‘Murderville’ is a mystery series that combines sitcom tropes with improv comedy to create a unique interactive experience for viewers and the performers. Each episode features a special guest star trying to solve a murder case while working alongside Detective Terry Seattle of the Homicide Department. In the series premiere, noted comedian and talk show host Conan O’Brien finds himself in the hot seat after being paired up with Terry to solve the murder of a magician’s assistant. Here’s a rundown of all the police procedural shenanigans in ‘Murderville’ episode 1! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Murderville Episode 1 Recap
Episode 1, titled ‘The Magician’s Assistant,’ opens with an introduction to Terry Seattle, an experienced homicide detective who hasn’t had a partner since the death of his former partner, Lori Griffin, fifteen years ago. Terry is going through a divorce with his wife, Rhonda, who happens to be the precinct’s Chief of Police. Rhonda introduces Terry to his new partner, trainee detective Conan O’Brien.
She assigns them the murder case of magician Captivating Keith’s assistant, Sarah. At the crime scene, the forensics department’s Amber Kang shares details of the murder with Terry and Conan. Sarah was sawed in half during a live performance after someone picked the lock on Keith’s toolbox and replaced the prop saw with a real saw. Amber also found traces of hot sauce and pet hair on the crime scene.
After gathering the clues from the crime scenes, Terry and Conan head to interrogate the three suspects in the case. The first suspect is Keith’s former assistant, Deb, who he replaced with Sarah. The second suspect is Keith’s rival, Magic Melvin, who was Sarah’s former employer. The final suspect is Kathy Johanson, the leader of a local group that is against magic. Each of the three suspects has a motive to kill Sarah. However, Conan must deduce the real killer based on the evidence and information for his interactions with the suspects.
Murderville Episode 1 Ending: Who Killed Sarah? Does Conan O’Brien Solve the Case?
In the end, it is time for Conan to present his investigation and accuse one of the suspects of committing the crime. Since Sarah was Deb’s replacement, she had an apparent motive for killing the assistant. Likewise, Sarah passed on the secrets of Melvin’s show to Keith, which gives Melvin a reason to kill Sarah. Lastly, Kathy’s entire philosophy is anti-magic, and killing Sarah would help prove her point about the dangers of magic to the local community. Therefore, Sarah also has a strong motive.
Conan suggests that Melvin is the killer based on the fact that the saw was placed in Keith’s toolbox without leaving any fingerprints. Only a magician can depict such sleight of hand, thereby making Melvin the culprit. Although Conan’s guess is correct, his logic is entirely faulty. The three major pieces of evidence present on the crime scene are the traces of hot sauce, pet hair, and lock picking skills.
Kathy has the most obvious motive for murder. However, she does not seem to possess any pets and evidently does not have any lock picking expertise. Hence, she can be excluded as a suspect. On the other hand, as a former magician’s assistant, Deb is likely to have lock picking skills, and her new job as a waitress links her to the hot sauce. However, she states that she is allergic to pets. Therefore, she cannot be the culprit either.
Earlier, during Melvin’s interrogation, he reveals that he likes to have hot sauce on his breakfast burrito. Furthermore, Melvin has a pet rabbit for his magic performances and has lock picking skills because he is a magician. All three pieces of evidence align against Melvin, making him the killer. Thus, in the end, it is proved that Melvin killed Sarah as revenge for spilling secrets of his magic tricks. Conan cracks the case but fails to provide sound logic that links the evidence to the suspect. Hence, Conan has a lot to learn before becoming a seasoned homicide detective, but his comedic charm provides an entertaining first episode.
Read More: Is Murderville Scripted or Improvised?