Night Nurse forces her to reveal Crystal’s location. The Night Nurse finally meets Crystal and the boys and reveals who she is. Resisting being taken to the afterlife, the trio puts up a fight, but soon after, the Night Nurse uses her powers to make Charles relive his traumas from when he was alive. However, Charles takes control of his body and pushes her off the cliff and into the belly of the supernatural anglerfish, Angie. 

Why does the Night Nurse help the boys?

Inside the belly of the beast, the Night Nurse runs into a mysterious man named Kashi. The Night Nurse, especially being an immortal being, fears being trapped for an eternity and is annoyed by Kashi’s unbothered temperament regarding their situation. Unable to find a way out of the monster, despite her desperate attempts, she gives up and confides in Kashi. This mysterious man, who himself is a supernatural entity, makes her realize for the first time that the work she is doing might not be the kindest thing to do. Suggesting that they should talk to the fish instead of stabbing it, Kashi yells out to the beast to let the Night Nurse go, and the beast complies. 


Released from the monster’s grasp, the Night Nurse immediately visits Charles and Edwin to capture them, but Charles tries to convince her to change her mind about taking them. He points out that Edwin was killed in a ritualistic sacrifice and does not belong in hell. The Night Nurse wouldn’t have heard Charles’ plea, but when she looks into their files, she realizes that he was indeed right about there being a technical error from the afterlife. The Night Nurse decides to let the boys go until she solves the discrepancies.

When Edwin is dragged to hell by an ominous spider demon, the Night Nurse opens a doorway to hell for Charles to rescue Edwin. Previously, Charles offered himself to the Night Nurse if she opened a doorway to hell. She doesn’t normally do this, but seeing the connection Charles and Edwin had after peeking into Charles’ memories about his first encounter with Edwin, she changed her mind. Perhaps the Night Nurse was moved by Charles’ devotion to his friend. After a successful rescue attempt, she prepares to take the boys to the afterlife once again, but Niko steps up and finds a loophole in their system, forcing the Night Nurse to spare them. 


How does the Night Nurse start working for the Dead Boy Detective Agency?

Even after her countless humiliations, the Night Nurse is quite adamant about catching Charles and Edwin. When they finally return to London, the Night Nurse turns up at their office with a high-ranking bureaucrat in the afterlife. The night nurse is convinced that the boys will not be able to resist capture this time, but when the bureaucrat happens to take a glance at the cases they have solved, she is fascinated by the boys. She believes that the success of the Night Nurse’s Lost and Found Department was because of Edwin and Charles’ efforts. The bureaucrat changes her mind about bringing the boys to the afterlife and makes their agency official. Moreover, she orders the Night Nurse to work with the Dead Boy Detective Agency to help them solve their cases. 

The Night Nurse sees her new job as the ultimate humiliation, and considering it a demotion from her previous post, she turns it down. But then, even a godlike entity had no other choice in front of a more powerful being than herself. The bureaucracy that she followed so blindly ends up biting her instead. 


What’s Next For the Night Nurse?

Despite her disapproval of her new role, the Night Nurse would eventually begin to embrace her work as a Dead Boy Detective. In hindsight, Night Nurse is the most powerful member of this agency, and she would play a key role in fighting future adversaries. She might even learn to like the boys in the future. 

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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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