Hulu’s murder mystery drama series, ‘Death and Other Details,’ packs a lot of drama in its first two episodes, setting the stage for a turbulent first season where the secrets of every passenger will come to light. But, as Rufus Cotesworth tells Imogene, what matters is you find the secrets that matter to you. For now, the secrets that we discover are the ones that Rufus himself has been keeping from everyone around him. It is also hinted that whatever truth surfaces in the investigation might just be an illusion of what it is supposed to be, which is why it is not wise to trust anyone until they have been stripped of all their secrets and lies. SPOILERS AHEAD
Death and Other Details “Rare and Sordid” Recap
When Imogene Scott was little, her mother died in a car explosion. The girl would have died, too, if her mother hadn’t sent her back for something minor. The question, however, is, who would want to kill a mere secretary? Rufus Cotesworth, known to be the world’s greatest detective, is brought on board to solve the case. However, for all his wit and shrewd deductions, he is unable to get to the bottom of it. He leaves the case midway, leaving Imogene extremely heartbroken, disappointed, and harboring a lifelong grudge against Cotesworth.
Eighteen years later, Imogene and Cotesworth reunite on a cruise ship, where she and the Colliers (the family that her mother worked for and who took her in when she was orphaned) are trying to convince the Chuns to invest in Collier Mills. Cotesworth is working for the Chuns, presumably to dig up dirt on the Colliers so that the Chuns have an excuse not to invest in their business. On what is supposed to be a ten-day-long cruise, a murder takes place on the second night, and Imogene is the only suspect. She claims she didn’t do it, and Cotesworth believes her, which is why he removes the evidence that will surely land her in prison and asks her to assist him on the case.
Death and Other Details Ending: Imogene and Cotesworth Join Forces
The bad blood between Imogene and Cotesworth is because she believes he dropped her mother’s case when the Colliers stopped paying him. Whatever goodwill he had developed with the little girl was washed away because of that, and she spent years believing he was just a fraud who didn’t care about people. But that’s not what Cotesworth claims happened.
According to him, he was hot on the trail of someone named Victor Sams, who he knew was an alias for the person directly involved in the death of Imogene’s mother. Whoever killed her covered their tracks pretty well, and that’s why it took Cotesworth three months to find out about Sams’s existence. When the detective brought this information to Laurence Collier, he lashed out at him for wasting time and not bringing forward anything of worth.
Cotesworth claims that Imogene’s mother’s death has something to do with the Colliers, and they, or at least Laurence, are hiding something. This is why Laurence Collier dropped Cotesworth when he started asking about Victor Sams. The detective was just as heartbroken as Imogene for not being able to solve the case. He and the girl had become friends, and he was especially impressed with her because she was bright, smart, and clever, so when he eventually decided to return to the case, he knew he’d need her help with it.
Early on in the case of Keith Trubitsky (who is killed on the ship), Imogene asserts that she and Cotesworth being on the same boat after all these years and a murder happening at the same time is not a coincidence. She turns out to be right when she discovers that Keith is actually named Danny and was Cotesworth’s assistant, whom she’d seen all those years ago when Cotesworth walked out on her mother’s case.
It turns out that Danny and Cotesworth had found their way on the boat because they knew the entire Collier family would be there, giving them the opportunity to keep an eye on them for ten days, and get access to the company’s books and find out what the Colliers had been hiding and how it connected to the death of Imogene’s mother. Imogene is moved by the fact that Cotesworth didn’t give up on the case and agrees to help him. She also realizes that Cotesworth chose to let her in on this secret because she is the only one who has enough access to the Collier family to get her hands on their books.
Cotesworth knows that Danny’s death is somehow linked to Imogene’s mother and that he must have figured out something about someone that landed him in this position. He is also smart enough to know that he cannot count anyone out, not even Imogene, when it comes to Danny’s death, which is why, even though he is collaborating with her, he is not telling her everything. The fact that the story is being narrated by him also shows that he is the only one out of suspicion on this one. Or even that could be an illusion.
By the end of the episode, it becomes clear that everyone on board is hiding a secret, and any of them could have had the motive to kill Danny. It could be any of the Colliers, the Chuns, the staff, or even Sunil, the owner of the boat. What remains to be seen is how it all connects to the things that have been buried in the past and whether the mystery of Keith/Danny’s death will help unravel the long-held secret of Imogene’s mother’s death. But it won’t be easy for Cotesworth to do that.
When Keith is murdered, Cotesworth quickly takes charge of the investigation and spends the entire night interrogating the passengers. But in the morning, law enforcement arrives, and it is clear that the person in charge is in the mood to leave things in his hands. Once they take over the case, how will Cotesworth and Imogene manage to carry out their own plans? How will they get to the truth?