A Murder at the End of the World Chapter 6 Recap: You Want It To Have Meaning, but It Doesn’t

“Crime Seen”

Darby in a dirty tanktop, walking outside, in a flashback sequence in A Murder at the End of the World Chapter 6, "Crime Seen"
CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX

The following recap contains spoilers for A Murder at the End of the World Chapter 6, “Crime Seen” (written by Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij and directed by Brit Marling)

If you’ve been following along with me week to week and for some reason want to keep score on predictions, let’s call last week a push. I was right that David (Raúl Esparza) would be the one to save Darby (Emma Corrin) from a watery death in the pool, but I didn’t think that Lee (Brit Marling) would be with him. In fact, I ended by laying suspicions at her feet.

Chapter 6 does a lot of work to dispel those suspicions, as Lee brushes Darby’s hair and tells her a story of abuse. Andy (Clive Owen) has been obsessive and overly protective about Zoomer (Kellan Tetlow) since he was born. As Lee relays this to Darby, we see a flashback of Andy smacking Lee across the face because Zoomer got a boo-boo, and by the general rules of TV that means this actually happened.

Knowing the damage this causes to a young soul (from personal experience), Lee thus conspired to get away from her abusive husband. She evaded facial recognition, ditched her phone, stole a woman’s identity, and drove to Canada to seek sanctuary with an old friend. But somehow, Andy was there when she and Zoomer got there. She doesn’t know how, only that she fell back into his clutches, as he told her that she could go but Zoomer must stay.

Lee insists that she didn’t know that Zoomer was Bill’s (Harris Dickinson) biological son until Darby told her. She’d hatched a plan with Bill, Rohan (Javed Khan), and David to use the retreat to get away from Andy. This is her explanation for the fake passport and wig that Darby found in her bag in Chapter 5. Lee and Darby agree, though, that it doesn’t really make sense to think that Andy was behind the murders.

Oliver with headphones around his neck
CR: Chris Saunders/FX

Oliver (Ryan J. Haddad) arrives to tell Lee and Darby that David wants them to hide in Oliver’s room, but Darby is intent on returning to Bill’s room because she thinks she’s made the mistake of focusing on the killer instead of trying to understand the victim. It turns out that as Bill died he grabbed Darby’s book and smudged it with blood, so Darby reads the closing pages, filling in the gap we’d previously been left with.

As they recite the names of his victims, the Silver Doe killer shoots himself in the head at the top of the stairs, splattering Bill with blood. Darby gets out of the basement by dragging the washing machine over to use as a stool. She checks the man’s wallet and his ID has him as Frank Bell. Then she runs to a neighbor to call the cops. Back at the motel, Darby and Bill have a brief conversation in the bathtub as Bill cleans up. And the next morning, he is gone.

It’s that conversation that calls for our attention, though, and which Oliver keys in on once Darby’s done reading. Bill insisted that the killer was boring, like the most basic code repeating. Darby wanted him to have meaning, but he didn’t. Take that as a reading of the Silver Doe killer and it’s a cold interpretation of the world as brutally misogynistic. But we should also be thinking about this as what Bill pointed to as he died.

Oliver jumps to casting suspicion onto Lu Mei (Joan Chen), which might track in relation to Bill’s opposition to her smart cities, but which doesn’t seem to me to relate to this passage at all. If Bill is providing a clue, he’s saying that his murder was boring.

That probably puts suspicion back on Andy more than anyone else, so it’s fitting that Chapter 6 ends with him arriving to the room, presaged by David’s face being beaten against the door by Todd (Louis Cancelmi).

We close this episode with an undeniable sense that Andy is a bad guy, and by that I mean that he is a bad guy whether he’s killed anyone or not. I’m still not sure it makes sense for him to be the murderer.

Lee says Andy is too smart to invite Bill to the retreat just to have him killed, and I have to agree. If he was onto any kind of plan between Lee and Bill, he could have just not invited Bill. But, on the contrary, Lee tells Darby that Bill refused the invite to the retreat at first and was maybe lured by Darby being invited, which implies that Andy really wanted Bill to be there. And if that leads you back to the idea that he wanted Bill to be there so that he could kill him, well… a man this powerful could have had Bill killed anywhere, so something is missing from this suggested explanation.

If Andy did it, there remains something about his motivations that we do not know.

Andy sits with his hands on his lap
CR: Chris Saunders/FX

Darby plays back the doorbell cam footage from outside of Bill’s room the night he died. She notices that the light changes, indicating that Bill’s door opened and closed, but something/someone was erased from the footage. I’m bored with wondering who is a good hacker, as though that might lead us somewhere, but I’m not entirely bored with casting aspersions on Ray (Edoardo Ballerini) somehow. I’m just not sure how he could inject Bill with the morphine since, to our knowledge, he can’t take an actual physical presence.

What would be the most boring possibility? The most meaningless?

Lee and David stand face to face
CR: Chris Saunders/FX

Maybe it’s that the rich asshole, David, really is just that, and he was just pretending to help. Maybe he thought he could shore things up for Andy and win favor by killing those who threatened to undermine him. Maybe he’s just told Andy about that and gotten a beating for his trouble, because Andy Ronson would never approve of such blunt tactics.

That’s where I’m at, anyway, heading into next week’s finale. I’m curious to see how A Murder at the End of the World wraps things up, and if it has some big twist up its sleeve. If it does, I just hope it works.

See you next week.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

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