Beyond its first two episodes, “A Murder at the End of the World” just isn’t thrilling. Twists and turns fizzle into bland exposition dumps. It becomes clear that the show’s first mistake was introducing us to a more intriguing story in Darby and Bill’s past.
Flashbacks shouldn’t be the most intriguing aspect of a show, especially a murder mystery. Watching two young amateur sleuths go from Reddit forums to real-life detective work is ten times more interesting than watching a run-of-the-mill thriller unfold in real-time. The flashbacks of Darby and Bill chasing the Silver Doe Killer are filled with great chemistry between Corrin and Dickinson as their respective loner characters learn to open themselves up to love and teamwork along the way. In the present, though, the emotional heat from the flashbacks becomes as frigid as the Icelandic landscape the two now find themselves in.
“You grew up on crime scenes, and you think this is one too. It’s not,” Andy says to Darby after a second murder occurs, introducing a thread that’s present throughout but never really goes anywhere. Is this all happening inside Darby’s head? Have the people who’ve died simply succumbed to secret addictions or health problems? And what does being obsessed with true crime at a young age do to someone’s psyche down the line? Despite these interesting questions, the show uses them most of all for middling discourse about tech and wealth.
Though masterfully directed, “A Murder at the End of the World” never delves deep enough to flourish into a great show. Talent like Louis Cancelmi, Jermaine Fowler, and Alice Braga are wasted on characters who aren’t given enough to do until they almost bleed into the stark walls of Andy’s mansion. From beautiful cinematography that captures the harsh Icelandic landscapes to its looming and ominous score, all the ingredients for a thrilling miniseries are here. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough, and the dull middle episodes of this mystery miniseries kill its initial promise.
Five episodes were screened for review. “A Murder at the End of the World” premieres on FX on November 14th.