Death and Other Details is Hulu’s latest foray into the murder mystery genre—and after just a few episodes (the first two dropped on Jan. 15 with the rest airing on a weekly basis), we already have an ever-growing list of suspects.
Now, it’s up to us—and Imogene (God Friended Me’s Violent Beane), Rufus Cotsworth (Mandy Patinkin) and Interpol’s finest Hilde Eriksen (Linda Emond)—to figure out who the killer is.
It’s a tall task considering the plethora of possibilities, with so many people aboard the luxury liner, Varuna, having motives and acting rather suspiciously, in addition to people not being who they say they are. Not to mention that we’re not only solving one murder, we’re trying to solve two in one as Rufus determined that the killer responsible for murdering Imogene’s mother via a car detonator (which she witnessed at just 11 years old) is likely the same person responsible for taking out Keith Trubitsky, whose real identity is Danny Tuner, Rufus’ former assistant who was trying to help him solve the case that he kicked opened 18 years ago, once and for all.
Did Keith get too close to the truth? Was he onto someone? Did he see something that got him killed?
The motive behind Keith/Danny’s deaths is less clear, though he did ruffle a few feathers during his short-lived time on the open seas.
There’s a world of characters on board, all of whom are hiding their fair share of secrets, but there are a few that are looking a lot guiltier than others after just a few episodes. We’ll be updating this post as the series continues with all of our new findings, theories, and eventually, the reveal of the culprit at the end of the season!
For now, there’s a handful of people that we’re getting a suspicious vibe from—so let’s do some investigating, shall we, couch sleuths?
She’s at the top of the list for a plethora of reasons. She’s jaded and paranoid, and though it initially seems like just a quirk, it turns out she has plenty of reason to be as her accident—she drove her car off a cliff—wasn’t an accident at all. Someone drove her to do that, which is slightly similar to the predicament Imogene’s late mother found herself in. She constantly checks for bugs or secret cameras and sleeps with a knife under the bed, while slashing pillows to make sure that there are no listening devices, which means that she has good reason to believe she was being stalked or spied on. Plus, she’s the only one who even remotely picked up that Keith wasn’t who he said he was by questioning his trust identity. If there’s anyone who knows what’s going on and is keeping it close to their chest—even trying to minimize themselves by saying all she did was write “clickbait”–it’s Leila.
She casts even more suspicion on herself by stealing a handful of knives and rope and sneaking off through a secret passageway somewhere beneath the ship, all while lying to her wife Anna about what she’s been doing all day.
In the fourth episode of the season, Cotsworth finds her hiding spot and Leila admits that she knows more about the killer, which is somehow connected to Viktor Sams. What isn’t she telling everyone?
Lawrence Collier – David Marshall Grant
While the head honcho of the Collier family seems too obvious to be the villain, there’s definitely something suspicious about him. He’s the direct connect to Viktor Sams, who Leila mentions is the mastermind behind all of this. Could it be his alternate identity? It would be pretty devious if he’s the one who killed Imogene’s mother…only to cover it up and take Imogene in following the terrible accident, but I wouldn’t put it past anyone with a lot of capital. He’s also the one who charted the SS Varuna, which means that he has access. And he hasn’t been seen since the murder, which is also suspicious for such a wealthy man. There’s a common theme of blackmail throughout the series—and that just seems like it would be Lawrence’s middle name.
Sunil – Rahul Kohli
It’s not lost on me that the scene of Leila warning Cotsworth about Viktor Sams goes hand-in-hand with footage of Imogene next to Sunil, helping him give safe passage to the stowaways. Is the series hinting the he may have something to do with the man who murdered her mom? Sunil hasn’t done much to raise suspicions—aside from having two safes—but maybe it isn’t a coincidence that the Colliers and the Chuns chose his ship to seal the deal, just like might not be a coincidence that he pursued Imogene. Maybe Sunil’s alias is Viktor Sams?
Simon – Leslie Kwan
Simon isn’t a huge character in the grand scheme of things, but he is part of Teddy’s family, meaning she and Winnie would do anything to protect him. He’s also shown up in two crucial moments—when Cotsworth and Hilde pieced together that Jules was using a false name and when Hilde arrested Jules. It’s unclear what his deal is, but there’s something very suspicious about him, so I’m keeping an eye out for him.
Father Toby – Danny Johnson
He hides behind the holy act, but we know that he’s the one pulling all the strings with the donors behind Alexandra’s governor campaign, plus, he’s not so innocent as he’s having a full-blown affair with Katherine, Lawrence Collier’s wife. And that means, he could very easily be hiding under the alias of Viktor Sams because no one ever suspects the priest, right?
