‘The Fatal Seduction’ Volume 1 Recap: Everything To Know Before Watching Volume 2

Netflix has successfully forayed into the African market, and for the past few years, they have given us interesting stories from across the continent. The Fatal Seduction is a South African Netflix Original that speaks about desires and infidelity amidst corruption and crimes against women and children in the country. Created by Steven Pillemer, this seven-episodic first volume of the show has caught the attention of viewers not just because of the steamy scenes but also because of the attention it draws to pertinent issues that plague that nation.

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The Fatal Seduction begins with Nandi, the lead protagonist, being taken into police custody for a crime unknown, but there is blood everywhere inside her fancy home, and there is a murder weapon. As the series progresses, the viewers can pick and choose from several characters in the show that could have been Nandi’s target, and slowly, they might also come across the motive behind the murder. Nandi, a law professor, and her husband Leonard, a local judge at the court, have been married for twenty years, but their relationship has hit a roadblock ever since the wife went through a miscarriage.

This tumultuous event changed the course of their marriage, and the couple has not been able to reconcile even though they live under one roof. They have a daughter, Zinhle, who is a mature young adult trying to help her parents find balance in their relationship. Nandi also comes across a message on her husband’s phone that suggests he is having an affair with his assistant at work. This assumption sets a lot of events in motion for Nandi because she feels betrayed. The Fatal Seduction does a good job of talking about the mental and physical pain of losing a child to miscarriage, and the support of a spouse is crucial at that stage. Leonard acted selfishly and blamed his wife for the untoward event, and their marriage has spiraled downward ever since.

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Excited to spend a day with her best friend Brenda at her home, Nandi comes across an attractive young guy, and they flirt till they cannot keep their hands away from each other. After a steamy night of passion, she goes back to her day job, which is teaching crimes against the female gender as a subject, only to realize the person she spent the night with is Jacob, a new student in her class. The makers do not shy away from presenting the affair in the most titillating manner, and throughout the narrative, it comes across as only screen fillers. A lot of the lovemaking scenes do not add anything crucial to the plot.

Brenda, to everyone’s horror, is found dead in her house, and the police initially label her death a suicide because the lady has been wracked with guilt for a decade. She was a schoolteacher, and under her watch, a student went missing and was later found dead. Brenda never forgave herself for being irresponsible, even though it was not her fault. The police found condoms and male bodily fluids at the scene of the crime. Vuyo, Leonard’s brother and Brenda’s boyfriend, an ex-cop, is informed by Nandi that it was her stuff that was found at Brenda’s home, admitting to the fact that she is having an affair. This sensual drama quickly became a murder mystery, which is connected to the incident of the child abduction and murder, that occurred many years ago and involved now deceased Brenda, Vuyo, Leonard, and a certain Benjamin Jabo, who was convicted of the crime and subsequently committed suicide in prison.

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The makers, through Nandi’s character, focus on the increasing number of women who are attacked, brutalized, and killed. This demographic also includes young girls and female infants who are victims of male rage, and the case from a decade ago about the young girl comes back to haunt Leonard and the investigating officer. Jacob and Nandi, on the other hand, fall in love, but Vuyo does not trust the new man and begins a parallel investigation to find out about his past. Vuyo seems to be the only person who has several concerns about what is happening to his family, and he is sure that Leonard is not cheating on her, which Nandi also comes to know a bit too late. All the messages between Leonard and his assistant were about giving Nandi a surprise on their 20th wedding anniversary and Leonard apologizing for being insensitive.

Though The Fatal Seduction begins by showcasing how women take charge of themselves and indulge in physical pleasures, the tone quickly changes, and the narrative is now headed towards Nandi feeling guilty as her affair leads to Jacob becoming obsessed with her. He shows up at her home under the pretext of meeting Judge Leonard. Vuyo’s research leads him to the man who was convicted of kidnapping and killing the girl child, Benjamin Jabo and to his shock, Jacob is his son. By the looks of it, he is going after Leonard by seducing Nandi and anonymously texting their daughter.

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Jacob has covered everything when it comes to exacting revenge. Jacob’s ailing mother, who has lost her mental sanity since her husband’s death, is another reason behind him going after Leonard’s family. Jacob seeking vengeance makes sense, but that does not justify his alleged involvement in killing Brenda, which is what Vuyo concludes from his investigation. The case of the murdered child involved corruption, mishandling of the evidence, and falsely accusing someone else to protect the powerful. Even though Nandi has a moral high-ground and, through her research papers, is against all of the things mentioned above, unbeknownst to her, Leonard turns out to be power-hungry, and that is why Jacob uses this defense and asks her to end her marriage and live with him.

Of all the men in The Fatal Seduction, only Vuyo turns out to be the most civil person who is looking at this whole issue from a logical point of view, unlike Jacob or Leonard. He soon understands there is more to the old case than he was led to believe, which makes Leonard confess that Brenda was forced to make a false statement against Benjamin, which eventually led to his suicide. Jacob claims he is not guilty because he is strictly against murdering women and intends to fight for women’s rights if he ever becomes a lawyer.

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The first volume of The Fatal Seduction ends with Leonard wondering if Nandi is having an affair with Vuyo, and he confronts his brother about it. Meanwhile, Nandi is worried that Vuyo has gotten rid of Jacob because of the conclusions he reached. She finds Jacob in the middle of the forest, begging her to reconsider her marriage to the judge because he is sure his father was wrongly accused. He confesses to having approached her with the idea of retribution, but his love for her surpasses all the hatred he has for the family, and he is willing to make things work. There is no definite end to the show. Many questions remain unanswered by the end of the seventh episode. The climax of this season allows the viewers to be curious about Brenda’s killer and what Jacob is seeking now that he claims to be in love. The big mystery about Nandi getting arrested is yet to be uncovered, and the next season will dive deep into this subject.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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