‘Death and Other Details’ Creators Explain That ‘Chilling’ Finale, Tease Potential Season 2 Plotlines

“What would it look like in Season 2 if we were inspired by Sherlock Holmes?” co-showrunners Mike Weiss and Heidi Cole McAdams tell TheWrap of their Hulu mystery series

Death and Other Details
Imogene Scott (Violett Beane) in "Death and Other Details" (Photo by: James Dittiger/Hulu)

Spoilers ahead for the finale of “Death and Other Details.”

True to the genre, the last piece of the puzzle that solves the biggest mystery in “Death and Other Details” can be found in the first three minutes of Episode 1.

In its final two episodes, the Hulu original transformed into a hostage situation. After sending the “innocents,” such as staff and children, to shore, the wealthy guests on the luxury cruise liner the SS Varuna were given the option to bid for their lives; the highest bidders would be able to escape.

As for the rest, they would all go down with the ship once the bombs exploded.

This sick game was all at the hands of someone by the name of Viktor Sams. Who is Viktor Sams, you ask? None other than Imogene’s (Violett Beane) thought-to-be-dead mother, Kira.

It turns out, Kira didn’t die in that earlier car accident after all. Though the Colliers attempted to kill her, Imogene’s mother survived and was forced to abandon her daughter. As part of her revenge, she took on the name of Viktor Sams and orchestrated an elaborate doomsday game to teach these rich people a lesson.

Series creators Mike Weiss and Heidi Cole McAdams knew that Viktor Sams would be Kira “in our second conversation about the show.”

“We had the idea of Rufus Cotesworth [Mandy Patinkin] looking into her mother’s death but failing. Then it all clicked,” McAdams told TheWrap. “That was the moment when we were like, ‘OK, this the TV show.’”

The double reveal of Imogene’s mom being both alive and the season’s major antagonist is a detail right out of an Agatha Christie novel. But it’s the process of getting to that conclusion that makes “Death and Other Details” distinct. Rather than ignoring technology, a modern surveilling thorn that can be tricky when you’re constructing murder mysteries, the final clue that reveals everything about Kira emerges in a TikTok that briefly appears in the first few minutes of the series.

“The fact that, in the end, the entire plot gets unraveled by basically B-roll from a TikTok post, that’s something that couldn’t happen in an Agatha Christie story,” Weiss said. “And yet it really is like one of the below deck crew overhearing something or being someplace where they’re not supposed to be. So it’s kind of like a classic Agatha Christie moment, updated and solved with contemporary technology.”

Though this season has come to an end after 10 episodes, McAdams and Weiss remain hopeful that this isn’t the last of their mystery series.

“The four people who are standing there looking at the severed leg at the end of Season 1 — Imogene, Leila [Pardis Saremi], Teddy [Angela Zhou] and Jules [Hugo Diego Garcia] — we’ve talked about them being the people that carry us into a future season to investigate more crimes,” McAdams said.

From the “very beginning,” the team has talked about this story being about who the audience believes is the greatest detective in Rufus Cotesworth. Yet in reality, it’s about “the rise of the next World’s Greatest Detective in Imogene,” McAdams explained.

“She goes from being someone who tries to do it all herself to being part of a team of sleuths,” Weiss said. “I mean, attractive, young, brilliant people going off to solve more murders together feels fun to us.”

If the series does get another season, it won’t follow an anthology format. But that doesn’t mean the show will keep paying homage to the “Murder on the Orient Express” author.

“I don’t think every season of the show is going to feel like a new Agatha Christie reset. We were using that because that’s the world that Rufus Cotesworth comes from,” McAdams said. “If we’re lucky enough to make more, we’ll be different every year, I think.”

“We’ve been talking about what would it look like in Season 2 if we were inspired by Sherlock Holmes?” Weiss teased. That setup would cast Imogene as the Baker Street detective and her friend-turned-rival Anna (Lauren Patten) as her Moriarty.

“There will certainly be more murder if we are so lucky to be able to make more,” McAdams said. “But it’s not a whole reset of the table.”

Season 1 of “Death and Other Details” is now available to stream on Hulu.


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