Crossing Them Off of the Suspects List
Winnie – Annie Q.
She may have taken the blame, confessing to the murder of Danny/Keith, but while Interpol’s Hilde took the bait, Cotsworth and Imogene weren’t convinced. Winnie delivered a compelling and convincing performance, explaining that she wanted to teach these rich people a lesson, but there’s something much larger at play here, and thus, as Leila pointed out, they likely only caught one of his followers. She’s covering for someone, and we have to find out who it is.
Jules Touissant –
He shot up to the list of prime suspects because he provided a false identity to get on the ship and help Ukranian stowaways. And while no one has been officially cleared, Jules does have an alibi for the evening as he spent it with Imogene.
Teddy and Llewellyn Mathers – Angela Zhou and Jere Burns
While many people suspected Llewellyn at first, he has an alibi as he was locked in a closet by his dominatrix, Teddy. Therefore, the two of them are accounted for.
And that means, we’ve got a handful of people who are definitely acting shady, harbor secrets, and can handle their fair share of blackmail, but who haven’t given us an outright reason to suspect them:
- Eleanor Chun and Anna, who had a romantic rendezvous while trying to go through with the deal between their families. Anna also suspects Leila might be the murdered but doesn’t say anything.
- Tripp Collier is a reckless party boy whose lucrative deal with Danny/Keith went south, but who likely doesn’t have it in him to actually kill anyone.
- Celia Chun, a woman of little words who has the dirt on everyone and called out Father Toby for his affair with Katherine.
- Alexandra, though her involvement remains unclear aside from the fact that she’s now being blackmailed to put her “strings back on” with pictures of her raunchy escapades with Tripp. Does strings mean she pulled a lot of them for the Colliers? And if so, this definitely smells like the work of the Chuns!
Plot twist – Keith isn’t really dead and this was all part of his plan with Rufus to snuff out the real killer of Imogene’s mother. It would be extreme, and unlikely since we saw Keith/Danny’s body, but never say never when it comes to a murder mystery.
Who do you think the killer is? Is it the same person who killed Imogene’s mother and Keith/Danny?
Who Is Viktor Sams on ‘Death and Other Details’?
Who Is Viktor Sams? As the headline on this post reads, it’s the questions on everyone’s lips as we enter the middle half aboard Hulu’s luxury yacht murder mystery—but saying his name is likened to that of Voldemort’s. Anyone who utters “he who shall not be named’s” name finds themselves six feet under… or with their high-tech car malfunctioning and driving off of a cliff.
Viktor Sams, the man said to be behind the murder of Imogene’s (Violett Beane) mother, is said to be everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. He’s also the man said to be responsible for the death of Keith Trubitsky/Danny, and the one who instills all too much fear in Anna Collier’s wife, Leila (she’s the only one who has ever gotten so close to figuring it out, so how she’s still breathing is beyond me), and the one who ruined her informant’s whole life, making him go from a respected federal employee to nothing more than a “sick freak.”
He’s also the man that Rufus Cotsworth (Mandy Patinkin), along with the late Danny, spent 18 long years searching for without the slightest trace. The man, as it stands, is untouchable. And he might not be a man at all.
The latest episode, Death and Other Details Season 1 Episode 5, seems to hint at the possibility that Viktor Sams is an AI, which is very timely but takes the fun out of the whole murder mystery. Is it possible Viktor Sams is the name of the program that’s being run and keeping tabs on everyone?
But even then, someone has to be responsible for the murders, unless the AI works in such a way that it blackmails those around him (dubbed his followers) until they do what he needs them to do. And, in that case, maybe Winnie did really murder Keith as she followed Viktor Sams’s directions to protect her sister’s dominatrix secret. And it’s possible that Llewellyn (Jere Burns) carried out Imogen’s mother’s killing at the request of the AI. But who is behind it?
Of course, when it comes to human suspects, it’s not looking too hot for Sunil (Rahul Kohli) right now as the murderer’s liar (which revealed only a blue light emitting from within—possibly where the Captionem Blue was stored?)—is on his dream ship. Not only that, but he’s the one who knew about the Captionem Blue after going through the Colliers documents and coincidentally knew someone who could help Imogene track down more information about the shipment (and Imogene just handed over the document—her only shred of evidence against her mom’s killer–to this mystery woman). Doesn’t all of that just seem super suspect? Not to mention his ship was charted by the Collier family, so it’s unclear how deep his connection to them really is, but maybe he’s holding this Captionem Blue secret over them and just demanding payment to keep quiet. He’s also pretty skilled with technology, which would be required with all the surveillance necessary.
