After last week’s episode and a stiff drink, Episode 6 is upon us and the drama, in a lot of ways, has come to a head. I’d be lying if I said this was my favourite episode so far, but it definitely has two of my favourite moments of the series!
Episode 6 opens where Episode 5 left off, with Angela attending the crime scene of Brad’s murder. Coroner Wendy is back, and they wonder out loud whether it’s the same killer who got Troy and Simon. It’s could be, but there’s a few key differences. Troy was strangled (although it’s been confirmed by the creators that the same person killed Simon), and Simon was stabbed twice, while Brad unfortunately got more than 20. But Wendy still says it’s possible. And there’s also a chance they might be next.
Is the series hinting that Quintin might not have killed Troy? Did he just go after Brad in an attempt to regain some sort of control after what Colin said to him? He’s not off my suspect list, because there’s a good chance he did it. But the truth might not be so black and white. Also, the McLeavey name is literally all over this. The first place the cops are going to look is that family, because Colin is the real estate agent. There’s no hiding from that fact. Colin could very well be implicated for this murder. In fact, he already is because of the crime scene. Here’s hoping Brad’s time of death proves Colin couldn’t have done it.
Speaking of which, Renee has arrived at the interrogation room to represent Colin against a highly cynical Zara, who despite having no hard evidence, declares her mission to prove Colin’s guilt. Neither Renee nor Colin are taking kindly to these accusations, but least impressed of all is none other than Troy himself. We saw last week he’s now able to physically throw things, and in this case he’s turned his attention to a stack of papers on Zara’s desk. We don’t see what happens next, but Colin talking to Troy like this is sure to raise a few eyebrows.
Meanwhile, Hayden’s come round to visit the McLeaveys, and Justine discovers her husband has been keeping more secrets from her (opening the iPad, Troy’s phone, working with Hayden etc). I think Justine’s about reached her breaking point, and justifiably so. Especially now Colin’s been released and hasn’t come home straight away. I really feel for Justine, probably more than almost any other character (except Nathan of course). She’s been through so much and arguably she’s dealing with everything on her own, even more so now she’s found out at least part of what Isobel’s been up to. Someone get that woman a martini.
The episode hasn’t even reached the halfway point. Oscar’s returned to his bookstore to find the place ransacked, and Kobie is waiting for him. Oscar’s pleas fall on deaf ears, and what follows is a brutal beating involving a bike chain. Oscar may be dead now, but the cardinal rule is that if a character doesn’t die on screen, they don’t really die. So until that’s confirmed, I think Oscar is going to stick around for a little bit longer.
Over at the park, Dave is with Quintin and Leanne, waiting for potential new clients. Quintin is restless (!) and Amaia is suspiciously absent.
A trio of university students/drug dealers arrive (Elijah, Sasha and Xander, according to the credits) along with their new head of security….Ryan. I wonder who could have predicted that. Obviously Dave is…less than thrilled and attempts to call the deal off. Sasha and Xander seem genuinely shocked at this, but Elijah appears to know the history already. Oh, and Ryan’s pulled a gun on everyone now. I’m sure this won’t end with any bloodshed whatsoever.
And now we’re at the moment I’ve been chomping at the bit to see. The escape attempt from conversion camp. It…doesn’t go well. It seems the powers that be knew about the plans (I guess the guards did overhear them. Sad face). Most of the kids are dragged back…except Nathan and Yardley. Not going to lie, I almost lost it when they got away. Nothing good is waiting for those who didn’t escape, but at least my boys managed to get out. That’s something, and something big. Thank everything on God’s green earth. Yes, I realise it’s a fictional story. Yes, I realise it’s a web series and they aren’t the main characters. I know all that, and I don’t care. They are out and that’s all that matters to me. Sorry Troy. Still love you.
Finally, we’re at the main event. Colin, Viv, Ursula and Narelle have decided enough’s enough and they’re going to hold a seance. As Colin says, it’s time to find out the truth. What I know about seances could fit on the head of a pin so I can’t comment on the accuracies, but what I do know is this scene is one of absolute beauty. The atmosphere builds perfectly, the ambience is set, and Troy appears. He’s now able to touch his father, and speak to him. What follows is easily the most impressive sequence (from an editing point of view) in After Nightfall thus far.
We see a rapid succession of flashbacks to Troy’s last day alive. And yes, I am the obsessive who slowed it down and gleaned each frame for potential clues.
So here they are.
– Troy wakes up.
– There’s the breakfast scene we saw a glimpse of in the season 1 finale.
– Troy is talking to Oscar
– Justine answers the door
– Ryan walks away from Leanne
– Troy runs into Nathan
– Back to the breakfast scene?
– Troy walks to school with Hayden
– Dave is in his car
– Troy sits with Xavier and Grace
– Troy is walking through bushland and appears to come across a tryst between…two men. On first glance it seems to be Wesley and someone else. Someone with dark hair. Someone who at first glance MIGHT be Xavier, but definitely don’t quote me on that. I’m not sure. But surely that wouldn’t be the reason Troy was killed?
Episode 6 ends on a tantalising cliffhanger, probably the best one yet, and there’s no violence, no death, no explosive action. It’s just a father sharing a moment with the ghost of his son.
And this, THIS is why I love After Nightfall.
There’s a great balance between action and stillness. It knows when to let the characters breathe and have a quiet moment. It knows exactly how much action is needed and above all, it’s about the story and characters. And every single scene plays a part in the narrative. Especially considering the micro budget, small crew and limited timeframe they had to work with…it’s just phenomenal what this series has done. There’s really no other word for it. And I mean that sincerely.
Episode 7 promises to be a flashback episode to the day of Troy’s murder. We’ve had a tiny preview, so we have some idea of what to expect. I hope we get some answers to a few questions like Troy’s relationship with Nathan and why Wesley is so beaten up. But more than that, I hope we learn more about Troy, because he’s been quite the enigma this whole journey.
I don’t know what will happen next, but I know one thing for sure. We’re about to find out who killed Troy McLeavey.