Who is Victor Sams in Death and Other Details?

Hulu’s ‘Death and Other Details’ asks its viewers to look closely and pay attention to details because that is where the answer to every mystery lies. It is the details that help solve a case eighteen years old and details that help the characters figure out the identity of Victor Sams, an elusive villain who has been around since the first episode but has never been seen. As bodies start to drop on the Varuna, the question about Victor Sams’ identity becomes even more pertinent. Even if the murderers are found, it wouldn’t matter much until Sams is identified because he is the one who has been orchestrating the murders and everything else in the first place. Finding Victor Sams is also the key to figuring out who killed Imogene’s mother, Kira, all those years ago. Eventually, it is in the details that the devil is found. SPOILERS AHEAD

Victor Sams was Hiding in Plain Sight

Victor Sams’ name first came up when Kira Scott was murdered. Her car was rigged by someone, and the explosives were bought under the name of “Victor Sams.” When Rufus Cotesworth tried to look further into Sams, the Collier family rescinded their support, and he was forced to leave the case, leaving a dejected Imogene behind. But then, years later, it seemed like this seemingly minor Victor Sams had become something much bigger. When Cotesworth’s assistant, Danny, comes forward with new evidence about Sams’ identity, the duo embarks on a mission that leads them to the Varuna.

One of the things that made Danny such a good detective was that he had an excellent eye for detail. In fact, he had this thing where he never forgot a face. On the first day on the Varuna, Danny asked for the manifest and saw the photo and name of every person on board. But then later, on the deck, he saw someone he didn’t recognize. This person’s name and photo were not on the list of passengers on this ship, which means that this person was not supposed to be on the ship.

Because there is no such thing as coincidences, Danny immidiately took this as a sign. He noted it in his journal because he knew it would be important later. The person he had noticed also knew that Danny’s observations would eventually lead him to the identity of Victor Sams. In fact, this person was Victor Sams, and they knew that Danny would eventually figure it out. So, they had Danny killed and started a chain of events that eventually led to exactly what Victor Sams didn’t want to happen.

When Imogene got her hands on Danny’s journal and deciphered it with the help of her friends, she discovered the presence of that extra person Danny had noticed on the day of his death. While she couldn’t remember the details of the day, she knew it would have been captured in the videos of the pastor’s son, who had the habit of live-streaming everything around him. It was in this video that Imogene and her friends noticed the person, who turned out to be Hilde Eriksen, who had come on board as the investigator from Interpol.

In hindsight, there were many subtle details that pointed towards Hilde being the odd one out on the Varuna. For instance, it was mentioned several times in the show that the comms of the ship were hacked by Victor Sams. It was also clear that Sams had funded the ship and had the servers installed beforehand, which meant that he had always been in complete control of it. Later, this botched comms thing is used to justify why help would never arrive at the Varuna. Extrapolating that to the past, it makes sense that if the comms were hacked from the beginning, how would Interpol send one of their agents?

In the end, it turns out that not only is Hilde Eriksen Victor Sams, but she is also Kira Scott, who had faked her death eighteen years ago. It was she who bought the explosives under the alias of Victor Sams. Because Sams didn’t exist at that point, it explained why Cotesworth couldn’t find him. But then, once Kira was out of the reach of the Colliers, she decided to use Victor Sams as the name to build an empire that would allow her to be anywhere and everywhere. She used this identity to instill fear in everyone, so much so that some, like Leila, didn’t even like speaking his name out loud. Victor Sams was Kira Scott’s vengeance on the Colliers and others like them. But when she transformed into him, she also left behind the goodness she had and ended up becoming the same thing she had hated all along.

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