Maybe he’s not the man he says he is—and he’s simply gained Imogene’s trust so that he isn’t one of her suspects? Working in his favor is the fact that he was being followed along with Imogene, and the man could’ve been one of Viktor Sams’ goons (or he’s someone Sunil hired to keep Imogene’s suspicions off of him), and that he’s quite young for someone who orchestrated a whole hit on Imogene’s mother. The “why,” in general, is just a bit shaky, but extortion and blackmail seem to be a common trend.
Viktor Sams is also someone who’s very well connected, and there’s only one person aboard this ship who matches that description—Father Toby (Danny Johnson)—who has so much pull when it comes to Alexandra’s (Tamberla Perry) donors. However, if Viktor Sams is tech-savvy, it boils down to Toby’s son, That Derek (Sincere Wilbert), who has full access to the ship. He’s also a little young to be the suspect, but you can’t count anyone out. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Celia Chun was responsible considering she’s not above a little blackmail.
There are also characters we’ve yet to meet, including Charlie, the trustee of the Collier Trust. Not to mention Alexandra is being blackmailed with a sex tape, which has prompted her to dig up all the dirt she has on the Colliers, which could be the work of Viktor Sams or someone in cahoots with the Chuns. They now own a majority stake in Collier Mills, and if something wicked comes to light, it would only work to their advantage. Celia is also the person who knows about Toby’s affair with Lawrence’s wife, which could also work to her benefit. If Alexandra survives until the next episode (she’s awfully sick and stumbling, which could point to poisoning), she may be the person who takes down the Colliers, an already crumbling dynasty.
Hilde (Linda Edmond), the Interpol agent, also took a very drastic turn as she loosened up after feeling confident that they found the murderer and accepted Llewellyn’s flirtatious invitation to punish him. Could she be Viktor Sams, who hopped aboard to steer the investigation in her favor? No one ever said Viktor Sams had to be a man, right?
And on that note, if Viktor Sams is a woman and someone who has their control room on the ship year-round, then it’s very much giving Teddy (Angela Zhou) vibes. She’s part of the trusted inner circle now, she has full access to the ship, and she seems to be very good at hiding secrets—plus she harbors a connection to both the Collier and Chun families.
Not much is clear about Viktor Sams at this point as the investigation takes so many turns (likely purposeful in hopes of confusing the audience), but whatever or whoever it is, it or he/she/they are stopping at nothing until they get what they want and shut everyone up who might even reveal a smidge of their identity.
Who Was Murdered on Hulu’s ‘Death and Other Details’?
If you loved Glass Onion or Death on the Nile, you’re going to love Hulu’s latest murder mystery series titled Death and Other Details.
The series aired its first two episodes on Jan. 16, immediately encouraging fans to see through the illusion, pay attention to the details, and start gathering the clues.
At the center of the story is Imogene Scott (played by God Friended Me’s Violent Beane), who is orphaned at a very young age when she witnesses her mother’s car blow up in the driveway of the Collier residence.
The Colliers, who run the billion-dollar company Collier Mills and have two children of their own, Anna and Tripp, immediately take Imogene in following the accident and hire Rufus Cotesworth (Mandy Patinkin) to solve the murder.
Flash forward 18 years later, and everyone finds themselves aboard a luxurious cruise to celebrate Lawrence Collier’s retirement (with Anna hoping to take over the company). The reunion between Imogene and Rufus is testy at first considering she assumed he gave up on the case and split the moment the money ran out, however, she soon learns that the sole reason why Rufus took a job with the Chun family (a dynasty that the Colliers are hoping to make a lucrative deal with) was so that he could continue the investigation he started nearly two decades ago.
And the latest murder aboard the cruise ship—that of Keith Trubitsky of Indianapolis, Indiana (whose real identity was Dan Turner, friend and assistant to Rufus)—is somehow linked to Imogene’s mother’s death. Everyone was completely fooled by his alternate persona that they never suspected he was planted there to stir the pot and dig up dirt.
As Rufus and Imogene vow to work together to unravel the mystery of both deaths, they’ll be forced to unearth the secrets of both the Collier and Chun families, who are desperate to keep them protected at all costs.
The latest whodunit features a slew of suspects—from Imogene’s closest friends and confidants to a priest that’s dubbed a political connection marker, all the way to the staff and security working the luxury liner.
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